Leave it to me to create a mess.
I don't typically like getting too political, whether it's here or on my Twitter and Facebook pages. I do like an occasional joke, and have told them at the expense at both political parties, but I also understand and respect the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
However, I do like to post articles that affect women's health - particularly in the areas of reproductive medicine and reproductive choice. Earlier in the week, I put up an article on my Facebook page that I couldn't NOT share. It was a story about Rick Santorum's stance on abortion in the case of rape.
The result of positing the article was initially what I expected - a bunch of women pissed off that yet more leaders in government are trying to make uninformed decisions about their bodies. Then came the posts from non-followers. Mostly men, I have no clue what lead them to my Facebook page in the first place. But there they were, getting into a full-fledged political argument all over my vagina monologues.
Was there ever a time when the line was clear? Was there ever a time when politics were only used to ensure equal and fair access to healthcare and did not cross over into personal reproductive choice? If there was, it certainly doesn't exist anymore. If it's not a debate about abortion, it's one about birth control. There is never shortage of debate about how and what women should do with their bodies. Yet, the argument for equality in women's healthcare compared to men, or in women's healthcare compared to other women (e.g. infertility coverage) is minimal. Politicians would rather tell me what I can and cannot do with my own body than give me equal access to medical services.
How did this happen? How did we, or politicians, mistake equality with ownership? And better yet, how do we draw the line in the sand?
Santorum believes that women who are raped should accept the hand they've been dealt and "make the best out of a bad situation." He says nothing about the psychological damage one can endure when carrying a child conceived by rape. There is no mention of how difficult it is to carry a child and then place him or her for adoption, regardless of how that conception occurred. And I am guessing he didn't take into consideration how difficult it can be for adoptive parents to raise a child who is the product of rape. It requires so much extra care that many adoption agencies classify these children as special needs.
I'm not pro-abortion. My view - perhaps enhanced by my experience with infertility - is that politics and vaginas don't mesh well together. We don't have the audacity to walk around telling men what to do with their penises. Or is it peni? At any rate, I don't feel as though they should do the same with my lady bits. Politicians don't belong in my panties. Not when it comes to personal choice, at least.
If I was the victim of the violent crime of rape, I would not want to hear from my husband or father, "accept this horribly created" child. Instead, I would expect to hear, "I will support you in whatever choice you make." I would expect no judgement. I would expect the freedom to make my own decisions based on my physical and mental well-being.
Too bad our lawmakers can't follow that lead.