Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Happy International Women's Day!

It's pretty cool that my birthday falls on a day we celebrate all women. Or that we're supposed to, anyway. South Dakota is celebrating a different sort of feeling for women, though - in a way that condemns us to our place behind men, rather than next to them.

By passing a draconian law, the state has now ensured rapists' rights to fatherhood, even if they're the father of the pregnant woman as well. Our bodies being reclaimed into possession. Of course, at 39, I'm not so sure what purpose mine would serve them!

All levity aside, because the subject demands serious contemplation: how soon before this kind of law sweeps across the country? Before the entire country full of females no longer can claim sovereign rights over their own being?

Because that's the larger purpose of this state's bill: to push the issue straight to Alito and Roberts newly robed, willing arms.

For roughly forty years we've had marked increases in equitable rights between men and women. Not perfect, but better. Apparently, though, it was too much for the patriarchal power structure of our country. They'd only had 100 or so years of ruling America and eons of ruling the world. How dare we?

Look, I hate abortion as much if not more than the next person. When it comes down to it, all pro-choice women really don't like abortion. But what we really like a lot less are unwanted and starving kids and women who'll never have a shot at anything more than a life of poverty and despair. Tell me that's not how it goes down when a woman becomes a mother too soon, without education or a foothold on a career.

Let's traffic in reality: not everyone has the financial, emotional and specific resources necessary to raise children - or more children, in some cases. A move to outlaw abortion nationwide will only result in costly illegal and perhaps dangerous practices. Or worse, a generation of abused, neglected and desperate children.

On its face, it seems like a way for people morally opposed to abortion to feel better by forcing their values into everyone else's lives.

But until they're ready to provide financially, emotionally and specifically for all pregnant women and their unplanned children, they've got no business involving themselves in what other women do with their bodies.

What a terrible way to denote International Women's Day.
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