“If only my uterus could shoot bullets …

then it wouldn’t need regulation”.

Stand with texas women

SWTW rally

I saw this slogan on an umbrella in the crowd at the Stand With Texas Women event last week. It succinctly conveyed my thoughts on two important topics.  Then I heard that one of our greatest champions, Lindy Boggs, passed away and thought about the legislation being enacted in a number of states to roll back women’s reproductive rights.

The real imperialism, the real oppression, the real political slavery, is the intrusion of power from without into a local condition — Benjamin Ide Wheeler, 1908

I cannot imagine a more local condition than our personal human (or any, for that matter, a discussion for another time) organism.  It is hard to believe we are still discussing it, much less debating who will control the female body: government (unless it is offering lawful protective safety and security) or women themselves.

Since this intricate topic has been covered so thoroughly by legal, ethical, political, and biological experts, I am concerned by just one small but critical issue: the apparent offense of being strong while female.

Discussions on abortion are so emotional that it seems futile to attempt any exchange of ideas on the topic these days since my own views do not fall into any neat category.  But, I am still nagged by the question of why anyone would try to interfere with someone else’s uterus (let’s say, for example, Governor Ultrasound)? I can only surmise (excluding religious conviction as well as fiscal motives) that they are threatened by the idea of the continually expanding independent female cohort and all the gains made by women who now surpass men in key benchmarks such as college graduation rates and head-of-household income, to name just two. I know I am not original in viewing reproductive rights this way, but I think it is pivotal to this entire baffling saga.

More troubling than errant males who fear capable women taking over the decision making (I guess), are women who also labor under the misbegotten assumption that they have to give up spine in order to be appealing.

Need I point to the endless number of inspirational, courageous, accomplished women who have managed to be every bit as much Athena as Aphrodite? We can look around the world to women in positions of power and influence (not to set aside accomplished, beautiful women in other worthy endeavors in academia, business, the arts, sciences, law, medicine, etc.)  in Burma, India, Pakistan, Africa, Brazil, Argentina. These individuals overcame societal norms far more repressive than ours to lead their countries in a new direction by rising above their male counterparts to win top leadership positions and execute them successfully.  And most did so while raising a family and epitomizing female accomplishment in all the traditional senses of that term.

Certainly Lindy Boggs was one and she achieved it in a more chauvinist and inhibiting era than this one, firing Southern charm all the while.

Her example alone should give women in this country, particularly those in the beleaguered states now facing draconian restrictions, ample ammunition to fiercely defend their rights to govern their own bodies.

7 Comments on ““If only my uterus could shoot bullets …

  1. “I can only surmise (excluding religious conviction …”

    Maybe because some of us have held real living, breathing, and beautiful babies in our hands and the idea that someone can legally kill that child in a partial birth abortion only days or weeks before birth is sickening. Google “Kermit Gosnell” if you want to understand.

    lwk
    free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com

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    • I absolutely understand that. I have held ‘real living, breathing, and beautiful babies’ in my hands. I could never have an abortion and I consider it a type of murder in most instances (excluding removal of an unviable fetus). However, it is a complex issue, sometimes involving rape and incest, so merely banning abortions (which are the law of the land, whether we like it or not) is not the answer.

      And,I do not want men who are strangers, who have an agenda, a motive that has nothing to do with the mother and baby, making that decision. There has to be another solution for this serious problem. I like the government for inspecting food, airplanes, protecting us from invasions, and keeping our air and water safe. I do not want the government to rule individual bodies from afar. So, in another post, I will tell you what my proposed system would be to avoid brutal abortions and yet keep arbitrary and callous interference out of the equation.

      Thank you very much for posting – it helps to clarify this issue.

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      • ” There has to be another solution for this serious problem.”

