Friday, 16 March 2012

Men and my Body. And yours.

And yours, because chances are, you're reading this and you're female.

And I will say that, if you are anti-pro-choice it may not be in your best interest to read any further.

Over the past couple of days, I've heard more and more frequently different laws men would like to apply to women's reproductive rights in the U.S. and frankly, I'm getting angry.  In Canada, the laws are different, and honestly, the more I read, the happier I am to have returned to Canada to get married and raise a family.  Between health care, education and now reproductive rights, I look from the outside in at the U.S. and am beginning to see it becoming more and more like, well, China or the former Soviet Union.  And yet, they accuse Canada of being a pseudo-U.S.S.R. with our standardized health care.

So what was the final straw? This (which includes the actual video of him saying it at the end) - Georgia rep wants to force women to carry stillborn fetuses like cows do.

I will say right now that I am pro-choice.  I have many friends that are adamantly on either side, some more than others. I feel that I fall somewhere in the middle. I could never, ever make the choice to have an abortion.  For me.  But I do not believe that I have the right to dictate the lives of others.  And, I know some people are going to hate me for this, but sometimes, I believe that abortion is the right choice.  Many that choose to have them do it because they know they could never take care of a baby or a child, but also are selfish enough they could never give that child a better life by adoption. Then you end up with kids in the system, kids that aren't put in the system but should be due to neglect.  I don't know anyone else's situation. I do not have the right to dictate my morals and values on them. I also do not believe that anyone else has the right to do that to anyone else either.

I will also say that I do not believe in late term abortions or abortions after the first trimester.  I am pro-choice, but pro-choice with definitive limits.  However, I would bend those in the cases of severe issues for the mother.  I do not believe that the life of the mother should be in jeopardy without legally being allowed to do anything about it.  Should a doctor choose to do the ethical thing and save the mother while losing the baby, the doctor shouldn't be brought up on charges.

It seems, however, that the world is going backwards and I'm trying for the life of me to figure out where the women are.

The Georgia republican that said that women should have to carry stillborn babies until their bodies choose to get rid of it naturally like a pig or a cow? A man,.

The group that appeared before congress?  All men.

But not only does it appear that men are dictating women's rights at the highest levels, it also appears that church and state lines are being blurred more and more, with fundamentalist Christian views being imposed on everyone - whether they agree with them or not.  The Tea Party - made up, it seems, mostly of the furthest of the far right wing Republicans - seem to have this skewed sense of reality.

In New Hampshire, their reasoning for repealing the state mandate that employer insurance also cover birth control is that it will decrease health care costs.  Now, maybe it's my imagination but is it not cheaper for a one time every three to five years $300 cost for an IUD, or the $15-$50 per month (according to Planned Parenthood) than to have a woman on state funded aid, or running up her health insurance costs by getting pregnant with a baby she doesn't necessarily want or can otherwise afford at that time?  Isn't it cheaper to prevent the pregnancy than add another person (the baby) to the insurance plan?  In my estimation (and having had two kids) that the $300 for a 5 year IUD or even the $3000 for the highest end birth control pill over five years is thousands upon thousands cheaper than a baby over the course of however long they may be on that plan.  And, having had a baby end up unexpectedly in the NICU for a week after he was born, it's much more financially advantageous in the long run to have plans cover birth control.

Especially, I believe, if the same plan provides for Viagra or other same type drugs.

Now, is it just me or is it a complete double standard to say "here guy - have some Viagra!  We'll cover it!  Go have sex!" to men, but to say to a woman "we're not going to cover you.  If you don't want to get pregnant, don't have sex!"  It's almost like that double standard from high school - you know, the girls that are having sex are sluts.  The boys that are having sex are cool.  So now the government is just full of high school boys who are imposing the same standard, only they're not doing it as loud as Rush Limbaugh does.

I do have to say, though, that I don't believe that faith-based providers should be forced to have to cover things that our against their faith. That would be the same blurring of church/state lines, only in the reverse.  The Catholic church should not have to be forced to provide something that goes distinctly against their beliefs.  However, once again, I believe that if they're not going to provide birth control, they also shouldn't be providing Viagra. If you are not going to support women's reproductive rights, then by the same token the reproductive rights of men should not be supported.  If women have to figure out how to pay for their own birth control, men should have to figure out how to pay for their own Viagra.

Ohio state senator Nina Turner seems to believe the same thing.  In fact, Ms Turner has brought about a bill in the Ohio state legislature to regulate men getting access to Viagra, Cialis, or anything in that category.

Want Viagra?  Prove that the reason you need it is not psychological.

Want Cialis?  Sit down with a sexual health representative to discuss the side effects of the drug.

Think this is unfair, men?  Well, if a woman wants an abortion, in some states she is now required to listen to the heartbeat or watch an ultrasound.  She's required to sit and listen to an indepth, graphic lecture on what will happen (as if she doesn't already know).  It is not taken into account that, most often, these women have thought long and hard, cried and prayed, about the decision they have made.  Emotional manipulation is just that - manipulation intended to make a woman change her mind not for the good of herself or her family, her health or her life, but to make her choose someone else's beliefs.  To make her toe the line in what, in some states, is becoming a more and more Fundamentalist Christian atmosphere.

Women's health should be between two people - the woman and her doctor.  In the cases where the woman is married, the husband should also be able to voice an opinion.  But people on the outside - from the protester on the street to the person sitting in the White House and everyone in between - should have no say.  To say that they are "speaking for the baby" is unfair when the baby cannot survive outside the mother's body.  To have those views are fine.  To impose them on others isn't ethical.

It is time that the women who support reproductive right and the men that support these women stand up and have voices louder than those such as Georgia representative Terry England.  Especially when opinions such as England's - if they are carried out - have the potential to seriously injure or kill a woman.

This is my body.  And mine alone.  Until women start dictating the sexual rights of men, please, let's not take us all back to pre-1970.  

1 comment:

  1. Well said. Just wanted to comment and say that I agree with you 100%!