Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bart and Ben and a Woman's Right to Choose

Why are Bart Stupak and Ben Nelson so concerned with the reproductive rights of American women? How can men seriously claim to have any right to voice an opinion with regard to women's bodies and the choices that women have a right to make?

Unless the answer is that women are chattel, the property of their fathers, husbands, boyfriends, or society in general, what answer is there? Are women the birthing machines of the nation or the individual states? Do we require women to produce offspring so that consumer spending and the tax rolls can be maintained?

Is the abortion issue a religious issue, a moral issue, a matter of law, or of The Constitution? All of the above.

All of the above, and a bit more, perhaps. Is the abortion issue and the controversy over federal funding for abortion one of the last attempts on the part of the men of America to control women and their bodies?

Everyone who reads a paper or watches the news has heard of Roe v. Wade. Not many people have ever taken the opportunity to read it. Like so many topics of discussion, it pays to do some homework before voicing an opinion or having an opinion that is ill-informed.

After a read of the Supreme Court decision, take a look at The Constitution of the United States.

There are very few people in our society who don't have an opinion when it comes to abortion. The real question, though, is how many people have a right to have an opinion about a woman's right to choose.

If a woman and her doctor agree that an abortion is necessary who else really has a right to know about the procedure or offer advice or demand to be a party to the discussion or the decision?

If the denial of federal funding for abortions that aren't necessary to save a woman's life or preserve her health, or for abortions that aren't performed due to rape or incest are considered elective medical procedures, and federal funds aren't available for any elective medical procedures, then there would seem to be at least one rational argument for the denial of federal funding for those services.

That isn't the argument that is generally heard, though. Generally those who support the Hyde Amendment, the amendment passed that denies federal funding for elective abortions, say that they don't want 'their' tax dollars to go to fund abortions. Or they say that Americans, the majority of Americans, don't want their tax dollars spent on abortions. And those who oppose abortions in general usually say that abortion is murder and that abortion is wrong and that God is in opposition to Roe v. Wade and that Pro Choice is really Pro Abortion. The argument against a woman's right to choose isn't usually a rational, legal or constitutional one.

The Hyde Amendment is discriminatory if it denies federal funding for elective abortions but not all other elective medical procedures.

The Constitution of the United States, ironically the document that Conservatives and Tea Baggers and the right wing activists and bombers of abortion clinics and assassins of those who work to perform abortions waive at Tea Parties, doesn't provide for the life or the rights of the unborn.

The Constitution, as originally framed by The Founding Fathers provided no protections for anyone other than white men. Native Americans, Blacks and women enjoyed no protection under The Constitution or the Bill of Rights. The white men who cobbled together The Constitution made no provision for abortion. If The Founding Fathers gave abortion any thought at all, they apparently assumed that since white women were chattel and most black women were property, that the white men who controlled them would decide if abortions would be performed or were necessary.

There has been much talk about how government should not come between a patient and their doctor during the Health Care Reform debate. The Hyde Amendment does that.

Abortion, like any other medical procedure, is a matter for a patient and a doctor. Women have been granted the right to choose and they should be allowed to choose without the interference of someone else's God, moral code, personal opinion or legislation. Government should not be involved. And judgmental hypocrites and religious fanatics should spend more time examining issues that concern them and less time trying to manage American women.

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