Abortion is a difficult issue; emotionally charged, financially and socially motivated, calling into play a choice that will tear at your heartstrings forever. It may buttress religious beliefs against the realities of daily life. As a woman, nurse and mother I’m grateful I never had to make that choice but I’ve sat with many women who have. All that being said, how did so personal a choice for women become a political issue? Pregnancy is a women’s issue regardless of cause; hosting a child within your body, going through labor, giving birth, and raising and parenting a child are decidedly women’s issues.
Leora Levy (greenwichtime.com 9-5-12) says she supports a woman’s right to choose, yet she supports Romney/Ryan who want to remove that right and abolish abortion regardless of why or how the woman became pregnant. She purports discomfiture with government dictating that a pregnant woman must bear a child regardless of reason. That doesn't leave me uncomfortable. It leaves me livid! I could not diverge more vehemently from her stance that this should NOT be an issue to sway a woman’s vote. If the personal sanctity of your body and the right to make decisions about it is not reason enough, then I don’t know what is. When the audacity of some allows them to feel righteous enough to legally dictate not only what you do with your body but also lets them feel they can play with your mind, this raises the stakes very high for me. I think it should for any woman, and for any man who has a daughter, a wife, a sister or a mother.
Every woman has the right to choose birth or abortion, but why should anyone feel they can impose or legislate their beliefs on another when they don’t have to bear the consequences? I have concerns for the future of more unwanted children being born. There are too few adoptive families; too many abused, neglected, hungry and homeless children; too many unwilling and/or incapable parents. Bear in mind that health and social services programs for the needy and the rest of us could be cut and severely diminished based on the outcomes of this election. There are already too many women/single heads of household who are unequally burdened with child care responsibilities that impact their earnings, job availability and wealth equity opportunities.
I cannot clear my mind of the all-male House Oversight and Government Rules Committee that was convened to determine women’s health and reproductive rights issues without benefit of women on the panel, and their GOP leadership denying the Democratic members any input from women. The audacity!
I shudder in horror, and you should, too, that around twenty states now require women considering abortion to submit to a vaginal ultrasound, view the fetus and listen to the heart beat, an unabashed physical and emotional assault, in an effort to dissuade women from choosing an abortion. About ten more states are in discussion about moving forward in this direction. Aside from the unmitigated arrogance, this adds unnecessary cost, is an unwanted/unnecessary procedure, infringes on privacy rights and constitutes state-sanctioned rape and exploitation of women.
The medical dictionary (medicinenet.com) defines rape as, amongst other things, the insertion of an [unwanted] inanimate object into the female vagina. An 8-10 inch vaginal probe, which mandates you to expose your most intimate and private parts, which is unwanted by the woman and her doctor, which serves no medical purpose, and which you are mandated to have against your will, constitutes rape and exploitation in my book. As with any other type of rape, this leaves a vulnerable woman who is confronting a very difficult decision for reasons that are her business alone, humiliated, embarrassed and defiled and she gets to pay for the privilege. It calls to mind Texas GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Clayton Williams, who in 1990 quipped, “If it [rape] seems inevitable, lay back and enjoy it”. No thanks, I’ll pass.
The choices in this election are many and stark in contrast. Check out the long-held positions of the candidates in our races, don't just listen to our election campaigning because talk is cheap. See what we HAVE stood for, what we HAVE fought for, and if we are already legislators, what we HAVE LEGISLATED FOR. This is but one significant major issue in this election. I urge all men and women to think very carefully about what this means to you and the women in your life when you vote in November. This is a very slippery slope we're on with potentially dire consequences. Although Roe vs. Wade has been law for 40 years, state after state has shown how easily legal rights can be eroded both legislatively and through the Supreme Court. Make your vote count this year to protect our already hard-won women’s rights!