Just a year ago it seems, the debate on abortion and women’s right to equal health treatment seemed pretty black and white. You were either “pro-choice”, which meant that you believed that if a woman was pregnant, she should have the right to choose whether or not she wanted to keep the pregnancy, or end the pregnancy through abortion. If you were not “pro-choice” you were “pro-life”, which meant that you believed that it was either wrong and/or immoral, and that the pregnancy should be carried through and the baby could be given up to adoption. For the most part, it was as simple as that. Generally, there would be some variances, but over all, the passion in the conversation would flare up when the debate began to focus on religion.
Now, the conversation has become massively charged. States like Mississippi passed a law that determined that life begins at fertilization, but then had the law over turned by the public. Legislative support began to rise in Virginia for an invasive vaginal probing procedure that would be mandated by the state, and would not require any consent, for any woman seeking to have an abortion. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell recently retracted his support. Presidential nominee Rick Santorum has recently come out against abortion of any type for any reason. This is simply a furthering of his existing stance, in that he now believes that even victims of rape and incest, should be required to keep the child and “make the best” out of a bad situation.
“A woman should always have the right to control what is happening to her body, and when she doesn’t, it’s called rape.”
This is where we are. The conversation has gotten so twisted and politically charged that it is no longer black and white. It is a gradient of misconception and misunderstanding. Many people would say that this is better. But now, the abortion issue, which is largely pushed by Republican pro-life legislators, contradicts the fundamental Republican stance of small government. The need to maintain conservatism among politicians literally has them invading the bodies of our mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, and for some, girlfriends, fiancées, and wives.
It is uncomfortable for men to talk about this, but regardless of where you stand, it matters. There is a trend, starting among legislators, to push laws like this through their respective state legislatures (Texas already has one), and there are presidential candidates that would like to make this a national law. A woman should always have the right to control what is happening to her body, and when she doesn’t, it’s called rape.
Editor’s notes: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Nathan Bunch and do not represent the opinion of El Iluminador or Sigma Lambda Beta.