Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Roe v. Wade!!

Today is the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which gave women rights to terminate pregnancy. Meaning it's also Blog for Choice Day (check out other blogs that are writing about choice today.)

"That was forever ago, why should I still care about it now?" Well, I am so glad you ask! The legalisation that made abortions legal through Roe v. Wade is historically referred to as a "technicality." This means that since no Federal legislation has ever been passed to decriminalise abortion, it could take as little as a court decision to overturn the 1973 legislation. With the Supreme Court leaning more and more conservative these days, Roe v. Wade is constantly being threatened.

Another reason to care is because the Hyde Amendment forbids federal funding of abortions which means that low income women do not have equal access to reproductive health care.

Also, limiting access to abortions threatens women's lives. Making abortions illegal will not minimize the need for them but will create a nation where women have to look elsewhere to get their needs met. For wealthy women this will mean going to Canada, Mexico, or Europe... however, for women with less resources, this will mean back alley, unsafe, unregulated abortions that may kill them.

Not to mention the dozens of fucked up bills and laws passed minimizing women's rights to choice all over the country.

Why else should we care? Feministe says it much better than I ever could. Please check out their post.

Before I continue, I want to get one thing straight: I am pro-choice. It's really as simple as it sounds. I believe it is 100% a woman's right to choose when it comes to matters of her own body. With that said, I absolutely cannot stand the pro-life/pro-choice dichotomy. It just doesn't compute. I think life is pretty fucking cool, doesn't that make me "pro-life?" What I am saying is that I don't understand why if a person believes in women's reproductive rights s/he suddenly becomes anti-life... Who doesn't like life? So, for your clarification, I call commonly known "pro-lifers" "anti-choicers" because that's what they are to me.

Not only that, they are so much more than anti-choice/pro-life. They are pro-forced pregnancy, pro-unwanted children, pro-government involvement in women's bodies, pro-limiting accurate and accessible sex education, pro-women's death. And those are all very much CONS in my book.

On the same note, just because I am pro-choice does not make me "pro-abortion." I think abortions and other reproductive rights (access to birth control, sex education, Plan B, etc.) should be widely accessible and without stigma but that doesn't mean that abortions are the right solution for every pregnant woman in the world. I think wanted babies are awesome and pretty darn cute to boot... However, I strongly believe that the only person able to make the decision whether or not to get an abortion should be the woman herself, well maybe with her doctor's help. Every woman should have a right to choose the best course of action for herself, her life, and her situation. Being pro-choice is much more than just being pro-abortion. It's being pro-women's lives, health, and rights.

I vote pro-choice because:

No woman should be forced into an economical, emotional, physiological, and socio-cultural situation that she does not want to be in.

Because I trust women to make the best decisions for themselves and their bodies.

Because even though I may not agree with everyone's decision, I strongly believe in their right to have one.

Because legal abortions save women's lives and decrease abortion rates.

Because people like Mike Huckabee are running for president and write on their campaign website that they, "support and have always supported passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life... and believe that Roe v. Wade should be over-turned."

Because Bush's Global Gag Rule makes me want to gag.

Selfishly, I vote pro-choice because I want to decide whether or not to have children, and when. I don't want some white man in an ugly tie and over-priced suit making that decision for me.

Why do I vote pro-choice? Because there's too much at stake.


GottabeMe said...

Amen! Feel free to download the I Hate Fuckabee graphic on my blog and use it on yours!

Step Into My Lair said...

I've always wondered what the anti-choice crowd thinks they will accomplish by forcing a woman to give birth when she doesn't want to. I believe the anti-choice gang needs to take a serious look at their stance and consider if they are simply truly anti-woman-making-a-choice-without-your-prior-written-approval.

jay p. said...

