We are still casting stones at women, except today we refer to it as “concern for women’s health.” Briefly put, in Missouri you are now at the mercy of your landlord and employer if you’re a woman. Unless you’ve never had an abortion or have never taken birth control. You have two choices, tow the line and become a breeding machine, or starve on the streets. There is also a third, less palatable one, become a criminal and get everything you need under the table. But then you’re still taking birth control, so back to square one.
People have said plenty of things. Among them:
– What happens after the baby is born? How will the government help then?
– How will they know you’re using birth control? Do they ask? Go through your things, how?
– What about men? Vasectomies, condoms? That’s birth control, too. Do they get penalized? And if not, why not? (The answer is obvious).
Of course not every landlord or employer will ask. There are some who really don’t care. As an employer I’d want to know if (and when) someone intents to start a family (even if it is none of my business), but that’s so I can plan ahead, hire someone to cover for them. Then again, maternity leave being what it is i.e. (practically) non-existent, it probably doesn’t even matter from an employer’s point of view. The point is, the law is there, all set in stone, applicable by anyone in search of a little bit of power.
Power really is at the core of this. Several years ago we had Doom’s Day Preppers. They got a lot of flack, but one thing that stood out from a more reasonable analysis was that they were doing it to regain some measure of control over their lives. People want to protect what’s near and dear, their home, family, essentially their existence. With everything else out of their control (jobs, government, nature), prepping at least gives them the feeling of doing something, anything, rather than sitting around helplessly.
And who’s to say legislators and business owners don’t feel the same way. With the major possible dates and events for Armageddon out of the way (1999 solar eclipse, millennium / Y2K, Mayan calendar – which the Maya didn’t believe dignified the end of the world), there aren’t too many areas that allow you to take control over your life. Legislations imply stability, they provide protection (bear with me on this one for a minute), most of all, they imply the will of G-d on His Earth, again, a will by proxy where laws on Earth are as His word would be in Heaven. And didn’t He create us in his image? What better way to give Him honor and respect than to live by His word.
But, in the words of John Oliver, is it? I get that to the more fundamentally / evangelically inclined abortion is murder. And murder is a sin. We’re all clear on that. But isn’t it also a sin to neglect a child, to abuse it, to never protect it? Any woman carrying a child can give birth, that’s a biological given. It does not automatically make her a mother. Just look at any of a myriad of news stories anywhere in the world of abuse where the mother either did nothing, or was responsible for the abuse herself.
Both parents actually. Father’s have a responsibility towards the child, too. The burden should not be solely on the woman in any circumstance. And why should women be punished (so hard) in the first place? A woman does not automatically develop a bond with what is growing inside her if she got pregnant because of rape. This isn’t Rosemary’s Baby we’re talking about here. This is real life. Rape is about dominance and has nothing to do with “the act of reproduction that must never be spoken about if you’re a good little believer.” If you don’t believe me, have a chat with any prisoner or ex-con. They’ll set you right straight away.
So why should a woman be punished for the rest of her life for something she had no control over? Other than not being able to even begin to imagine what it might be like to carry a child or be raped, are those evangelical and fundamentalist men really so sore at Eve having us kicked out of the Garden of Eden that they have to punish women every step of the way?