Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bible Thumpers Turn To Women's Health

Apparently bored for now with trying to beat down the much ballyhooed, and largely mythical "gay agenda", the hard-liners in the United States have turned their attention to women's rights - in particular abortion.

The South Dakota legislature has just passed a bill that is designed to make abortion all but illegal - unless the mother's life is endangered.

Apparently, women are supposed to be happy about getting pregnant - no matter the circumstances. A speaker from South Dakota that was on CBC's "As It Happens" when I got home was blatantly ecstatic about launching another confrontation in the courts over the matter, arguing that with two new justices in the US Supreme Court that have been appointed by the Conservative president, George W. Bush.

I shudder at the thought that women are once again being pushed into a situation where they are not able to make their own decisions about their bodies and when they will have children. In a perfect world where rape and domestic violence and men actually respected the wishes of their mates, perhaps the restrictions that South Dakota is proposing might be less odious.

Adult human beings make life decisions every day. Sometimes we regret those decisions; perhaps we may even grieve over what we felt we had to do in an earlier time in our lives. Women are perfectly capable of making those decisions themselves - and that includes the decision over whether or not to end a pregnancy. I can only imagine the horror of a rape survivor that finds herself pregnant as a result. If abortion causes trauma in its aftermath, what about a pregnancy foisted upon a woman by a stranger with a psychotic need for power?

The legislation that is being created in numerous states (South Dakota is the first of several to come) in the United States is about one thing - reinforcing patriarchial control over women. Anti-abortion laws subjugate women to the whims of men, and often to the whims of the worst sort of men - those so twisted by their own misunderstanding of sexuality that it becomes a weapon for them.

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