Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blog For Choice

Today is the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Therefore, today is Blog for Choice day! The message this year is: What hopes do you have for women's health in the Obama administration? It's supposed to be a "top choice," but it's hard to pin down one. If I were, my first choice would be the change in approach, because I think all the others stem from that.

Mine are:
  • A change in rhetoric and approach. I'm sick of the "abortion ruins women so we're going to save you from yourselves" argument that anti-choicers are now using to argue against choice. Some women are traumatised by their abortions. But a lot are not. I think a lot of what traumatises women is the very fact that they have to make the decision in the first place - that lack of control and being forced to deal with things that affordable contraceptive coverage, for example, would prevent; or, indeed, child care options or better jobs that understand the need for flexibility for parents. Either way, it's not up to you, male Supreme Court justices, to tell me how I will react or prevent me from making my choices because you're worried about my ability to cope. It's not your business. Obama nearly made me cry when he said he "trusted women" at the Democrat's Presidential candidates' debate. His answer could not be more starkly different from McCain's scare quotes. Obama seems to trust us, and has recognised that the Bush administration made great strides backward and is putting women at the forefront of his administration and his policies, domestically and in foreign climes. Thank goodness for his appointing a Secretary of State who recognises that women's fertility and autonomy are essential parts of foreign policy.
  • A focus on prevention that actually helps women have control over their lives, helps girls feel confident to explore their sexuality safely and without risk of punishment.
  • A removal of the obstacles preventing poor women everywhere from having control over their fertility and, consequently, their lives and livelihoods.
  • An increase in public education about exactly who has abortions and when - most being in their twenties and a majority being already mothers.
Here are links to what some of my fave bloggers are saying about their hopes for this Administration:
Plus Megan at Jezebel points out that on this day, the mainstream media isn't interested in the right to choose, but the right trying to make sure women don't have that right.

UPDATE: Shakesville reports this statement from Obama to commemorate the anniversary. Agreed, it's not perfect, but (as will happen often, I feel with this administration) just think about what we've put up with for eight years on this.

2 comments:

Adela said...

Well said!

pumpkin said...

A sidenote: Roe v. Wade did NOT "legalize abortion" as it said here (in a piece about a particular moron who drove his SUV into a Planned Parenthood today because of the anniversary). What the decision did was to decriminalize it, such that states could not regulate it in the first trimester. States had already decriminalized it, and what this decision held was that it was unconstitutional to criminalize it. That is not the same thing. The way people talk about the decision shows how little they know about it or, indeed, how constitutional law and judicial review even really works.