A Woman’s Right …

It is likely that the fight over the next Supreme Court nominee will boil down to a single issue:  abortion.  Some claim that the entire 2016 election was largely about the issue of abortion and a lead-up to this moment. Now mind you, the abortion issue as per the historic 1973 Roe v Wade decision, is far from being the only human rights issue that is endangered by the threat of yet another ultra-conservative ideologist on the Court.  Same-sex marriage, LGBT rights, freedom from religious mandates, immigration, and many other issues stand to be endangered.  I will deal with each of those in the coming week or two, but the initial fight will likely center around Roe and abortion.  As usual, I have a few thoughts on the matter …

The issue of abortion is … or at least ought to be … a personal one.  Roe v Wade was not about abortion as much as about the right of a woman to have a say about what happens to her body and in a broader sense, her life.  Now here’s the thing … if you are a religious person and believe that life begins at the exact moment of conception, believe that a fetus is a sacred being, that is certainly your right.  Nobody is trying to challenge your beliefs, nobody is trying to take away your rights, and nobody is ever going to force you to have an abortion!  Your right to give birth to as many children as you wish is safe.  BUT … the rest of us have rights also, and while we are carefully not trampling on yours, we ask that you not trample on ours.  Live and let live.  Women do not choose abortion lightly … it is an agonizing decision for each woman, and one that she will live with for her entire life.  Don’t make it harder for her with your holier-than-thou protests and denigrating remarks.  Just sit down and shut up.

Why do women choose to have an abortion?  In most cases it is because they are not able to take care of a child at this point in their lives.  The reasons may be immaturity, i.e. the high school girl who was careless and found herself pregnant while still a child herself.  Financial reasons are a major factor … consider the single-mother who already has 2-3 children and is struggling to keep a roof overhead and food on the table.  In some cases the mother’s health may be in danger.  The bottom line is that none of us are in that one woman’s shoes or can know what factors are driving her decision, and it is not our place to take the decision out of her hands, forcing her to possibly endure a lifetime of hardship.

One of the things that puzzles and annoys me most about this argument is that the anti-abortionists claim to feel a responsibility to the ‘life’ of a fetus, to give it an ‘opportunity’ to live, but then once a child is born, they wash their hands of it.  It is for this reason that you will not see me calling them “pro-lifers” as they call themselves, for they only advocate for a life for nine months, after which … “oh well”. Almost every person who is against abortion is also against their tax dollars going to help support that child, to ensuring it has medical care, a home, and food to eat.  They sniff loudly, turn their noses toward the sky and claim that the mother is simply too lazy and deserves no help.  It is rather akin to adopting a puppy to keep it from being killed, and then allowing it to die from neglect and malnutrition in your garage!  I have known people who did exactly that!

Those who would take away a woman’s right to choose are fond of saying that there is the choice to put the baby up for adoption.  Obviously none of these people have gone through the adoption process at any stage in their lives.  It is a long, arduous and often painful process, not to mention expensive.  Because of the cost, it generally turns out that children are not adopted by those who most want a child, who would be the best parents, but rather by those who have the single qualification of wealth.  I do note that there are exceptions.  Children placed for adoption often end up in the foster care system that, while the intent is noble, the actual implementation is a nightmare rather than a success story. Look up the statistics of children in the foster care system who are abused or neglected.

Then there is the consideration that the world is already over-populated and it is simply unconscionable to bring into it another child that has an uncertain future.  The world’s population is growing by 1.1% per year, or approximately an additional 83 million people annually. From 2017 to 2050, it is expected that half of the world’s population growth will be concentrated in just nine countries: India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United States of America, Uganda and Indonesia (ordered by their expected contribution to total growth).

“Because of the abundance of our nation’s resources, we have long been careless about our level of consumption, but it is the precipitous rise in the U.S. population over the last four decades that has resulted in our outstripping of our national resources. We are living beyond our means and are doing so increasingly as our population expands. This is a serious problem with major implications for future generations.”Fairus

Still feel good about protecting that potential, as yet un-formed, unborn fetus?

