The GOP has turned “Pro-Life” into code for “We Can’t Stand Healthy, Educated Women.”

rick-perry-right-to-lifeEven though I long ago parted ways with the Republican party and the religious right, the one thing that bothers me is abortion. No, I’ll never revert back to the protests I walked in every January in Washington on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, but it is something that I wish was safe, legal and EXTREMELY rare.

I have family members that have worked tirelessly over the last 20+ years to ban abortion in every circumstance. I remember Casey vs Planned Parenthood and the overly exuberant hopes of the church I attended as a kid that it would reverse Roe vs. Wade, and take our nation back to a time before 1973. Even with that defeat, the congregation who backed a priest who was known in the gay community for soliciting sex continued to hold out hope that this Supreme Court decision would be overturned. They voted over and over for Republican politicians who promised that they would make abortion completely illegal – even in the cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. All the while, those members of the State Legislature and Congress continued to push legislation that drove the people without healthcare further and further into a poverty situation in which abortion was their only alternative.

It would be nice to live in a world where abortion was unheard of. I don’t think there’s any woman or her partner that gets excited about making a trip to the local clinic like it was a great road trip or a day off from the job as if it was a trip to a spa or anything else. It is often an invasive, costly medical procedure that nobody wants to endure. The sad fact is that in a political and social climate that has repeatedly tried to take away contraception and basic healthcare, this is a procedure that women have to undergo in order to keep afloat financially.

If the religious right was as “pro-life” as they claim to be, they’d do everything in their power to make sure abortion was something no woman would have to resort to. They would show up at every nightclub handing out condoms. They’d walk women home from their late night jobs to make sure they weren’t attacked and raped, they would teach their sons that “no means no” and they would absolutely make sure that every child in every school received a proper health class that taught reproductive science as a required course.

Sadly, the religious right has decided to embrace a Puritanical approach to human sexuality. They somehow believe that in the case of rape, the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down or that a woman “asked for it.”

I don’t know about you, but I want abortion to be a last resort. It should be something that shouldn’t have to happen. That is why I back Planned Parenthood, sex education in schools and universal healthcare to make sure my daughter or my son isn’t suddenly burdened with a pregnancy that they don’t have the means to support.

Banning abortion and stripping funding for women’s healthcare doesn’t mean fewer abortions. It does mean more illegal abortions, more poverty and more children requiring government assistance. Maybe if these “pro-life” politicians would finally have a “come to Jesus moment” and realize this, they’d finally be able to achieve their supposed goal of fewer abortions.

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  • Brian Daugherty

    Most sense I have heard in weeks. Well written and it hits the nail on the head. Those of us that are pro choice aren’t trying to make abortion a common thing. We just want to make sure the woman giving birth is totally prepared for the responsibility it takes to be a parent and that they can afford it. That and no rape victim should be forced to carry that reminder of the monster that attacked her to term if she doesn’t want to. I agree with you 100% Mr. Schewitz.

  • DebofAmber

    It does feel that way. I have been called a slut and worse for saying don’t I have a right to life? and I think my first responsibility is to my children, not a fetus inside me. If my life is at risk at all – I choose my children.

    It really feels like America is not the land of the free – if you are a pregnant woman, or a sexually active one.

    • NTSVA

      I too once asked don’t I have a right to life? Don’t I own my own body and shouldn’t I be able to make the decisions since it’s my body?….someone actually said, “I am sure slave owners said the same thing”. I will have to say, I was shocked, and quite offended. Sometimes though there is no rational response to the hate-filled.

  • JenJen

    When people talk about a right to life it makes me ill. They don’t care about what that life will be like with a mother who didn’t want the child, can’t afford it, and possibly either can’t or won’t stop the substance abuse. Or what it would be like in foster care or being raised by grandparents who were done with child-raising. Obviously they don’t talk about the mother’s right to life, although I guess the father has a right to one since he can just walk away – and he wasn’t the slut anyway. Where are all the right-to-life freaks when the baby is born and the mother has no money and no resources to raise it? Who are the people in your congregation who call themselves religious people and yet would rather a woman die than the fetus inside her?

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