Texas Abortion Law Not Just About Abortion

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Abortion is not the real issue in the pitched battle between the prolife folks and the proabortion contingent. No one is forced to have an abortion. Roe v Wade does not make abortions mandatory. This is a fight about morality. This is an attempt to legislate morality for every woman in a nation that has always professed to be about freedom of religion, separation of church and state. This is also a fight about the role of women in the world.

Most Americans of past generations were born in the Christian tradition, although in the twenty-first century many question the existence of any deity given overwhelming evidence that suggests that we are alone in this world. Many others feel that if there is a divine being s/he does not interfere in world events. But there is a minority group, who believes that they must fight against abortion, which they classify as murder, or they will be guilty of a mortal sin and will be unable to ‘ascend into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father almighty’. They are putting God before country, as their religion requires. But in a nation that has sworn to give its citizens the right to worship as they see fit, in order for these people to honor a Schrodinger’s box sort of God who only exists if one has faith, they must try to overturn what they see as a bad law, or if that doesn’t work, they must violate Constitutional law. 

Not everyone who opposes abortion does it for religious reasons. It has become a political football by those who seek to win the votes of this minority group which may represent almost 42% of Americans according to data presented on Meet the Press this morning. Republicans have long used a prolife stance to win an election in a region of the country where religion is an important aspect of culture. Democrats have used a proabortion stance to win elections in regions where women’s rights are an important issue. 

The role of religion in American culture is another factor contributing to the divides we see between red states and blue states. Red states are not monolithic in terms of religion or politics, and neither are blue states. However, it seems that state houses often are either predominantly Republican or Democratic and this is determining the kinds of legislation on offer, and even the way to treat a pandemic. Whoever thought we would be fighting in school boards about wearing a mask to prevent infections from a virus that is proving intractable? Whoever thought that school boards would become a political battlefield on a national scale, as opposed to the usual local personality or culture wars? It is mind-boggling to see how passionately we are pursuing some fairly petty battles where it seems that there should not even be two sides when there are larger issues to discuss.

Are women equal to men or not? Are women and men partners taking on a complex and not always kind world, or are women meant to be submissive to men? Throughout history it made some sense to divide tasks between men and women, but does that still make sense now? Why were women given brains with the same mental capacity as those given to men if they were meant to simply run a home? Raising children seems to work better when women are permitted to use their intelligence. Children value themselves more when they see both of their parents contributing to the society in which they live. They tend to assume that they will one day make their own contributions to making their society sensitive to the needs of all the citizens.

Why were women denied the vote until 1920? Why did they have to pitch decades of fits in order to win the right to vote? Why do they now have to fight to control their own bodies? The pandemic has offered new fodder for discussions among women about how they wish to conduct their lives. For centuries wealthy women wanted to have some control of their own lives. Since the 1960’s, better methods of contraception that did not hinder the enjoyment of men, gave even middle-class women the idea that they were now free to have lives outside of housekeeping and child-rearing. This freedom has filtered down to even poorer women. 

If women have children, should they have to stay home to raise them? If women marry, should their husbands decide how many children they will bear? Men were often tyrants in their homes and women had to cope or not, depending on the level of bullying behavior. Are we still basically a hunter-gatherer culture where men do the hunting and gathering and the little woman stays home and tends the fire and the laundry and raises the children, feeds the animals, sews the clothing, plants the crops and accepts whatever moods are presented by her husband?

Many Christians who follow the teachings of a Bible that is now centuries old long to return to nuclear families, with a husband and a wife producing offspring to make sure that white Americans do not become a minority. What do women do when men choose not to stay in a marriage, or no suitable partner appears but they want to raise a child? What do women do when they don’t wish to put up with a dominating male, when they want to be an equal to their partner? More women stay single because men are unable to change the internal or external messaging that tells them that they are weak if they give into a woman who wants to share equal ground?

This discussion does not even pretend to cover all the complexities that women and men face in America, and the world, since the ‘sexual revolution’. Women had to work from home during the pandemic because workplaces closed, but they also had to work from home because schools were closed. From studies reported on sites like Linked In it appears that women took on more of the duties related to child rearing, home schooling, keeping children on-task; while also doing much of the housekeeping, and working on Zoom or other digital workspaces. 

