Let me rephrase that, a giant step back. South Dakota’s state legislator, in all its brilliant legal fortitude, has passed a bill that will ban abortion in all forms except when a woman’s life is in jeopardy. Frankly I am surprised that they made that exception; of course there is no loophole for rape or incest. I am sure that this mostly white, mostly male legislature has the best interest of every woman in South Dakota in mind, after all they have decided that those women can not make their own decisions, they will make them for her. If the Governor (another white guy) signs this law, it will go into effect July 1rst, unless Planned Parenthood and other groups can suspend the ban while they fight this battle in the courts. I am so overwhelmed by the problems of this ban that I hardly know where to begin. Of course the problems with South Dakota are a manifestation of all the problems that plague the abortion controversy.
First and foremost both sides of this issue are fighting for a legal decision that doesn’t really work to solve the problem of unwanted pregnancy. Making abortion legal or illegal is like putting a band-aid on a gaping head wound. For me the issue is altogether different. I don’t think abortion should be illegal, we can not forget the deaths of women in back alley clinics and at the hands of unlicensed doctors. But we can strive to make abortion obsolete. To start, make sex education mandatory and forget that abstinence crap, I mean real sex education. And then make gynecological services and birth control available and easy to get. This plan, of course, will not stop all unwanted pregnancy, but it will stop a lot and that is the point isn’t it?
Of course the righteous right, the same white men in South Dakota who think that they should decided what women do with their bodies, have a major problem not only with abortion, but with both sex education and the availability of birth control. Why? Because they believe that both will teach and encourage teens to have sex and while we’re at it, birth control is just abortion in a shiny package. I will say this once and only once, the idea that sex education teaches kids how to have sex is the most fallacious argument I have ever heard. Humans do not have to learn to have sex, they will always figure it out for the simple fact that we are, at our most primordial, really just animals that are driven to have sex. It is hardwired into our DNA, mother natures little tricky way of ensuring the propagation of the species. Of course that may be too close to Darwin and evolution to convince the great state senators and congressman of South Dakota.
The problem of easy access to birth control is altogether a different issue for those that believe birth control itself is a sin. And that would be fine if they kept that notion in the privacy of their own lives and churches, but they don’t. What is my problem here? Simply put, no matter what direction our country has been headed in the last 6 years, we still have a little something called the separation of church and state. This means that to avoid becoming a theocracy, you know like the Taliban, no religious ideology can be the foundation upon which laws can be based. Would this argument convince the anonymous donor of $1 million to fight and uphold the ban in South Dakota to instead take that money and invest in education and birth control? Probably not. Would this also convince those that think that because God says something, (spurious because no one I know has God’s cell number and the Bible is first only inspired by God, who had to rely on fallible humans to write down what he said correctly, and second currently what King James thought we should read), that the rest of the country should follow along whether or not they worship the Christian God or another or any for that matter. And while we’re at it, how do these people plan on helping women when they choose to actually give birth? Well by cutting welfare benefits, and helpful things like affordable and subsidized daycare. So they care that women have babies, but not so much about them when they leave the hospital. Then that same woman and child are drains on the welfare system and lazy, bad citizenry.
Like many who to often take their rights for granted, I think that this legal battle will be a wake-up call for us, that in the eyes of the law and lawmakers our Civil Rights mean about as much as those of the prisoners in Gitmo. And if we are not advocates for men, women and children, no one else will take up the cause.