Today, January 22, 2006, is the 33rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision (and Blog for Choice Day). This Friday, as a complete and utter coincidence, the White House proclaimed that January 22 would be National Sanctity of Human Life Day.
Bush’s proclamation reads like a shopping list of Fundamentalist issues in mild code, but may as well say “soon we’ll wipe out abortion, and then we’ll work on ending sex.” And it’s just nauseating to read Bush’s lofty words about “every human being has rights, dignity, and value”, and “protect[ing] human life.” I’m sorry, but how many people did you execute as the governor of Texas? And didn’t you start a fucking war with another country? Apparently human lives have value, as long as they’re not prison inmates, soldiers, or Arabs. Or maybe only globs of human cells in the womb count as human. Hard to tell with the Bush crowd.
Of course, a large part of the Christian Right’s agenda is about the control, but controlling women’s sexual practices is a large part as well: banning abortion, banning birth control, abstinence training, and the promotion of marriage no matter what are key aspects. However, their treatment of abortion differs a bit from the rest, in my opinion.
When reading passionate arguments from pro-life folks, it often seems to me that the underlying motive is punishment. “You had sex. Now you should have to carry the baby for 9 months and give up the next 18 years of your life to raise it. Serves you right, you dirty slut.” There certainly are pro-life folks who are concerned about the life of the fetus, but the punishment angle is extremely popular. And while punishing someone for a certain behavior is a means of control their behavior, it seems like the pro-lifers would prefer a world in which sexually active people are punished more than one where everyone remains virginal till marriage.
I do occasionally hear men say “abortion’s got nothing to do with me, that’s a woman thing”, refusing to take a stance at all. Which is pretty pathetic. Most men have a mother, a sister, a grandmother, an aunt, a niece, girlfriend, wife, female co-worker or female friend who they happen to care about. In other words, it may not effect you directly, but could effect someone you’re very close to. Don’t you want the women that you care about to be able to make their own choices, to have happy and fulfilling lives?
I don’t know that I’ve said anything particularly new or interesting here, but I thought I’d say a little something. When men refuse to get involved with this fight, women lose.
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