A hat for Jackie
Tuesday March 01st 2011, 12:31 am
Filed under: Knit,Knitting a Gift,Warm Hats Not Hot Heads

By the sweet challah pattern on thy brow shalt thou greet thy braid all the days of thy life.

I was looking at the spreadsheet this evening for Warm Hats Not Hot Heads and was dismayed to find that nobody had signed up for Jackie Speier.

Jackie Speier is a hero to me. Until her speech, I had no idea Congress was trying to criminalize a procedure that not only is used on abortions but also when a woman is miscarrying a long-wanted and hoped-for child, as happened in her case, in order to protect her health so that no infection or massive scarring sets in that would keep her from being able to conceive in the future.

Wait. You mean the–wait–I had a miscarriage at nearly four months! And they want doctors not to know how to take care of women who *want* to have their children?! Wherever one may stand on abortion, those complications are what mine told me were a possibility if things were left to fester unattended. My loved, wanted baby had already passed away out of this life, just not out of me.

Speier was shot and left for dead while trying to help rescue her boss’s constituents during the Jim Jones/Guyana massacre. And when she spoke up back when she was in the state legislature about just what these men here were talking about banning, medically, back then too, and what she had endured with the loss of a baby she and her husband had tried so hard to have, one responded with, “Jim Jones should have finished the job.”


That, in the commission of a crime, would have qualified as an enhancement under the hate speech laws.

She did manage to get pregnant again; she was expecting when her husband was killed by a driver who had no brakes and thought he could make it to work anyway. She’s been raising her children as a widow. She has persevered.

Speier represents the folks in San Bruno and has been holding PG&E’s feet to the fire more than anyone else. When they say that no, they didn’t know there were any welding flaws in the pipeline that blew up–there were 150 just in that section–and then say with a straight face that there couldn’t possibly be any more anywhere, she tells them, I don’t believe you. Do the work you must do to make these lines safe. Lives are at stake.

That same pipeline runs about 500 feet or less from my house, between two gas stations. Go Jackie go.

If ever there was someone I wanted to stand with, hat in hand, pressing Congress for accountability for their words and respectfulness towards one another’s life experiences in all things, she wins.

I have a lovely, soft yarn that was bought at a store I think in her district. I’m knitting it for her as fast as I can.

8 Comments so far
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Perfect. And yes, that’s the kind of woman – person – we need in Washington!!

Comment by Channon 03.01.11 @ 7:30 am

I respect Jackie Spier for speaking up about her experience. Thank you for posting more information about her. It’s wonderful that you are knitting a lovely hat for her.

Comment by Elaine Boston 03.01.11 @ 10:28 am

I completely agree with you. Although Jackie is not my representative, I thoroughly admire the work she does and the person she is. If only other Congress people were as honest and astute as she!

Comment by Don Meyer 03.01.11 @ 10:53 am

Oh, I am so glad that you realized she wasn’t covered, and that you’re knitting her a hat! You’re absolutely right, someone like that both exemplifies why hate (and hateful) speech are so destructive, but also stands up for what’s right. May she wear your hat in health!

Comment by Jocelyn 03.01.11 @ 8:33 pm

I keep hoping that, at some point, the whole abortion issue shall be relegated to where it belongs — between women and their physicians as a medical procedure — and out of public discussion. The nature of the public discussion is nothing but divisive, and tends to distract people from real issues such as fiscal irresponsibility and malfeasance. Just saying.

I admire Jackie Speier, and wish to heaven I lived in her district. Our congresscritters are all much of a muchness.

Comment by Patricia Day 03.02.11 @ 8:00 am

Oh. My. I did not know and I’m so glad I do now, and that you are knitting her a hat, and I totally agree with Patricia, abortion belongs between a woman, her doctor, and her husband, IF she is married, and only if he is respectful of her wishes.

Comment by Knitnana 03.02.11 @ 9:54 am

Thank you for knitting for someone who is so brave and speaks up for women’s health issues! Yes, our doctors need to be well educated so that they know why and when these procedures are necessary…and to acknowledge that women’s health is a complex thing, with a lot of gray areas. (It is not just about abortion, no matter where one stands on that issue.)

Comment by Joanne 03.02.11 @ 1:57 pm

As Joanne says, there is so much gray in these issues, but clear black and white when it comes to protesting hate.

Comment by twinsetellen 03.02.11 @ 7:29 pm

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