At one point during Trump’s 2016 campaign, he claimed that women should be ‘punished’ for having an abortion.  Let me tell you something … women ARE punished for having abortions … they punish themselves every day for the rest of their lives!  We do not need the courts and law enforcement to add insult to injury, and we do not need the religious right to shame them.

If your religion teaches you that it is wrong to have an abortion, then fine, don’t have one.  But understand that not everybody ascribes to your religion. Understand that ours is a secular government and that our laws are not driven by the Bible, the Quran, the Vedas, the Torah or any other religious text.  Jews and Muslims do not eat pork, but they do not try to keep the rest of the nation from eating pork, nor do they lobby the government for laws to make pork illegal!  Realize, anti-abortionists, that your beliefs are not the only legitimate beliefs.

Groups on either side of the abortion debate are poised to spend big bucks … tens of millions of dollars … in advertising their position in the upcoming debate over the confirmation of a nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.   It is, without a doubt, the most watched issue of the day.  It is a sad state of affairs, if you ask me, that the law of the land will be determined for the next several decades based on a single religious group’s stance on a woman’s right to control her own body.  It shouldn’t even BE an issue!  It is not your right to choose for another.  It is not the right of the U.S. Supreme Court to tell me what I must do with my body.  We all need to understand that we do not live in a perfect world and that sometimes people make mistakes, but that they should not be forced by a group of nine men and women to have their lives ruined because of a single mistake.

I call on the U.S. Senate to block any Trump nominee for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.  Every woman in this country stands to lose if they do not.  Every member of the LGBT community stands to lose.  Every Jew, Muslim, Hindi, atheist or agnostic stands to lose.  We the People stand to lose.

37 thoughts on “A Woman’s Right …

  1. Pingback: A Woman’s Right … — Filosofa’s Word – SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS COVENANT HOUSE

  2. Excellent arguments about a very thorny issue, Jill. This particular issue illustrates the harm that organized religion does in our world. While I would defend your right to belong to any religion of your choice, I fervently wish that all religions would just… disappear.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks John!!! You and I have long agreed on the religion issue. Religion done right should bring all people together, but religion instead separates and divides people, and condemns all who are different. How many of the world’s troubles … wars, poverty, etc … are either caused or contributed to by religious beliefs and clergy? I would find a secular world much more to my liking, I do believe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great minds think alike, Jill! LOL! We are all spiritual beings and it is good to develop that side of our humanity. I do not believe we need rule-making, controlling institutions to make this happen. We can commune together, if we wish, along our spiritual journey. I think the Indigenous peoples of the American continents had it right. Their spirituality included the entire world and all that is in it – both animate and inanimate. The land and its animals were revered and respected. They weren’t perfect – they still fought wars against each other long before the Europeans arrived. But I believe our world would be a better place today if the Indigenous peoples had converted the Europeans. The forests, mountains, valleys, and plains would be our cathedrals. We still wouldn’t be perfect, but we might be more at peace. I often think about their concept of land ownership – it was communal, not individual. All had the right to use the natural resources respectfully and never wastefully. Sigh…

        Liked by 2 people

        • Indeed so … I have always had a problem with the concept of land ownership, for it seems to me that the natural resources on earth should be shared to the benefit of all! What right does a man have to withhold water from a creek on his property, or apples from a tree that just happens to be growing along his property line. “Ownership” becomes an ugly word when people allow their greed to take over. Socialist ideas? Sure, but I’ve always thought the concept of socialism made the most sense. It’s just that I am pragmatic enough to understand that while it may look good on paper, it will never work for humans have an innate desire to accumulate, whether it is money, land, buildings, or people. I actually don’t think we will ever come much closer to a peaceful society than we are now … or that if we do, it will be the result of a horrific event. Have you ever read One Second After by William Forstchen? He has written a series of three books, and this is the first in the series. I have not read the other two, nor am I likely to, but this first one is thought-provoking and paints a realistic, if not always cheery portrait of human nature.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I agree that socialism makes the most sense – but the nations who have tried it turned their nations into police states. I hope that someday we’ll figure out how to do it right. The real change has to come in people’s minds and hearts. No I haven’t read that book – sounds depressing. Hugs!

