My Body, My Rights…Right?

I keep saying I won’t tread here because most who know me are already quite aware that I find many of the practises of organised religion about as useful as bird poop on a car window  but, well, here I am.  I’m walking into what is an age-old argument that seems to have no resolution.

The last time I checked, most of the decision-makers in Congress are men. The last time I checked, the leaders of the non-tax-paying entities churches are men. And, the last time I checked, 100% of the people who are directly impacted by the decision to terminate a pregnancy are women. Too many of the people who argue rabidly against a woman’s right to make her own decisions will never, ever, ever become pregnant.

Across the country particularly in less educated, less progressive and less politically active areas, anti-choice legislators have set their sights on dismantling laws that lend themselves to women making informed decisions about their own health and what to do in the event of an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. The rhetoric has ramped up; those who support the idea that a woman should not have the right to self-determination call themselves ‘pro-life’ as if to say that women who choose to manage and exert control over their own life are somehow flawed and, worse, akin to murderers. Let’s get it straight: nobody is ‘pro-abortion’ — pro-choice is about being able to understand that living breathing women should have rights.

Religious ideology should not have a seat at the table when discussing the law — and blatant hypocrisy shouldn’t be allowed to enter the room to get anywhere near that table. What am I talking about? The fever-pitch level of support for anti-choice legislation but near silence on the issues of sensible and age-appropriate, medically accurate sex education in schools. Churches and legislators want to, effectively, rummage around a woman’s uterus while simultaneously shying away from rational conversations about how limiting access to birth control is one of the key reasons as to why lack of reproductive choices leads millions of women around the globe down a clear path towards abject poverty.

It’s clear that many of those in decision-making, powerful and controlling positions are not concerned about what women want. *Go ahead and say that’s not true…I dare you.* It’s exhausting trying to get them to see that women should have a role in the discussion about their own bodies and their own rights. Therefore, to move things along, perhaps the debate needs to be focused much more on the children and less on the fetus.  It’s purely hypocritical to want to deny birth control, sex education (“Just Say No” may work for drug temptations but it damn sure doesn’t work with any consistency where sex among horny folks is concerned), and  force women to have children — and, subsequently, cut funding for education, food resources and child-care initiatives.

Hypocrisy aside, shouldn’t women should have the right to make medical decisions in private, and to make those decisions without intrusion and interference by government? Given their platform of ‘less government’, why isn’t this the kind of stuff that the GOP can support?

All of this political posturing and pandering isn’t doing a thing to constructively move the discussion forward.