February 7, 2012

Women Under Attack

Once again, misogyny is masquerading as public policy.  Planned Parenthood is getting their budget cut by the government and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Roe vs Wade is under attack from religious organizations.  In the media there is an argument about whether women should have access to birth control and breast cancer screenings.  Granted, today (Feb 3rd, 2012) Komen reversed its decision, but finally the American people had their attention brought to the plight of women's reproductive issues.  Any nation is in a pitiful state when sex enhancements like Viagra are available almost on every corner, but birth control takes almost an act of congress. I'm lucky, there is a sliding scale public health/ women's reproductive clinic in my town (They're here)  Where I can go to get any general exam, like a breast exam or my annual reproductive physical.  However, in the entire state of Wyoming there are no doctors willing to perform abortions.  It is difficult for anyone in this country in a rural area to receive even basic reproductive care, and for the first nation on the moon, that is a senseless tragedy.

Women are not breeding cattle.  I am against abortion in theory, but only in theory.  As someone who has had an abortion, I can say that it was one of the hardest decisions of my life.  It is not a spa weekend.  It is a hard ordeal with meetings with doctors and counselors, to ensure the woman is making an informed decision. There is a physical exam, and after the procedure (which is outpatient surgery, but still is surgery) there is a significant recovery time.  It was a horrible ordeal, but according to my situation, it was the only choice.  I support every woman's right to choose what she wants to do with her body, as long as she is a legal adult.   I knew a girl when I was in high school that had three abortions by the time she was 21.  She also was a drunk and a meth head, a hard core party girl.  If there was no abortion, what kind of life would those children have?  What if Mommy was strung out on drugs the entire time she was pregnant?  With no abortion, many more children should be born addicted to drugs, and go on to live neglected and possibly be abused because they weren't wanted.  These children also could end up in the foster system, and choke out an already clogged system.

If we lived in a country where women's health was a priority, and there was no stigma on birth control, there would be a much lower birth rate, and women would have more control about the size of their families and abortions would be as easy to get through any doctor as, say, fixing a broken leg.  However, abortions would go down because they would be much less necessary.  Why is there even an argument about this anyway?  Women have the right to go out and do just about anything else with their bodies including sell them in certain parts of Nevada.  Why not this?  I've heard the argument that they should be illegal, "for the children".  What about these children after they're born?  There are social services, but what if someone doesn't want to turn their whole life around and become a parent?  Adoption is an option for some, but what about people that can't continue doing their jobs while pregnant?  What about those people that react strongly to being pregnant?  I remember with my son I threw up for the first 5 or 6 hours I was awake every day, starting at 2 months.  I am very lucky I'm not a surgeon or an air traffic controller, I would have been screwed.  Some people can't just take a year off of their lives for many reasons. 

Reproductive rights in this country are in more trouble than usual.  As it stands, laws in the last year have been reviewed to charge pregnant women as criminals for miscarrying.  Roe vs Wade has been threatened for years by the religious right, now masquerading as powerful republicans.  2010 vote in Colorado to ban abortion and hormonal birth control, thankfully lost but the fact it was up for a vote scares me.  Another one in Mississippi lost also, but again, was voted on.  Contraception itself is under attack, and that is just crazy.  I understand that most people are against "promiscuity", but really, contraception prevents disease and pregnancy, not morals.  Some current presidential candidates are attacking abortions for women who are victims of rape and incest.  Like victims need the indignity of asking the government for the right to do something with their already violated bodies.  I can't imagine having to make an impossible choice with an already horrific situation, but if I did, I would want the freedom to make a choice with my doctor to make a choice with my body.  I am not government property, and I should not be treated as such.  It's my body, and when everything else in life goes to hell, what else do you have?  Our bodies are the basis of what and who we are, and if we don't have freedom with them, what else do we have?  The government as a parental figure is all we are left with.