Women’s Reproductive Rights are Being Snatched Away with Dire Consequences by Thomas Martin Saturday


A pink painted female mannequin at a Planned Parenthood rally Feb. 2011 (Photo/David Bledsoe via Flickr)

A pink painted female mannequin at a Planned Parenthood rally Feb. 2011 (Photo/David Bledsoe via Flickr)

With the recent devastating attacks on Planned Parenthood, the hundreds of draconian laws passed by legislatures dominated with men, who think a woman can turn off her reproductive system at whim, or prevent pregnancy with an aspirin, women’s reproductive rights, so ardently fought for and won are in real danger of being lost, perhaps forever:

Unless, women, and the men who stand in support of them, stand up and act to stop them.

Women’s votes, and those of loving understanding partners, will in the 2016 elections, and not just the Presidential race, cast a crucial set of votes to put this evil genie back in the conservative manic bottle, of one of the greatest attacks on the autonomy of the individual in this young century. Even as a man, I am staggered by the dimensions and mendacity of it.

The aim of conservative politicians backed by pro-life starting, but not sustaining Christian Evangelicals, is quite simply to snatch women’s ability to control their own bodies. Not just a threat, but it is happening at this very moment nationwide. Girls born today may have to be told that no, they will not become someone with a career to guide them through life, but must rely on a man to protect them, to bear his children, and to marry well above all else. It almost has me running to read Jane Austen.

Scott Walker signed an abortion bill that is so restrictive as to question the actuality of civil rights gained under Roe v. Wade. He promptly went off and raised more money from his billionaire friends, then proclaimed to the nation that were he president it would be like this all over the nation. And in at least 23 States where as it happens, conservative Republicans have full control of the Governor and legislature, it is a reality. Texas residents would be able to tell you just how dire the situation is in their State to name but one more.

Without all women having easy access to full women’s reproductive health care in all of its dimensions, they have little ability to control childbearing and with it their autonomy to say when and how they will bear children or if at all. Otherwise women will once again have to look to men for assistance. We have been there previously. We as Americans often look down our noses at the Muslim world and how it treats women, and fail to see the looming disaster hypocritically offered here in the United States.

These attacks on women’s reproductive rights not only threaten the health of women today, but were they lost, would narrow the horizons of women not yet born. If there is one thing I have gotten (OK, among many) through that thick skull of mine, is that we all are better off when all humanity can be extended equal opportunity. Women will continue to bear children with joy and fulfillment. It is the nature of things.

But the great power of the feminine among us has been oppressed for most of our history. One would think everyone is fully alive to the presence and advantages of women helping lead us in the years to come. Neither patriarchy, nor matriarchy is of benefit to unleashing every single person’s full potentialities. With all of us free to achieve our full potential as human beings we may yet see something of what can be—must be.

There is no easy way to say it. But the attacks on Planned Parenthood, the multiplying laws to limit abortion, and with it the access to reproductive healthcare of so many women, will have dire consequences for us all if not held back.

I want a world where women play just as prominent a role as men in making the good civic community we all hunger for. What would an alien race of beings think of a planet that held back just over half of its brainpower, its sustaining nurturing powers, the sheer force of everyone being afforded full equality of opportunity? They would think us dim witted or mad.

So those of us who want equality of opportunity on so many vital civil rights fronts must be there for the women of America as much as any. Vote, speak out, protest, and be fully aware. 2016 will be crucial. Who replaces justices on the U.S. Supreme Court is vital, and we must know fully what each presidential candidate will do here. No doubt with such restrictive laws that so fully contradict the spirit and purpose of Roe v. Wade and so much women’s rights legislation, there will be challenges to Roe v. Wade from the right as its defenders rally to maintain it. The Court even as now situated will most probably rule on whether or not Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, or that it sustains so many rights women are entitled to by law both civil and moral.

Who is running the Congress, and who holds the presidency, and often overlooked who is your governor and what is the dominant character of your legislature towards women’s reproductive rights is going to be and is already becoming fully determinative.

Young women who take for granted their options in life, their full access to reproductive health care take warning. Just as we are refighting the battles of Selma, and the Voting Rights Act, New Jim Crow police lynching’s, and racial stereotyping, we too stand again to defend a woman’s right to choose and all that springs from her ability to make that choice.

To borrow a phrase from the male world of war, and f testosterone laced aggression, in the 19th Century, where bullets were balls of lead: “The ball has already opened, and women and the men who stand with them must rally!”

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