Another GOP politician has revealed his magical powers of anti-science, and he’s come to a startling conclusion: I, dear reader, do not exist! Apparently this post is writing itself.
No, really. I fall into the same category of mythical beings as unicorns, because according to Rep. Joe Walsh (R-My Uterus), modern medicine has made it impossible for a woman to need an abortion to save her life or her health:
With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance…There’s no such exception as life of the mother. And as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology, health of the mother has become a tool for abortions anytime under any reason.
It seems I need to get busy imagining a future where I’m allowed to exist.
This guy’s running for re-election. These are the people who make the laws, folks. They believe I don’t exist. And if they get to write the laws they want, eventually, they’ll be right – but not because their failure to grasp basic biology will magically solve my problems. No, they’ll be right because women like me will die.
In Virginia, they’re working hard along those lines. A member of the Board of Health resigned her position because of the efforts to legislate women’s health clinics that provide abortions out of existence.
In good news, Obama finally diagnosed what Romney’s been suffering from: it’s not lack of backbone or actual devotion to any particular policies, it’s Romnesia. Good thing pre-existing conditions are covered under Obamacare.
I can only hope that the law is upheld so that we can say the same thing about reproductive health care.
Over at Forging Futures, I’ve written about why I think honoring the feminine divine means that we must trust women to make their own choices about their bodies – especially the choice to have an abortion.
Given the juxtaposition of this piece with the previous one, I want to point out a few things about my political speech, since I am often political.
First of all, what I’m doing is very different from the kind of pulpit politicking that is being pushed by the Religious Right which I so strongly disdain. Yes, I’m ordained as a priestess by a 501(c)3 tax-exempt religious organization. But none of my online speech is as a leader for that organization, nor is it funded with the support of those tax-exempt dollars. These are my personal views and my personal speech. I defend even the most conservative Christian pastor’s identical right to his views and his speech, when he’s not using his tax-exempt organization to push them.
Second, for all that I often discuss how my religion guides my life, my ideas, and my choices – including my political choices – I am also determinedly in support of secular government. Whatever ways of understanding I use to arrive at my conclusions, when I advocate a policy approach that will affect other people, I always, always, always have a purely secular justification for it.
Respecting women’s bodily autonomy and giving them the right to make their own health care decisions should be an obvious conclusion when considering the situation from a secular point of view, and it’s on that basis that I want to see policies enacted. The fact that I also have strong religious reasons for supporting this position is relevant to me, and is something that I discuss as part of exploring how to live out my values in the world, but it is not the defense I offer for putting something into law.
These are the kinds of distinctions that make the difference between religious people who are engaged in politics and would-be theocrats. Respecting them is part of keeping our pluralist democracy functioning.
If in some aching dreams you too could pace
sleepless with the choice we find ourselves in,
and hear the fear and loathing we will face
as people tell us aught we do is sin;
If you could feel, with every cramp, the blood
ready to gush forth from ectopic wound
to salve your conscience in its crimson flood
and leave behind my lifeless form marooned,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To women ardent for a martyr’s glory,
The new lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro blastocyte mori.
With homage to Wilfred Owen and respect to veterans, I would like to point out that the war on women is still going strong. So-called personhood was defeated in Mississippi. Almost 60% of people voted against giving fertilized eggs all the rights of
corporations people, which would take away fundamental rights (like life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness) from the real, live people who would become little more than incubators.
I’m happy that it was defeated, believe me. But that vote was the result of tremendous work by women’s rights organizations, and even after major investments of time and money, somehow 40% of voters still thought the bill was a good idea. Why are we even having to fight this fight in the first place?
But fear not! Personhood USA is going to expand its efforts and bring similar legislation to more states. Satan won’t win every time, they insist. Others are misappropriating the history of the Holocaust to try to convince people that it’s a good thing to let women die. And in the next election cycle, graphic, gory ads may be coming to a TV near you – but they won’t show the horror of the pre-Roe days.
That’s my war today. It’s one I was drafted into the minute I was born with a uterus and a disability. And in that metaphor, I desperately want to become a veteran, to lay down arms (and coat hangers) and rest secure in my person and in my right to appropriate health care. So I pray, today, for all the veterans of the past, and for current wars to end so that there are more veterans and fewer soldiers, and I reflect on the value of life and how I fight for it.