Who Owns my Uterus? Rights, Responsibilities, and the Realities of a Romney Presidency

This week, the Romney/Ryan campaign showed their true colors clearer than I’ve seen them before in this campaign. Under their leadership, the Supreme Court could change in ways that would plummet a woman’s rights back to pre-Roe v. Wade era, an embryo would have all of the rights accorded to a living being at fertilization, and it is very likely that marriage would be only defined as a right of heterosexuals, obliterating any progress that states have made in legalizing same-sex marriage.

Any woman would be crazy to vote for Mitt Romney. Any man who loves a woman or has a daughter would be voting against women to cast his vote for Mitt Romney.  Mitt Romney, the surrogate for the Tea Party’s regressive, misogynistic and racist group of haters and elitists would cause a downward spiral for woman that would be irreparable for many generations. A Romney win would ensure the appointment of 1-4 possible Supreme Court Justices who would most surely repeal Roe v. Wade, a woman’s right to an abortion!

To begin with, it is unconscionable to support such ludicrous reasoning for eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood. If  women do not have access to the free services that PP offers, there is no doubt that the number of unwanted pregnancies would rise due to lack of contraception. If women do not have access to routine procedures that could prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, aid in healthy pregnancies, screen for early detection of cancer, provide for abortions, and many other services that are offered, the strain on our health care system through emergency room care would be monumental, or, women would suffer without these services altogether.

For a party that seems so concerned with the rights of the unborn child, where is the concern for those who are alive and needing assistance? Where is the outrage for the child that was not aborted, yet has a life-threatening illness but has parents with no insurance or way to pay for care? Are these Republicans really so short-sighted that their reasoning ends when the sperm meets the egg? Do these extreme Republicans really believe that if these babies could talk that they would say that a life of hunger, poverty, no resources for basic health care, and in many cases, physical, mental and verbal abuse  is worth it or preferable?

As a lesbian, my kids were not created by accident. They were planned for and invited into our lives with much forethought and hard work. While I understand that heterosexuals aren’t always that careful or strategic with the choice to have kids, I do know that many people take this responsibility very seriously and would not want to be surprised by an unwanted pregnancy.

In New York City,  53 high schools now offer female students Plan B, which is a compound that prevents ovulation or fertilization if used within 72 hours of unprotected sex. 7000 girls between the ages of 15-17 get pregnant in the NYC school system annually. Imagine, if we could prevent these unwanted pregnancies, the subsequent need for abortions, and the unnecessary birth of more unwanted children which often comes with even more societal repercussions! Seriously, abstinence programs don’t work. Kids are going to experiment or be forced into sex whether we as parents like it or not. Let’s protect our girls and give them a chance to grow up with as many advantages as the boys get to have.

As a business owner for many years, I know that I have paid up the wazoo for insurance in my former business. I had health insurance for my staff, insurance for participants who used the facility, unemployment insurance, liability insurance, and even insurance in case I forgot to pay the premiums on my insurance! It’s a protection that I never took lightly, especially liability insurance. It didn’t just stop there with my premiums though…I fixed safety issues immediately, maintained all of my equipment when there were problems, kept icy areas safe and plowed, put cones up outside wet bathroom floors, posted signs about safety issues, filed accident reports and dealt with insurance companies when there were issues. I knew my responsibilities  and acted accordingly, yet I don’t see that same thing happening with the issue on the liability when it comes to unexpected pregnancies.

It may not be my area of expertise, but I surely know that to make a baby in the “conventional” way, a man is required. Yet all of the talk of abortion and a woman’s right to choose seems to miss the most important precursor to pregnancy in the first place. Put into a perspective that I can relate to very well, I’d say that there is a liability to having intercourse in the first place, yet I hear very little talk about the male’s part in this responsibility.

Imagine a society where every sexual encounter comes with an implied legal responsibility. Why are both parties not responsible for proving and providing the same level of contraception to protect against an unwanted pregnancy. It is an impossibility for the man to get pregnant, yet it seems to be predominantly men who are writing the laws that would either take away a woman’s right to choose what she can and can’t do with her body if she gets pregnant. According to the most recent statistics in the U.S. almost half of the 6.7 million pregnancies are unintended. That’s 3.2 million! And according to these same statistics, 19% of them are unwanted. Most of them, as you can read for yourself, concern minority and low-income women. The choice to have an abortion, if you ask any woman who has had one, is personal, difficult, and wrought with much emotion, and involves factors much more complicated than a simple “it’s against GOD’s will” approach.

The  Right-Wing Conservative Tea Party has a clear inability to separate the issues of Church & State. As Paul Ryan clearly stated in the VP debate this past week, he can not separate his religion from his political views when it comes to abortion. He supports the platform that abortion should be illegal except for in cases of “rape, incest, and (lo and behold he’s put it back in to his speech…) the life of the mother.”  Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic as well as Ryan, knows that his religious views, although similar, SHOULD NOT be and WILL NOT be imposed on anyone else’s choice for what is right for their body.

So who is responsible for these unwanted children? Whose liability is it? Seems to me that it falls predominantly on the women. And why is it that the healthcare system does not cover this under the Republican Right-Wing agenda either through contraception or abortion services? Because women are not seen as having equal rights. Apparently, women do not have the ability to decide what is right for them and their bodies because men seem to know what is best?

As a mother of 4 girls, it scares the hell out of me to think that we may have a President Romney. This is not a choice that should be difficult if you are a woman and a mother. If Romney gets elected, your rights will dissolve. There is no place for religion in politics and that was settled long ago.

What will be next- eliminating the right of women to vote?

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