This is my first blog and I am intimidated by all the wonderful writers on this site and have no idea what to write about. I wanted to cover the proposed health care plan but it seems like everything I have read the past couple of weeks have been about health care. My next grand idea was to talk about our 111th Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, but we don’t know enough about her to know how she will fit into the choice discussion. Then I thought maybe I could talk about why I am pro-choice but do you really care? Finally I just decided to touch on why it is so important for all of us to be active in our pursuit of reproductive choice right now.
Choice is always an important topic but in recent years it has become even more pressing. During the Bush administration we saw anti-choice activism and propaganda gain momentum with consent laws, doctors being encouraged to refuse abortion services, Plan B was derailed by government intervention at the FDA and eventually approved for over the counter sales, etc. Eight years of slaughter to choice made us overly optimistic of what the Obama administration would do for choice. It turns out that nobody has stopped the domino effect of the Bush administration. State by state many of us are learning that choice either has or is being stripped down and diminished.
In Arizona HB2564 has limited health care for women in every way. The umbrella bill that just keeps on giving. HB2564 imposes a 24-hour waiting period after a government imposed information session is given by a health care professional. Most women I know who have had an abortion have thought about it far longer than 24 hours before making that decision. Not to mention the cost to poor women who have to travel to a city where abortions are provided and cannot afford the extra time off work or the lodging arrangements. The bill also mandates notarized consent laws for minors. Minors don’t need privacy right? I thought the goal was to try to avoid scared teenagers throwing children in dumpsters or inflicting dangerous abortions on themselves. Not to mention that many teenagers are going to be put in danger by telling a parent or guardian that they are pregnant. Finally HB2564 allows pharmacists and doctors to deny access and information on abortion and emergency contraceptives if it interferes with their moral beliefs.
My favorite topic right now is Colorado’s ‘Personhood Proposal’ that will give a fetus the rights of a person. I suppose ‘favorite’ is the wrong word but I think it is one of the most alarming. The ‘Personhood Proposal’ dehumanizes women.. It is an activists nightmare and dream depending on what side you lobby for. Colorado’s anti-choice activists have made a loud statement on how they define a woman. Women are just incubators to these people. It proves without a doubt that anti-choice persons do not care about life. They care about new life but disregard the woman’s life. I cannot imagine the ramifications to women if this proposal passes.
With states like Arizona and Colorado struggling to retain semblances of Roe I can only hope that people will get up and start getting involved with their local family planning organizations. One thing is obvious it is past time for people to stop using rhetoric such as; ‘calm down Roe will never be overturned’. We must stop being calm and realize that it doesn’t matter if we still have Roe when it is being stripped down to nothing state by state. I am crossing my fingers that Sonia Sotomayor is prepared to protect Roe.