Monday, January 31, 2011

be afraid, be very afraid

When proposition 8 was overturned last year, my greatest sense of relief came from the clear and well-articulated statements by Judge Walker that separated arguments based on religious doctrine from constitutional law. I'd been trying to work that argument out in my head for years, and at last, what I had been struggling to say was finally put into words.

Today I'm looking for another Vaughn Walker to have a word with 173 mostly Republican congressmen (and sadly, 13 congresswomen) who want to redefine rape for the purpose of limiting further taxpayer-funded abortion.

Let me start by saying this. I'm not a fan of abortion. Eliminating potential life is something that doesn't sit well with me. I don't know that it sits well with anyone. I do, however, believe fully that the decision to have an abortion rests with the woman (and perhaps her mate, circumstances depending) who carries a fetus. The matter of choosing to have an abortion is legal, if limited, in this country.

H.R.3 of the 112th Congress is an affront to all women, and to victims of rape and incest it is a betrayal. The language of the bill uses the term "forcible rape," which has no legal or medical definition, leaving its interpretation to the beholder. Apparent in the reading of the bill, however, women or girls who suffer from diminished mental capacity, are exploited as a result of having been drugged or having consumed alcohol, or are over the age of 18 and experience incest would not be considered to have been raped. Further, tax exemptions for out-of-pocket medical expenses related to abortion would be eliminated, as would tax exemptions for insurance premiums if one of the benefits of the policy was coverage for abortions. No abortion may be permitted in a facility of the federal government, which would include all military base hospitals.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines and get ready to fight.

3 comments:

The Bug said...

Are we really going to head back to the days when abortion was illegal? I agree that it's not something I could do, but it shouldn't be my decision for someone else. Sigh.

Terri said...

I have always argued and voted for the right for women to choose. That said I believe strongly that we must eliminate the "need" for abortions by teaching boys and girls, men and women, the importance of respecting our bodies and the bodies of others. There should never be an "unwanted" pregnancy whether from forced and inappropriate sex or from consensual but unprotected sex. Women will manage our reproductive rights better if the men in our lives are fully supportive and invested in healthy respectful way.

Secondly - banning abortion and limiting abortion rights impacts primarily the poorest of women who already struggle with limited resources. Middle class and wealthy women will find a way and a means to have abortions if so needed. On this level it is a social justice issue of protecting equally the rights of all women.

So - teach respect and dignity to both boys and girls, men and women - limit or rather eliminate the need for abortions - and lastly, keep them legal so that we stand for equality and justice.

IF the men who are sponsoring this bill really cared for the women in their lives they would redirect their energy likewise.

(climbs off of soapbox)

Jayne said...

AMEN to Terri's wonderful response!

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