Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s contribution to Americans, particularly American women, is absolutely incredible: If you are a woman, and you have a credit card in your own name (and not your husbands name) you owe RBG thanks. If you have leased an apartment or bought property in your name, you owe RBG a thanks. If you have consented to your own medical treatment, you owe RBG thanks. If you played a sport in school, you owe RBG thanks.
One of the biggest contributions she has made to our country, is being a voice for choice: The right for women to control their own bodies and not be forced into motherhood. The right to an abortion.
I have had difficulty expressing the magnitude of the passing of Ms. Ginsberg and the immensity for what it means for women (and men’s girlsfriends/partners) to potentially lose access to the safety net of abortion.
Therefore, I would like to leave you with my friend Lynsey Bourke’s words of wisdom. She gets right to the heart of the issue and the problems we face as a nation. Bourke works to make abortion accessible in West Africa and she is someone I knew from when I lived in Montana. She is a regional operations director for DKT International, the world’s largest providers of family planning and safe abortion services. She is an incredible authority on the topic. In a post on September 19th, she states:
In the wake of the anti-choice news coming from the south, particularly Alabama, and even other states across the country, it has been tough for me to express just how horrible this outlawing and criminalization of abortion will be for women and men and the hypocrisy of the people who are anti-choice/forced birthers. So, instead of words, I wanted to share some visuals, news clips and words from other individuals:
I’m always astounded when guys, particularly liberal/progressive guys, are not outspokenly pro-choice. If they got a woman pregnant, and abortion were illegal, they would be forced to become a father, whether they liked it or not. This issue deeply affects them.
This issue has come up several times lately in conversations with my guy friends:
Whether or not the child were to be given up for adoption, or if he decided to abandon the kid, he would still have to live with knowing that he has a child out there.
How many guys out there have gotten their girlfriend pregnant and just weren’t ready to be a parent? How many guys out there had a one night stand who would dread it if they had gotten the woman pregnant? How many guys out there got a woman pregnant and have no idea because the gal got an abortion without telling him? If that woman weren’t allowed access to abortion, BAM: That man’s life would be changed forever. He would be a father to a child with a woman he potentially never intended on seeing again. He would be forced into procreation. He would be forced into fatherhood for life and everything that comes along with that.
Why is it that so many men, good men, are so quiet on this issue?
(Shout out to my guy friends who ARE outspokenly pro-choice! Love ya.)
While Trump and his administration have been busy distracting us away from important issues, here is what has been happening behind the scenes. Over 2,000 new bills have been introduced. Here’s a video summary of just 8 of them. Not mentioned in the video is Trump’s intention to gut meals on wheels, a service that provides meals to the elderly who may not get another meal that day. Meanwhile, the proposed budget for the military is going up.
Click the video below.
Also, of interesting note: (Look at the picture below from the video.) I’ve known anti-choice individuals are confused about how reproduction works, but…. really? Setting aside that people who are anti-choice seem to think abortion means killing a full grown baby, instead of what it is which is preventing the further growth of cells, does this person think babies grow in a woman’s behind? Or was this person, who made this sign so squeamish about women’s bodies they decided to provide an angle less uncomfortable for them? Looks like being squeamish, (or just plain wrong about how reproduction works) hasn’t stopped this person from loudly voicing their opinion about other peoples bodies. Wow, really? But… well… just butt.
To commemorate the people who died in the shooting that took place at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, (PPRM) the Planned Parenthood of Montana hosted a vigil. As one man who attended mentioned, we need to not only grieve for the victims of the violence, but also, we need to take action in the political process, to ensure human rights for bodily autonomy are not threatened. Only some twenty people turned out on the blistering-cold Montana night, but I know so many more who were there in spirit. I was glad to be a part of this vigil.
When I heard the news about the Planned Parenthood shooting, my heart plummeted. My heart goes out to all the victims in this horrific act of violence. A pro-lifer killing people. I can’t believe we are fighting this battle still and that a man took it this far as to commit a shooting. I saw an article about anti-abortion people actually praising the shooter who committed this act of violence, where it had a picture of a man’s Twitter account that read, “No sympathy for any pregnant female who was injured in the Planned Parenthood shooting that was there to get an abortion. She deserved it.” It is this blind hatred that astounds me: The idea that people who are so-called “pro-life” don’t value the life of the currently living, breathing woman at all, only the potential fetus inside her. So the pregnant, currently living human being doesn’t matter, just the potential fetus inside her. Got it.
I cannot believe it has come to this: A shooting at Planned Parenthood. Although it is rare to have a shooting at an abortion clinic, attacks on clinics are not: Since 1997, there have been 73 devastating attacks on clinics. But let’s think about all of this for a second: This was an act of domestic terrorism, geared towards women. And as Unitewomen.org pointed out, “[The shooter] told police ‘no more baby parts’ and distributed anti-Obama pamphlets to neighbors. Will the makers of the fake videos, and the politicians and media who publicized the fake videos be tried as an accomplice for the murder of a cop and 2 civilians?”
Plus, as countless people have pointed out, including myself, only 3% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion. The other 97% of what they do is cancer screenings for women and men, testing for STDs, women’s health services including pap smears and annual exams, and access to contraception for women and men to preventunwanted pregnancies that could result in abortion.
The thing about abortion is that it could become pretty much obsolete if we had comprehensive sex education and family planning in place for people who want it, something anti-abortion people are famously and ironically against. The data clearly shows sex ed reduces unintended pregnancy. That’s the crazy part about all this: If youngsters and adult sexual partners had the information to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy through comprehensive sex education and family planning strategies, then abortion would be nearly non-existent. Abortion needs to remain a safety net for those times of rape, incest, protecting the life of the girl/woman and for times when accidents happen, but abortion doesn’t need to be so prominent. If we had measures in place that secured a sexually-educated society that was able to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place, people on both sides, pro-choice and ‘pro-life’ would be a lot happier. We need to start talking about this and making it happen because,
“Each one of us has indispensable human rights—rights that underpin our ability to live with dignity, to enjoy full and equal citizenship, to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. Simply put, reproductive freedom lies at the heart of the promise of human dignity, self-determination, and equality.” (CRR)