Recently there has been a bit of concern in some circles regarding the status of choice and reproductive freedom. The recent Republican takeover of the House of Representatives has vastly increased the number of anti choice voices in Congress while a number of state elections and ballot measures have set out to, if not completely overturn Roe v. Wade, then at least severely weaken it and make it so the right to a legal medical procedure de facto doesn’t exist.
I’m concerned about the state of choice as it applied to a woman’s right to reproductive freedom and reproductive justice this year. However, the concern has been ongoing for a long time. From ballot measures designed to define the fetus as a full human being to various state restrictions based on age or marital status, the war on choice has been going on for decades now. While odds are they might not get a Constitutional amendment overturning Roe, they know that if they chip away at the right of a woman to make decisions over her won body, said right might as well not exist.
The end result is the usual mix of rhetoric that seems to favor DNA over actual living human beings. The current attack of note implies that women aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions regarding what to do with an unplanned pregnancy, either by not really knowing they’re getting an abortion or getting one just out of selfishness. This approach, while claiming to favor life, is an insult to the women the pro forced childbirth contingent are supposedly out to “protect” in the first place. From that to the “crisis pregnancy center” that falsely claim to be abortion clinics to the targeting of abortion doctors, there is a lot to be concerned about regarding a woman’s right to choose what to do with a pregnancy whether it be birth or adoption or abortion.
In a truly just world, this would be a decision made in private between a woman and her doctor. However, we don’t live in a just world but in one where many people who claim to want less government intervention and cry out over a supposed lack of freedom seem to salivate over playing Big Brother on this issue, wanting a government response to this so large and interventionist the society in Orwell’s 1984 practically seems like a progressive utopia in comparison. I’d find it humorous if it wasn’t so scary that people’s lives were at risk as a result of such attacks. Add to this some politicians on the Democratic side of the aisle seeming more than willing to throw a woman’s right to choose under the bus for a few votes and there is much to be concerned about.
So what can be done to make sure a woman’s right to choose is protected? Mainly, those of us who support this issue have to be vigilant against those who want to take away this right either by legal means or by intimidation of some sort. One can’t automatically assume a politician will uphold the right to choose on principle. It will instead take constant putting the pressure on those in power to make sure reproductive freedom and reproductive justice remain safe and legal in this country. It’s far from a new idea and one that will require a lot of effort and work. However, given that the anti choice/pro forced childbirth contingent will continue to do whatever they think is necessary to get their goals across, those who support choice have to keep the pressure up and make sure they get heard.