Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Shiny Key Syndrome

     All regulations and laws to stop abortion are introduced and passed only for a few reasons. Forcing women to carry pregnancies to term. Slut shaming and humiliating a woman for daring to have an abortion. Codifying the result of women not living up to the vision God had for their place in family and society. So why are they always dressed up as being for the health, safety and education of women? Is it because the actual intent being stated would doom these predominantly male politicians to the dustbin of history?
The repressive reasoning used to demonize abortion is rife with misstatements,shoddy science and outright lies legitimized as law.
And it's every sane citizen's fault we are where we are.
When the Berger Court handed down Roe v. Wade it barely registered as a blip in the National Media. It coincided with a truce in Vietnam. It may have been the subject was still something not to be discussed in polite society. It may have been most of America just didn't care. That's how I recall it. But it has been forty years. There were small protests and rallies spread across the country, pro and con .It wasn't the polarizing issue it would later become.
This also coincided with the rise of the televangelist as a nascent political force. Billy Graham was a fixture at the White House. Oral Roberts,Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell were decrying the fall of God Fearing America and the rise of evil secularism. They had TV, radio and had started their own Colleges. They also had a group of devoted followers and tons of CASH.
The addition of cash. ideology and a determined squad of true believers never bodes well for American Politics. There is always a political party ready to exploit those acolytes for shaping public opinion and swaying elections. Volunteers, logistics and money are the lifeblood of elections.
These so called Christian Leaders organized and delivered pulse pounding fire and brimstone sermons. They took the the issue, twisted it into a good verses evil narrative and ran with it.
We stood by and allowed it.
Their numbers were small.The rhetoric was outside the mainstream. Religion in The United States was still dominated by the large traditional Denominations. The very conservative sects were small but vocal. These were derided as "Holy Rollers"and pretty much ignored. Until the Republican Party realized what they could be used for.
This all converged as Lee Atwater was redefining Liberal as a dirty word. Making politics here as the Republicans saving America from Liberals. Libs were the ones who had destroyed American values. Paving the way for Reagan's "Shining City On The Hill". A perfect storm. Liberal became a label Democrats have been running from for a generation.
All the while these ideas were written off as rantings of religious nut jobs and extreme out of touch  politicians.
We saw the rise of groups that had started picketing clinics. Pro Life was presented as right and moral. Pro Choice was demonised as baby killers.
Through the eighties the anti abortion movement grew becoming louder and more radical. More Americans than ever identified themselves as "Born Again" than ever. Republican politics and religion were merging.
The picketing evolved into trying to prevent access by blocking entrances. Women, preparing for a never easy, life altering, action were vilified. Patient names were spread. The Doctors were condemned as murderers. The leaders of these organizations were more strident. They pushed any action against these baby killers was just and sanctioned by God. The groups pushed back in court challenging laws keeping them from interfering with access to the clinics. Civil disobedience resulting in martyrdom via righteous arrest. When you fell God approves things get ugly, very fast.
We started seeing Doctors stalked and murdered without any outrage expressed by the allied politicians.
All the while the Republicans were reaping the benefit of support from the zealots, they ran on pro life platforms then compromised with the spawn of Satan, the Democrats. There came anger as they felt The GOP was using them. Since they were committed they tended to be staunch primary voters.
Having learned how the process worked the Religious Right started putting up challengers to those they felt betrayed them by not being conservative enough. This started a panic driven lurch to the right. Some incumbents were defeated and replaced by neophyte office holders obsessed with a few poorly thought out and naive stances. We started seeing extreme comments fueled by a theocratic view of how they thought American Government worked.
This spread through out the States as people felt sanity would prevail. Dems were out worked , out organized, out spent and out voted.
Once in power an agenda emerged. Front and center the abolition of abortion. They decided to put into practice what they had been advocating for four decades.  These laws are designed to strip women of full citizenship and roll back the gains made since the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.These people aren't stupid. They hope the coming court challenges will result in the current Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
In the meantime they get to shame and humiliate women. Treating them as if they are too stupid to make life altering decisions regarding their future. This is a chance to relegate them to ambulatory incubators. They see an opportunity to push their repressive "Christian" values on everyone to save America from those they feel hate God.
And we stood by and let them do it.
We stayed home during elections handing them the keys. We didn't challenge as we let them set the message. We didn't stand up push back and say no.
Those days are over.
I have seen women of every political stripe angered and appalled at the current situation. Thousands are telling the Texas Legislature NO!
John Kasich and Scott Walker have due to their raw political ambition have decided to sign extremist laws as a blatant play to the base. Both harbor Presidential ambitions and feel what they have done will propel them to the White House on the backs of women. The disdain is evident in that they feel women are not a threat They shrug off the fact they are the top targets. They have not learned a simple fact. Women are a force of nature. When they are motivated by righteous anger they are fierce and unyielding in their fight for justice.
We men can stand with women in this battle or be wrong again. The time to push back is now. The time to stand is now. Together. United in saying No! This will not stand!

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