            Liked by 2 people

            • I wonder if we will ever figure out how to do it right. I wonder if we will even ever figure out how to live together on this planet without killing one another? Sigh. The book is … yeah, a bit depressing, but definitely thought-provoking. Hugs!!!

              Liked by 2 people

  3. Powerful stuff Jill and you seem to have thought it through in detail. I always worry when I hear the word rights , it throws up many questions and here are a few ; have I the sole right to my own body ? what about my dependants? Have I the right to become obese , or alcohol dependent? have I the right to watch so much TV or work so long that my wife and children hardly ever see me ?have I the right to pursue there earning of money to the exclusion of all else?
    Yesterday a young man told me exactly what he was going to do with his life having been very successful in his examinations ; he ended up with a Masters degree and his enthusiasm was boundless. He was a young , innocent , intelligent product of the system that concentrates on rights.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is never simple, my friend. Never straightforward, never black and white. There are 101 different sides I can likely argue, all valid, for any given ‘right’. But, in the interest of simplicity, I try to remain what I am … a pragmatic. Consider consequences, consider the best for the largest number of people, etc. To some of your musings, such as have I the right to become obese?, I would answer that yes, that is each person’s choice as long as they do not expect the rest of us to bear the cost, which too often happens. That young man you mention is lucky … I was near 40 when I earned my Masters, studying nights after working a 12-hour day and raising three children. And I am, at 67, still working on my Ph.D. Likely it will never happen, but I hope that your young friend uses his to somehow make the world a bit better place. Sigh.

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  4. The sexism behind denying abortion to women who have good cause for this procedure is nauseous when you consider men who abusingly impregnate women by rape…. should also be required by law to be castrated. The pain of an unfortunate pregnancy in my opinion should be equally shared by father and mother in such cases.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have often thought the same thing … good for the goose, good for the gander, so to speak. Women’s rights have come a long way from the time the Constitution was drafted when we could not own property, could not divorce our husband, and could not vote. But, there is still an underlying mentality, especially in many religions including the Christian religion, that women are somehow inferior and need the guidance of a male. Don’t get me wrong … I like men just fine, and many if not most of my closest friends are men. But I don’t need one to tell me how to vote (I actually have a friend whose husband does tell her who to vote for) or what to do with my body.

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  5. Jill, I often cite the books “Half the Sky” and “A Call to Action” about the maltreatment of women and girls around the world and in the US. Much of this maltreatment is due to being treated as second class citizens or even possessions under the guise of a religious construct.

    Quite simply, the best thing that can happen to this country and women around the world is for the vast number of qualified women candidates, mostly Democrats but some Republicans to carry the day in November. People must get out and vote. If people got out and voted in 2016, we would not have the President we have.

    The vote would go beyond the abortion issue which should be put to bed and retired as an issue. It gets to putting family and health issues first. It goes to women who want to make a difference in a body politic that is too consumed with who wins and keeping their jobs.

    If we do not get the tidal wave of change that is needed with this divisive leader, then we will have missed an opportunity. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read Half The Sky some years ago … they have also made a documentary from it, though I haven’t seen it. Just like our treatment of African-Americans, we thought we had come out of the dark ages, discarded the idea that women are somehow inferior beings and need to be controlled by a man.

      It seems that the women who are running for office this year are doing well, and are well-qualified for office. I would love to see many of them win their seats. And I fully agree with your last sentence … this may be the last opportunity we have, in fact, to keep him from doing so much damage that this nation is unrecognizable in another 2 years. It is time we put the brakes on him, for he is beginning to remind me of a runaway train gone beserk.

