Why Choice Informs My Vote

Blog for Choice Day

Today is the anniversary of Roe v Wade. To celebrate, some outstanding people are blogging for choice. Specifically, why reproductive choice is an important freedom to consider when casting votes.

Have a look at Jessica’s excellent list of posts. Jill has some good resources here. Be sure to check out Ann’s, Amanda’s (Salon Advertisement Blockage), and of course bluegal’s and Our Descent’s Brilliance on display:

It is blatant, absurd hypocrisy to exercise one’s freedom in order to restrict someone else’s. It’s ridiculous and contradictory and wrong to use one’s suffrage as a weapon of disenfranchisement. It’s hypocritical to use democracy as a tool of fascism.

Those of us who can vote can vote because we live in a free society. The hypocrisy of using that freedom to destroy another deserved, necessary freedom is mind-boggling.

Getting a lot from Feministing, but this piece on Reproductive Justice ought to start something burning in you. More info:

If you want to know more about reproductive justice, check out Understanding Reproductive Justice, by SisterSong and A New Vision for advancing our movement for reproductive health, reproductive rights and reproductive justice, by Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice.

The conversation is much wider and wilder than this, but the above is a good start for some reading. (Don’t forget to throw a little White Noise Insanity on the fire, Mainers.)

So why do I support choice? For many reasons. Sex outside of marriage shouldn’t be outlawed, de jure or de facto. A child should never be a punishment, but always a joyful choice and a serious journey. But the big reason is I oppose utterly the efforts of organized religion to impose their Bibles on the bodies and futures of women. Just as creationists try and hide their arguments behind the word “theory”, and oil lobbyists prop up bought scientists to deny our impact on the environment, anti-choicers twist and turn to try and hide the patriarchal religious underpinnings of their movement. This is part of a larger struggle against religious extremists who want to impose their moral code on everyone in this country. This is a fight against people who hold a woman’s life below their belief that a fetus, even a fertilized egg, has a greater legal right to exist and be free.

The same people who far too recently for comfort, helped Virginia vote in a law that aids domestic abuse so that “the Gays” don’t enjoy even a subset of the benefits and respect afforded straight couples. That same singleminded purpose is best illustrated by the head vampire in the remake of “I am Legend” as he bashes his head against the glass, trying to get his revenge on Will Smith’s character. The falsely named pro-life lobby would rather have parental consent laws than ensure protection against cases of incest and abuse. They would rather women die then let doctors decide what is medically necessary. There is a reason the word fanatical crops up when one searches for some description of this purpose.

When I vote, in local, state, and federal elections, I look at choice. I look at choice as a primary reason and as either an affirmation or a condemnation of a candidate’s rhetorical support for equality and justice.

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