Disclaimer: I’m a male. I don’t pretend to speak for women. I don’t even pretend to understand women most of the time. But I do know it when I see rights being eroded.
The abortion rights fight has been raging for decades. It’s a touchy subject, and one many folks take personally. It has a strong emotional component for both sides. I get it.
But the contraception thing? This hasn’t been a problem since the 50′s. It’s not like there’s hordes of masked thugs forcing women to take birth control pills. And the result of access to birth control is less unwanted children, less mothers and families that can’t afford to feed the kids they already have, less teen moms dropping out of school to become parents before their 18th birthday. We can all agree those are good things, right? The best way to prevent abortions is to prevent the unwanted pregnancy in the first place, right?
The folks on the right like to talk about slippery slopes – the idea that if you give a little here, you start a “downhill slide” into heathenism and debauchery. That’s a big part of the argument against abortion rights. According to them, the next step is legalizing genocide (they already consider them virtually synonymous).
But there’s a whole other slippery slope they’re creating: The erosion of women’s reproductive rights. The first step on that slope is abortion rights. The right has been chipping away at that by trying to redefine when life begins, and in some states, they now consider conception as the starting point. Never mind that they can’t tell you exactly when conception happens. It’s not like a little light flashes over a woman’s uterus that says “Bun In The Oven!”. No, they simply want dominion over a woman’s reproduction from the first possible opportunity. They want those babies born, dammit! Of course, when they are born to unwed mothers who can’t hold a job and go to school at the same time, they don’t want to pay the “welfare queens” to raise the child. Bring ‘em in - and then you figure it out.
But now, when the President announces the availability of birth control to all women through healthcare, they’re up in arms. Of course, less birth control means more pregnancies – and more chances for abortions. But they don’t want the abortions. So the logical conclusion is – they simply want women to have more babies. Period. The only other possibility is that they want women to have less sex. That’s along the lines of Rick Santorum’s big campaign contributor’s thinking. Foster Freiss – who is putting big money into Santorum’s campaign – quipped last week that in his day, women used an aspirin between the knees as birth control. In other words, the real problem with birth control isn’t access. It’s that women spread their legs too easily.
So, first they don’t want you to decide if you should have a baby. then then want to decide if you should keep yourself from getting pregnant. What could possibly be next?
Not letting you have free pre-natal care.
No, you read that correctly. This week, Santorum (again) made the statement that the provisions in the Affordable Healthcare Act that provide for free pre-natal care for all women were actually an attack on the disabled. Why? Because it includes amniocentesis, and the result of that test often leads to a recommendation of an abortion. So, you’re a woman, you’re denied access to birth control so you get pregnant. Now, Santorum doesn’t want you to get free pre-natal care because at some point, you might be given a test that might tell you there is something wrong and that you might have an abortion because of it. He doesn’t want you to know anything is wrong before the child is born. Period. He even says that one reason not to have the test is that it might result in a miscarriage. Of course, he’s in favor of the legislation that requires women to have an invasive transvaginal ultrasound if they are seeking an abortion.
So let’s recap:
- They don’t want you to have abortion as an option
- They don’t want you to use birth control to minimize the chance of an unwanted pregnancy
- They don’t want you to have free pre-natal care because it might lead to you having an abortion
That, my friends, is a slippery slope. Every one of these things is another step down the path of dictating what a woman can do with her body, and forcing her back into the position of just being around the house, cooking and birthing babies. They never talk about how to stop men from being part of the issue. They never talk about what to do to the boys who get girls pregnant then never fulfill their roles as parent and take on the new responsibility. They never want to talk about how they will pay for the inevitable increase in care costs and how their actions will increase the number of unwed mothers who can’t afford a child. No, it’s all about their control.
Almost farcicly, Darrell Issa held a congressional hearing about the contraception issue on Capitol Hill last week. No women were allowed as witnesses. One was offered, and Issa rejected her. Not one woman. They don’t care what women think. To them, women are incubators and are meant to shut up and have babies. Not one of the men on the panel had a dissenting viewpoint. Yet, the majority of Americans are in favor of employer provided birth control. 98% of Catholic women have or are currently using birth control. But this wasn’t a hearing – this was grandstanding and making a joke of the argument.
What will be next on the slippery slope? Will it be that women who are pregnant will not get maternity leave, and be forced to quit the job because it is better to have the mom at home? Or maybe that all teens will be required to wear chastity belts only to to be removed by their fathers or husbands. If they are the child of a single mom, then maybe an uncle will do.
Absurd? Maybe. But if we allow the rights of women to decide what’s best for their own bodies to continue to be eroded, are they that much of a stretch?