Legislation of Morality

“People with low incomes and communities of color are two groups that have historically faced systemic barriers in accessing quality health care, are less likely to have health insurance, and who benefit most from these protections.” Once again the conservative movement and anti-abortion rights activists are attempting to legislate morality. It appears that they always want less government with the exceptions of military complex expansion and issues of morality. They constantly want to get in our bedrooms when it comes to moral and ethical issues. History has shown that restricting the rights of a woman to choose is devastating on economical, social and health concerns.   It is never surprising when we ask these legislators what they would do if their daughter had an unwanted pregnancy….oh yes, they don’t have to worry about federal funding like the millions of low income women in this situation. We are now going backwards as we usually do when we allow the very few to make decisions for the masses. The concept of requiring a man to be notified as a “host” before an abortion is another misguided approach to the problem. ” In biology, a host is an organism that harbors a parasitic, a mutual, or a commensurable symbiotic, typically providing nourishment and shelter.” A host really at a party…what in the world is this congressman talking about…moral legislation as usual from the conservative right. Less government with the exception of your bedroom.

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Not cool

I really wish one of those scenarios where these old dudes trying to push all these decisions would transform into a woman for a year and see the suppressive, chauvinistic, hyper masculine, egotistical “resolutions” they are trying to pass. Though really, what kind of person addresses women as “hosts.” This is something that I think will be really interesting to discuss in class.

Though looking at the broader argument in regards to Planned Parenthood, it is incredibly narrow minded to think that providing abortions is enough evidence to de-establish an organization that provides basic health care to millions of Americans. I don’t understand the arguments behind de-funding Planned Parenthood just because of abortions as well. The United States was founded upon the premise that people would have freedom to utilize services of their choice for their well being, I think the side of the argument that wants abortions to be illegal should respect the decisions of others in regards to what they do to their bodies. Really though, how can people be so narrow minded and not understand certain circumstances that prove that some people depend on Title X for their healthcare needs.

Planned Parenthood

I’ve known about planned parenthood for years now but I never took the time to actually know what it’s about. This was the first time going on their website and seeing all the ways they help and spread awareness. For instance, they had pages on things like how to better your relationship and a page on body image. Planned Parenthood understands the focus can’t solely be on abortions.They’re trying to avoid abortions through awareness and protection. They understand having an abortion can be so emotionally stressful and if they could help someone avoid that through understanding how to have safe sex then their job has been accomplished. And even then, there are things like the morning after pill for times where there was an error which is totally understandable which is why the Oklahoma representative bothered me so much. A slip up does not mean someone is irresponsible, it was an accident that someone is trying to correct it the most responsible way they know.

And just the fact that he calls them hosts is crazy. Other posts have mentioned it already but it’s just ridiculous how he can talk like this as if he knows. If a woman had to go through a man in order to decide on something truly life changing then that means something has gone wrong. It should ultimately be up to the woman in this issue. Both partners had a slip-up and the male partner should have some sort of say or at least just voice his concern.

Why is there a debate?

Coming from a country with universal healthcare, these past few years in America has completely changed the way I view this country, especially because of the healthcare system. It is bizarre to me that people have to spend a ridiculous amount of money on insurance but still get charged co-pay for a simple cold, and an emergency contraceptive pill is triple the price than where I come from. Planned Parenthood has been providing service way broader than abortion for everyone – especially people who cannot afford it otherwise.

I tried to understand the debate by looking at the other side, these are some of the arguments I found:

  1. Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion provider / their business model is centred on abortion.
  2. Planned Parenthood is an independently wealthy entity.
  3. There are plenty of other options that provide the same services.

Planned Parenthood does look like this “abortion factory” when people emphasise on how many abortions they provide per year – but that is still not the most popular service they provide. The majority of its patients are also from low income families and since this is the most affordable option and the most established one, it would waste a lot more money and create more people without vital health care services. On top of that, as the articles showed, raising a child is becoming increasingly expensive and not everyone is financially or emotionally stable enough to be a parent yet.

This debate can go on forever, but no one can win because there will always be people against the other side. So I guess my biggest question is why are we arguing about this if a woman’s decision about her own body does not affect anyone else? Planned Parenthood is simply there to show people all of their options, and it is their own freedom to choose. It seems that the biggest underlying reason the government is against it is the funding that goes into it, they need to open their eyes and see how more money (and beyond that) they would actually cost the people by defunding it.

Hosts & Planned Parenthood

I’m the type of person who quickly develops an opinion after seeing or learning something, but when I read the article about the Oklahoma lawmaker, my mind drew a blank. I don’t know what exactly it was, maybe shock, but I just couldn’t think of a response. What the hell kind of person would think, much less express publicly, that a woman is to act as a host if she becomes pregnant? That she has agreed to become a host and she should be forced to comply with the circumstances? I think it’s pretty repulsive to believe that a human being should not be able to choose what to do with her body. I could never support a law that dictates that a woman’s ability to receive a portion is contingent on her sexual partner’s agreement, but at the same time, I have pondered about the rights about the sexual partner– not necessarily in legal terms. Hypothetically, if, in a serious relationship, the woman became pregnant and wanted an abortion without discussing it with her boyfriend, is that morally wrong in any way? I agree that the woman should have the final say in what to do with her body, but does the sexual partner not have any type of right? Such as the right to know that the pregnancy existed? It’s not exactly a legal issue, but it’s something that I’ve wondered from time to time.

