Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"We Won't Go Back" featuring Lisa Edelstein

When my mother was alive she told me how she stopped her friend in the early 1950s from having a back alley abortion. My mother, a catholic, didn't stop her because her religion told her so, but because the guy who was going to do it had an eyepatch and dirty fingernails. Her friend had the child, gave it up for adoption, but lied about her offspring's ethnicity (said he was Italian when he was actually Mexican to make him adoptable). When abortion was illegal that didn't stop abortions, it just brought it underground where women were put into dangerous situations.

Back in 1990, when I was tabling for reproductive rights a man in his 60s came to our table and said, "I am a republican, but I have more reason to be pro-choice than any of you."

Of course, it was hard to believe him at first. He continued, "My mother died due to an illegal, botched abortion." Thud.

During my tabling, many people who were grandparents at the time would come over and thank us for being there. They would register their absolute horror and dismay that we would have to keep struggling for reproductive rights. That was 20 years ago and those people have most likely passed away, but I will keep their voices alive -- voices that know what life was like when women had no reproductive rights.

It is now 2011 and we continue to struggle. There is a state that is actually contemplating killing abortion providers being "justifiable homicide", we have wonderkind Justin Bieber saying that pregancy from rape "happens for a reason", and republican law makers continue to chip away access to legal abortions across the country. Once more, we need to muster to protect women's reproductive rights.

I write this as someone who has been honored by pro-life groups when I ran an award-winning adoption reform website, Voices of Adoption. I believe that all mothers need to be honored and supported to encourage women to be proud of their pregnancies and be able to parent. If they do not want to parent, they should have the ability to enter an ethical adoption that supports her through the lifelong effects of her decision with openness and no shame. Taking the stigma out of single parenting will go a long way
to remove the need to have an abortion. Remove the negative consequences of out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and maybe you will see a decrease in abortions.

There are instances where women may not want to carry a pregnancy as a result of rape or molestation. There are excruciating cases where couples who desperately want to be parents are faced with a pregnancy with painful and terrible deformities with no chance that fetus is going to be a living baby. In those cases, republicans want that woman to risk her life and force her to remain pregnant when she knows her baby will be dead. Republicans want that couple to suffer because they have this fixation on fetuses.

I support reproductive rights because a government who can make abortion illegal can also make it mandatory, because the underlying assumption is that women have no sovereignty over their bodies.

Let us not go back...

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