My Body, My Business

There is a lot of talk going on in political debate about contraception and  a woman and her partner’s control over reproductive planning. The responsibility and the power comes from the woman’s decision. Why? Because it is the woman that carries the baby.  The woman that goes through the birthing process. The woman which, in a high percentage of situations, is the primary care giver and therefore is the one who makes the most change to her life in order to care for her children, especially during their first five years of life. The first five years are vital developmentally.

I don’t think this debate is about religious freedom. I think the church leaders would like to think so. But if it were about religion we would have policy to eradicate poverty which is mentioned in the Bible 2,000 times. So it’s not about religion. What it is about is the high cost of insurance for women of childbearing age to which I say “Too damn bad.” I say that because the same group of folks who bash “socialist” health care want to leave women hanging by not assisting with her health care needs. Companies which basically own people. They tell them when to wake up, when to eat, when to sleep, when to go to the bathroom, when to take a vacation. So they own them. Even slave owners of the past realized that they have to provide slaves with basic health care. Didn’t these folks get the memo?  With all the money dolled out on studies for employee retention and satisfaction and none of those brainiacs can figure out that people need to have their family needs met to be productive employees? The company should get its consulting money back and apply it to the needs of its employees. And why wouldn’t they want their female employees on birth control? If they are on birth control, they are at work. The whole thing is ridiculous!

Freedom, something so essential to the core of being American. The choices about who I have sex with, when I have sex, what style of sex I choose to have, and when I choose to have a pregnancy result from that sex having is MY business. I shouldn’t have to call up my elected official and ask permission. That is the essence of personal freedom. Now keeping in mind I am talking about sex with two consenting adults. Other than that, it is up to the adults what they do with their bodies. The political right wants to run archaic bills through state houses and Congress without political consequences.  To that I say, “Too damn bad.” They need to be penalized politically for taking our country backwards. That strategy (if that’s what they are calling it) is not going to win the GOP the Independent vote in November.  Independents, like reasonable Republicans and Democrats, are watching the actions not the crazy propaganda coming out of the GOP talking-heads’ mouths. The Republicans could easily lay off the social issues and focus on the economy. Pull together some jobs. Do THEIR jobs for goodness sake. The longer they entertain this penchant for the bad old days is as long as they will be locked out of public office come November.

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we need to focus on education, not abortion

The US Congress has been focusing on abortion a lot lately. Abortion — the word alone causes an immediate and strong reaction, and it should,  it’s horrible when a woman finds herself in need of an abortion. The best plan is to not get into that situation in the first place, if at all possible and that’s why it’s important for the American agenda to focus on education,  not abortion.

I want unborn babies to be saved,  there is nothing better than a baby being born to a mother who is healthy, educated and able to financially and emotionally support her child. But, in order to do that, the focus of the American agenda needs to  provide a better support  to young women in ways that they may become independent, self-empowered people with great goals for becoming a vital part of her community. As such she will be more likely to postpone pregnancy to a time when she is able to take care of her children and to be healthy enough to carry to full-term.  This can be done in three ways, supporting the physical health of young women, support the self-esteem of high-risk young women, instilling within them financial literacy skills, and any support emotional or tutorial needed to finish high school and get a Bachelor’s Degree in a field where she may excel. By giving a young woman the ability to go to college and have something to work toward besides attracting a man at a young age, helps to prevent her from using sex as a method of self-esteem and security which may result in an unplanned pregnancy. This is the most effective way to protect the unborn in America.

I wish you had come to me with your birth control offer years ago so I wouldn’t have had 14 babies.

– Sharon, client #24 from projectprevention.org website. 

Another way to prevent unplanned pregnancy is to make birth control readily available to low-income couples. Statistics show that many unplanned pregnancies are a result of not having the proper birth control available or affordable to low-income couples. It’s important to address unplanned pregnancy as a cultural issue, the glorification of having unprotected sex as a status symbol needs to change, women need to perceive that their ability to bear children is a sacred right and to use their age old responsibility to be discerning about the man allowed to have the privilege of being with her. Our sisters in the animal kingdom know this, they don’t let just any random animal mate with them. They look for the one who will be there to provide and care for the babies once they are born. How did this simple rule of Nature get lost in our culture? Male animals work to be worthy of being a father the status is in being a stable provider of love and objects of necessity to his offspring and mate especially while the babies are nursing. To have this honor males in other species sometimes fight to the death for the chance to be with a female. Not to advocate violence, that’s not my point, my point is to be more discerning about one’s sex partner and not to devalue sex to the extent it has been degraded and devalued in the American culture.  The second part of  the equation is to make birth control readily available to those who could wisely plan their pregnancies, avoiding an unwanted pregnancy. The attack on Planned Parenthood has the distinct unintended possibility of creating more, not less, unplanned pregnancies. Once it gets to that point, once there is the horribly painful situation of an unplanned pregnancy at hand, history shows that people have taken matters into their own hands. It doesn’t have to be that way. The lower cost solution, both in human and taxpayer cost is to focus on a positive way to not let it get that far.

Lastly, there needs to be good pregnancy planning education and sexual health curriculum  in place in public schools. Although people would like to assume that all parents are present, prepared and willing to have “the talk” it simply isn’t the case for many children. They are left to fend for themselves,  given misinformation or no information at all,and many times because they are using bad information to make decisions, things don’t go as planned. Places like Planned Parenthood can offer medically trained professionals with the most up-to-date information to be a resource for “the talk” if needed . It is important that good information is given to young adults so they can make the best choices for themselves.

The best way to stop abortion is through abortion prevention, a good education, self-esteem and a hopeful future worth abstaining  or at least using birth control for, can be some of the best  measures for abortion prevention available. Give young women an attainable, and worthwhile goal to work toward so that their pregnancy can be a planned and joyous occasion as  it is meant to be, which is the best scenario for everyone involved.