In 1973, abortion was made legal in this country, via the Roe v. Wade decision by the United States Supreme Court. Reproductive rights were now the law of the land, and women could now legally use birth control and get a legal and safe abortion, if she decided it was necessary. Surely equal rights for women — across the board — were just around the corner…
We’ve come a long way, baby, but not in the direction we’d hoped. Abortion is still legal in the U.S., as well as birth control of many varieties, but being legal and having access are two very different things. There’s a fairly new trend out there, called a “conscience clause,” and it’s being used by medical personnel and pharmacists to deny their services to women who want birth control and/or abortion services. Why anyone would go into such fields if they won’t actually do their job for everyone is beyond me, but that’s a topic for another day.
There’s a place called Guanajuato, Mexico. This place is the anti-choice crowd’s wet dream come true — and a living nightmare for the women who live there. Cecile Richards has an article on Huffington Post about what’s going on in Mexico these days…
Consider the case of a bleeding young woman’s reception at the Guanajuato hospital:
Before doctors would care for her, the authorities were summoned to interrogate her about her sexual history. Immediately after surgery she was forced to make a statement, and she is still being investigated for possible criminal action.
Yes, this woman’s life was literally draining out of her, but never mind that, the authorities need to find out if she was having a ‘legitimate’ health problem.
Across Mexico, women are being investigated, accused and jailed, even for the suspicion of terminating a pregnancy. Moreover, pregnant women with bleeding or other symptoms are now terrified to go to hospitals, lest they be accused of attempted “murder.”
Indeed, Guanajuato is the ultimate Utopian paradise for 2010 mid-term election anti-choice candidates such as Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller, and Rand Paul. These five Republican candidates for the United States Congress oppose abortion for any reason — even rape or incest. That’s right folks, if Angle et al get their way, a victim of rape/incest who finds herself pregnant better just buck up and start making lemonade out of that truckload of lemons that were dumped on her, cuz God’s got a plan.
More bad news folks, Angle et al are just the most high-profiled anti-choice candidates this year. Raw Story has a post with a link to a partial list of 78 mid-term candidates who also oppose abortion in all cases. There was a time when I was confident Republicans would never allow legal abortion to go away — it got too many single issue voters writing them checks and into the voting booths. But these Republican/Tea Party candidates are a new breed — a much more radical breed. Very unpredictable…
Angle et al are not just anti-abortion, they are anti-woman. They are hypocritical, “small government,” puritanical, fetus-hugging busy bodies, who don’t give a rat’s ass about a child once it leaves the birth canal, and don’t pretend to care about women at any point in our lives — unless we are currently playing host to a blastocyst.
Roe v. Wade made it possible for a woman in the United States to obtain a safe abortion, so she could live to care for her existing children, finish school, mitigate the side effect of a crime, or remedy a birth control malfunction. Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land — for now — although access to abortion services is limited, in some states access is severely limited.
Get into the voting booth on November 2. Abortion rights are not the only reason to vote, but they are a very important reason for the women in this country — even the anti-choice women, because they use birth control and have abortions, too.