The big mess in Texas where legislation has just been passed that has put much of the female population without necessary health services and further restricts a woman’s reproductive choices, has left women angry and ready to continue their fight. Much has been written and reported but it seems the one area that everyone shies away from is the intrusion of religion and religious beliefs into the governmental process. There was no attempt to hide the fact that there was no separation of church and state. I guess that leaves it to me to say a few words on the subject.
I am a southern liberal feminist and have lived my entire life in the South. By south I mean really south, Louisiana and Texas, otherwise known as Red Hell of the Bible belt. It has never been more evident that this is the Bible Belt than listening to the testimony from the State Capitol in Austin. While this was a political/legislative affair there was more mention of God than women. One woman who was watching the live stream of the proceedings was playing a drinking game. Every time the word God was spoken she drank. I am positive she got drunk very early and could not finish the watching.
It was like a Southern Baptist fire and brimstone revival with men and women raging against the baby killers who surely would burn in hell for eternity, crossed with a Catholic confessional. The confessions consisted of women who sobbed continuously as they told stories of their personal horror stories and regret. One woman regretted her procedure so much that she went back for a second. I’m guessing she wanted to be sure. And while there was one man holding a sign declaring his regret for his abortion, the majority of the common male testimony was an exercise in self flagellation by telling the world of their promiscuous, fornicating, drinking, drug addicted, self absorbed, selfish pasts. The constant in most of the testimony was their religion.
Please do not take my references regarding these proceedings as in any way thinking that people should not practice their religion. I respect people who have a personal faith regardless of the religion. But religion should have no place in legislation. Our founding fathers thought they had made that clear, apparently not! Just as Christians do not want to be made to live by any other religion other than theirs; I do not want my life to be affected in any way by their religion or any other. If you want to see a Christian squirm just mention the Quran. The irony is that they do not see their actions are similar with that of the Taliban, control of the people by religion and religious texts. Both of these however are bastardizing their holy books to suit their personal religious agenda. I am aware that I just pissed off many people with that last bit, but it is true.
One of the major things that allow women to determine their future is the ability to control their reproduction. Take that away and she is a prisoner of her body because she cannot plan her life, her education, her work, or her family. Closure of clinics and restricting access to family planning and contraception is a way to keep women in their place. Everyone thought I was ready for the loony bin when I said contraception was next; now look at what is happening. Under the guise of religion and religious conscious and a pile of bull hockey about ten feet high they are finding ways to make access and affordability of contraception a major problem.
Women’s reproductive choices are none of their business and it doesn’t matter what book they wave in praise. They have pissed off a hornet’s nest of women in Texas who are mad enough to sit at their computer, organize, plan, and connect with others and then…get up from that computer and protest. I’m talking, sign waving, chant singing, street marching, getting arrested PROTEST.
The women in Texas in the matter of a couple of weeks managed a miracle. Just imagine when there is time and more people, and more organizations, and more states…ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
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