I’ve always been aware that Planned Parenthood offered services past abortions, which most critics of Planned Parenthood seem blissfully aware of, but I had never taken the time to visit the website and actually read all the services they provide. I knew that they specialized in women’s healthcare and related issues, but I had no idea that they also provided high blood screening, cholesterol screening, diabetes screening, employment/sports physical examines, flu vaccines, and tetanus vaccines. Although I know that the easy solution is just to raise awareness and spread the information about how much Planned Parenthood really does. At the same time, however, I think that the large debate against Planned Parenthood lies inherently in its name. By naming the organization “Planned Parenthood,” an inherent reference to abortion is made. This might be slightly tangential, but it reminds me of a struggle that I have often had with the word “feminist.” Although I completely agree with the beliefs of feminism and gender equality, I often wonder how much further the social movement could progress if we simply stopped using the word “feminist.” Men feel uncomfortable using a word that associates themselves with “feminine,” and others seem equate the term to the extreme, man-hating “Feminazi.” In terms of race equality during the Civil Rights Movements, people didn’t begin to call themselves “Blackists” to express their belief in racial equality. Although I do believe that the importance of social movements lie in their values, I also believe that in order for a social movement to progress successfully, it must practice proper PR.

“Hosts”

At the risk of sounding incredibly rude, the single biggest obstacle for me in terms of debating women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights would honestly have to be the fact that just can’t seem to sympathize with the views of those that seem hellbent on controlling women’s bodies. With all of the issues we talk about in this class, I can see the complexity of the social relations, the dynamics of class structure, the obstacles that an authoritarian regime might impose, but on this specific subject I can harbor nothing but disdain and anger towards people like Justin Humphrey. I read the Huffington Post article and was overtaken by such rage at the complete audacity of this male to even think about introducing House Bill 1441. The first problem I have with this whole situation is the sheer hypocrisy of it all. For Humphrey to simultaneously cast the responsibility of pregnancy sole on women and then claim that men deserve the right to be involved with matters regarding the fetus is just so blatantly pigheaded that even now it’s hard for me to write this level headed. You simply cannot tell women that they know what they’re inviting in when they have sex and therefore they should be the ones taking care of themselves. That in itself is problematic because it completely absolves men of any responsibility for the conception of that baby. The onus of the conception should be shared equally between the two individuals (with all the credit and praise of the miracle of life being awarded to the mother but that’s something to get into later.) because it takes two people to get pregnant. A man should not be allowed to have sex with a woman, impregnate her and then tell her its her fault for not being responsible enough. This is made even worse by the fact that Humphrey then goes on to say that men should not be left out of such decisions like abortions. I guess it’s just baffling to me that this man could actually sit there and claim that a woman should be responsible for her own pregnancy but that men have a right to decide what happens to her body once she is, in fact, pregnant. You can’t have it both ways. To do so is just a blatant exercise of sexist patriarchal powers that exist in our current societal structure. It’s terrifying because men who think this way (and why is it that almost all movements for the regulation of WOMEN’S bodies are being spearheaded my MEN?) are completely oblivious to their own sexism. They have no idea why they’re way of thinking is so inherently authoritarian and problematic. We’ve lived so long in a system that coddles and caters to the whims of men (White men in particular) that they don’t even have to worry about their own arguments contradicting themselves. Where they can actually feel comfortable calling women “hosts”, reducing them to nothing but literal human containers for this organism whose very existence would never even have a chance if not for the beauty and power of the female body. Ultimately the abilities of the female body are just but one characteristic of the individual that is the woman. That is to say, the woman is an individual. One that deserves the right and is more than capable of making her own choices regarding her sexual and reproductive health.

Is this real?

In Oklahoma a state representative wanted to enact a law that would make it illegal for a woman to get an abortion without her sexual partner’s consent. Is this real? A woman has the right to her own body! PERIOD. I do not agree with this state representative and find it extremely ridiculous. Although there are exception if the woman was a victim of rape or incest it is still completely unfair. A woman should not have to carry a fetus in her body if she does not want it. A woman should not have to go through the extreme pains and discomforts of holding a fetus in her body if she does not want to. A woman should federally have the right to abortion without any legal action, a woman should not have to question or answer to anyone if she chooses to not have the baby in her body. Planned Parenthood is an amazing program that provides woman and men the ability to save their lives. Planned Parenthood provides sexual and reproductive health services that can insure a quality life for a person. I thank organizations like Planned Parenthood for the many times it has helped me and helped the people that I love. Without the organization I have friends that would have has to undergo unwanted pregnancies, most likely drop out of school and would not be able to fulfill their life goals. Planned Parenthood also does an excellent job at helping our community become more aware of STD’s, and they also give away free condoms and educational pamphlets. It has been a big debate and fight to whether Planned Parenthood should exist or not, and I believe this debate is flat out stupid. If our government decided to eradicate programs like Planned Parenthood we are going to see an increase in STD’s, teen pregnancy, and people performing unsafe abortions which could lead to death among young woman.