Blogging for Choice

I have to admit that I’m kind of done with all these blogging for this and blogging for that days.  I’m especially disheartened by blogging for choice day because the folks who are for making abortion illegal just don’t believe that women should have control over our bodies at all times and are never going to believe that, I don’t think.

But I wanted to talk about something else Representative Bell was getting at–how the children of illegal immigrants are taking up space in our schools and costing the school systems money because they have to hire ESL teachers.

These kids are, by and large, American citizens.

Representative Bell is complaining about school systems having to meet the needs of the children in those school systems.

Let that sink in.

And then, mull over with me this comment by imfunny2:

just one more knot in the rope of “anti-choice except when it’s not my gender,ethnicity,social class or ability level..”

I think the problem is that we want Roe v. Wade to mean something more than it does.  We’ve pinned our hopes on freedom coming from bodily autonomy as represented by our ability to choose not to carry a pregnancy to term.

And that’s an important component.

But I don’t think that we can forget that there are other important components.  Do I have the right, at any time, to decline sex?  Am I free to initiate sex?  Can I get the medicines and medical treatments I need without having to ask anyone else (aside from my doctor) whether or not I can have them? Am I safe in my own neighborhood?  Can I have children when I want them?

Right now, elected officials in our state feel free to openly complain about women choosing to have children when they want them, without first considering its effect on the state.  And people see that as a reasonable complaint.

I bring that up because abortion is still legal and has been for 30 years and it hasn’t magically convinced everyone that women belong to themselves, not the state.

In fact, so deeply ingrained in us is the idea that complaints about children in our schools is an immigration issue (even though most of these children are U.S. citizens and so there is no immigration issue as far as they’re concerned) we fail to see it as an equal rights issue, even when Bell does us the favor of linking it to abortion.

But it is.

We are, first, ourselves and not the state’s.  And any time we see the state complaining about our failure to put its needs first, we ought to see it for the anti-woman bullshit it is.

5 thoughts on “Blogging for Choice

  1. any time we see the state complaining about our failure to put its needs first, we ought to see it for the anti-woman bullshit it is.

    {{smooch!}} It’s true. I’d never thought of it that way, but when women do something in mass numbers that requires accommodation by our social structure–like try to live our lives and pay the bills–some folks get all huffy about the big “imposition” on the state. It’s the minidrama of the husband who’s put out because he has to watch his own kids for a while, but writ much larger.

  2. Well, but … I haven’t seen “the state” complaining in this context. I’ve seen teachers, many school boards, and state/local gov’ts (some aspects of “the state”) making accomodations, providing ESL classes or going to taxpayers to try to get the money to provide them, whatever. I’ve seen individuals complaining about “the state” doing these things. To continue kcb’s household analogy, that’s like a kid complaining, “Mom, when Dad looks after us he pays more attention to Jimmy than to me!” Rep. Bell is not the state. He’s a part of it, but hardly the only part.

  3. This is the only “day” I do, and I thought it was important in an election year to articulate in part why I vote pro-choice, and I like this particular bloggy day because it does force me to articulate my thoughts in a way that doesn’t just assume everybody else knows where I’m coming from. Of course there are other bodily autonomy issues to work on, but I don’t think we’re past the abortion issue, either, and I think a lot of them deliberately work backwards from abortion – “okay, if they’re going to give on waiting periods, maybe we can screw around with contraception et al, as well.”

  4. Oh, no, Rachel, don’t get me wrong. I think abortion is a great bell-weather for our rights and an important right for us to have. What is more fundimental to being a person than having control over your body and what happens to it?

    But/and we can’t divorce abortion from these other things. Because even if the abortion issue were resolved beyond discussion one way or another, we’d still be stuck with this attitude that everybody gets to decide what women do.

    I don’t believe it’s an if then statement. It’s not “if we take control of this aspect of women’s lives, then we can also take control of this…”

    It’s more like an and and and and and statement. “We’ll control your access to birth control and we’ll control your access to abortions and we don’t want that group having kids but we want this group having more.”

    It’s an unspoken belief that social engineering, as long as it happens one woman at a time, is okay and that it’s okay because the state’s stake in a woman’s life is more important than her own.

    NM, yes, but I think that, in their perfect world, that would be The State, not just parts of it. They’re working constantly to be able to bring the weight of the state against us.

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