A Young Female Republican on “The War on Women”

(Before I get any hate mail from people who have not read my socially liberal views in this blog, let me just state that the reason I’m a Republican is because I’m a fiscal conservative and I like small government. I’m not happy with the party either.)

In Arizona, the legislature is getting very close to passing a bill that would allow women to be reimbursed by their employer-provided insurance for birth control – but only if they’re not using it for birth control.

If that’s making you scratch your head, you’re not alone.

as a young, female Republican, I’m forced to watch this debacle that is the “War on Women” with a great deal of bile. The middle-aged men of Congress don’t want us using birth control. Well, alright, but that provides a considerably increased risk for getting pregnant, so I guess I might be forced into a worse alternative with-

No. No abortion.

….what? But research has shown that strict abortion laws ultimately lead to an increase in crime as disproportionately poor, young families are unable to care for their unintentional young, thus pushing the resulting offspring to the margins of society.

Yeah, crime sucks, but you can’t do that because God says.

….okay, I get what you’re trying to say. But women who have children early are more likely to stop pursuing an education and get trapped in a cycle of poverty.

Well, the sluts should have kept their legs shut.

Really? It takes two to tango, boys.

I know that our Congressmen don’t THINK they’re conducting a war on the rights of women – but that’s only in the same way that a blatant racist doesn’t think he’s saying anything wrong when he says, I dunno, blacks are inherently more sexual or something incredibly stupid like that. Whether “intentional” or not, the effects of this constant bombardment are going to devastate a young generation of women. Because let us consider. We are not teaching our children how to be safe when having sex, we are not providing them with the means to be so, and we are not giving them any alternative. What, then, is the result? A generation of women who have had all power taken from them, who are trapped into a perpetual cycle of giving birth and mothering children.

Obviously there is nothing wrong with having children and leading a domestic life – if it’s by choice. But the conservative (and generally religious) Right is robbing women of that choice. You can say that that’s not the case, and I understand why you say that – but the facts speak for themselves. We are saying that women are not allowed to control their own bodies and their reproductive capacities. When we say this, no matter how we may try to deny it, we are leading them back into domestic servitude.

Let me be clear here: I don’t like abortion. I think it’s awful. But I recognize it as a necessary evil. As a species, we’ve been killing our young since we became Homo sapiens, and you wanna know something else? We’ve been using birth control. Quite successfully, too. So if we’re going to make the argument that it’s somehow “not natural,” obviously that isn’t going to fly, because our very natural ancestors sure thought it was.

Being an anthropologist, I naturally look at this from an anthropological standpoint. In many poor, non-Western societies, children die in infancy – or are deliberately killed. This may sound horrible, but such cultures recognize that the burden placed upon an already unstable group would be far worse. “Still, though, that’s killing babies.” Yeah, to us. But there are cultures in the world where infants don’t become viable PEOPLE until they’ve crossed the three-month threshold. So tack on an extra trimester for pregnancy, essentially, and you can abort right up until that point. The child has proven it will live successfully, it’s worth the culture’s investment. This may sound heartless. I suppose in a way it is. But the world is a whole lot less cushy when one must fight for the basics of survival. In America, we don’t have that problem (Generally), so how are we still having this debate?

“Okay, Emily, but how does that form your views on abortion?” Sorry, I guess I didn’t really make that clear. If we are judging by when life becomes viable, that is the whole point. In some societies, it isn’t until well after birth. Here in America, where advances in medical science are such that miscarriages and post-natal deaths are considered unusual, there is every reason to believe that every fertilized egg will grow into a healthy baby eventually. But this is subjective. So it isn’t because “God told me so,” it’s because we’re really freaking lucky that way.

“But then why do we need abortion?” Because not everyone IS that lucky. I’m not going to tell a woman who may die because of her child that that’s a choice she’s going to have to make. God forbid I am ever in such a position. But in generations past, when husbands had to choose to save wives or save children, nine times out of ten they chose their wives. They knew their partners in life, they never met this unborn infant, and the possibility for life was still present if they had their wives. Now the choice is very much the mother’s – and I refuse to believe it is “unnatural” to make a very difficult decision to continue to live and have to end the life of something you have cherished in you for more than half a year. That is such a heartless view that those who hold it ought to be DEEPLY ashamed. Unfortunately, I doubt they are.

I’m also not going to tell the victim of rape she can’t get rid of every scarring memory that brings back that tragedy to her. And I’m also not going to tell a scared, sixteen year old child that she must be burdened for the rest of her life because of one very poor choice.

But then again, I’m lucky. I was brought up with very good morals and a clear understanding of the consequences of my actions. Most teenagers don’t have that. Of course they don’t – they’re children. And as adults, it is our job to educate them, and to help them when the do make mistakes. Not punish them and their future children for the rest of forever. THAT is decidedly unnatural.

If we decide not to make this a War on Women, then I think we must very clearly label it as a war on future generations. Congress, give me control over my own body. Trust me to use it in a way I see fit. Because I don’t give a damn what your morality is, and the Constitution never said you could hold me to anything like that.

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About emilydnelson

A recent graduate of Hofstra University with a B.A. in anthropology, Emily is like every other twenty-two year old on the planet - trying to figure out what the hell to do now. Follow as she struggles with writing, her social work job, and bopping from coast to coast.
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4 Responses to A Young Female Republican on “The War on Women”

  1. Well said Emily. The last few years has been unreal with regard to religious right campaigns against individual freedoms. I weep for future generations if this is allowed to continue to escalate. I’m not a republican, nor a democrat. I am simply sick of it all.

  2. caroza says:

    Very, very well said. It’s terrifying to women of my generation (I’m 50) to see how many young women don’t have a clue about feminism, and reject it for philosophical, fashionable, or religious reasons, without having a clue that the only reason they have the freedom to take a position on the subject in the first place is because women in earlier generations fought for that freedom. This gives me hope.

    • emilydnelson says:

      I am really glad I could give you some cheer, it means a lot to me as well. I would hope that this is because I have a thinking mind – something we should all strive for, male or female, feminist or whatever.

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