Thursday, July 04, 2013

Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize

                               AP photo/Austin American Statesman/Jay Janner

OK, I have a problem with this.  While I agree that abortion should be a covered service, we will have to get single-payer insurance for that to work at all, and that is a different battle.  We can fight that one later.  The one we have going right now is this one:

                               AP photo/Eric Gay

We are trying to defend the rights we have.  They are coming for our rights.  We, in this country, have never had the right to "free abortion on demand," and demanding it now is a huge mistake.  When they are trying to take away the rights we have, it is not the time to try and expand those rights.  People have complained for years that they don't want their dollars going to pay for abortions.  Medicaid has never (as far as I know) covered elective abortions.  The Right has drummed that up to inflame pubic opinion against the very existence of legal abortion.

What we are defending right now is our Constitutional right to abortion.  Our CHOICE.  I know it's possible to be pro-choice and not pro-abortion.  I know many women who feel that way.  I know that, faced with that choice, I decided to bear the child.  My choice, my circumstances.  If my circumstances had been different, I would have had an abortion.  Not without soul-searching, but I would have done it.

Frankly and coldly, in our overpopulated world, I don't see a terminated pregnancy as a tragedy.  I think every child born deserves to be loved, wanted and cherished.  Having a child is not punishment for having sex, it is not a vehicle for slut-shaming and it is not a means of control, period.

Of course, avoiding a pregnancy is preferable to terminating one, but birth control has been known to fail.  It's OK for a child to be a surprise; it's not OK for a child to be an accident.  According to Roseanne Barr. on her sitcom, "An accident is something that, if you had it to do over, you wouldn't; a surprise is something you didn't know you needed until you got it."

A woman is the only person who knows if the time is right for her to have a child.  Please note that I am talking about elective abortion here, and not one that is medically indicated.

So, ladies...sisters...friends...let's please keep our eyes on the prize and try to preserve the freedoms we have, and worry later about extending them.  Conservative people look at that top picture and say, "Hell, no!"  However, the second one might strike a chord with some.  Sometimes people need reminding why we have Roe v Wade in the first place...because women were dying from the type of abortion that was available before, and which will be the only type of abortion available to many, after the passage of these laws.

I'm aware that every movement has its front-runners and rabble-rousers.  I've roused some rabble in my day.    Right now, we need some oversight from someone who can vet these signs before they go viral on anti-choice sites, and are used to justify their point of view.


  1. Isn't "free abortion, on demand, without apology" precisely keeping one's eyes on the prize? Obviously, everyone understands that the battle going on in Texas legislature is about protecting the rights women already have, but what would be the purpose in placating the religious right-wing extremism? So what if they get offended by the logical conclusion of ethical women's reproductive rights? Why should we let them control the dialog? Why should it be more difficult for low-income women to get an abortion?
    This is how we ended up with the dialog of Obamacare instead of universal health care. It's how the term "civil union" entered the public dialog instead of honest conversations about deeply entrenched homophobia, oppression, and what it means to be truly equal. Please, don't let the extremist zealots continue to control the dialog.
    This is just like all of the apologists who oppose the bills before the Texas legislature, but concede that it's inappropriate for someone to jest "hail satan" at those who would unabashedly admit that they want to force their religion upon everyone using state control. Why? These are the same people who would interrupt your day at the park to talk to you about Jesus. If they can't handle sarcasm (or religious diversity, because there's nothing wrong with a satanist chanting "hail satan" when- or wherever they please), let them get pissed. They should be. I am.

  2. I'm just coming in to say the comment above is absolutely spot on. Stop letting the extremists control the dialog. The compromises that keep being made with these folks have really done nothing but showcase the lack of backbone a lot of our elected leaders have when they get to house or senate floor. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the sign above and the dialog it initiates. It's a healthy and democratic process to directly address issues and seek real solutions instead of weak reforms. I don't care if some people don't want to pay for elective abortions. Just like THEY don't care that I don't want my money funding bullshit wars and education that likes to revise text books and shove 40 underprivileged kids into one classroom. The eyes on the eventual prize is exactly what is stated above: women's healthcare without explanation, apology or a goddamn sonogram.

  3. I just like the idea of one battle at a time. These new laws will eventually be struck down by the courts. Once Obamacare is entrenched and people realize that it is a good thing, then we can move on to single payer insurance (AKA universal health care), like the rest of the civilized world. THEN we can move on free abortions. If the assholes were really concerned about saving taxpayer money rather than appeasing the fundies, we would have proper health care already. One battle at a time, people. That's how wars are won.

  4. As far as allowing them to control the's their fucking dialogue. We wouldn't be having this fight on our hands right now if they could be satisfied with the status quo.

  5. I have conservative friends who see the righteousness of protesting the new changes to the existing law...especially as they realize it would spark a return to coat hangers, overdoses of yarrow and back alley butchery. However, when they see attempts made to take the situation further, and expect taxpayers to fund abortion...there they balk. And they vote. And they are decent people. I feel much better pissing off the people who are pissing me off and not the ones who will support us in moderation.

  6. I agree with the article.

    I am pro-choice coming from BOTH sides. That is, I support the right for a women to have an abortion as well as not to have an abortion. And I support the right of someone who doesn't like abortion to not have to help pay for it.

    Something people on our side should acknowledge is that abortion is NOT a black and white issue. It is not just about women's health, there is another life involved. Some people legitimately see that life as a child, or the equivalent thereof. I do not want to force those people to financially support abortion. I also do not want those people forcing their views on everyone else.

  7. Agreed. I think we need to take the high ground. I understand the anger...I think most of us feel that, but this is not the time or place to cut it loose.