As you and I have discussed before, this is an area where for a change, we are actually somewhat in agreeance (did I just misspell that horribly?? It just doesn't look right!). While I certainly don't endorse therapeutic abortions as a form of birth control for those that repeatedly are too lazy, just don't care enough, or are too immature (not in the literal sense, but in the "I'm going to get drunk and stupid and have lots of promiscuous sex because I'm in college and can" kind of immature) to use readily available contraception (which while it could be made more easily obtained, it's ultimately still pretty freaking easy to get), but for those girls and women that are raped, assaulted, are carrying future children that will turn out grossly deformed or suffer from some sort of mental or physical retardation, etc., that choice should certainly be there. Where I have some difficulty in deciding where to lay my support is with the women where there is say perhaps an "accidental" pregnancy (such as contraception being used but something went wrong) and they must make the difficult decision to bring the eventual child into their lives. I have some difficulty with that because ultimately, despite the premise that there was no expectation of pregnancy due to the use of contraception, there was still the decision to have sex, which ultimately is the primary purpose of sex in terms of biology. Society and other sciences (psychology for example) have pushed that sex holds other importances in life (and I'm not saying I don't agree with that, because ultimately this is the world in which I live and have been brought up in...I'm just making a biological point). In any case, back to the point I was making, the decision was made to have sex, knowing the consequences, and a pregnancy resulted, the biological intent...so now what is this woman to do? Like I said I'm torn, but I think that women should be brave enough to live up to her actions and have the child, then give that child for adoption if she does not want to support him or her. Some excellent things result from such bravery--1)the woman could decide that she wants the baby after all and be happy as a clam; 2)there are many unfortunate couples out there that are unable to have their own children and for them to be able raise children makes them happy as clams (haha I don't even get that but I like the way it sounds!); 3)some truly excellent people have arisen from such actions. If it were not for women strong enough to live up to their actions I would not have a significant other nor a future brother in law, and to me those are very important people and I'm glad that they are able to be here in my life and in the lives of those around them. And by the way not only are "wanted babies pretty darn cute" but so are the "unwanted" ones. Now two more issues before I end this really long response. First Roe vs. Wade, to be honest I'm really sick of hearing about it every freaking year. The Supreme Court has made many, many, many decisions over the years and we don't celebrate and reflect on every one, so why is this one any different. Yes there will always be the individuals that are "anti-choice" (a nice adjective by the way), such as presidential nominees, but ultimately what is a president?? Our president is a figure head really with the power to veto (with certain wartime exceptions). The president is not able to just make law and policy and enact it, that is what the Congress is for, the Congress which is comprised of 100s of people, so ultimately to hell with presidential elections, the elections everyone should really be concerned with are the Congressional elections. Even if the President vetoes, the Congress can still overturn it, so who cares what stuck up suits like Huckabee care about? So back to the Roe vs. Wade point I was making, why celebrate it every year? Ultimately it will not be overturned because there would be way too much opposition to it and it would be political suicide. The only people really opposed are the extremist right wing Christians, but women's rights groups are too strong to take that slap in the face, and ultimately the medical profession (amongst others I'm sure) would fight against an overturn because we as medical providers feel too strongly about people having rights to govern their own health. Lastly, and this kind of goes along with what I said earlier, but I really disagree your final comment about being pro-choice because you want to decide whether or not to have children and when. I disagree with that because whether or not you can have an abortion is a totally separate issue than your choice of whether or not to and when to have children. You decide about children when you engage in behaviors that make the possibility of pregnancy an issue. Oh and one last thing, while I know most feminists would disagree with this, I feel that men should absolutely have some rights when it comes to the issue. Yes it may be the woman's body, but the growing organism inside is half in part because of him. Why should a man only get rights post-partum??? However with that said, a man certainly has responsibilities to the woman and child that he must own up to, otherwise he deserves no rights.

Anonymous said...

I may never come across your blog again and I honestly hope that I don't because I disagree with pretty much 100% of what I have read so far through various links.

For the person above me, many women are told that their babies will have physical deformities, mental disorders, etc. Why should they be allowed to kill the baby simply because it has a deformity (and doctors are not 100% accurate on such accounts...research shows)? Isn't that creating the perfect race? No one is allowed to be born if they are deformed...sounds Hitlerish to me...People with mental and physical handicaps are some of the happiest people I have met and wouldn't trade their life, why take it before they get a chance to breathe outside the womb?

The woman made the choice when she had sex, now that she is pregnant, she is responsible for a life that is not her own. Therefore, abortion as birth control, is WRONG. Abortion period is wrong, but lets not get into rape statistics, etc (but just to add one...less than 1% of rape victims get pregnant...which makes this a bad argument for "pro choice" people).

Why is it so sad for a woman who has a miscarriage at 2 months which is natural for her body at that time, but it is okay for her to have an abortion at 2 months? Going in and killing the brain cells and the heart of an innocent baby is okay at 2 months but a miscarriage is traumatic? What's the difference?

Just some food for thought...

A fetus is not a potential human being, it's a human being for potential.