Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our Freedom Is Your Freedom

I believe that one of the reasons the war against women's reproductive health care and privacy has been allowed to creep forward over the decades is that women are, after all, members of every other civil rights group.  We fight for the rights of workers, of African Americans, of the LGBT community.

But it is time that we ask our fellow freedom fighters to join in our struggle.  Because our struggle is also one of the right to equal rights, to freedom from government surveillance and control, the right to privacy, the right to health care, education and a good job.

When a woman is unable to afford or obtain contraception and a pregnancy is the result, a teenager drops out of school, a young adult is unable to go to college, a working woman becomes unemployed.  A family is disrupted, emotionally and economically.

The right to abortion became the law of the land, just as contraception is legal, because we do not have a militaristic, religious extremist government.

When laws are passed that force a doctor to provide a woman with false information, when teachers are made to provide false health information, when women are required to have unwanted medical procedures, when laws are created to force health care clinics to close their doors due to impossible and unreasonable restrictions, we need to join together against those forces.

When a woman is prevented from access to affordable contraception and abortion services, that woman's economic future is in jeopardy.  The well-being of her family is at risk.

This is not about being pro-life.  Those who are fighting to deny women their reproductive freedom are those who are also fighting to prevent funding for health and nutrition programs.  They are the same people who oppose any gun control.  They have no moral opposition to going to war.

A father, a husband, a son, a friend, all should be united against a government that would shame and control its women because they have the capacity to become pregnant.  If you don't agree with abortion or contraception, you should fight more than ever for the money wasted on restrictions on women to go to programs that provide a better life.  You should nonetheless understand that whatever your position on abortion and contraception, this is a choice that just doesn't belong in the halls of Congress or state legislatures.

When our government is allowed to legislate control of women's bodies, the rights to freedom and privacy of all of us is attacked.

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