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  6. But, all those pros want to be aunties. Or grammas. Who cares if the mother can’t give her child all it needs. It’s not about the mothers, it’s about them. They get to feel so superior, so RIGTHEOUS!
    They make me sick. As do the males who still think they own the bodies of the women they go to bed with. Yeah, there were once laws that stated that. But those laws are gone (I hope!). And good riddance to them.
    My girlfriend was forced to have an abortion by her parents, and that changed our lives forever. We were engaged, now we haven’t talked in almost 50 years. I don’t even know where she is, or if she is still alive. It isn’t just the pro-lifers, but religious fanatics who care more about family honour than their own daughter’s happiness, or the happiness of the potential father. And all the in-laws, etc.
    The last I heard, my then-girlfriend was married with two children, so her parents’ action did not prevent them from becoming grandparents. They were lucky. But I never got to be a father. They couldn’t care less.
    This may sound like a pro-life tirade, but it is not, it is the flip side of that coin. It is PRO-CHOICE! We both wanted the baby, we were getting married anyway. But that choice was taken away. Our lives were taken away… Our hearts were taken away…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Most of the anti-abortionists, or ‘pro-lifers’, ARE the religious fanatics. But I cannot understand what gives them the right to force their religion on others. I went through so much of that b.s. when i was married, for his family were “good Christians”, and I was not, and they never stopped trying to force me to be what they thought I ought instead of learning to accept and appreciate the differences.

      That is such a sad story, rawgod … I’m so sorry it ended that way.

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      • Hate to say it, but my life is full of such stories. But, I did not let them defeat me. I learned from them, each and every one, and came up smiling. That, I think (though who am I to say) is one of the things that life is all about. Get beat down, get back up. Take the knocks, but look for the lessons. Give in, but don’t give up. And keep on smiling, let everyone know who you are.
        Religious fanatics need to be loud, how else can they cover up their own failures. Just look at the Devilish Towncrier, he is louder than anyone.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, they say that troubles in life build character, and I do believe that is true for most of us, though there are those who never learn from life’s experiences, for they are always blaming somebody else, never looking inward to see what they might have done differently.

          Yep, they are the loudest and most obnoxious, led by the Detestable Towncrier (Devilish just wasn’t strong enough 😉 )

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  7. I live in a hotbed of Trump country, SC, and many of my friends and former students were one issue voters…. I have ceased attempting to engage them in any kind of meaningful conversation. Our Senators will vote with Trump’s endorsement despite what Lindsay Graham might say. There is little we progressive leaners we can do about it. There are too few of us. All we can do is attempt to get voters out for the 2018s and 2020s.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. If your religion teaches you that it is wrong to have an abortion, then fine, don’t have one. But understand that not everybody ascribes to your religion. Understand that ours is a secular government and that our laws are not driven by the Bible, the Quran, the Vedas, the Torah or any other religious text. Jews and Muslims do not eat pork, but they do not try to keep the rest of the nation from eating pork, nor do they lobby the government for laws to make pork illegal! Realize, anti-abortionists, that your beliefs are not the only legitimate beliefs.

    The above argument, while perfectly rational and appropriate, won’t find much appeal among its target audience. Christian fundamentalists, who are the most fervent anti-abortion activists in America, passionately believe that their religious precepts (i.e. what they’ve been taught in church) are both sacrosanct and inviolable for it comes from the highest of all authorities – “God.” This line of thought has only one logical conclusion – that all the nation’s laws must be subordinate and must conform to “His” will. Consequently, America’s secular foundations are seen as either illusory or as wrongfully conceived.

