This is my second year participating in NARAL-Pro Choice America's annual "Blogging for Choice" Day. This year's topic: What is your top pro-choice hope for President Obama and/or the new Congress?
In my post on last year's topic, why it's important to vote pro-choice, I wrote about how frightening and horrifying it is that government deliberately intrudes on one of life's most personal and intimate decisions, one that through the gift (or burden) of biology, ultimately belongs to a pregnant woman, her own self. In recent years we have seen our government take sinister steps, some more subtle than others, toward denying women basic control over their own bodies and pregnancies.
During the 2008 campaign, we faced the possibility of continuing down that path. In responding to Barack Obama's answer to a debate question about abortion, Presidential candidate John McCain openly sneered about abortion being a women's health issue. He used his fingers to put "women's health" in air quotes, to emphasize his disdain for the concept. I will never, ever forget it.
Thankfully, having inaugurated a pro-choice President this year, we can be less fearful, if not less vigilant, looking ahead.
My top hope for President Obama and the new Congress is that the people they will nominate and confirm to the Supreme Court will not be inclined to overturn Roe v. Wade. Do I believe in a "litmus test" for nominees? Not exactly. Like most things, it's not that simple. Cases that come before the Court are not yes-or-no position questions, but questions of interpretation of our laws and Constitution. I do believe in questioning nominees about their beliefs about women's rights, and in rejecting nominees who don't think we have any, whether that's about pregnancy, or equal pay, or suffrage, or military service, or any of the myriad issues about which women have had to fight merely to be treated fairly.
This does not mean I am "pro-abortion" (how absurd). It means that I believe women rightly have power over their own bodies and their own pregnancies, and I believe we should not allow government to legislate otherwise.