Wednesday, February 09, 2011

an emerging identity

I feel a rant coming on, but I'm trying hard to channel the energy behind it toward something more constructive. It's one thing to be incensed about political agendas, it's another to speak up and be heard. Toward that end, I'm contemplating a letter to the editor in response to two editorials in yesterday's paper. 

There's a bill working its way through our local state government that would change the state constitution. The bill reads: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”

The first editorial was written by the state director of Planned Parenthood. The second by a woman affiliated with the state right to life group.  Although I suspected my view would  be in alignment with the Planned Parenthood voice, after reading the piece I reserved judgment to see how the opposing view would argue its case.

As I read I thought to myself, "are they talking about the same legislation?" And I wondered, again, how it is that perspectives fall so far from each other on the continuum of opinion.  That's when I went to the language of the law itself.

The legislation essentially impeaches existing laws that protect a woman's right to address her pregnancy as she determines, and opens the door to prohibition.  We've heard the rhetoric from the right on the national stage: rape victims should no longer be called victims but accusers; insurance plans that cover abortion would no longer be tax deductible, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of policy holders would not be utilizing that "benefit" of the plan. The code behind this piece of law is clear: we're on our way to outlawing abortion.  The pro-life voice had the audacity to claim that this legislation would make the constitution "abortion neutral."  Right. Just like removing safety locks from all guns protects children. 

My hesitancy in putting the proverbial pen to paper stems from not feeling confident about the voice I want to have heard. Having an opinion isn't sufficient cause to write. I feel the need to be persuasive. Should I? It's been a long time since I've written such a letter, though I have composed many in my head.  I wish I wasn't so easily held back. 

It may have something to do with recognizing that as I get older I become increasingly more of an activist. Or, more accurately, an advocate. The other week I preached the directive received from the prophet Micah (6:8) that the first thing God desires is our appetite for justice.  Then, sprinkle that with compassion.  In other words, consider and tend to the world around us as a context for tending to our own needs.  Then, as we walk humbly with God our desire is to do the very thing that God requires.

The best way to become a good advocate is to practice. I guess it's time to take that step, and edge my way toward confidence.


Kip said...

The tea party constituents and ultra conservative born agains are all behind this movement. It is imperative that we make our voices heard above them.

The Bug said...

Write the letter. My dad writes letters to the editor - a few each year. And sometimes they're published! My favorite was the one about how he didn't understand how people could be such sheep (sheep!) as to vote for things that harmed them. He was talking about the Republican party & the effect its polices had had on jobs in NC. He's not a religious man & really can't understand why people vote for one issue (abortion) to the exclusion of the rest of their own wellbeing.

So go for it!

Carolina Linthead said...

Agreed...write the letter!

Terri said...

I understand the hesitancy in writing this - being pro-choice is a tough place to stand as an ordained person...although I disdain the "pro-choice" and "pro-life" titles. Because pro-choicer's are also pro-life, we just figure the woman has a say in the whole discussion...I think I have laid out my "argument" in comments already, about the need to keep abortion legal because it's the only way to ensure justice and not discriminate between the wealthy and the poor (the wealthy will always be able to find a safe way to have an abortion, while the poor will not) - and then work to elimiate the reason a woman might choose to have one - by working toward encouraging men to respect women and be pro-active in the birth control.

ALL of this other rhetoric, disguised as legistlation, is not about pro-life or they'd be more considerate of the life that is already born - the woman.

Jayne said...

I'd say, write it out, re-read it the next day, and if you still feel as passionate and feel it perfectly outlines your points and how you feel, send it on! :c)


Related Posts with Thumbnails