One of the more pressing questions before us now is whether abortion should be legal.
Constitutionally, yes. No government under our Constitution has the right to force a woman to bear a child she says she cannot or to punish those who assist her. Roe vs Wade was a proper Constitutional decision.
But why any woman should want or need an abortion is a problem which cannot be looked at in any real way unless we look at all three parts of our religions/culture in which women are under attack.
Rape, prostitution, and abortion.
We have recently learned that rape is regarded as a proper disciplinary procedure in Islamic Pakistan. And in this instance the complaining woman was raped not for her own crime but for her brother’s.
If a husband in this country complains about his wife’s nagging, he is not going to call in his neighbors to rape her in order to get her to behave.
But the fear of rape molds the behavior of all of us women. We are urged not to dress provocatively, to be careful about where we go, always to be aware of the threat of potential danger.
Prostitution is a crime and women are arrested for being prostitutes. But why does prostitution exist as the “oldest profession”? Because there are men who are customers, who want and use this service. So, if prostitution is a crime, why are not the customers being arrested along with the women..
Prostitutes used to be called “fallen women”. Nowadays we use the more dignified term “sex workers”. But our male relatives still congratulate us on being “good women” who would never fall to such a level.
Abortion is murder we are told by all its opponents. Absolutely so. Whether you insist in believing that life begins when a woman’s egg is fertilized or in believing that a life is not destroyed if abortion happens in the first trimester, nature’s biology, or God’s biology if you prefer, is very clear that both beliefs are wrong. Life begins when metabolism begins. This for humans is when the fertilized egg implants in the wall of the uterus.
But where is the other murderer in this picture-- the man who helped create this unwanted pregnancy. the man who either raped or abandoned this woman who now stands alone and unprotected by any man
“Who now stands alone and unprotected by any man.” That phrase is at the heart of the matter isn’t it.
If a woman doesn’t abort, she usually becomes a single mom, struggling to raise her offspring alone.
And a single independent woman, a single mother family, these are also under attack by the men who want to keep this culture, these religions, that tell us men are superior to and more important than women, that men are free to do as they wish and women are obliged to live according to the wishes of their men. Think the Adam and Eve version of creation in the bible we all use, Jews, Muslims, and Christians. And remember who gets freed of blame and who assumes all blame.
Here again nature’s biology, or God’s biology if you prefer, has made it clear with our understanding of DNA that male and female are absolutely equal. These religions, this culture, is just plain wrong.
Until men are made to take responsibility for their equal share in these murders, until men are made to support the children they help create, there can be no real and just solution to the problem of abortion.
What can be done.
First of all we need to work for the defeat of all Bush Republicans in the House and Senate next election. Because of his own fundamentalist religion, this president has committed himself and his supporters to making his view of women a legally enforceable part of our lives. Until all Bush Republicans are out of office, none of us are safe.
Finally we need to adopt the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. The men who wrote our Constitution were very much men of their time, and to most of them women were as much non-existent citizens as were slaves. We have long since rectified our thinking about slavery. Women’s time has now come.
This is not a gender battle. None of the men in my family, or men whom I generally know, would rape or visit a prostitute. And all of them are responsibly supporting their offspring. I rejoice in the many equal marriages I see among my younger friends. There may easily be more men for us women than there are against us.
But action is the key word. Don’t wring your hands over this situation. Find candidates who will work for you. Or be a candidate yourself. But get active.