Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog for Choice Day 2008

Blog for Choice Day

The topic: Why is it important to vote pro-choice?

(These are numbered for convenience, not importance.)

#1 - Because the same people who are so concerned about the rights of the fetus when it is in the mother's womb are hardly as concerned about the rights of the child that comes out. Education, housing, economic stratification, immigration, and prison industrial complex realities all bear this out. Learn a taste of it here. Then get active here and here.

#2 - Because it is a personal, woman's decision. Why is it a personal decision? First, because "you" aren't the one who has the carry the baby for nine months, feel her body change shape (R.S.C.'s Aliens analogy is still hilarious to me), miss work, miss school, be stigmatized (I love the movie Juno but that was the funny, sarcastic, adorable version of how a teenage pregnant girl really feels when walking through the halls of her high school), be in hospitals, and be in pain. [Please note: This is all BEFORE the child is brought into the world. Now refer back to #1] You (men) don't lose your job because you are pregnant, you don't get passed over for tenure or partner because you had to take maternity leave at a crucial time in your career, you aren't passed over for positions because your employer is concerned that a young child will damage your productivity. Don't believe me? Click away And no, I won't even make this a family planning decision because it isn't a husband + wife decision. At the end of the day, it is a woman's decision, a mother's decision.

#3 - Because it is a moral decision. Abortion is not an easy decision to make. It is sometimes made in the face of religious and secular value systems that strongly criticize abortion. But that doesn't mean make it illegal. It means it is an intimate, deeply personal choice that no politician should have the right to make for half the population of the United States.

#4 - Because Roe v. Wade is the vanguard against the state intruding all over the bodies of women--which is a special concern for women of color (particularly black, Latina and Native American). Example: some of us have mothers and grandmothers who are or know of someone who was forcibly sterilized for being colored and poor. Harriet Washington's book, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present is a National Book Critics Award Circle Finalist in the Non-Fiction Category. Read it. Don't take the choice for granted. Get and stay active.

#5 - Because being and voting pro-choice doesn't mean you are shopping for an abortion, using abortions as birth control, or betraying your religious faith. It means that you are acting in sisterhood. It means that you are respecting other women who are not just like you and who may believe differently. It means you are respecting your mother, sister, aunt, cousin, grandmother, daughter or niece...or the woman sitting next to you right now...who may have undergone this procedure for reasons of their own. Just like they should be respecting you for your personal, religious, and life choices. Whether that means carrying to full term or termination.


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