Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Will Women Ever Be Equal?

OK, normally I don't cover 'heavy' issues here at the Casa, but this is something that's been bugging me for a bit now. Over the past year, states all around the country are passing some of the strictest anti-abortion laws to ever come down the pike. And the laws that are being signed in to place are slowly but surely stripping away the rights of women in the United States.

Let me be clear up front; I'm not 'pro-abortion' or 'anti-life', I am PRO-CHOICE and PROUD of it. It's not for me or anyone else, and especially not the state or federal government to determine what a woman can or can not do with her body. That being said, let's take a quick look at some of the recently enacted anti-abortion laws from around the country.

Oklahoma- (source-New York Times, April 27, 2010) :The Oklahoma Legislature voted Tuesday to override the governor’s vetoes of two abortion measures, one of which requires women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion.

Though other states have passed similar measures requiring women to have ultrasounds, Oklahoma’s law goes further, mandating that a doctor or technician set up the monitor so the woman can see it and describe the heart, limbs and organs of the fetus. No exceptions are made for rape and incest victims. Why is it necessary to put any woman, let alone a woman or a young girl who's pregnant as the result of rape or incest through an ordeal like this?

Texas- (source- AP via Huffington Post, March 23, 2011): ...a bill passed by the House would require that pregnant women have an opportunity to view a sonogram image, hear the fetal heartbeat and listen to a doctor describe the fetus. While the doctor would be obligated to provide the information, the woman could close her eyes or cover her ears, according to the bill, which doesn't exempt victims of rape or incest.

South Dakota- (source- AP via Huffington Post, March 22, 2011): Women who want an abortion in South Dakota will face the longest waiting period in the nation – three days – and have to undergo counseling at pregnancy help centers that discourage abortions under a measure signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. "I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives," the Republican governor said the statement. "I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices." 'Good choices' meaning the choice the state wants women to make. You can read the rest of this story here .

The house in Ohio has been holding hearings on a measure that would outlaw abortions as soon as the first heartbeat is medically detected, as early as six weeks in to a pregnancy.

This is not about somebody's religious beliefs, this is not about one person or group's idea of what is 'morally correct'. This is about the rights of women. These laws are about de-funding clinics and organizations like Planned Parenthood. And that means that these laws are about low-income women losing access to affordable (or free) birth control, family planning, and yes, an abortion if she chooses to have one. This is about a woman who's been raped being encouraged by her state government to carry that baby to term, because if she doesn't, she's morally wrong. This is about a young girl, maybe 12, 13 years old, who's been sexually abused, and as a result, is pregnant, and she has to be subjected to a transvaginal ultrasound and then encouraged to carry the baby to term, because hey, as Nevada's Sharon Angle says of her anti-abortion position, ' I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.' WTF? What kind of god has a plan like that? Really? As radical feminist and theologist Mary Daly said, ''God's plan' is often a front for men's plans and a cover for inadequacy, ignorance, and evil. "

It's my belief that as long as the beliefs of a few are being forced upon the masses, women will never be equal. It seems to me that a lot of these law makers should be focusing on JOBS. How is limiting access to safe, legal abortions creating jobs? How is that getting our country back on track?

Any way, tomorrow we'll get back to some lighter fare around here. We'll have some new mancake tomorrow night, and I'm going to post a cool new craft technique this weekend!


Carol said...

Well, how many of those girls who decide to have the baby, instead of an abortion, end up having it, freak out and kill it?? Now two lives are ruined. She then sits in jail waiting to be tried, using up more of our already depleting resources.

Kelley said...

What a tragic story. The mom was a meth user who had already had her other kids taken away from her. Compared to some states, Washington's abortion laws are fairly liberal, including the state paying for abortions for low-income qualified women. I guess the theory is that it's cheaper to pay for an abortion than it is for the state to pay for that child to be in foster care.

How many stories have we read or heard about in the news where a teenage girl or a young woman gives birth in a public restroom or a motel bathroom and then tosses the baby in a dumpster? Instead of restricting abortion, we need to focus more on better education about birth control.

Sue said...

I have sooo many opinions about this, but I'll try and stay focused. I am pro-choice. I don't know that my personal choice would be abortion, but we're expected to toe the line in every other facet of our lives, so this is a choice that should be left up to the individual. It's kind of like saying, well you silly little knocked up girl, let daddy step in and tell you how to clean up this mess. No, thanks. I can pull myself up by my bootstraps just fine, thanks. As for my daughters, prevention is worth a pound of cure (and I'm speaking strictly in the case of concensual sex). It's called birth control. It's readily available. Use it.

Carol said...

Amen sista!

Kelley said...

Sue is pretty AND smart!

What really gets me about the North Dakota bill in particular is that a lot of the same people who want women to wait 3 days before getting an abortion don't want anyone to wait 3 days for the required background check to purchase a handgun.

Lynda said...

Absolutely with you 100%. This makes me angry and sad, and I for one am not interested in anyone telling me what I can or cannot do with my body. HOW DARE THEY.

yogurt said...

Thanks for going-serious on us. Women (and men) need to be aware of this chipping away of women's rights. I live in Texas and I'm livid. I posted about the proposed legislation. And offered an addendum that applies to men seeking reproductive surgery:

I was just too disheartened to update that, yes, in fact, the law was passed. I truly didn't think it would. These right wingers are bozo's who are just trying to keep the religious zealot vote. They don't give a rat's arse about life. If they did they would legislate more support of the single moms who do elect to keep their babies.