We Bend; We Do Not Break

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Original Artwork. Inspired by Captain America in Avengers: End Game (in his last big fight scene) and the brave protesters in AL, GA, MO, UT, and all around the country who are fighting for our reproductive rights and our freedom of choice of what to do with our own bodies. I had wanted to write an opinion piece about that subject, and I couldn’t find the words, but this little shield came to me. I wanted to share it today, the 100th anniversary of the House’s passage of the 19th Amendment! (c)2019

Roe v. Wade (1973)

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Today is the 43rd anniversary  of the Roe v. Wade decision. That’s the decision that maintains a woman’s right to choose; to do with her body as she feels; It gives her privacy. It gives her autonomy. Many people herald it as a pro-abortion decision, but any of us who have contemplated abortion know that it is not. We know that no one, NO ONE, is pro-abortion.

Read about abortions before this landmark decision for some perspective.

As a country, we’re okay with the death penalty, even in cases where the convicted party is mentally disturbed – not the Charles Manson crazy, but developmental disabilities like Down’s Syndrome and mental ages that are well below their chronological age.

As a country, we’re okay with war; perpetual war since 2011.

As a country, we’re okay with torture.

We’re okay with domestic violence and victim-blaming where women are involved. Where men are involved, we reduce them to women.

We can’t even pass a VAWA that includes ALL women.

What is going on here?

I read something recently from someone who I respect, who is pro-life, who is a good-hearted, loving, peaceful person describing abortion (in some instances) as a convenience. Women don’t want to be inconvenienced. I strongly take issue with that way of thinking; that stereotype. Women who have abortions because of economic reasons are not doing it as a convenience. These women, for the most part are living in poverty. They have children and are often single parents. There is no universal child care option for them to get steady work or they work several jobs for part time hours. They are living in abusive situations that they can’t escape because they have no control over their own money and/or bodies.

Women would choose to avoid pregnancy rather than terminate it, but increasingly this option (birth control) is being taken away because corporations are people, too, my friend. The owner of Hobby Lobby is against contraception for religious reasons and chooses to force his employees to follow his religious beliefs instead of allowing them the freedom to follow their own religion.

The sooner the people in this country realize and accept that this country was founded on the principle of not only freedom of religion, the freedom to practice individual religions by individual people as well as, and in addition to the freedom to be free of religion entirely, the sooner these arguments will be null and void. We need to stop inflicting our beliefs on others. This country was founded on our differences; we should embrace them.

When my church does their prayer of the faithful, they almost always include a prayer for life, from conception to natural death. Very rarely, but sometimes, they reference abortion directly, and my mind invariably wanders and prays for the women; that they continue to have the freedom of choice; that they have the support, the autonomy, the health care and the reproductive rights that they should have in a free society.

We should be supporting women who choose abortions instead of terrorizing them.

The most recent act of terrorism in Colorado Springs that targeted the Planned Parenthood there killed a woman, not having an abortion, but supporting her friend, a man on his cell phone on the street, and a policeman/security personnel. This is horrible, and the fact that many of us hand-wave it away as collateral damage is more than a little disturbing.

The sooner we get back to our basics of bodily autonomy and religious freedom, the sooner we can move on as a country to more important things – stopping our military involvement, the quagmire, eliminating the gender gap in pay and rights, giving Americans the right to have access to health care that is actually healthy and affordable.

Women, when left to their own devices will make the right choices and the right choice is whatever they feel is right for them, not what you feel is right for them.

In all matters.

The Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

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Today is the forty-first anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Whatever side in the political abortion debate you’re on, we should all be of the same mind to equally protect the already-living and giving women the equality and the respect of autonomy over their own bodies.

I find it hypocritical that many of the same people who are anti-abortion are also pro-death penalty, anti-food stamps, anti-unemployment insurance, anti-birth control and anti- anything that will benefit women who choose to have their children and single mothers, some of whom are in crisis. Many lack health insurance and pre-natal care, which is the difference between a healthy pregnancy and a death sentence for the mother.

In all the conversations I’ve had with pro-choice people, not one of them has ever been pro-abortion. It is one of the most difficult decisions that a person ever has to make. The choices available should also be available to all women and not only the women in abusive situations. There are many reasons to have an abortion, and they are as individual as there are pregnancies.

For me personally, I had the right and the opportunity to make the choice. I don’t know what I would have done, given my mental state at that time without that choice. My choice was the right one for my family and me, and that should be all that matters to anyone facing that decision.

Everyone wants to eradicate abortion, but instead of shaming women (and some of these women are victims of assault, incest, domestic violence, economic disadvantage), we should be helping them. We should be making legitimate health, gender and sex education available, which includes how the body works and all those uncomfortable but anatomically accurate words, contraception, reproductive choices and rights for everyone instead of the constant barrage of misinformation about our bodies and suggesting that abstinence is the only answer when many of these pregnant girls and women didn’t have any choice or say in the matter of getting pregnant in the first place and would have chosen abstinence if their rapist had offered it.

We should put more value on girls and women as individuals, not as baby carriers and then maybe they would understand how their bodies work and have more respect for themselves.

Don’t misread that last statement. Having respect for yourself doesn’t mean not having sex; it means that you like yourself and can make informed choices without Puritanical shaming on every decision you make.

In fact, we give more bodily autonomy to cadavers than we do women. We need written consent to donate organs or to participate in ongoing scientific research. How is it even possible in this day and age that we are against reducing pregnancies and for abolishing abortions? It’s oxymoronic.

At least give out the correct information and the condoms. Continue to promote abstinence, but just like touching the stove for a toddler, we wouldn’t say no we’re not treating that burn – you should have abstained from touching the stove.

Whether you are for or against abortion, keep it safe and legal or many more than unborn will die. And please stop putting more value on unborn than on the already living.