Talking Pro-Choice and Politics, Texas Edition: Rick Perry is Anti-Women

29 Aug

I moved to Texas last week. Well, Austin, Texas which doesn’t quite count, but still, I am now a Texan. And I am quite pleased to adopt the residency status of Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, two native Texans who made abortion Americans’ Constitutional right. Weddington won the Roe v. Wade case when she was 26 years old. This made her the youngest person to win a Supreme Court case and a feminist hero to many, myself definitely included. Weddington’s got the best of the traditional Texas characteristics: she’s got Wild West guts, indiscriminate kindness, a fine drawl, and that solid Southern sensibility. She’s a gal that my now-Governor, Rick Perry, could really benefit from being around.

But instead, he is spending his time signing bills to force women choosing abortion to look at sonagrams of the fetus even if they say no. He’s making women sit and wait 24 hours to think over their choice to have an abortion; one more time for Gov. Perry’s sake. He is funding crisis pregnancy centers with state tax dollars. He is holding rallies with religious extremist who believe abortion is preventing the second coming of Christ and the separation of church and state is demonic. He is ignoring all evidence-based practices by funding abstinence-only education because his “personal life” says it works, and is preventing teens with unwanted pregnancies from obtaining abortions without parental consent. Worst of all? He is planning to take these laws and sentiments Federal through his bid for the presidency. He made that loud and clear when he signed an anti-abortion rights pledge last week stating he promises to only appoint anti-choicers to executive and Federal branch positions, and support Federal funding bands and restrictions on abortion services.

I know, that is one depressing paragraph, but never fear, we have abortion gang bangers like Sarah Weddington to offer solutions on dealing with Texas-sized misogynist jerks, even those who hold political office. At the end of Weddington’s book on Roe v. Wade, A Question of Choice, Weddington discusses an action plan for keeping abortion legal and accessible. She puts electing pro-choice candidates, especially Presidential candidates, as a first priority. And from just one of the above examples you can tell you why: anti-abortion fanatics/candidates make punishing any human with a uterus a priority. She suggests we all volunteer, financially support and talk-up pro-choice campaigns, and help educate voters on the impact of their support for anti-choice candidates. Weddington follows up the importance of elections by urging us all to ‘talk pro-choice’: to never call abortion opponents “pro-life”, but to call them “anti-freedom”, “pro-mandaotry birth” and “pro-illegal abortion.” She doesn’t include my favorite sum-up in the book, anit-woman, but I think we get the point. Being vocal about choice, particularly when it concerns Presidential candidates, is incredibly important.

We can’t take a day off from verbalizing how oppressive Perry’s policies are to women. I believe if we keep this verbal counter-attack up, the race for the (Tea Party) Republican nomination i.e. the anti-woman parade, will become an opportunity to help the pro-choice cause. The front running Republican candidates are so extremely zealous in their want to oppress women, and so willing to ignore evidence in the name of their church and personal experiences, that we pro-choicers might just get some footing here with those in the “grey area” in the abortion debate. Let’s point out that Rick Perry wants babies to be women’s major contribution to society, that he thinks education and job growth for women are less important than optimizing women’s birthing potential. Let’s point out that the right not to bear children is central to social equality for women, and that Perry and his fellow conservative minions do not believe in equality, women’s freedom, or women’s potential. Let’s say that loudly, again, again, and again. We need more people helping to fight for abortion rights, and this may just be our ticket to expanding the base.

So tell your friends and your enemies, y’all: Gov. Rick Perry is an anti-women and no President should ever fit that description.

7 Responses to “Talking Pro-Choice and Politics, Texas Edition: Rick Perry is Anti-Women”

  1. Sophia August 31, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

    Deva, great post. I can’t say enough about how dangerous Rick Perry is, he’s not afraid to install harmful religious-based, discriminatory, anti-choice laws and statutes if he were elected President of the United States. He is indeed anti-woman, and it would appear he is gleefully so. Let’s keep the scary information on this guy coming, until the day after voting in 2012, we can’t let up on these anti-choice politicians wanting to gain power this election cycle.

  2. Caroline Slingerland September 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    You manage to twist his ideas and words to make him sound like a menace to women. Perry is not against women, he is simply trying to include all women in his protection of them. Even the yet unborn women. After all, right around 50% of the infants that you advocate for the death of, are females. How does that support your pro-woman standing? Or are you only in favor of the sex-selective abortions, in which only the babies with a penis may be slaughtered? That would be terrible for our society, but better for you because then at least you wouldn’t be contradicting yourself. Women’s rights, pshaw. Maybe you should at least redefine your terms to clarify that you are only pro born women, because as long as you continue to allow our unborn women to be killed, you aren’t advocating for all women after all. Then you are picking and choosing which women deserve your protection, and if you do that, then I dont want your protection because who knows when you might decide that I dont fit the right criteria of those you deem worthy of this protection. All inclusive, or keep your hands off of me.

