There is currently some scarier than usual anti-abortion rhetoric heating up in the U.S. these days (thank you Tea Party-ers, and p.s. you suck. And now, dim-witted teenage heart-throbs, (moreover heartthrobs who clearly lack the plumbing that might result in their facing the heartbreaking decisions that must follow an inintended pregnancy) are weighing in on the debate. (Badly).
In case you aren't aware of what's been going on with our neighbours to the South:
Here's an article from today outlining how South Dakota is considering a law in which killing abortion providers could be ruled a 'justifiable homicide.' I am not even shitting you here, people. You cannot make this crap up:
And Planned Parenthoods across the U.S. have been infiltrated by 'incognito' anti-choicers digging for dirt in the hopes of getting public funding withdrawn.
And the political scenario with regards to said funding is looking increasingly grim as well, with Republican representatives putting forward bills that would strip federal funding from healthcare providers that also provide abortions (like Planned Parenthood), as well as bills that would strip women of public and private insurance coverage for abortions. One particularly lovely bill put forward by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), the “Protect Life Act” (excuse me while I throw up a little bit in my mouth), actually seeks, in addition to other lovely things, to prohibit states from ensuring that women have access to information about how to get access to abortion services. The House Leadership’s FY 2011 continuing resolution proposes to completely eliminate the Title X family planning program, which has connected millions of American women with health care since Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1970. Of course, these proposals do not just affect women's access to safe abortion services - they also would effectively cut off access to affordable birth control and reproductive health services (like, um, paps, cancer screening, free counselling services, STI screening and treatment and on and on and on).
This is scary. Scary. Scary shit, folks.
And uber conservative states are hopping aboard the 'force women to have an ultrasound to look at the life she's killing' before providing info and access to abortions. In total 10 states have tried, or are in the process of trying to pass this legislation. (Some states have failed - go South Carolina, but I digress.)
I am pro-choice. I will always be pro-choice. Becoming a mother has made me even more pro-choice. To be perfectly clear, what I mean by pro-choice is that women facing unintended pregnancy must have access, information, and support, whether she chooses to take the route of parenting, placing a child for adoption, or abortion. None of these roads are easy. And no one wants to be in the position of having to make those choices. And I REFUSE (and I mean refuse here people) to debate a woman's right to choose what happens to (and in) her body.
I will steadfastly refuse to debate this right until the day when:
1. every sign-holding, anti-choice protester who claims to care so much about 'the children' adopts at least 2 of the children already alive and needing our assistance. And not just cute, perfect, healthy (and most often white) newborn little people. I'm talkin', you know, the 'hard-to-place' ones;
2. every sign-holding, anti-choice protester who claims to care so much about 'the children' explains to me why they (and their ilk) remain in steadfast opposition to my people providing safe, loving and nurturing adoptive and foster homes to the aforementioned children;
3. every sign-holding, anti-choice protester who claims to care so much about 'the children' starts spending more time raising money and resources to help feed and cloth and educate and find good and safe homes for the shamefully high number of starving and abused children already alive and suffering right here in our own backyards (not to mention to world over);
4. every sign-holding, anti-choice protester who claims to care so much about 'the children' fights for better sex education, and easily accesible information about birth control and safer sex choices to all people, of all ages, and all income levels;
5. every sign-holding, anti-choice protester who claims to care so much about 'the children' can explain to me the moral relativism that makes shooting abortion providers reasonable and rational;
6. every sign-holding, anti-choice protester who claims to care so much about 'the children' can explain to me how creating a society in which back-alley abortions in which women and often near full-term babies die, in which women attempt to perform abortions on themselves causing irreparable damage, in which women desparate to hide their pregnancies, birth alone and then do shockingly awful things like dropping newborn babies in dumpsters) because fear and desparation and lack of supports can make people do shocking and awful things), is anything but counterproductive to the cause of helping make children's lives better;
7. every sign-holding, anti-choice protester can somehow explain to me how 'no child left unborn' makes more sense than 'no child left unloved,' 'no child left alone,' 'no child left abused,' 'no child left unfed,' 'no child left uneducated,' 'no child left unwanted;'
Then, and only then will I sit and debate whether or not it's ethical to force a woman to be a human incubator for 10 months (that's how long it actually is, folks) against their will, because they fucked up (for all kinds of personal and/or systemic reasons), or worse still, because they were fucked up upon.
This kind of shit just incenses me. Pisses me off. Because you know what? I care about 'the children' too.
(So Justin - please. just. stop. talkin'. Truth be told, I'd actually prefer it if you stopped singing too - but I'm not looking for miracles here. Just a smidge of some good common sense.)