Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blogging for Choice!

Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and I am blogging for choice. More specifically, WHY would you be pro-choice?

To see the merits of being pro-choice, one only need look at a typical "pro-life" argument.

Unfortunately, I saw a classic example this morning when I opened my community newspaper. The article was by Cal Thomas and it was called, "Awful Cost of Roe Decision."

Reading this article will tell you all you need to about "pro-life" individuals.

Roe took the question of endowment of life by "our Creator" and placed it in the hands of individuals...Each becomes her and his own god; each becomes a taker of life, rather than a giver, inverting the creation model into one of destruction and transforming the pregnant woman from life-giver to life-taker.

Well yikes.

First of all, take notice because this is really the first and LAST time Thomas feigns any interest in talking about women. As many "pro-lifers" do, he'll ignore them in this argument... notice he reference them as "pregnant," or "life giver." He never talks about a woman as a human being or an individual -- you'd think in this little universe, women didn't EXIST until they were impregnated.

Secondly, HUGE, LOUD ALARM bells should go off when people tell you what God wants (as if they have the inside scoop). Notice that this man's God seems to have very little interest in women's rights-- convenient, yes?

I thought God gave us free will? Do we call it "playing God" when we go to war and kill the enemy? No, we call it a necessary choice made for the good of all. And we trust our leaders to make those tough decisions because "they know best" (ugh, 'nother can of worms). But heaven forbid we trust a woman to make a decision about ONE potential life that frankly, can't become a life without her anyway.

Think about it!!

If I was dying of kidney failure, and Cal Thomas was my perfect donor match, would he be required by law to donate a kidney to preserve my life? No, absolutely not. No one would expect him to give of his body to sustain me. That is infringement on his legal rights. When it's his kidney, it's none of my business, but when it's my uterus, suddenly he has a say!?

Thomas goes on to say (emphasis mine):

Abortion on demand cannot be seen in isolation from social breakdown. In 1973, near the end of the Vietnam War and the approaching resignation of President Nixon two years later, the focus on self, pleasure and convenience by Baby Boomers was at its height. Marriages easily dissolved as "no fault" divorce laws were passed; cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births were on the rise; "unwanted babies" (who were labeled "products of conception" to make it easier to deny the obvious) became an impediment to the pursuit of pleasure and material gain.

Abortion was not a cause, but a reflection of our decadence and deviancy.

Damn. That blames a lot of stuff on abortion, doesn't it? But sad to say, blaming the women-folk/feminism/abortion is nothing new. In fact, if you look up Thomas' article online (you can find it at Townhall.com -'nough said) the unedited version blames abortion for our current immigration problem. Thomas claims we'd have more workers if we just quit aborting them! In fact, Washington pro-war mouthpieces have decried abortion as the reason we're losing in Iraq!! I think the argument went something like this: "Quit aborting our canon fodder, you hussies!"

But let's be honest. You can't really blame abortion for everything. Abortion wasn't legalized until '73 and a lot of bad shit went down before then... World Wars, terrible depression etc etc. Who do we blame for that? And go back even further, I mean holy crap look at the dark ages! Or early history of this country with constant instability, terrible disease, we even burned our own at the stake-- don't recall Planned Parenthood being on every corner back then, do you?

I CAN buy that legal abortion may have caused some divorces. Women's right (among them the right to choose abortion) meant that women began realizing they didn't have to stay unhappily married, they didn't have to birth children and settle down... they could make their life their own, go to school, pursue a career, take a mate, have sex without fear and without marriage! Ah yes, the end of civilization as we know it....

Thomas' idea of "civilization" is that HE gets to tell YOU when to have sex and for what purpose. "You will be married and you will be trying for babies!"

Being pro-choice is pro-family. I can bet you just as many marriages were saved by Roe as were "destroyed." With Roe and ever-expanding birth control access, families could control number and spacing of children which meant dad didn't have to work himself to death providing for a herd and mom had options rather than pregnancy after exhausting pregnancy.

"Pro-lifers" like to talk about abortion on demand or "abortion used as birth control." I'd like to know WHERE! I've worked at an abortion clinic and I can tell you there are ZERO women who see this as a "birth control" method. Birth control (ideally) is fast, easy, cheap & painless. Abortion, frankly is none of these. It's invasive, expensive, hard to schedule --the VAST majority of women drive at LEAST 1 hour to reach a doctor! There's also the complex decision to end a pregnancy... not to mention the social stigma on women who choose to abort.

People like Thomas want to pretend that women are silly little children who need protecting from their small, underdeveloped minds. You see, in Thomas' world, women are PREY for the bad, scary abortion providers.

Politicians and judges could help bury Roe by requiring that pregnant women receive complete information about the nature of the life within them, including being required to view sonograms before electing abortion.

This notion of women as completely oblivious to what's inside their own uterus-- it's just insulting, frankly. When I worked at the women's clinic, plenty of women looked at that sonogram, some even asked for a picture to take home. You see, it's not that women don't understand the depth of this decision. They do, they just don't feel the need to share it with their politician. You see, they have this crazy notion that they don't have to discuss it with you, Mr. Thomas-- they want it between their doctor and maybe THEIR God.

This whole issue is very complex and the answer does NOT lie in restricting access. That just means women will die.

The answer to fewer abortions is in making birth control better, more available and most importantly -- cheaper! It means teaching sex ed that doesn't lie or deceive or tell you "just don't do it."

Pro-choice is about human rights.

It's about giving power to women

Pro-choice is respecting women and their right to bodily autonomy.

Pro-choice is every child a planned, wanted child.

It's not hate and control...


Happy 35th!


Sarah said...

Well said Tobes, as usual. I should just write down the address of your blog and any time I am accosted on O street by 'pro-lifers' (which, I'd like to think I am pro-life, seeing as how I like living, but whatever, arguing terminology with these people would just be a waste of time) I can just send them in your direction. Maybe on or two of them would actually open their eyes and see why they're in the wrong about an issue that is a personal choice and none of their business.

Astraea said...

I found this through Feministe and I've never visited your blog before, but I'm going to have to make it a regular read!

Very good summary of but a few of the things that are so wrong with the "pro-life" movement.

Cal Thomas is unfortunately published in my local paper and I get angry just seeing his name.

Tobes said...

Thanks so much, Astraea. I'm thrilled to have more people to chat with here. Do you have a site I can visit?

Hope to see more of you soon...

Jay said...

Tobes, your explanation of why abortion is not being used as birth control is spot on. Hope you don't mind if I commandeer it for future use. Glad to find you.

Tobes said...

Oh yes, very happy to be "commandeered" :)

Thanks for commenting here -- now I found your blog-- whick ROCKS MY SOCKS OFF!

Randi said...

Once again you have hit it out of the park. I have to say I enjoyed the thought of you receiveing Cal's kidney. At first I thought you were going to tell us you'd rather die!!

All my love - you ROCK!