Pocochina’s Weblog

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Blog for Choice Day

Posted by pocochina on January 22, 2008

I vote pro-choice because it is my duty to vote in my own best interests and in the best interests of my country.

I vote pro-choice not only to stem the tide of the anti-woman, anti-sex, anti-choice movement, but also to show the world through policy and law what a vision of reproductive justice means.

Reproductive justice means saving Roe, but also making the right to an abortion a reality for every woman.  It means demanding an expansion of government health care to provide abortion, and a mandate for every health insurance plan to pay for abortion.

It means protecting patient privacy, so that the societal shame around abortion is never a factor in a woman’s decision, but it also means removing that stigma, in changing the Scarlet A to a private, soft pink “I chose.”

It means laws which require pharmacists to do their jobs, dispensing birth control and emergency contraception to women (and men) who ask for it.

Reproductive justice means an end to the Global Gag rule, this brutal policy which causes suffering to women around the world.  Wit my vote, I may tell the women not just of this country, but of the entire world, that I consider us human, and value our lives and safety.

It means legal and fiscal recognition of the fact that abstinence-only “education” is nothing more than a pile of federally-funded misogynist (and misandrist) lies, and replacing that with comprehensive sexual health education.

It means lifting the long and terrible silence on sterilization.  It means an unequivocal stance against forced or incentivized sterilization for poor women and women of color.  It means allowing women who choose sterilization because it is best for them to be able to do so, unshamed and unfettered.  There is no logical disconnect between these two positions.  The discussion around sterilization must – MUST- stem from women’s agency, and right to choose for themselves whether or not they will ever have children.  It is possible, and in fact crucial, to remember that this is our premise, that women be able to make these decisions for ourselves.  This doesn’t make us pro-sterilization or anti-sterilization.  It makes us pro-choice.

It means recognizing that when women are pregnant, with wanted or unwanted pregnancies, that they do not lose their personhood.  It means doing away with laws which seek to privilege fetal life over women’s lives, such as the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act” – as if murder of a woman is not reprehensible enough without the termination of a pregnancy, as well.  The fiction of fetal personhood does not protect fetal life, but it does threaten the agency of the very real woman carrying the fetus.  Women must unquestionably be able to exercise their rights, whether or not they are pregnant, and whether or not they intend to carry that pregnancy to term.

It means continuing to openly and vociferously support LGBTQ rights.  Gays and lesbians are not just allies in our fight for reproductive justice – though in the gay community there are valuable and valiant allies.  They are hurt by the anti-choice movement when they are denied the right to adopt children, denied in vitro fertilization, denied the right to marry.  These are pro-choice issues, too.

It means calling, once and for all, the overarching and murderous hypocrisy of the anti-choice movement.  A movement which opposes protecting women against cancer is not pro-life.  A movement which denies children of information about sexual health, placing them at greater risk for HIV/AIDS, is not pro-life.  A movement which denies women in danger the safest medical procedure possible is not pro life.

Voting pro-choice is a recognition of the fact that criminalization of abortion does not end abortions.  It ends safe abortions, it makes women and doctors into criminals.  Abortion bans put women’s lives in danger; abortion bans are not pro-life.  It makes the right to privacy, deeply enshrined in our Constitution, a qualified right available only to some people – which is no right at all.

I vote pro-choice because my life, along with the lives of women and men I love, depend on it.

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