Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Beyond Apoplectic - Get Out of My Uterus

[Fair warning - major rant coming here.]

That's how I feel when I read articles like the one in today's New York Times: "Abortion Foes See Validation For New Tactic." You've probably seen these ads from the Feminists For Life with the tagline "Women deserve better than abortion." They're on every city bus in DC, and I have to sit on my hands every time I see them to keep from ripping them down in a screaming fit (though this would be mild behavior on some DC bus lines...). I was sickened and horrified by the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision upholding the inaccurately, misleadingly termed "partial birth abortion" ban (which is absolutely, positively not a medical term in any way, and not supported by the medical profession [just don't ask Bill Frist!]). That name in itself is part of the pro-life rhetoric.

Anyhow, the tactic now being used by the pro-life movement is to say that by allowing abortion, society has done something horrible to women, and society needs to reverse that injustice. Outlaw abortion, and you'll protect women. Of course! Why didn't we think of this before? Oh wait, we did....better bust out your coat hangers and your back alleys.

Here are some choice quotes from the NYT article:

“We think of ourselves as very pro-woman,” said Wanda Franz, president of the National Right to Life Committee. “We believe that when you help the woman, you help the baby.”

"Allan E. Parker Jr., president of the Justice Foundation, a conservative group based in Texas, compares the campaign intended for women to the long struggle to inform Americans about the risks of smoking. “We’re kind of in the early stages of tobacco litigation,” Mr. Parker said."

[Let me go back to APOPLECTIC.]

"A friend-of-the court brief filed by the Justice Foundation [was approvingly cited by Justice Kennedy in the recent Supreme Court decision]. The foundation, a nonprofit public interest litigation firm that has handled an array of conservative causes, has increasingly focused on abortion through its project called Operation Outcry. Mr. Parker said the group began hearing from women in the late 1990s who considered themselves victims of legalized abortion — physically and emotionally — and wanted to tell their stories. Operation Outcry, which grew to include a Web site, a national hot line and chapters around the country, eventually collected statements from more than 2,000 women, officials said. In its friend-of-the-court brief, the group submitted statements from 180 of those women who said that abortion had left them depressed, distraught, in emotional turmoil. “Thirty-three years of real life experiences,” the foundation said, “attests that abortion hurts women and endangers their physical, emotional and psychological health.”"

So, the bottom line from all these pro-life groups is that we women have no idea what we really want. When we decide we want an abortion, we're making a grave mistake, and we need to be counseled! We can't possibly decide for ourselves or know the true consequences! We just don't know better and they are here to help us! This smacks awfully of Victoriana, and women being childlike, and incapable of rational thought, and that women ought not to think too much, or they might fall into hysteria!

"That state’s law [South Dakota], currently being challenged in federal court, requires women seeking an abortion to be told that the procedure will terminate a “whole, separate, unique, living human being,” and that it carries a variety of psychological and physical risks to the woman."

Where are all the signatures from all the women who had abortions and feel just fine about it because they know it was the right choice for them? Where is testimony from the women who had an unwanted child because they could not obtain access to any type of birth control or an abortion? What about the psychological and physical risks of (1) having a child that you don't want or can't afford to have, (2) attempting to force a miscarriage or having an unsafe, illegal abortion, and (3) having a child at risk to your own health? They're out there - check out some of the stories here.

It fascinates me that certain political parties hold forth the position that they are against big government, that they are for deregulation, let the free market control, etc. etc. Yet, for some reason, when it comes to a woman's uterus, they will go to every shameless effort to micro-regulate every egg, sperm, tissue and cell related to it.

Why is it that these factions exist that think women can't be trusted to make their own choices?? What kind of sadistic society is it that would not make exceptions for the health of the woman or rape? (Don't think this is far-fetched - see, e.g., the recent Supreme Court decision and the proposed laws in various states here.)

Keep CHOICE alive! Get out of my uterus!

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