Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blogging for Choice 2009

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?

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.


  1. I am absolutely pro-choice and I agree with everything you said.


    I am absolutely 100% against partial-birth abortions and abortions beyond the 1st trimester. I will support any legislation that bans those two practices. If it takes you that fucking long to make up your mind about whether or not you can handle a child, put it up for adoption for god's sake.

    My wish for President Obama is that he will overturn Bush's "Conscience Clause" that went into effect on 1/19. The morning-after pill should be available to anyone and everyone who wants and/or needs it and a physician or nurse's religious beliefs should NEVER stand in the way of a personal decision regarding a woman's health.

    (Or anyone else's health, for that matter)

    My second wish is for comprehensive, accurate sex education in public schools as early as the 5th grade. This abstinence-only bullshit has GOT to go.

  2. JLK, testing for some fetal abnormalities -- results of which might significantly influence a decision to keep or terminate a pregnancy -- aren't done until about 16 weeks' gestation. Something to consider before you declare yourself "100% against" anything.

    In any case, it is my opinion that it is not the government's decision to make. Period.

    Re: the morning after pill and sex education, we are in absolute agreement.

  3. Indeed... spoken like someone who's obviously never had this to think about.

    Hope your life is always that simple, dearie.

  4. I probably should have clarified, because I was referring to abortions performed on an otherwise healthy, "normal" fetus, the "I really can't deal with a child period in my life right now" abortions beyond the first trimester. Thank you for calling me out on that so I could make the distinction. :)

    We may have to agree to disagree on the partial-birth abortion issue. If a woman carries a fetus to term and goes through labor and most of the delivery, that fetus is now a child in my view and I see no difference between the doctor severing its spinal cord and the mother drowning an infant in a bathtub.

    There are, of course, always cases where the mother's health/life is at risk and decisions need to be made at the last minute. But to have that as a birth control "option" is unnecessary in my opinion. If you're going to deliver anyway, why wouldn't you put the baby up for adoption when there are so many couples out there looking?

    I want to make it absolutely clear that I have no religious convictions or anything behind these opinions. As a woman, I feel there has to be a certain level of responsibility with these choices. If a woman is raped and gets pregnant from it, I can't imagine she wouldn't want to terminate it as soon as possible. If a woman gets pregnant by accident and decides she wants to terminate the pregnancy, she should also do it as soon as possible. Same thing with finding out about possible birth defects or diseases through amnio. I cannot think of any logical reason why a partial-birth abortion should ever be an option UNLESS the woman's health is at risk.

    It's something I really can't fathom and unless and until someone can give me a valid justification for the procedure remaining legal, I stand firmly against it.

  5. Well said, SS.

    I just heard on NPR a while ago that Obama is already in the process of rescinding the global gag rule that forbade recipients of US family planning $$ from even mentioning abortion or providing referrals for same. It's a positive step.

  6. The next 100 days are going to be very interesting.