Tuesday, February 14, 2006

On South Dakota...

Does it bear repeating all the reasons that I, and so many other people who share the radical notion that women should have control over their bodies and reproductive choices, am so opposed to the SD bill? I just don't feel like it right now. Instead, I'll focus on the fact that they would ban abortion in the cases of incest and rape. Religious conservative LaShawn Barber has provided a reason for this: though some violent, hateful man may have meant the attack for "bad," it is possible that God meant a resultant pregnancy for "good." My sister, in her usual pithy way, summed up with the response, "My God, it'd be a double violation."

And it would. How dare some smug, I-know-what-God-wants "pro-lifer" mandate that, not only would a woman have to bear the brunt of a vicious attack, or series of attacks, she would also have to bear the mental and physical anguish of an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy and giving birth to a child who is part of someone who terrorized her? I remember watching some show on which a woman had been forced to carry to term a pregnancy that resulted from rape. She had never bonded with her daughter; the reason, in her words: "Every time I look at that child, I see that man's face." Not all of us have the amazing powers of forgiveness or the miraculous ability to see and interpret God's plan. Not all of us can focus on what He might mean for good when we are hurting so badly.

If you have not been the survivor of a sexual assault--and I doubt that anyone who would support a bill like this has--you cannot imagine what it does to your mind, to who you are. In those horrible, horrible moments, you have no control over what happens to your body. That the state of South Dakota seeks to prolong this feeling of powerlessness and lack of control is inhuman. It bears witness to the fact that they only care about certain lives and about the quality of life of none.

The right to choice should be protected for all women in all circumstances. But this issue, these circumstances, are particularly close to my heart. So, I have to abandon the soft-spokenness, for once and say to the SD House and its supporters:

Get your damned religious agenda, your fucking misplaced self-righteousness, and your generally disgusting ignorance of other people's realities out of my life and off my body.

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Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...