If Only Conservatives Would Pick a Side…

I found this political cartoon on a tumblog that I follow with The Radical Idea’s tumblr (www.theradicalidea.tumblr.com) and could not resist writing about it…mostly because it brings up a truly beautiful set of contradictions that we see all OVER American politics today.

Right-wing conservatives want you to believe that the government shouldn’t make your choices for you.  The government should be smaller, have less control.  This is a major argument in the healthcare debate, as depicted about.  But like this political cartoon points out, these are the SAME PEOPLE who want to be able to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

Sorry, this may be the debater in me talking but…does that make ANY sense at all?

Look, either you believe the government should be able to butt into how you make decisions about your health or you don’t.  But if you don’t believe that the government should be able to tell you how to take care of your body, recognize that reproductive health still falls under the umbrella of HEALTH.  An ob/gyn still went to med school the same way your primary care physician did.

Hate to break it to people, but reproductive health can be somewhat complicated, and its a fairly under-discussed subject in the good old US of A.  This makes it even MORE important that women have access to clinics, that they’re able to get help when things are going wrong, that they’re able to get tested, and take control of what is happening to their bodies.

This isn’t just about abortion.  It’s partially about abortion, of course.  But it’s also about Planned Parenthood and ALL of the work that they do.  It’s about FAKE CLINICS set up that do intake information and then “refer” people to actual abortion clinics, then call the police claiming that a minor is being forced to have an abortion against her will (this is becoming an increasingly common tactic, unfortunately).  It’s about Plan B, which should be OTC but isn’t if you’re under the age of seventeen.  And it’s about the fact that NO ONE is trying to stop men from buying condoms or getting Viagra, but when it comes to WOMEN’S reproductive health, suddenly it’s a hot political issue.

Like Gloria Steinem points out, the dominant group will always seek to perpetuate and justify their dominance, regardless of logic.  She gives the example of black men who were given low-paying jobs “because they’re stronger” and can do hard labor and women who, at the same time, were given low-paying jobs “because they’re weaker” and had to do things like sewing.  That’s not really logically consistent, but the fact is that the dominant group is the one making up the rules, and they’ll do so as they please.  And as it happens, the dominant group doesn’t have a uterus, is statistically more likely to abandon their children, and aren’t slapped with a slut label for having multiple partners or embracing their sexualities.  It’s just a shame that no one seems to be realizing that they’re arguing two sides of the same issue and calling that a platform.

I’ve said it before: sacrificing would-be mothers in the name of motherhood is NOT an answer.  And if you really believe in things like “freedom” and the right to make your own choices without government interference, then you should be supporting organizations that facilitate this.  Oh, and if you hate abortion, for heaven’s sake, support contraception.  I am still unclear as to why this confuses people. If women don’t get pregnant when they don’t want to BE pregnant, they won’t need abortions to terminate their unwanted pregnancies.  If women HAVE these choices and still choose not to use them-~-if they don’t remember to use contraception correctly or responsibly, if they choose to have unprotected sex anyway, if they choose to carry a baby to term even when they’re not ready-~-they choose to accept those consequences.  But at least let them CHOOSE.  Don’t decide for them…after all, it’s not like feminists are trying to tell men how to take care of organs we don’t have to begin with.

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~ by Randi Saunders on December 27, 2011.

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