Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Roe Turns 35. What Next?

As I type this it's January 22, 2008. 35 years ago today the Supreme Court made Roe v. Wade the law of the land, ruling that state laws against abortion were unconstitutional. Since that fateful day, a procedure that should be a decision between a woman, her doctor, and her conscience has become a polarizing political issue that appears to become more of a chasm with each passing year.

Since Roe, abortion access has been slowly taken out from under the American people. The recently released study by the Alaqn Guttmacher Institute found that 87% of U.S. counties have no abortion provider. In addition, parental consent and, in some places, spousal consent, laws have made what should be a personal decision one that can be placed in the hands of other people to make (and, by the way - if anyone reading this calls themselves "pro life", this can also mean forcing abortion on someone).

Right now a number of state legislatures are seeing bills emerge that, if passed into law, would basically outlaw a woman's right to reproductive freedom. Waiting periods and forcing a woman who made this decision to undergo alleged "Counseling" adds to this by taking one view in mind - a naive (at best) and extremely sexist belief that a woman is too vulnerable tomake decisions regarding her own body.

Today a lot of bloggers are taking part in Blog For Choice Day. WHile I support the basic premise of it, I do have one reservation about the theme (this year - the importance of voting pro choice). I agree that voting for pro choice candidates on this issue is necessary and important. However, I do have one concern - mainly the worry that some politicians (many in this case being mainstream Democrats but some Republicans who haven't completely jumped the shark into the dark side [once the GOP elite find out, they'll likely be escorted out]) may be pro choice now but may be more than willing to throw a woman's right to choose under a bus if it means getting a few extra votes. I hope I'm totally wrong and off base on this, but I've learned to be a bit skeptical over the years on anything regarding politics. Should one who wants to vote choose a pro choice candidate? Yes. However, let's remember that we must be on guard against anyone in office who says what we want to hear solely for the vote only to do the opposite thing when elected (this includes other issues such as the war, economy, health care, etc as much as this issue).

We're living in scary times right now. Hopefully, we don't head too far back into the dark ages. That said, my best recommendation can be to watch our backs and keep the pressure on for anyone in office to make sure they do the best they can for all of us - not just their own interests.

Whoa! This turned out to be a little longer than expected. I guess I had a lot on my mind regarding this issue. If you disagree with me, fine - that's your right. But I will not allow you to force your vision of what life is down my throat.

That's it for now. Feel free to disagree amongst yourselves. I have other things to do.

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