Women Need to Keep Fighting for Autonomy Over Their Own Bodies, and Men Need to Respect Our Choices

It’s June, 2017, and with depressing regularity, I still see headlines in the news about incursions against women’s reproductive rights.  Our leadership (I use the term loosely) in Washington (Trump, The Republican-controlled Congress), insist on defunding Planned Parenthood, yet there is already no Federal funding for abortion…so what really are they accomplishing?  Simply put, they are removing access to vital health screenings and birth control options for the poorest and least served among us.     Reading the May issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, I saw a map showing just how limited women’s access to birth control is.  The logic behind these tactics is baffling because the result of denying birth control or abortion services is an increase in population among those least able to afford children.    The result of this Machiavellian scheme is generations of children growing up in poverty, with many a family destroyed by drugs, crime, violence, or some combination of same.  Is that any sane person’s idea of “life?”  I think not.  How many of the misguided “pro-lifers” who picket abortion clinics have offered to adopt these “lives” they claim to care about?  I’ve not heard of any.  And yet these same folks also scream for welfare cuts (which exacerbates the scenario outlined above).

In this day and age, why is it that women still struggle to control choices affecting their bodies?  Most of the time it can be laid at the feet of the Conservative Christian movement, whose underlying patriarchy demands a woman be subservient to a man, and whose agenda includes removing the concept of choice in the area of sexual freedom.  The tactics have shifted over the decades from demonizing women for engaging in sex for purposes other than procreation, to restricting a woman’s access to birth control methods or abortion services by redefining what constitutes “life.”  During the 80s, particularly with the Reagan Presidency, the alignment of the so-called “Moral Majority” with the Republican Party saw the reinvigoration of the “pro-life” movement.  This was evidenced by chipping incrementally away at Roe, either by case law or legislation, coupled with an effort to shift public opinion regarding when life actually began.  

It is this last aspect that I find particularly insidious:  by “life,” are we talking about cell activity, or are we talking about viability?  And this is crucial, because viability in my opinion, is the only real test here.   Most scientists and doctors have accepted the earliest point at which a fetus can survive outside a mother’s womb is at 24 weeks.  Any earlier, and the fetus would require some sort of medical assistance or it would die–and I’m speaking from experience here, because I myself was born at 24 weeks and I still spent 3 months in an incubator!   The idea that “life” begins at conception is to completely ignore the fact that without the Mother’s host body, there is no material with which to create a new being.  And THAT, dear readers is the real EVIL of this mind-set: it completely marginalizes the woman and removes her from consideration even though she is indispensable to the entire process!  It is the woman’s body that suffers the effects of pregnancy–from mild discomfort in the form of nausea or vomiting, to more serious impacts like calcium depletion, etc, or the onset of pregnancy-related conditions like diabetes and the like.  Only a woman can truly lay claim to the statement “My flesh and blood,” because all the building blocks of this potential being come from her.  To deny her any voice in this process is to declare she is nothing more than an animate incubator.   And that, to me, is outrageous.

The Constitution states people have a right to be secure in their person, place, and property.  The Roe Court stated that included a woman’s right to autonomy over her own body.  I agree.  The fact that this even needed to be litigated is such a sad commentary on our society…why are there no cases dealing with access to viagra, or chemical castration of male pedophiles or rapists?  What if women denied men sex altogether?  Furthermore, when did the religious views of one vocal group become the guideline for everyone?  Our Founding Fathers believed in a Separation between Church and State–and with good reason!  History is replete with examples of atrocities committed in the name of religion.  

Isn’t it time we all took our noses out of everyone else’s privates?  Why yes.  Yes it is.

~ by irishgrl on June 26, 2017.

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