Women are once again analyzing how they wish to rate the priorities among their many responsibilities. Do they want to spend more family time? Do they want more flexible work rules? Do they think that it is time to have comprehensive childcare options in our nation?  Would having these options even work if there was another pandemic, or if this pandemic keeps evolving and mutating? Why would men in government choose this moment to add to the dilemmas around the shifting nature of women’s rights? Why are we allowing a minority to dictate morality for all? Why are we pretending that this is really about babies and mothers, when it is just about finding one more tool to widen the divide between Americans so one party can win election after election, and take us back to a male dominated society that we have been trying to equalize for decades, even centuries.  

5 thoughts on “Texas Abortion Law Not Just About Abortion”

  1. We’ll stay with the main point. A baby, while in the womb, is a human being developing. Nothing we’ve done prior to conception is any fault of the baby. And a baby, the most innocent of people, having not yet had the chance to live as we have, deserves our protection and encouragement to live. That’s what parents are there for. To have an abortion is to end the life of the child, whether we call it killing, abortion, or murder, it ends an innocent life. Not amount of talk, discussions, rhetoric, or compensatory beliefs can change that. Abortion ends the life of the most innocent.

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    1. I understand your point of view but feel that people who believe this need to devise ways to take care of babies born into poverty, squalor, instability, addiction. Once this child is born society’s concern seems to end. An egg is fertilized when contraception is ignored, denied or unavailable. African farmers wives, when offered aid, chose contraception so they could help the family thrive by working alongside their husbands and live longer lives without the threat of dying in childbirth. I love babies, but it takes many years to turn a human baby into a good adult. When babies are born into situations where they are unwanted it often affects their adult behavior. Women must be allowed to decide. It is not up to you to decide for everyone. Women always aborted babies with varying degrees of success and at great risk. Give your regard to those already born. Of course you are free to think as you do but not to extend your thinking to all.

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      1. I’ll leave it here. The purpose of my response was more for readers, for rarely is it possible to change anyone’s mind, but for those on the fence, we try to get them to think more about an innocent life then any rhetorical devices or their own wants. I think that’s life: to put others ahead of one’s self, for only then, are we truly human, as those who started this country and those who defended it, often at the cost of their own lives. No matter what anyone says, I only can see the baby: an innocent life that no creative language will change. And when that beautiful and innocent child is killed, never given the chance, for one can not know what their life ahead might be, no matter what anyone says. I have heard stories of babies who doctors didn’t think would survive, others born in terrible poverty, others in horrific homes, become positive leaders, some using their experiences to help others. No matter what, the baby is a human life, as soon as conception, and within weeks, looks human, for that’s what the baby was always going to be. and no matter what anyone says or thinks, or attempts to make into something else. the baby is the one we are discussing, and no other. But to parents who’ve decided to keep, in very difficult circumstances, they were made better for it, realizing the precious life they kept and raised. ***I’ll say one more thing, and while I already thought this way, knowing we’re protecting innocent lives, we also talked with many women who shared their lives. We all have rights over our lives. A baby is alive. A baby is a human being. A baby has the right to life. As in the U.S. Constitution, each person is protected: Life, libertry, and the pursuit of happiness. What abortion does is deny these rights, but more importantly, just the life they have, the only life they’ll ever have on this Earth. Any anything that takes away the sanctity and wonderfulness of these precious people, is only a distraction for some issue which is far from what’s truly important. An excuse. And this is what we know.

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  2. I’ve only viewed a couple, three sites, but felt necessary to speak on the side of the unborn children. In some things, we say opinions, but babies aren’t opinions. I do understand how some people can be made to view things the way we see in some blogs, but they’ve been propagandized, emotionalized, and constantly told certain lies, and I have to say it directly so there’s no way anyone can evade the reality: babies are humans an deserve to live, along with being the most innocent. But in another way, I’m also speaking for adults, for what they allow, they do to themselves. A nation that doesn’t care first for the most innocent doesn’t truly care for themselves, and from that point forward, its a steep slide to where we are today. **I hope the best for you and yours.

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