Kia Kaha (stay strong) Women of America

Women of America, know that you are in the thoughts of many women across the globe during these difficult days of seeing your hard won rights come into danger of being eroded.  However, we also know that you will come out fighting like never before, and there will be new rules in place this time.  Kia kaha – stay strong.

So, why do we who live an ocean away care about the women of America?  Because, as big as it may seem, the world is a village, and what happens to one, can happen to another.  We need to care, if for no other reason than some of the fallout will come our way eventually.  Whilst women in New Zealand don’t have the right to freely access legal abortion yet, so technically we have nothing more to lose if the women of America lose that right, you can put money on it that there will be renewed attempts to revoke even the little access we have.  The regressive religious ultra-conservative faction here will up the ante to drag God into politics, and dump their beliefs onto everyone else by inserting pet policy-makers into positions of power.  Just like what’s happened in America.

Those who are anti-abortion – and everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions on abortion – may think that it would be a wonderful win to regress women’s abortion rights in America.  If this happens, though, prepare yourselves for other regressive policies to come that just may hurt you, too.  It won’t stop – a win that revokes abortion rights will just fuel the fire.  Regression does not care if you were on the right side of this, when the next regressive policy turns your own world upside down.  Regression is a fast and slippery slope, and it scoops up many other victims along the way down to the bottom of the hill.  None of us can guarantee that we will always be immune from being caught up in the downward push.  Our circumstances, and those of our loved ones can and do change, as do circumstance outside our control.  The tentacles of regression in America will reach out for our shores, too, and we can expect the name of God to be attached to many of them.

God simply has no place in politics.  God is ephemeral, and subject to personal belief and interpretation.  God does not have a universal and unequivocal definition.  What God might be to one person can be different for another person, even amongst those with the same religious beliefs.  Politics needs to be above personal interpretations of what a deity would and wouldn’t approve of.  God should not be a political tool.

I mean, seriously, aren’t we supposed to have moved beyond invoking deities in our decision-making processes, anyway?

Those who most want God to have a seat in Parliament are the ultra-conservative religious faction.  Ultra-conservatives are a dangerous animal.  They can’t be reasoned with.  Ultra-conservatives want to stop women being boss of their own bodies, because they’ve decided that this is what their God wants.  They don’t actually know this, because it isn’t provable, but they choose to believe the story, because that’s what suits them.  The ultra-conservative religious faction know that politics is power, and they want to use politics to power their own agenda.  They know all about how to use power, because religion has had a power hierarchy in place for centuries.  This is an old game to them.

In fact, if the God faction are so intent on having God in the picture, here’s a thought – women are actually God of their own bodies.  Apparently, we are all made in God’s image and likeness, and God is within each and everyone of us.  That’s what the Bible and the Christian religion tell us, so if that’s to be believed, then we are all God of our own bodies.  That being so, we all make our own judgement call how we manage those bodies.  Women got given the rights to reproduction, and they are God of how they manage that, being that the uterus used to grow a foetus is in their bodies.  You don’t give a right to someone, and then proceed to control how they use it.  That’s not a right, that’s a miscarriage of power.  If there is a judgement to be made on how women manage their own bodies, and what goes on within them, then that judgement is not for other flawed human beings to make.

The choice of whether to grow a foetus into a child, using the resources of her own body – of which she is God, let’s remember – is a choice that is a woman’s to make.  It’s not mine or anyone else’s business, unless she chooses to include me or anyone else in her business.  Whatever beliefs a person has about a foetus is their right to have, but it is not their right to impose that on a woman.  If you think that she is making an immoral choice, you’re allowed to have that thought, but that’s where your ‘right’ ends.  If you think that there is a God, then let that God be the one to judge her.

Do I feel nothing about abortion?  Of course not!  I don’t know of any woman – nor possibly man, neither – who feels nothing about it.  However, that doesn’t change my belief that the choice about whether or not a woman brings another human life into the world, is hers to make.  Her life – in the broad category of the word, not just her physical life – comes first before that of a foetus, and if she feels that her life won’t withstand the growing and producing of another human life, that’s her decision to make.  Anti-abortionists have no interest in a broad perspective on life.  Their goal is to stop abortion – job done.  What happens to woman and child after that is of no interest to them.  If poverty, ill-health, abuse, neglect, unhealthy environments, unemployment, and ruined lives are a result of having an unwanted child, that’s not their problem.  Help may be forthcoming if the woman and child join a religious fold, but if they don’t, they’re on their own.  Adoption is often flippantly referred to as the remedy for having an unwanted child, but what that might mean to the woman and child for years afterwards is also of no interest to anti-abortionists.

A helluva lot of us are starting to get very getting pissed off that women have to resort to subterfuge and lies to have an abortion.  And will be even more pissed off if the regressive faction in America inspires even more regression here.  Women have always had abortions, and always will.  If they’re not legally done, then women will go underground to have them done.  It won’t stop just because those who are religious and/or ultra-conservative don’t like it.  Let me repeat that – it won’t stop.  And again – it won’t stop.  Bloody-minded determination to stop it, won’t stop it.  It never has, and it never will.  

If anti-abortionists really want abortions to stop, or be reduced, then they need to broaden their perspectives about how unwanted pregnancies can be prevented.  A lot of women could help you out with that perspective, and the list that goes with it.  That list could have some uncomfortable truths on it, though – are you brave enough to hear them?

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