Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Where Spitzer Was SUPPOSED to be on Monday

So on Monday, I attended the 31st FPA Conference in Albany. FPA is the Family Planning Advocates of NYS. It was held at the Empire Plaza in Albany. I got to go because I'm a member of the Planned Parenthood of NYC Activist Council.

So I had to be at Planned Parenthood in Manhattan at 6:30 AM. Anyone who knows me can probably guess how much I enjoyed that. When we arrived in Albany we registered and went into a brunch, where there were several notable speakers scheduled. Future former Governor Eliot Spitzer was one of them (actually, the one I had been most looking forward to seeing) but he was, ahem, "called away." I did get to hear a speech from Governor-to-be David Paterson. He was a really good speaker, and thanks in part to that I'm confident in him as Governor.

Anyhoo, Paterson spoke, as did some other people whose names I have written down somewhere but am too lazy to go get, then they handed out the Margaret Sanger Award to Sen. Velmanette Montgomery and Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava. Interestingly enough, Scozzafava is a republican. Who'da thunk it?

The keynote speaker was Amy Goodman from the Democracy Now radio show/podcast. She was excellent, and I bought one of her books, Static (and had it signed).

In the afternoon we had lobby appointments with our Senators. Mine is Martin Conner, who is very pro-choice and pro-reproductive health, so he was already in support of RHPPA and the Healthy Teens Act. Easy meeting.

We actually met with one of his aides, and that's where we were when the Spitzer story broke. In the middle of the meeting, the aide answered the phone and all we heard was "what? prostitution? I'm in a meeting, I'll have to call you back" then she sat down and said "there's something about Spitzer and prostitutes." And after the meeting everyone with an internet phone was glued to it (that is to say, NOT me, though if I pay $1 a day and hold my phone in just the right position I can get a text only version of Rumors were flying. One minute he was a john, the next he was the pimp, the next he had already resigned, etc. And the murmurs between government workers in the elevators was constant. It was a very interesting day to be in Albany.

We also watched a performance by the group The Capitol Steps. They were hilarious. They made fun of politicians. I would love to see them again once they've incorporated this Spitzer thing into their act.

So the main reason I was disappointed to hear about Spitzer was the fact that he has been such a friend and ally to the reproductive health movement. RHPPA is his bill. He initiated it in response to Gonzales v. Carhart, which as we all remember is the late-term abortion ban that doesn't take womens' health into account.

Tangent: "Partial birth" is a lie. It is a phrase made up by the radical anti-choice, anti-woman right to make late-term abortions sound icky and evil. Women who have late-term abortions generally have a very good reason for it.

Tangent 2: The actual procedure of having a surgical abortion takes three minutes.

Here's a picture I took of David Paterson:


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