Women need to declare war on the war on women
by Debra DeAngelo
First it was the attack on Girl Scouts. Indiana lawmaker Bob Morris declared the Girl Scouts to be a “radical group that promotes abortions and homosexuality” and a “tactical arm” of Planned Parenthood (as if that was a bad thing). Then along came Rush Limbaugh, publicly shredding college student Sandra Fluke after her Congressional testimony regarding access to birth control, labeling her a slut, and declaring he had the right to watch videotapes of her having sex. I was hoping the resulting avalanche of public outrage might put the brakes on the resurgence of misogyny in this country.
I’m such a dreamer.
Have you been paying attention? You, ladies. I’m talking to YOU. We are the voting majority in this country and if we don’t wise up and wield that power, we’re going to lose that too, along with everything our mothers and grandmothers fought for. We’re the frog in that pot of water with the heat rising so slowly, we’ll eventually boil to death from our inability to perceive the change in temperature.
And girlfriends, it’s getting’ hot in here.
I’m not just talking about random melonheads like Foster Friess, reminiscing about the days when women used aspirin for contraceptives: “The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.” (Friess, by the way, is the major financial backer for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign.) And I don’t even mean Santorum’s statement that he’d make birth control a public policy issue if elected President. Sure, such a public policy would be horrific, but I’m banking on the belief that the majority of the population isn’t dimwitted enough to actually elect Santorum, and if we are, then we deserve what we get. (I’ll take my Christian burqa in chartreuse, if you please.)
What I am paying close attention to is the slowly rising temperature at the legislative level. For starters, a Virginia Senate bill requiring a trans-vaginal ultrasound before an abortion, even though there’s no medical need for one. Thankfully, the explosion of public outcry persuaded the senate to amend the bill so that only an external abdominal ultrasound is required.
According to a story by the Washington Post, seven other states have similar bills. But in those seven other states, just as in Virginia, there’s no medical reason for an ultrasound before an abortion. The singular reason for this requirement is to punish women seeking to terminate an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. It’s bad enough that medical decisions are being made by politicians; even worse that these medical decisions are intended merely as punitive measures.
And what about the fathers? If punishment is the intention, why do only women bear the full brunt? Why aren’t the fathers required not only to watch the ultrasound, but stand beside the doctor with their eyelids pried open Clockwork Orange style, and watch as the woman’s cervix is pried open and the fetus is vacuumed out in bloody bits and pieces?
If we’re going to start passing laws that force women to deal with the reality of what’s being done to the fetus, we damn well better require the same of men. It takes two to make a fetus — it should take two to kill it too. However, in the end, the choice of whether or not that happens belongs to the pregnant woman because it’s her body and her life that will be drastically changed forever. The man can simply walk away, and live to impregnate another day. Where is the Pro-Lifers’ obsession and angst about THAT?
So, you’re scratching your head trying to figure out if I’m pro-life or pro-choice? I’m neither. Or maybe both. I believe unplanned pregnancies are a tragedy, and abortions even more so, and we should be heaving free contraceptives at any and all females in an effort to prevent them. We should invent contraception we can implant in girls before their periods begin and remove when they’re ready to make a mature decision about having a child. And whatever options we devise to deal with pregnancy, unwanted or not, it’s a private decision between a woman and her doctor, and nobody else’s business.
In a logical world, Pro-Lifers would be funneling money into Planned Parenthood, not scheming up ways to destroy it. It’s called PLANNED Parenthood, you dolts, not Abortions-R-Us. If you did the most miniscule amount of research, you’d discover that Planned Parenthood prevents far, far more unwanted pregnancies than it terminates.
Ah, but there’s not really logic in this discussion, because it’s not just pregnancy that the RRR is obsessed with. It’s sex itself. Specifically, contraception. There are some in the RRR who don’t believe women should enjoy sex unless it’s a byproduct of getting pregnant.
In Arizona, the Senate recently rejected a bill that would’ve allowed employers to refuse contraception in an employee’s healthcare coverage based on religious beliefs. After some pushback from the public, the senate ultimately rejected that bill on Thursday. But the fact that it even made it that far is concerning. The RRR is testing the waters wherever it can to see how it can gain control of womens’ bodies.
Ladies, there are people out there, right at this moment, regrouping and working on laws to govern what you can and can’t do with your own uterus and your own vagina. Remember “The Handmaid’s Tale”? In Margaret Atwood’s masterpiece novel, in a futuristic dying world, a woman’s role in society is whittled down to becoming nothing more than a uterus on legs. I suspect that Atwood intended her novel to be a warning, not a how-to manual.
Pay attention, ladies. Do you feel the temperature rising?