Friday, April 08, 2005

Women's reproductive rights is not just a women's issue

One of the first comments I made on a blog led to a misunderstanding that led a couple of people to assume I was a woman. I was subsequently led to a couple of sites that led to to more. It was an eye opening experience. Sure I had some idea that women's reproductive rights were under fire but I really had know idea how badly. Here is my problem; it was because I misspelled my name that I was led to these sites at all. Why? The comment I made combined with the belief I was a woman caused me to be directed to these sites. It shouldn't make a damn lick of difference if I have a uterus or not because this effects all of us.

I don't like abortion. Ultimately I don't think anybody really does. But there are a number of things I like even less. Girls dying or very ill after tearing themselves up inside with coathangers. (still occasionally happens) A huge influx of unwanted children who place a tremendous burden on all of society. (all generalizations have exceptions, but unwanted children are still born every day)

I know the arguments. But unfortunately the arguments don't hold up at all when applied to the real worl. Like all rhetoric they look great on paper, lets have another campaign, have a conference or two and sing songs around the fire. Mean while back in the real world babies are having babies, our prison populations are exploding and children around the world are dying of AIDS. So lets look at these arguments.

Practice safe sex stupid. Wow! I hadn't thought of that, only when I was growing up I didn't really. My dad didn't have an opinion my mom would have been keen on him expressing so he didn't really. My mom was big on abstinence only. My brother had the most meaningful advice, but we have the same mom and that colored the discourse. (he did introduce me to the idea of safe sex) My highschool health class devoted two class periods to safe sex/sex-ed, and my health teacher took a lot of heat from parents for teaching the bare minimum of the curriculum. I even signed an abstinence pledge when I was fifteen. A little late though I lost my virginity at thirteen. (thumbs up I used a condom that time) But when I repeated the experience a little more than a year later it was with a girl who said she was on the pill. She got pregnant a few months later, though not by me, lending to the belief she was lying. She said she didn't like condoms and I knew nothing about venereal diseases at the time, (my brothers talk touted condoms as birth control not protection) thankfully I didn't then nor have I ever contracted any. I'm 29 and pretty typical for my generation, what's scary is that I grew up in a comparably liberal, open community. Add to that our federal and many state governments pushing to adopt the same abstinence only education policies that mean already kids in many places all ready know even less than I did when I started having sex and more of them are having than when I was a teen. Oh and it was only after dealing with a mis-carried pregnancy when I was sixteen that I got serious about safe sex. (that's when I dropped out of highschool)

Just don't have sex. "Estimated number of young Christians in 1995 who had pledged to wait until marriage to have sex: 2,500,000 - estimated percentage who waited: 12." 2.5 million kids with a similar up-bringing to mine. 2.2 million having sex, often unprotected. I'm not certain how accurate that estimate is I got it from Harpers index (March '05 but it would go a long way to explain the figures for young, single mothers. And yet Dubbya and Co. Would have us inflict this on all of our children. I do believe that sex ed should begin at home but all to often parents whether out of moral indignation or flat denial refuse to approach the sex discussion with the understanding the very likely this child is going to engage in sexual activities at a relatively young age.

I would love nothing more than to see abortion eliminated, all STDs eradicated. I would dance for joy were all this discourse a footnote to history. But until that day we all must fight for our reproductive rights.

Some educational links:
more later...

Some links to evil men and women who hate in the name of god:


Beth said...

While I agree with your statement that abortion is not just woman's issue, the repercussions of an unwanted pregnancy does fall heavily on the woman. Some women may want to have the baby, but their partner forces them to abort. Similarly, some women never even tell their partner they are pregnant, and go have an abortion without the father even knowing. I think in all cases the women are scared and vunerable.

However, I think places like Planned Parenthood take advantage of these situations. They profit from performing abortions, and so looking to them for guidance seems unrealiable at best.

Perhaps you say that sending these women to a Right-to-Life center is equally as biased, since they would never even suggest an abortion as an option. Fair enough. But then again, they do not have any financial gain like Planned Parenthood does.

IF Planned Parenthood was all about actually planning for parenthood (see, I think the word "planning" infers doing something BEFORE an event, not AFTER) through educating people on how not to get pregnant till you want to, I'd think better of them.

Aquaria said...

Man, Beth, are you ever an idiot.

Have you ever been to a Planned Parenthood clinic? Obviously not. I went there often, to get inexpensive BIRTH CONTROL. Not an abortion. BIRTH CONTROL.

They also offer breast cancer screening and a wide range of other gynecological services, like pap smears. Abortion is not all they do. It is one prong of a multi-faceted approach to giving women control over their destinies.

As for telling or not telling the father about a decision to abort, that isn't Planned Parenthood's job. That is the woman's responsibility. It isn't their business why she doesn't feel comfortable telling him. They believe that she, and only she, can determine what will happen to her.

It is also insane to assert that anyone is "forced" to have an abortion. Forced by whom? Nobody forces anyone to do anything. The second a woman walks into an abortion clinic, she is spoken to, and they will literally throw out a man who seems to be intimidating a woman into having an abortion. They make sure, up front, that abortion is really her choice, and, if it isn't, they WILL NOT PERFORM THE ABORTION. Period. If you'd gotten out more and did something besides cheerlead for male power, you'd know these things.

It is one thing to be ignorant. It is another to preach from it. Or, as Mark Twain said, "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt."

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