The Washington Post recently had a headline about Donald Trump’s many positions on abortion, and my first thought was: Why does Donald Trump get to have a position at all? Seriously, though. Why?
Every time I see a middle-aged white man in a suit who isn’t a medical doctor talking about my reproductive rights, I get cranky. My thoughts on these legislators-turned-gynecologist is this: Listen, boys, don’t waste your time worrying about my uterus, because unless you have MD or RBI out beside your name, you’re not going anywhere near it.
Seriously though, how did we get in the position where abortion and reproductive rights became a political choice, and at what point did these grown-ass white men decide that they were okay and comfortable with talking about what a woman does with her private parts?
Though I’m only in my 30s, I was raised in part by my great aunt and uncle, as well as with daily involvement with my grandparents. As were many people that grow up in close-knit small town families. Though my grandfather and great-uncle are gone now, my grandmother isn’t. She’s 90. And every time we witness some Tennessee politician attempting to strip down a woman’s right to choose — and boy, they’ve been active at that here — she has the same reaction of most women her age, “Why is that their business?”
These woman came from a time when they knew and they witnessed the hell that women went through with unwanted pregnancies and the way that the man was able to avoid any unintended and unwanted consequences. (Wasn’t me!) They saw their friends and they saw their sisters die, face death, risk internal mutilation, and become scarred irreparably, both emotionally and physically, by either botched home or back alley procedures. Or worse, they went through it themselves. Many of these women have a story to tell.
You ask a woman my grandmother’s age and most of them, regardless of their religious or political affiliation, adamantly defend a woman’s right to choose and her ability to obtain a safe legal abortion. Because they remember.
And if my very religious and studious uncle were alive, I can only imagine the embarrassment he would feel if someone tried to drag him into a conversation about a woman’s gynecological care — the same way most elderly men would. That’s just not their business and they don’t make it. He might have believed that life begins at conception, but he was also a believer that in a free country, he doesn’t make that choice for everyone else. And he would not have felt the slightest bit comfortable talking about it. Particularly in a “political” setting.
These men of America’s Greatest Generation weren’t the type to even be in the room when their babies were born. They damn sure didn’t want to tell a woman what to do with her body or discuss what went on while she was in there — let alone get into an uncomfortable conversation about what went on “down there.”
Somehow it’s become these radical right-wing so-called Christian women that have grown up with access to legal, safe abortion that have somehow turned on their gender, and men who have grown up with it as well that somehow believe that it’s their responsibility to tell every other woman — who’s not carrying their baby and with whom they’ve had no sexual interaction — what to do with her reproductive parts. And hiding behind their need to slut-shame and control are their bogus claims that they care about babies.
The many reasons we know this is bogus is the way that the religious right fights against helping children that are already here. We’ve seen this in their attacks on the poor, their refusal to insure their most vulnerable families or work with those who seek to do so, and their unwillingness to help Syrian refugee children. We also know that 90% of abortions performed in this country happen in the first trimester. And I’m preeetty sure we all took a science class. The only time an eight week fetus is a fully formed, kicking and screaming, live child is in Carly Fiorina’s world.
Let’s cut through the bullshit for a moment: Donald Trump is just saying — in his claim that women who have abortions should be punished, but the men who impregnate them, not so much — what the rest of the GOP mean. But will never, ever say.
So Donald Trump says this, Donald Trump says that. Donald Trump says change abortion laws, Donald Trump says don’t change abortion laws, blah, blah, blah.
Why the hell is he talking and who the hell is listening to him anyways. (Angry white people.)
The only cure to the usually male-dominated and typically testosterone-led continued attacks on a woman’s right to choose, may be women themselves.
Let’s vote smart and find out, ladies. Shall we?