Here lately it seems that a fair number of men in this country have been stricken with a severe case of vagina obsession. Of course men have had this obsession since time immemorial but now it has taken a nasty turn and many women, misinformed and unaware have co-signed onto this campaign to restrict their rights to autonomy over their own bodies. Now, let me clarify. I am pro-choice, but really this article is not a pro-choice vs. anti-choice argument. I respect people’s rights to choose whatever side of the fence they prefer as long as they don’t try to legislate these ideological issues and impose their personal and religious beliefs on other people in this supposedly free country. No. This argument is about the fact that women in this country are under attack. From the reductions in WIC and Head Start to the attacks on Medicaid and Title X funding to the introduction of H.R. 3, the so-called “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” bill. Make no mistake about it. If the proponents of reducing and eliminating funding for these programs win, women’s health and well-being will suffer. The sad part about it is that many of women are supporting these efforts. I recently watched a video where a Black pastor was speaking against Planned Parenthood and Title X funding. You could clearly hear women in congregation amen-ing and yes-manning in the background. All I could do was shake my head as this shepherd led his female sheep to slaughter.
Let me explain. What many people don’t realize is that Title X – the funding stream that helps to fund Planned Parenthood and many other clinics – does not pay for abortions. Repeat – does not pay for abortions. What it does pay for is reproductive health examinations, pap smears, clinical breast exams, birth control (which reduces unplanned pregnancies which is the number one reason women have abortions!), and other reproductive health services for women who cannot afford to pay for them. Why then, are there a slew of mostly MALE coalitions, organizations, pastors and politicians speaking out against funding that provides services to protect WOMEN’s health and why are there so many women standing with them? Many say it’s because of the birth control funding and all I can say is wow. Is every family supposed to be like the famous Dugger family and have a reality show like “132 and Counting” or whatever the number of kids is now? Really? Others are against this funding because they are anti-choice and all I can say is “what do apples have to do with oranges?” Again, federal funding does not pay for abortions.
Then there is the “No taxpayer funding for abortion” bill or H.R. 3. Again, people are supporting this bill because they are anti-choice and all I can say is “have you actually read the bill?” The bill basically states that a company that offers insurance that covers abortions would be denied tax credits for that insurance which would basically encourage companies to drop insurance plans that cover abortion. It would also deny federal subsidies to any individual who had PRIVATE insurance that covers abortion EVEN IF THEY NEVER HAVE AN ABORTION and EVEN IF THEY PAY FOR IT WITH THEIR OWN MONEY! So whether you’re pro-choice or anti choice, male or female, you will be penalized by this bill. Most appalling, this bill is STILL attempting to redefine rape and allow abortions only in cases of “forcible rape” – whatever the hell that is. I guess it means that if you are a person in the process of being sexually assaulted you need to make sure you tell your rapist to hold you down and knock you around a bit. Otherwise, I guess you were “un” forcibly raped or raped with consent –not sure how to process these shenanigans. It would also NOT include statutory rape which means that if the 10 year old girl who was raped by a 50 year old pedophile or the 11 year old little girl who was gang raped by 18 men were to become pregnant as a result of these heinous crimes she must carry that pregnancy to term. It also does not include incest which means that if a little girl is raped by her father, brother, uncle, cousin she must give birth to her sibling, niece/nephew, or cousin. Wow. Just Wow.
So, needless to say I really hope that people will educate themselves about these issues. I am not telling you what to believe but I am asking you to at least know the foundation, motives, and implications for the things you support. Don’t get it twisted. These laws, policies, and outright attacks are NOT about babies and children. In fact many of these measures harm children, especially those who have the audacity to be born poor, Black, and female. These attacks are deliberate and viciously targeted toward a woman’s right to be safe, healthy and free. No matter what your politics, the safety, health and freedom of women should matter to you.