Tuesday, June 01, 2004

roe, roe, roe your vote

Back and forth, back and forth... a federal judge declared Bush's 'Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act' to be unconstitutional, saying a woman's right to choose is paramount. The Bush camp immediately reacted by bitching about the few judges they don't already have in their pockets and calling Kerry a baby killer. Abortion is a complex issue, but it seems to me that a bunch of white guys sitting around making laws telling women what to do is a larger and more pressing issue. Abortion, in whatever form, has always been available to the wealthy - the same people who are making the laws. The irony of these people passing laws that prevent the lower classes from having abortions while cutting back on social welfare and decrying the welfare mother as the source of all evils would be amusing if it wasn't so sickeningly sad.

Clinton vetoed this legislation twice, and it was one of the first things Bush signed while in office, at which time he stated very clearly that the point of the legislation was to get the anti-abortion foot in the door on the way to reversing Roe v Wade. The U.S. Supreme Court has previously overturned a similar ban in Nebraska because it did not allow doctors to perform the operation even if the woman's health was in danger. Compassionate conservatives my ass.

This battle isn't over; it probably will never be over, just swing back and forth with each new president. We give a lot of lip service in this country to the continuity of government that our Constitution and the 'founding fathers' ideals provide, but in truth it's almost like we're a different country every time a new president steps in: old laws are killed, new ones enacted, with new judges enthroned to preserve them. It seems like every step that grants women more power is a tenuous one, bound to disappear when the next election rolls around. It's a byproduct of living in a society that while not actually a theocracy still marches lockstep with the worst of the Judeo-Christian mores while ignoring anything positive those belief systems might have to say.

Anyway, for the moment, there are no 'hooray's here... an abortion is a solemn and serious decision under any circumstance. But, also for the moment, it is a decision that women have more control over. Exercise that power with thoughtfulness and compassion, but go ahead and be a little more ruthless when you exercise your power to vote against the grey-faced assholes who keep legislating women's rights.


Blogger krishna said...

Applause! Applause! No woman would like to abort a child unless she has some pressing reasons to do so. Those could be societal/family pressures in places where the gender of the child is still considered important or the lack of a supportive structure that could help her to bring up the child in as normal circumstances as possible. I agree with you whole heartedly.
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