Let’s talk about Alabama. Let’s scream and shout, stomp our feet, and shake our righteous fists at Governor Kay Ivey who recently signed into law yet another attempt by the state’s legislators to determine the choices of its female electorate. Governor Ivey said this extreme anti-abortion legislation is what Alabamans and God want. This makes my blood boil, and with the initial stomping and shouting out of my system, I’m trying to focus on solutions rather than rage against antiquated rhetoric and an old-person’s sense of what is right for the “fragile sex” — I guess that also includes the Governor. I’m calmly trying not to blow my curly top when Ivey sticks God into the mix as a reasonable justification for her strategic action, and for using the women in her state as pawns in achieving her personal religious agenda.
Instead of getting totally pissed off, let’s take a big, cleansing breath and remember that the base of pretty much any legislation is freedom. In Alabama, the freedom of child bearing-aged women is at stake and not just in this state but also across the country. This doomed legislation, according to Gov. Ivey, is a steppingstone to challenge the established Roe v. Wade precedent. Aiming to undercut the fairness established in 1973 in RvW is the canary in the coalmine for the people who are changing the perception of what is right and wrong for all genders in today’s world.
That is not to say that we are forgetting, not for one millisecond, that fair and equal treatment of women also means fair and equal treatment of men, or trans or non-identified genders. As we like to say, being equal does not mean being the same. Men, for example, do not physically experience abortion. Abortion is not an equal opportunity procedure. It is solely experienced by women, therefore it is squarely a woman’s issue.
What’s happening in Alabama (and those like-states supporting ‘heartbeat legislation’) is the latest effort by outdated and afraid legislators who believe that they can somehow decide what is best for a woman, and her body. With a creeping awareness of equality taking front stage in even conservative states, these outdated legislators are still attempting to bully and sublimate women. Attacking the groundbreaking legislation of RvW is the only way these narrow-minded legislators can maintain the delusional that they have the power to somehow maintain discrimination against women. It is the last tangible stand they can take against gender equality in states stuck in their great grandparents’ generation, and this way of thinking has to be shaken apart at its core.
I believe that the legislators in Alabama are caught in their own rhetoric – they’re frozen in a time warp. Before our foremothers fought for equal rights, it was considered a privilege to be contained in the cages created by men. We no longer live in those cages. Men and women no longer focus on keeping women down, but instead we are bringing each other up. Once again, WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE CIVIL RIGHTS! And, the right for a woman to control her own body is the last frontier in which women are genuinely equal under the law.
One giant step in equality for all genders is the ratification of the long overdue ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA was introduced in 1925 and today — 94 years later — still has not passed its minimum of 38 states to be ratified. If you live in one of these states, and you are passionate about equal rights for all, you should get to know your representatives, and roar at them until they move away from the prehistoric age: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia.)
In this latest attempt by Alabama, its governing body of 25 white men evidently believes that God Herself is all for dismantling progress in favor of biased personal opinion and the outdated notion that choices regarding an individual’s body are not her own.
Maura puts her money where her mouth is and contributes to Planned Parenthood and her preferred candidate in the upcoming 2020 presidential election because the pen may be mightier than the sword, but money talks, and voting pushes those unfit out of office.