Marion Witte

February 8, 2019

It Starts With A Few Well-Placed Lies!

Filed under: Society — Marion Witte @ 1:21 pm

I think this election cycle is going to be particularly nasty, as some of the right-wing media outlets are already attempting to attack the availability of a safe and legal abortion.  Many of them are throwing out “red meat” comments about Roe v. Wade, the precedent law in place since 1973 that established the right to obtain a legal abortion. Most of their statements are inflammatory, caustic, blatant lies. I think it is important that we all be aware of this, so that we are not caught up in the fear, anger and intimidation that may result from listening to those falsehoods. Recent polls reflect that from 71% to 75% of the American public wants safe, legal abortion to remain in place in our society, as it is now provided for by Roe v. Wade.  While many citizens may choose to never use abortion services themselves, they also do not wish to deny this service to others who may.

The most vocal (but not all) of the resistant to society’s desires on this matter is coming from the Evangelical religious community on the far right of the political spectrum.  Ironically, the most vocal of these voices are coming from men.

To be perfectly clear (as I wrote about in a previous blog), I am an advocate for a woman’s right to be in charge of her body and her reproductive organs.

Things get more complicated for many women when you include the issue of abortion in the equation, and emotions often ride high when this topic is brought up. That is why I think we need to reframe the entire discussion about reproductive rights.

I also think it is vitally important that we adhere to the concept of the separation of church (religion) and state (the government) in our decision process.  The religious opinions of a vocal minority can not override the wishes of a society as a whole.

I developed two very simple guidelines about women’s reproductive rights, based on the principle of the separation of church (religion) and state (the government):

The Principal of Universal Reproductive Rights

  1. The choice of any women, who is philosophically or morally opposed to obtaining an abortion, shall be respected, as it is her absolute right to make that decision. If her religious practice governs what she can and not do with her body, she also has the right to follow that advice, for herself.  That belief shall not be imposed on any other individual.
  2. Any woman shall also have the right to exercise her choice to obtain legally sanctioned safe abortion services, if she is in a situation where choosing an abortion is the most appropriate, logical and viable course of action. No women shall be judged because of the choice she makes.

As I wrote down these ideas, I began to question, “Why it is so hard for all of us to apply the above principles and live our lives without the drama of fighting over abortion?”

And I soon came to realize that one of the reasons why we can’t seem to be able to reach a point of civility about this issue is because of the incendiary comments that have entered the media lately, such as “third trimester murder” and “killing live babies as they come out of vaginas” (and some even more egregious comments).

Those irresponsible declarations are nothing more that inflammatory statements made by some of the talking heads of the right wing, to engender shame and fear in the public. We have come too far in our journey in the fight for reproductive rights for women to allow these false and nonsensical comments to deter us.  Instead, we must let them become the impetus for us to fight even harder.

Because of the noise coming from the right-wing politicians, I know that there is concern on the part of some women that Roe v. Wade may be overturned by the Supreme Court.

Although this would be disappointing for those of us who marched for women’s issues in the 1970s, it would not be the end of the battle.  Although the changing of laws is always a possibility in our political climate, we need to be clear about what it would really mean. Even if the current law was overturned at the Federal level, the issue of legal abortions would be then be relegated back to each individual state to determine its legality in that jurisdiction.

In more free-thinking states like those on the West Coast and in New England (perhaps 28-30 in all) abortion would probably remain legal.

The sad realization is that abortion could become illegal in over 40% of the country (20-22 states).  Unfortunately, those states are some of the poorer, rural areas, where adequate health care is already problematic. The possibility of law changes includes many of the states in the South (Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, West Virginia), the center of the country (North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri) and the Western states of Arizona, Idaho and Utah.

On a brighter side of this story, even if these changes in the law happen (and I truly hope they don’t) those of us who believe in women’s rights, accessible health care for women, and treating women with dignity, will rise up and find a way to help our “sisters” in those less tolerant states.  We will work to find a facility in one of the more progressive states where they can obtain safe, legal abortion services.

So to those who want to impose their strident religious and political beliefs upon us, bring it on.

We will engage in a battle against you, wielding our feminine powers, our sense of justice and our compassion for all women.  And those qualities will prove much more powerful than the egos of those who are trying to impose their personal religious beliefs upon us.

And to the old, white men who are trying to take away our rights, please know we have a power you will never have.  A uterus!

We will not let The Handmaid’s Tale become a reality!


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1 Comment »

  1. I stand with you in total on this, Marion! You express what is in the hearts of so many women. Bring it on is our battle cry!

    Comment by Kaila M Kaden — February 8, 2019 @ 1:54 pm

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