Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pro Choice - the secular, pro woman stance

I was reading around the intrawebs. I've started reading more more women skeptics and I'm glad I have or I wouldn't have come on this gem by Skepchick. While men get get behind fighting creationism in the classroom as a sceptical cause, only a woman could identify the root of all the anti abortions/anti choice  lawmaking going on in the US as an effect of the religiosity blooming in the Republican Party. Since it's packaged with abstinence style birth control, reducing access to contraception and the desire to return women to a cloistered role in society.

As a non-USian I can roll my eyes and vow never to go to a state that discriminates against women and same sex unions-I don't say gays because that implies to me a men's movement. As such, it will eventually be accepted and respected. Not so much with women's rights in the US.  Rebecca Watson identifies 49 states with 916 bills that have restricted reproductive rights in the works and those that have passed are horrifying. It is unlikely to work out ok for women; one just has to look at the ERA failure. In the States that have passed laws, women have to put with defunded Planned Parenthood, vaginal ultrasound  (I can't imagine how well that would go over with a casualty of rape) with description (now let's torture women terminating a wanted child with genetic defects) and now no insurance coverage from ANY provider, not just the State.

Pervasive in our society is the idea that women get pregnant, are simply inconvenienced by the getting bigger part then love the outcome in the end. Men taking the pro choice stance usually focus on rape as a reason for needing abortion services. This is a huge lack of imagination. One of the great things about the Jerry Springer effect is that women no longer have to experience pregnancy to enter that the "procreation girls club" that lets you know of all the things that can go wrong. That's important because women lack imagination as well. Women that I've know to have abortions have done so because the fetus has died after 5 or even 8 months, a miscarriage that didn't complete, defective fetal development and ectopic pregnancy. When anti-abortion laws are passed, I wonder about those women, the ones that Tiller and Kvorkian helped. I don't know how many women I know have simply chosen to terminate as a choice because it's none of my business. I do know when I worked in a hospital in the '80s, people were outraged that all procedures were listed as D&Cs rather than identifying those slutty women who used abortion as birth control.

Why do women buy into these laws? The risk of pregnancy is outweighed by the benefit of offspring for most women. I knew a woman who miscarried and at that point became anti-abortion because she was devastated and thought other women should be prevented from that grief. When I pointed out women who chose abortion would not necessarily feel that grief (not a shining hour for tact on my part) she implied that would be inhuman. Many women seem to buy into the idea that they cannot make a decent decision without the help of a man. News flash, many decisions men make are poor as well.