Was that a little hysterical? Mine! Mine!! I’m feeling a little hysterical but I’m trying to keep calm, to be reasonable, to be truthful. Because at least one of us in this discussion has to be all those things and it doesn’t appear to be anyone who has taken up the plastic cudgel of contraceptives in this crazy, bizarre, election season.
98% of all American women – of all religious faiths – are using, or have used at one time or another in their reproductive lives, some form of birth control or contraceptive. And yet somehow this fact doesn’t seem to be reaching the minds of way too many Republicans in office or seeking office in the US. The would-be personhood laws that are being pursued, the fight-that-isn’t which they’re trying to get into with the Obama administration over employer health insurance funded contraceptives for everyone, and all the other attempts to turn women’s bodies and health care into a political battlefield are just plain… wrong.
I know that many of these movements, particularly the ones seeking personhood for any ova that’s met its sperm and nestled into a friendly uterus, are about abortion control, stopping any woman from obtaining an abortion, for any reason, period. This is an argument that I truly believe has a moral component to it, and I cannot condemn anyone for their personal religious beliefs even though I do not hold them. What I can do is make sure that their beliefs are not forced on me – as I would not force mine on them. And that’s a different stream of thought than the one with which I started which is….
There are still too many people out there, with platforms to stand on from which they appear to be heard too clearly, who believe that I am less valuable as a person than a man. These people – mostly men, but unfortunately not only men – see my biggest value as a breeder. And worse, a breeder with very little brain, because not only are they trying to deny me the right to choose my ability to make medical decisions for myself, with the private & considered advice and consent of my doctor, but they seem to think that I should be denied this right because I do not have the ability to make these decisions wisely.
Look, if you think that using birth control takes sex out of the area where god means it to be (as one of the presidential wanna-bes in the Republican race has put it), that’s fine for you and your wife. Your life, your bedroom. But keep your hands off my life and out of my bedroom… or my medicine cupboard. You sound like a 16-year old boy sharing dirty secrets in the locker room when you keep talking about contraception… and just about as mature.
No one cares about this as a political issue. No one. People care about your political thinking about keeping banks from screwing up our lives again… or what you’re thinking about doing to get more people back to work at decent-paying jobs that lead to great futures for the newly re-employed and those children they’ve planned to have… or what you’re going to do about educating those children, and keeping them healthy, and making sure that their world is clean and safe and welcoming.
I don’t know what I’m going to do about this on a personal level. Probably work for a candidate or two who could use some volunteer help. Write a couple of letters to the editor. Avoid getting into family discussions about this. And devoutly hope that there are enough women who are feeling just a little hysterical, too, and will start shouting – or keep shouting – Mine! Mine!!
Full disclosure: family planning is no longer an issue for us. I am using “me” to emphasize how personal I think this fight has to be for all women of any age. Because if some man, some where, decides any health issue for a woman, on her behalf, without her consent and support, then what’s to stop him from making another decision on health care for me, or you, or any one else he might think needs the “help”?