In this year, a year of pandemic, global strife, a looming recession, sky-high unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, millions without health insurance, etc., there are any number of things that I would expect to see on the platform of any candidate for the presidency. Among them, in no particular order, are …
- Climate change and environmental issues
- Gun policy
- International relations
- Civil rights
- Election security
- Health care
- Affordable housing
- Income inequality
- Minimum wage
- Campaign finance
- Consumer finance protection
And the list goes on. You may notice that nowhere in my list do you see the word “abortion”. Abortion is not … or at least should not be … a political issue! As I’ve said at least a hundred times before, if you think abortion is wrong, then don’t have one! But don’t impose your religious or moral beliefs on the rest of us!
While it should be a personal issue, not a political one, a good chunk of time on Tuesday night was spent by the republicans at the Republican National Convention, dissing and discussing a woman’s right to have autonomy over her own body. These people call themselves “pro-life”, but in fact they are not that at all, for most of them support the death penalty, and few of them are in favour of their tax dollars going to help support low income families who are struggling to feed their children. Most of them seem unconcerned about the extremely high number of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., relative to every other nation. Most of them own guns and put their right to do so ahead of the rights of the public, and even their own children, to be safe … that in itself puts paid to the “pro-life” argument!
The religious right in this country has become a strangling, suffocating movement whose foray into the political forum is not welcome by the majority of us! I very intentionally stay as far away as I can from any discussion or opinion on religion, for I truly believe that everyone has the right to believe as they will, and it is not my place or anyone else’s to attempt to bend others to my own beliefs. HOWEVER … I also expect the same courtesy in return! I do not expect to have evangelicals or any other religious group tell me what I can do based on the tenets of their religion … tenets that even they do not follow, except when it suits them! This is exactly why we have separation of church and state.
Separation of church and state means that no religion or religious group has the right to set public policy. There is good reason for this. We are a very diverse nation with hundreds of different religions and a good number of us (23%) who ascribe to no religion, as is our right. It is our right. We … most of us … do not wish a specific religion to be taught in our schools. We do not wish to be held to honour laws that are created by and for a particular religious sect, for they may very well go against our own beliefs.
For the right-wing religious extremists to call for government to interfere with a woman’s rights is beyond unconscionable … it is nearly a return to the days when women were considered second-class citizens, subservient to their menfolk. For no matter how women view this issue, it is largely men who are making the laws in this country, even today. In fact, one of the speakers at the RNC on Tuesday was a woman named Abby Johnson who sermonized on the ‘evils’ of abortion. Ms. Johnson’s anti-women ideology goes much further, however, for back in May she spoke of her support for the idea of “household voting”, where only the “head” of each household would be allowed to vote …
“I would support bringing back household voting. Each household would get one vote. In a Godly household, the husband would get the final say.”
If you are reading this and are not sputtering or spouting obscenities, then I’d have to question what planet you were born on. And then, on Tuesday night she yammered about abortion …
“This election is a choice between two radical anti-life activists and the most pro-life president we have ever had. That is something that should compel you to action, go door-to-door, make calls, talk to your neighbors and friends, and vote on November 3.”
Really? So, the republicans honestly think this election is about … abortion??? What about climate change, what about civil rights, what about education, what about health care, what about our relations with other nations, what about gun violence, what about … all of the things that really matter? Frankly, if abortion, or rather anti-abortion, anti-women’s rights, is the only issue the republican voters care about, then there is a definite lack of understanding within the Republican Party. There are far more monumental issues to be concerned about.
To the best of my knowledge, no woman in the United States has ever been forced to have an abortion against her will, and only about 1% of abortions are performed after the fetus becomes viable, those only in extreme cases to save the mother’s life. Yet Trump claimed back in March …
“Virtually every Democrat candidate has declared their unlimited support for extreme late-term abortion, ripping babies straight from the mother’s womb, right up until the very moment of birth.”
It is this sort of verbiage that seems to fire up Trump’s base, despite being devoid of any facts. In fact, not one single democrat has advocated for such. I would remind voters that possibly the biggest, most lethal single issue that should be what they are considering, is that of the environment. Frankly, if we do not re-implement environmental regulations, if we do not take fairly drastic measures and work with other nations to curb the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that we are emitting every minute of every day, you won’t need to worry a heck of a lot about whether a woman has an abortion or not. You’ll be too busy fighting for every last breath to be worried about seedlings.