On the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we feminists, bloggers are asked to blog for choice. I must vote pro-choice. There is no reason to even consider human rights without accepting control over one’s own body. For a woman, choosing when, how, why or if reproduction is a part of her life responsibility is completely her decision. The word responsibility = the ability to respond. Only a woman herself can choose for herself. Only a woman herself can know if she is able to respond to carrying a child.
There is some really fine writing going on around the blogosphere. I thought I knew this subject until I read this Salon article with feminists from the cutting edge here.
Among the Salon group above Cristina Page wrote something that really struck me personally. I preface her paragraph by saying that I am past child bearing age, my daughter died nineteen years ago and I live by a railroad track. It becomes easier to become numb.
What surprises me about the current state of reproductive rights is how much it has all become white noise for the average American. The abortion debate has become the political equivalent of living next to the train tracks -- after a while, you no longer feel the shake as the train powers by. As long as the pictures aren't falling off the walls, Americans don't pay much attention to which direction the train is heading -- or what rights it is carrying away with it. It's all political white noise until the pharmacist won't fill your prescription, or until you need the now-banned partial birth abortion because your very-much-wanted pregnancy is gravely deformed and now threatens your ability to get pregnant ever again, or your 16-year-old daughter just missed her period. It's then that the white noise can become the soundtrack for your personal nightmare.
I appreciate Shakesville for really fresh feminist writing. Melissa McEwan blogs today with the kind of conscientious questioning I think we must use in making a choice about who to vote for pResident of the United States. I am in agreement with her in wanting to present my favorite leading candidate’s words today:
"Roe v. Wade was an important step on the road to full equality, opportunity and dignity for women. On the 35th anniversary, it is important to reflect how far we've come as a nation, but more importantly how far we still have to go.
"I strongly support a woman's right to privacy and reproductive choices. That right has been under attack though -- by President Bush and his anti-choice agenda and by the Supreme Court, which has been moving the right-wing's agenda faster than we've seen in decades. The hard right turn of the Supreme Court is a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election. Too much is at stake - starting with a woman's right to choose.
"As President, I will guarantee the right to choose and ensure that women can make choices in their lives with dignity and can participate in our society fully, as equals."
Speaking of dignity, I can’t dignify the anti-choice aims and claims with cogent arguments. I am unable to blog about choice beyond repeating that it is non-negotiable right as far as I am concerned. The toilet that is the Theocrat’s mindset would have me believe that I have no right to privacy or control of my own body, get this, because the Theocrats are the Talibangelicals who imagine their beliefs must be mine. Oh, and this intrusion by ‘so-called’ Christian is extended to all women everywhere around the world. Whacked.
To quote another writer from the Salon piece, Shelby Knox:
"This isn't the legacy the women who fought for reproductive rights had in mind"There is a convergence with sustainability and conscious living here. The threat to a woman’s right to choose comes in yet another Orwellian Name, Pro-life. We all have millions upon millions of examples of the utter contempt for life, the aggressive destruction of life, the absolute non-concern for living children and indifference to future life on this planet by the Bush Administration, the Federalist Supreme Court, the Neo-Con pro-war punditry, the Theocrats in the evangelical Christian organizations and rubber-stamp Republican congress. For these anti-life, anti-humanity forces it is merely a tool of controlling women (1/2 of the population) to obstruct a woman’s right to choose.
Photo from Feministe
It's a perilous time to be a young woman: Your abstinence teacher says you aren't responsible enough to take the pill, emergency contraception is available only if your pharmacist deems you morally fit, and even if you are lucky enough to live in one of the 13 percent of counties that have an abortion provider, you may still have to take a letter home to daddy and ask him to sign off on your choice.