The Integrity of the right to choose to end a pregnancy is very real, and under attack and duress. The question is by whom and for what purpose? There is a serious attempt to reduce women’s rights and revert the 1973 before Roe VS Wade decision, and given the fact that the abortion rate is equal to that prior to Roe Vs Wade, it makes no sense. What is the basis of these attacks on Women’s Rights?
Is Blatant sexism sometimes so broad and so in the grain of the surface, that it is barely noticed in the conversation around women’s right to choose? The recent Supreme Court decision, and Republicans in general come from the place that women are not adult enough, not smart enough or sophisticated enough to make the right choices for themselves. Like keeping candy away from the child, out of the house and out of reach, here is the assumption that taking the decision to make a decision by a woman is somehow similar to keeping candy out of reach to a child. Ergo, the child will not eat candy that is bad for them if you take away their ability to choose. Women will not make the choice if they don’t have the right to choose. The same arguments have been made about women from the 1800’s by both parties, not just republicans: that decisions need to be made for women and children by men. Voting, driving cars, owning real estate, working – all of these were considered outside the range and responsibility level of women at one time, not that long ago. But in the fifty years of women’s rights, civil rights of women, responsibility and choice have moved forward the dial of responsibility and integrity for women. Women have chosen the road to equality by taking responsibility for areas of their life that go with the rights they hold to manifest their lives from their choices. Now in 40 states across the country, there is the attempt to make decisions for women about their right to choose to take to term a pregnancy.
The facts are that abortions are at the same level in be 2014 that they were in 1973fore Roe VS Wade. Greater access and education on birth control has brought the need and use of abortion down to the rate it was pre right to choose.
Roe VS Wade happened in 1973, the dawning of the visibility and the significance of civil rights-ushered in a time where women could had legal right to make their choices given their lives, and their circumstances. As Justice Ruth Ginsberg has stated repeatedly: women of means have always had the alternative of choosing to end a pregnancy as there has always been places women could go to get the help they needed. The same women who helped women with childbirth helped women end pregnancies. It is only the poor women who will suffer if the attempts to reduce women’s right to choose is taken back. Back to the 1950’s, back to another time. There is an attempt to turn back the clock, turn back the civil rights of women to make their own decisions is at the base of the efforts to go back in time. As Hillary Clinton has said: Women’s Rights are Human Rights. There is no turning back.
By attempting to reduce women’s rights by eliminating the use of abortion in those states, there is an assumption that by having the option of abortion, women will mindlessly choose abortion who would not otherwise. I totally disagree, and know the seriousness with which a woman approaches an abortion. It is not an easy slide to make the decision. It is a dilemma, it does require and is given consideration and women are more than capable of dealing with those decisions responsibly, with courage and integrity.
The catholic church represents one end of the spectrum where any interruption of a pregnancy through birth control is a violation of the potential child. Barrier birth control or contraceptive birth control pills fall within this realm. Then there is the IUD. Perhaps it has not been fully recognized that what the IUD contraceptive method does is by its placement in the uterus, the body will reject any potential embryo when the menses cycle occurs. Essentially the IUD serves the same function as abortion. The continuum from diaphragm to medically inducing the expelling of an embryo are the range women have as choices in being responsible for themselves and any child that might result from their carrying it to term.
Integrity is the right word in terms of how women come to evaluate this scale of choice and responsibility. It is not the easy way out as often assumed by those who denigrate women’s ability to choose what is right for them. Because an IUD is available doesn’t mean that the GOP or the states that want to reduce women’s rights to choose should outlaw their use. Nor should they reduce access to induced abortion. The availability of the IUD and abortion are choices women are capable of making for themselves. Women are not children for whom you need to limit choices and for whom others need to make decisions. The prism of perception that allows attitudes that mitigate or challenge the ability of women to choose for themselves falls into the range of the older days of institutionalized patriarchy.
There are women who will consider ending a pregnancy, there are many who will not for a variety of reasons not related to religion or even prior understanding of what they would do in that situation. It’s a here and now experience that draws on the character and identity of the women and her mate, and her community. She is right to make the choice that is right for her.
Integrity also in dealing with the process of releasing this potential life from your body is an experience women share, because rarely is there a listening for experience. No one wants to hear that the hormone level of pregnancy is at one high level, and one measure of determining the embryo has left the body is the dramatic drop in the level of hormones, which can be quite devastating. As a result, the emotional and hormonal experience for most women who experience spontaneous or induced abortion is difficult. Women get little compassion for this process and rarely speak of it. The procedure itself has to be right on the same level as an invasive root canal. Women don’t choose to have these experiences, they choose to take the measures that responsibly deal with a pregnancy that they don’t want to bring to term.
The experience of the abortion and compassion for the women are not generally in the conversation. It’s as if they don’t deserve that response. Truth is that the use of abortions though legal since 73 has dropped drastically. There is less need for abortions and less use of abortions now. The most vulnerable groups to have unwanted pregnancies are those who don’t expect to have sex and therefore are not prepared, like teen agers and women over 50 according to the research. Since their first visit to Planned Parenthood, girls have been informed about sexual responsibility, regarding unwanted pregnancies and sexual diseases. Schools are prepared to respond to the interests of learning about sexuality and responsibility for sexuality. All of this has an impact on the fact that there are less unwanted pregnancies, and a significant drop in abortions.
Women are not children who have to be protected from making their own decisions and need the law and a congress ambivalent about women’s rights to make decisions for them. Not now, not ever. Fifty years of women’s rights, civil rights cannot be washed away in a sea of false cause in an attempt to retrieve a past we have left behind for the better of all.