Don’t Take Your Reproductive Rights For Granted

by Kate Pittman:

If you haven’t been paying attention to the anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-woman legislation that is currently being put forth and passed in state and national government, it’s time to wake up.  The ultra-conservative anti-choice religious right has gained a very loud and powerful voice in government while we, the women who believe in reproductive freedom, stand by.  Far too often it seems we have no voice at all.  I watch in horror as I read about each new attack on my body and my life.

The individual laws requiring biased counseling, restrictions on insurance coverage for abortion and contraceptives, waiting periods, restrictions on method, and other attempts to reduce our reproductive rights are too numerous to list here.  But you should know how serious this is right at this very moment.  Please check these links if you have any doubt the Tea Party has something on its agenda other than jobs, jobs, jobs:

Center For Reproductive Rights, Can You Afford a Huge Step Back?

When States Punish Women

Planned Parenthood Action Center

Yes, this is personal to me and it should be personal to anyone who is a woman who believes that she has the ability to make the right choices for herself in her own life.  What can be more personal than the choice to have a child?  Yet there are many who seem to think I am incapable of making serious choices about my life.  I boil over with rage when I read about my rights being infringed upon by people who purport to want to “protect life.”

Let us be clear about one thing: this battle is not about life.  It is not about saving unborn fetuses from murder.  It is an attack on women’s sexual freedom, and consequently women’s autonomy, plain and simple.

When you get right down to it, you would be hard-pressed to find many people in the world who think abortion is a good thing.  The overwhelming majority of pro-choice people will tell you that we also believe that if you don’t want to have a baby, the absolute best course of action is to never get pregnant in the first place.  Women do not choose abortion lightly.  Yet there are those who seem to believe that we are incapable of knowing when we are ready to raise a child.  These are the same people, by the way, who are always proclaiming that the government should stay out of our personal lives.  Oh, unless they disagree with the way we live those lives.  They always seem to forget to add that part.

A woman, in this view, is nothing but a walking, talking set of reproductive organs.

If the Anti-Choice movement really cared about reducing the number of abortions, they would focus on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.  Yet they do just the opposite, taking every opportunity to reduce sexual education and availability of contraceptives.

Making abortion illegal does not stop abortion.  Making it difficult to obtain an abortion by adding obstacles ensures that the only people who will still be able to choose whether or not to abort a pregnancy are the rich, who can afford to travel to a place where abortion is available.  Relegating abortion to back alleys only harms women, and is sometimes even fatal;  it does not save fetuses.  When a woman wants to make this decision, she will find a way to make it.  When abortion is legal and safe, women are protected.  When abortion is illegal and hidden, we are not.

This is a scary time for anyone who believes in reproductive freedom.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, in the first quarter of 2011 alone, 916 measures related to reproductive health and rights have been introduced in the 49 legislatures that held regular sessions.  Seven states enacted 15 new laws on these issues.

Laws Affecting Reproductive Health Rights: Trends in the First Quarter of 2011

If you feel strongly about these issues, now is the time to stand up.  Let your voice be heard.  Make sure to vote.  Don’t let their voices be louder than ours.

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5 comments

  1. fuck you

    If I could put you back into your mom’s womb and convince her to make a different choice- would you still be foaming at the mouth about “reproductive rights?”

    • Elizabeth

      Your brain is riddled with superstitious nonsense, I wouldn’t know if my mother had aborted me. Fetuses don’t posses the means of cognition fool. That’s science. Know what that is?

      And for the record my Mom did consider abortion. This neither fills me with horror nor anger. It is a fact that I know about her and if anything I’m glad she was thinking carefully about the circumstances of my birth.
      This last point, I know will drive you, willy-nillly, to your question. See the first sentence of my response.

      Grow up.

  2. Earl Stgeorge

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  3. Sarah Adkins

    I voted for a Creatard because he claimed that his opponent was pro-illegal immigrant. Well, in the state of Texas it’s obvious we are well on our way to becoming a third world dump. The religious fanatics think the Islamic followers are the enemy. I would say mainstream Christianity is far worse. Women are not only being forced to have babies they don’t want here – they are being DENIED prenatal care! More than once a nurse has complained to me about all the special needs kids that could have been prevented through family planning (that means actually trying to get pregnant and taking the prenatal vitamins instead of finding out 3 months later you are pregnant). Instead, working in a pharmacy stupid teenagers that are past their first trimester want us to just hand them free prescription prenatal pills. They get so angry they even have to see a doctor. If they had seen one to begin with maybe they wouldn’t have gotten pregnant and be giving birth to a retarded baby. Pharmacists here feel they shouldn’t have to carry the abortion pill or the morning after pill – that’s oppressive and discriminatory period. There should be a law requiring ALL pharmacies keep it on hand or they should lose their license.

    It’s idiotic that some women and mostly teenagers here have children they never wanted and people wonder why so many kids are killed. Last year 1 child was brutally beaten and thrown out his father’s truck into a bed of cacti (5 yrs old). Two teenagers are in jail because they both had kids that were killed or severely injured because the boyfriends were looking after them. Neither boyfriend was the biological father and one was told not to leave her baby with him. Another man killed BOTH of his sons and texted photos to his girlfriend (their mother) and claims she made him do it. A black woman murders a white woman after having a miscarriage in Houston… I just saw in the paper today a drunk man dropped his baby and instead of taking it to a hospital he let it die, wrapped it in a blanket, and stuffed it into a freezer! Why do we need more children if so many adults are obviously unfit to reproduce? I won’t even mention all the teenagers on welfare and the drugs they sell. Let’s not forget after the baby is born the conservatives could care less about the environment that infant has to survive in.

    Thank you for pushing the very real problem that the right wing conservatives refuse to admit. They truly hate women and feel we are “unfit” to do anything other than be bred like backyard mongrels. No one individual should have that kind of oppressive power over another. I would have to point out that no one in Texas seems to have a problem with all the unwanted children being born into poverty. They prohibited taxpayer money going to fund abortions but why should I have to fund the healthcare of so many unwanted babies that were the result of preventable pregnancies? If I sound angry it’s because I’m tired of all the hypocrisy. It’s no big deal to kill kids after they are born but a woman making a private decision is just too abhorrent for them to tolerate.

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