In my long exodus away from the religious right, the one thing I still have a personal problem with is abortion. Back then, every January, we’d hop on a bus full of people praying rosaries and head to Washington to protest the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. From a very early age, I was subjected to graphic pictures of aborted fetuses at every stage of gestation, and it still bothers me to this day.
I’m pro-choice, but thankfully it’s a choice I’ll never have to make since I lack that particular set of reproductive organs.
As much as I have my issues with abortion, my problems with those who oppose it far outweigh that uneasy feeling I get when being forced to view post-abortion photos in my travels through weird parts of the internet. I don’t like abortion, but then again, who actually does? It’s not like women get pregnant on purpose, just so they can have an abortion. It is a last resort for most, due to either unfortunate economic circumstances or a lack of access to birth control.
But who works to cause the endless spiral into poverty and who tries to block access to sex education and birth control at every turn? The religious right, especially fundamentalist Catholics, the same group I spent the entirety of my childhood surrounded by.
Even though I come from Jewish heritage on both sides, I was brought up in a very strict Catholic household. More than any other Christian religion, they have the biggest hangups overall when it comes to human sexuality. The strictest adherents are people who believe that sex that involves either partner using birth control is a sin, even if you’re married.
This is a religion that took until just recently to say it might be OK for a married couple to use a condom if one of them was infected with HIV. Seriously?
For them, it really comes down to this—it’s not about being pro-life, it’s about control. It’s about shaming those who do not follow their belief that sex should only be between married heterosexual couples, and only for the purposes of procreation. Again, this is not about children—it’s about wanting to force everybody to live by their unrealistic and twisted view of the Bible, under the guise of “protecting the unborn.” If it were about children, then they’d actually care about them after they were born, instead of trying to take away the programs that benefit them in their early years.
I have no problem with people who want to follow a religion, that’s fine. You can believe in whatever you want to believe, that’s the beauty of the 1st Amendment. It’s when you want to take your beliefs and shove it down the throats of myself or my children, that’s when I have a problem.
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