Question: What is the importance of voting pro-choice?
On the blog Pam’s House Blend, blogger Autumn Sandeen mentions the concept of a “deal breaker” in the next presidential election:
What is the issue that I demand a candidate to have said “magic words” in support of to get my vote?
My issue is the right to choose. I will not and cannot consciously vote for anyone who does not support a woman’s right to reproductive choice, including abortion.
Now why is that important to me?
- I want the children of my generation and their children, and so forth and so on to have the same ability to choose that I have today, if not more freedom of choice.
- Women are not stupid. They know what an abortion is. They are fully grown human beings, capable of deciding whether the circumstances are right for them to give another human being life.
- Abstinence only education is a joke. It doesn’t work. This study proves what many have always thought.
- I know that comprehensive sex education works. My health teacher in tenth grade, who taught us high schoolers about sex, may have been a steadfast Christian, but she still held a whole class period where we got to look at and learn about birth control methods. Abstinence may have still been the focus, but we were told about the options should we choose sex of any kind. A study just came out that agrees with me on just how well it works.
- Queer children should learn about their options when it comes to having (safe) sex. A heteronormative sex education program cannot teach them this very well. All sexual education teachers should be required to include information for their queer students in their classes.
- Queer women have an equal stake in reproductive choice. They also have children, who may someday have children as well.
- The fact that 87% of counties in the United States do not have an abortion provider . That is ridiculous. Just another way a woman’s right to choose is limited in this here United States.
- All people must know that no means no, and how important it is for sex (of any kind) to be safe, sane, and consensual. Period. No gray rape, no question of whether a woman has consented or not. I am for enthusiastic consent by all parties involved in a sexual encounter, as written about here and here. Not just heterosex, but all sex.
- All rape is unacceptable and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
- My body is mine. It belongs to me and not to anyone else. Not to any government, not to a church, and not to any potential partner. I am fiercely protective of what things are mine, and this is one of them. My body, my choice.
It is important because I am a woman and so is 51% of the rest of the world.
Reproductive choice is an essential human right, not to be limited by race, class, age, upbringing, location, sexual orientation/preferences, gender, or sex. It is just as important to me as it is to a mother of five in the Sudan or a Japanese lesbian.
This is why I blog for choice.
P.S. This is the second year I’ve done this. The first year exists on this blog.
My feminism may have start when I first read The Feminine Mystique and discovered that the fifties and sixties were horrible times for women’s equality.
But I think it started much earlier. I have always been proud of being female, inside and out, and ever since I could pick up a book I have been reading about the courageous women who paved the way for women’s full equality (still a road not fully traveled, sadly). Joan of Arc, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth I, Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many other women from many times and places were my heroes growing up. If they can make it in a man’s world, so can I.
Betty Friedan and Germaine Greer were the first feminist authors I read, followed shortly after by Mary Shelley. These women gave me a perspective on the world that I will never forget, no matter how much I end up disagreeing with them, sometimes. They were simply a means to an end: my discovery of the fact that feminism is essential to me and my way of life. I simply cannot live without it. It is one of the filters through which I view my life and the world.
I have never quite figured out where my feminism fits on the whole spectrum, although I know it is neither radical nor conservative. However, I do know what I believe:
- Feminism is intrinsically tied to the welfare of women all over the world.
- Every man and woman should have access to reproductive health care and justice, including (but not limited to): physical forms of birth control (such as the male and female condoms and the diapraghm) and hormonal birth control (the pill, Depo-Provera, and the NuvaRing), as well as the free exercise of their sexuality without fear of recrimination, disease, and pregnancy.
- I am pro-choice. I believe that every woman should be able to make any and all decisions concerning her health, including reproduction. If she believes, for any reason, that it might not be best to carry a fetus to term, it is her prerogative, within reason, to terminate the pregnancy safely and without threat of recrimination against her or her physician.
- I like porn that does not feature the degradation of women and/or men. There is pornography out there that is friendly to people of all sexes and orientations.
- Women should have equal pay in real life, instead of the seventy-three cents they make on average to a man’s dollar over a lifetime (all other things being equal).
- Math and science are just as essential and important to a girl’s education as a boy’s. The United States needs more scientists, why can’t they be female?
- I am also pro-life, as regards to those outside the womb. This does not at all conflict with being pro-choice, it simply means that I believe that too many people are dying that don’t need to be. For example, I am against the death penalty. I do not see it as a necessary part of our legal system.
- Women should have the same job opportunities as men, as well as encouragement from mentors to take non-traditional jobs.
- Every child born in this world deserves at least one caring parent, preferably two or more, no matter of the parent’s beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender presentation. As Hillary Clinton once said “It takes a village to raise a child.”
- People do have prejudice. No one is completely guilt-free in this category. My job is to work on my prejudices, to make myself a better person and to help other people see the benefits of feminism to the whole world.
My feminism, like my queerness, is forever changing and evolving. There are more beliefs I have that I think have more to do with queerness than feminism and I will cover them when I write something similar on queerness.
It is late at night and time for me to go to bed, so I must bid you good night and adieu for now.