Tiny Notes

Tiny Notes
from Jilly Jesson Smyth

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Sunday, July 15, 2018


What Every Girl Should Know

"When motherhood becomes the fruit of a deep yearning, not the result of ignorance or accident, its children will become the foundation of a new race."
Margaret Higgins Sanger 

VOTE (smart) - original version

Watch this film short starring filmmakers 

Ginia Desmond and Kirsten Long 

created for the VOTE SMART Initiative 2012

Culture of Sacrifice and Shame

Once upon a time I helped a friend get an abortion. I feel it was one of the most important gifts I have done for someone. When she told me the weight of her decision and the lack of support she had, the struggle of moving past a relationship that would destroy her future and no parents who cared. I was there to support my workmate who did not have anyone to be there with her as she made this huge life choice.

We traveled to the original Margaret Sanger Health Center, now Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona in Tucson. As I drove her, it was not easy and it is sad that the shame she felt upon making this choice meant we would lose touch. 

I was glad that the doctor was empathetic and thoughtful and guided me on how to support her best. I was also glad that I became a suffragette at a very young age, as soon as I could read the biographies of Margaret Sanger, Annie Oakley, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet TubmanKatharine Martha Houghton Hepburn and more, it became clear that I would take control of my future and health care with discipline and smart choices beyond my age.

Later in my professional career I handled the advertising for Planned Parenthood and marched for freedom and choice in Arizona. When I went to the offices of PP to do business, the security was heavy with bullet proof glass and a serious concern for protecting families as they served our community.

Telling Our Stories 

TFB Screenwriter Forum
Jeff Yanc (Far Left) Ginia Desmond (Center Right) Dr. Alan Hamilton (Far Right)
Photo by Jilly Jesson Smyth

When I met Ginia Desmond for the first time she was speaking on a screenwriter panel at Tucson Festival of Books March 2017. The man next to her on the left was grumpy and she looked me in the eyes with empathy as I shot photos for my work and took notes on the wisdom she shared. I knew she was special as she related the story of how she produced her films and gave guidance to all listening intently in the audience. 

The Green Light

Icon Jilly
My Powerpuff Girl Icon

Now is the time to press the "GO" button. 
If you have children, set an example for them the way Katherine Hepburn's Mom did and I highly suggest having them read "What Every Girl Should Know" by Margaret Sanger , it is an oldie but goodie to leave handy around the house. It is time to wake up from thinking we accomplished everything already, we have important stories to tell. 


"The government continued its efforts to exert political control over the judiciary, NGOs and the media. Hundreds of protesters faced criminal sanctions for participating in peaceful assemblies. Women and girls continued to face systemic barriers in accessing safe and legal abortion."

Kirsten Long and Me at a recent Haboob Happening
Created by Ginia DesmondDavid Sadker and Karen Zittleman

“If the cure for cancer was in the mind of a girl, we might never discover it.”

We ignite change by getting pro-choice 
Democratic women elected to office.


Happy Voting...
Much Moksha Jilly