Monday, January 22, 2007

Blog for Choice

Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

Today is the thirty-fourth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the ruling that sent home rule regarding abortion rights back to the States.

It was a very important decision in the fight for women's equality in America.

I have fought that battle over the years: I have worked security at a clinic, I have marched in the streets, I have sent money to Planned Parenthood and NARAL, and I am happy to speak aloud about my unwavering support of the rights of women to make all decisions regarding their reproductive health.

Abortion, and all issues of reproductive rights, are important to women. All women. What Americans are allowed to do with their bodies is a very important conversation.

Abortion is a terrible thing. If I was a women, I do not know that I could choose it; but, I believe each woman has to make that choice herself.

There are many choices I don't like.

Are you tired of lovely twenty-somethings with their bodies ripped into muscular hulks, pierced through the face, and decorated with "tribal" tattoos? Yeah! Me, too! The Bible forbids us to tattoo ourselves. Still, I think everyone should have the right, as adults, to do that to their bodies if they so choose. It is a matter of choice and it is freedom of expression.

Hey guys: how many of you have really made love to a woman with a boob job? Boob jobs look great inside clothes, from a distance. And when you get a bra off, they can look spectacular, until the woman moves around on the bed, and they don't move like real boobs . . . they look kinda . . . I dunno . . . fake! Then you get around to touching them. I mean . . . you're making love, and you're a guy, you're gonna touch her boobs. It's what guys do! They don't feel real, do they? They're kinda hard (or firm, as the owner would like you to think) and they are a bit of a disappointment. I don't really like boob jobs. The Bible can certainly be interpreted to say that boob jobs are a sin. Should they be illegal? No! A woman should have the right to augment the size of her breasts, if she so chooses. It is a choice.

Birth control and reproductive rights should be a choice, too! As soon as a boy can ejaculate and a girl menstruates, birth control should be available to them. Boys and girls, or more accurately, young men and women in this stage of their development are more likely to have unprotected sex than any other group. Yet, we do not really offer birth control as a choice for these people. We think that because they are of a certain age, they should not be having sex, therefore we force them to wait until they reach the arbitrary age of 18 (will it be 21 soon?) before they have the right to seek-out birth control or be counselled about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and birth control. We should be giving them the choice. We should not be hindering their access to birth control or information about STDs. This information that we hide from teenagers can prevent death, unwanted pregnancy, and (potentially) abortion.

However, there are Americans who think that blindness and silent acquiescence are the only path to higher living. They are wrong.

Women need to be taught about sex at a young age. They need to told about condoms and birth control. They need to be told about abortion. And all of these things must be made, and remain available, to all women at all times.

In the early 1970s, the local community health center displayed posters about drugs, alcohol, and pregnancy. One was a picture of a man with a swollen, pregnant stomach belly and was inscribed: "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."

I was fifteen or 16 when I saw that, and it changed my life.

If men were the ones expected to carry, give birth to, nurture, raise and support children, the laws of America would be very different. Roe v Wade would not be in jeopardy of being overturned.

I have never met a woman who was happy about having had an abortion. I have discussed it at length with some women. They talk about varying degrees of shame, regret and acceptance. They almost always feel as though they need to be forgiven. They need to be loved and accepted; but, they are shunned by the media, church and themselves. Their secret must remain not just private, but a secret. It can never be exposed, because our society, in its dramatic shift to the right, is making it more shameful to have had an abortion or to seek an abortion, than ever before.


Why is the simple medical procedure known as abortion being made into such an ordeal?

It's really simple, folks.

People get pregnant when they have intercourse. Intercourse is usually coupled with passion, which makes our copulation different than other animals' copulation. Passion sometimes clouds reason. Clouded reason sometimes leads to poor choices. A poor choice can lead to an unwanted pregnancy. A child born of an unwanted pregnancy can lead a very unhappy life. Very unhappy people make worse choices than those they see made around them. And the cycle continues down into a morass of moral sadness.

Terminating an unwanted pregnancy is one of the worst decisions anyone would ever have to make. If they choose it, we should let them do it with dignity and love.

We should not be picketing in front of clinics that provide reproductive services.

We should not be passing laws that criminalize motherhood or its failings.

Support Roe v Wade!

Support NARAL
Support Planned Parenthood

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