Today is the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court Roe v Wade decision: that a woman’s right to make decisions about her own health under the privacy clauses of the 14th Amendment necessarily includes her reproductive choices.
As many of you know, this decision legalized abortion in the U.S.
It enabled those women who had nowhere to turn but back-alley or over-the-border practitioners for an abortion to obtain one in a safe, sterile environment.
This right, the right to make our own decisions about our health and the right to terminate a pregnancy are in grave jeopardy.
That’s why today is important and significant. We cannot afford to live in blind faith that this now constitutionally protected option is safe and secure under the law. We need to inspire the generations of women coming after us– our daughters and granddaughters, to carry this banner forward.
For our entitlement to choose to terminate a pregnancy continues to be under attack from the likes of Richard Murdock, the dim fellow who came up with the phrase “legitimate rape.” We know what he meant– he thinks that a woman who tells the police that she was raped is making it up.
Now, let me cut to the chase. Do we want the white male elitist conservatives in this country to tell us whether we were raped or not, or what we can and can’t do with our bodies?
Is such an intimate, personal choice–to carry, not to carry to term– any of their fucking business?
Hell no, it’s not. We all know of the legislation in the states encroaching on our reproductive freedom, that which has been proposed and scrapped, and that which has been passed.
Should we be subjected to sonograms, tormented for our decision by being forced to view a fetus?
No, we should not. That should also be a choice and not a matter of law.
The reason that the Far Right wants to repeal Roe v Wade is that those same white men caterwauling about the 2nd Amendment, who seem egregiously unaware of the opus dictum of the Supreme Court–that the government may regulate certain kinds of guns– think that they speak on behalf of God. Every other minute, they are running their mouths about what they think God wants– for everyone.
They do not. This is utter fantasy. All this happy horseshit about what God does and doesn’t want, out of the mouths of the pudgy white patriarchs, Limbaugh and company. The institutional patriarchs of the Church and the Apostolic Succession.
At a minimum, if God there be, we have free will. We are not puppets on a string. We have highly evolved brains, a million and one survival tools in our kit. We have many freedoms to make many choices and decisions and to live with their consequences.
However we feel on the issue, we must not let our Constitutionally-protected ability to decide what becomes of our own bodies taken away.
The womb-police are the under-informed patriarchs of the Gun Belt, the Deep South, whose great grandfathers owned slaves and slept with them.
These are dirty-minded pudgy white men who watch porn when no one is looking, who secretly want to bed every woman they see. These are the chauvinist, misogynistic men who would like to get off ten times a day whether you do or not.
You, male reader, woman reader, have the right to make your own decision about whether or not you would ever assist in the termination of or yourself terminate a pregnancy, but no one, no one, has the right to govern anyone else’s body.
A fetus is a developing human being. We all know that. We’re not stupid.
But some of us make mistakes. Some of us err. Many of us have very good reasons for not wanting to carry a fetus to term. We need to be able to choose to carry, or not to carry.
Consider that every developing infant of every species elicits emotion from us. It doesn’t mean that the fetus is not a part of our bodies, that “human-shaped” or not, it isn’t sustaining itself with us, that what we drink and eat nourishes it. It is living protoplasm, a child in the making. It is a human being becoming and not a human being yet. Ultimately, to terminate a pregnancy early, rather than waiting until we are walking train-wrecks of emotion, is a sane choice that does not inflict pain on the “unborn.” A pregnancy wreaks havoc on our bodies. It is a very big deal.
The Pro-Life people can’t say the word “fetus.” Instead, they use the word “baby.” The loaded word, designed to flip your switch and cause you anguish.
The “Pro-Life” people want to picket in your uterus. They want to shame and guilt-trip you over what must remain a personal decision. They want you to believe that you’re a murderer if you make a courageous and painful choice.
We have to protect this right; it was hard won. Just look up Sarah Weddington, the brave young attorney who emancipated us from the tyranny of an unwanted pregnancy.. Should her trail-blazing courage be for naught? We marched in the streets; we were the first to break ground.
For as long as patriarchy dominates our culture, our reproductive freedom will be in jeopardy. This right must remain inviolable, as inalienable as the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
See my post on my own exercise of my freedom of choice, the right granted to me by Roe v Wade. And thanks for stopping by.