    I’m not saying that some more level-headed Christians wouldn’t be receptive to such appeals; but, I am saying that they are not the impetus behind America’s resolute anti-abortion movement. That impetus is, unfortunately, coming from fanatical fundamentalist and dominionist interests whose financial and political power is dominating religious practices and teachings in the U.S.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I’m sure you are right and that the evangelical Christians would have a comeback for every single thing I said, but frankly I don’t think there is any sound argument or position that they would listen to, for they wear blinders and ear plugs and are not open to hearing any position that doesn’t agree with their own. When I mention the concept of “separation of church and state”, they either ignore it or ‘pooh-pooh’ it. So, understanding that there is no hope of reaching them, I am shooting for the rest of the nation … those who do not have their heads up their butts. Some, at least, may listen and consider.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Jill,

    The right would have you believe that women use abortions as a form of birth control. If these women exist, they are the exception. This is a wringing personal decision based on multiple reasons and the last thing these women need is to be forced to undergo the indignity of having to explain to some judge who is basically a stranger their reasons.

    No one wants to return to the days of the court hangers. These Evangelicals do not realize that when they refuse to fund safety net programs to help poor pregnant women, that they may as well have sent some of these women to the abortion clinic.

    Just because they yell and scream against peoples having access to legal abortions does not absolve them from providing these women with an alternative.

    Hugs,Gronda

    Liked by 4 people

    • You’re quite right, my friend. And here’s another thing that I should have mentioned in this post … the right, the same right who disavow the right to an abortion, also fight against birth control being covered by health insurance and are in favour of de-funding, and shutting down if they could, Planned Parenthood, who do much more than provide abortions, but provide counseling and birth control! It is a huge hypocrisy!
      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, data from a Colorado study indicated family planning with birth control reduces abortions, reduces unwanted pregnancies, reduces state healthcare costs and reduces STDs. This is the definition of a win-win for everyone. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • It absolutely is, which is why I support Planned Parenthood. Trump has his base believing that all they are is an abortion clinic, but they offer so much more in terms of family planning, counseling and women’s health care in general, that abortion is a very small part of what they do. It’s too bad they are being so demonized.

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  10. Well said, my sister. I have several relatives who voted trump solely on the abortion issue. Yes, evangelical, religious, Bible thumping, self-righteous and miraculously blind to the scumbag for whom they voted..

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks!!! Yes, I have several relatives … in-laws, actually … like that too. I find I have to stay away from them, for I cannot control my mouth when they start about how great Trump is, and they can always be counted on to start! I don’t get it …

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s a shame selecting a judge can’t go before the people too. I know abortion is a contentious issue and a nominee can be questioned on his/her beliefs. I also think things like a judge who may hold the balance in favour of making some States change their gerrymandered districts into better balanced ones. You don’t need a judge from the right which Trump would want, but a judge prepared to do right and treat the Constitution with respect.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • In one sense you are right, that it would be good if the people had a say. But in another sense, it would then make the Supreme Court seats elected positions, which would mean a political campaign, subject to the same corruptions we are seeing with Congress and the presidency. The intent is to keep them above the political fray, though I sometimes wonder how well that is working in the last decade or so. Our best hope at this point is that he will not be able to get Senate confirmation for his nominee before the mid-terms, and that the mid-terms put a democratic majority in at least the Senate.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Not to mention that those same anti-right to choose folks are the first to argue against birth control and planned parenthood. Oh, or if you are a male married politician who needs to find a solution for his mistress’ pregnancy…

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are absolutely right! I would have included the issue of them being against birth control and funding for PP, but I was already over-wordy. And oh yes, let us not forget good ol’ Congressman Tim Murphy who spoke loudly against abortion, then made his girlfriend (extra-marital affair, nonetheless) have an abortion when she turned up pregnant. Can we say “hypocrite”?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    My stance on abortion insists on the fact that this is a very personal decision!
    Yet, I’ve been worrying about all other human rights issues that may fall by the wayside if this court turns to the right … Like the author, ‘I call on the US Senate to block any Drumpf nominee for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Every woman in this country stands to lose if they do not. Every member of the LGBT community stands to lose. Every Jew, Muslim, Hindi, atheist or agnostic stands to lose. We the People stand to lose.’
    IT COULDN’T BE MORE IMPORTANT … ‘First they came’ … and so on!!

    Liked by 4 people

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