        I don’t disagree. No solution will entirely please everyone so a compromise has to be found that all may not entirely agree with 100%, but most can live with. I propose that it should look something like this:

        1. Before x weeks a woman’s right to have an abortion cannot be questioned at law

        2. After x weeks it should be harder, but not impossible

        3. After y weeks (somewhere in “late term”) not legally allowed unless n doctors are willing to sign a form – and putting their license to practice on the line if they don’t take it seriously – that it is absolutely medically necessary for a clearly defined reason defined in law.

        Of course still have to fight over what “x,” “y,” and “n” are.

        The general principle is that one has a reasonable period of time to make a decision to abort or not for any reason, but beyond that point a failure to make a decision will entail some loss of “rights” to one’s own body because by then it is not just your own body that is at stake.

        There will never be an end to arguing over this issue anytime soon, but I think people with good intentions could find a compromise that would lower the temperature of the debate somewhat.

        The recent law enacted in Texas may (and we’ll have to see how it really works out) have gone too far, or experience may show that it is just about right. I honestly don’t know at this point.

        Regards,

        lwk

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  2. I cannot disagree with those ideas. I think there needs to be an advocate representing the fetus, someone more like a social worker. In addition, I think we need to make it far easier to adopt domestically and harder to adopt from abroad. People have to stop requiring babies made to order. Late term abortion unless the fetus is dead or severely handicapped (as in no frontal brain activity, for example, or without key organs) should be prohibited, in my opinion. The procedure itself has to be far more humane. The problem here on all these things is not only funding (after agreements can be reached and laws modified) but also regulating and controlling this. Women will simply go back to have illegal abortions or go out of the country to have them, perhaps unsafely. But in that case, it will be their responsibility. As far as I am concerned, the minute there is a fetus, there are three human beings involved, every time. I just don’t want the fourth-plus being a disinterested government official.

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  3. I pretty much agree with what you just said.

    You wrote:

    “I just don’t want the fourth-plus being a disinterested government official.”

    As a person with fairly strong Libertarian leanings, at least along the idea that government is too big, too powerful, and too intrusive I very strongly agree with you here. Government is one of those things that you need a little of, but the less the better for the most part.

    As I said before I would accept giving 100% freedom of choice for a limited (and hopefully reasonable) period of time. Some people with a Christian background – and I have that too – are not willing to compromise, and it looked to me like a lot of the people protesting in Austin recently were not willing to compromise.

    I run into that in a lot of subjects I write about, people so wedded to the beliefs they can’t think outside them. I was pleasantly surprised.You sound like one of the more reasonable people I have talked to recently. 🙂

    Regards,

    lwk
    free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com

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  4. It’s no secret that women have far more long term endurance and energy than men, and would surely make a lot less of a mess than man has managed to achieve, if we gave them half a chance and truly started thinking of them as equals, (to placate our oversize egos) though they have far more merit than we said men, instead of object akin to servants or slaves, though we vehemently deny this age old inbred brain malfunction.
    Easy for me to speak out this way, for after all these years of living as mister in charge, some bit more than a few years back one of these wonderful woman stepped into my life, and this life gift revealed itself to show me how much nicer, better and far more comfortable it was to be to have that magnificent brain in retrospect make far better decisions than I had gotten used to.

    Thus eureka… as if truth be known, that’s how real kings must have lived. Men move out of the way, and let the world finally go right, for the amount of time we’ve left, after wasting most of it with bad decisions, and bad management that has brought our world to this deplorable state. JJ

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    • JJ, you raise an important point that to me applies in particular to other parts of the world, even more than to our little corner, and that is when all adults are enfranchised, the collective is more productive and efficient. I think of the places in the Middle East that are mired technologically, economically, politically in 10th century ideas and crying out in frustration for help, when half their population is kept in wraps behind closed doors, barely allowed to exist, let alone contribute. It only makes this bizarre behavior in the red states here more unfathomable – we don’t want to retrogress and stagnate, so we need to use all our human resources, all ages, ethnicities and genders. It is too bad we even have to have this discussion. I really appreciate your comments.

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