  3. Deva September 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    My representation of Rick Perry’s policies, unfortunately, was not “twisted”–all of the policies I listed were true-to-fact policies he zealously supports. Believing in women’s potential and capacity to make independent-rational decisions is a concept much larger than the “abortion debate.” However, these abortion policies very clearly indicate that he does not believe in gender/women’s equality in terms of mental, and social abilities.

    To address your belief that I am inconsistent in my support for women’s right’s I will say this: I believe *living* people (forget gender) are a priority over fetuses. I do not believe that “uborn “life needs protecting because I prioritize the fact that when a woman knows an abortion is her best choice, it’s because that *unborn* fetus would be standing in the way of her *born* life, either physiologically or philosophically or both. I am not (I know this is shocking) against the unborn, or any particular group of the “unborn”, and certainly NOT in favor of sex selection abortion. I am not for gender-selective abortion for many reasons, but most obviously in this conversation: Sex selective abortions most always means aborting the fetus with a to-be vagina, not a to-be penis.

    We digress there though, Caroline, because what I am talking about is the fact that good ol’ (cow)boy networks’/Rick Perry’s entitlement and zealous in running women’s lives is sexist, and sexist against women.

  4. Dee September 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    “After all, right around 50% of the infants that you advocate for the death of, are females. How does that support your pro-woman standing?”

    Same old antichoice rhetoric. Yawn. To answer your question, yes, 50% of fetuses will be female. That means the other 50% will be male, which means we don’t favor the abortion of one gender over another. That’s equality.

  5. Caroline Slingerland September 2, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    While Rick Perry has indeed made his position clear, it is your translation of his comments that are faulty. He is not anti-woman. He does, however, believe that there is and should be a difference between men and women. This is not based upon social or personal preference, but rather from a biological point of view. Women are different than men, and therefore have different roles. And here I speak not only of the differences in their reproductive systems, but also of their physical attributes. Women are, for the most part, smaller than men. They are less capable of doing the same things men should. The primary goal of the feminist movement was to eliminate social differences between men and women. It was to give women the same respect and rights as men, NOT to try disregard the biological differences. Unfortunately, many women have taken this feminist movement too far and believe they can be equal with men, not only socially and intellectually (something neither Rick Perry nor myself will ever challenge) but biologically. So Perry, in his stand, is not being sexist against women, but is acknowledging and accepting that there are and always will be biological differences between men and women. I am sure that if you ask him, he would not hesitate to agree that women deserve respect and equal rights with men. Those rights, however, should never be pushed to the extreme of allowing a woman to kill her own child, for any reason. Just as we would not allow or tolerate a man to kill our living children to convenience his own life or plans, a woman should not be allowed to kill her children. A woman is given the same liberties as men to make independant-rational decisions, as long as it does not harm- or take- another life.

  6. Christie September 2, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Caroline, Thank you for reading the blog and taking the time to express your opinion. However, I bet you wouldn’t be saying “hands off of me” if you had an unintended pregnancy that you had decide would be in your best interests not to pursue, and you were surrounded by anti-choice people. You would probably find comfort in our willingness to defend your right to choose.

    If you payed attention and looked carefully, you would also see that we are the same people who support your right to choose to mother. We support you regardless of the fact that you don’t want or need an abortion, because we love women and women-identifiers. Women who disagree with us, even. We are fighting for you as hard as you are yelling back “hands off,” because what matters to us is that you can choose what’s best for you in your life.

    We support the born, like you. This is not to say that we don’t see value in the unborn. But the unborn should never take precedent over the lives of the born. This merely puts value on an unsubstantiated future, instead of valuing a very substantiated present. We are choosing to value the present, the currently born.

    However, we do take issue with your claim that “Women are, for the most part, smaller than men. They are less capable of doing the same things men should.” Biology, or medically termed “sex,” is not where we find contention, but rather that gender, the social construct that it is, is non-inclusive of other gender-identities. And it is that same non-inclusiveness that you are basing your argument around. “Woman” and “man” are gender pronouns, not medical sex-terms. If you choose to argue “female” and “male” biology, you need to use the medical terminology.

    Also, realize that this argument is incredibly weak when it comes to bodily autonomy. Should a trans-man have any less right to access services that will keep their female sex-organs, and therefore their entire body, healthy while they transition to a “man” body? Should a trans-man have less rights than any other cisgender man simply because they have female sex organs? The “man” versus “woman” debate is a slippery slope on which to stand on the abortion debate. And the first and foremost reason is that the “man” in your argument can never, never, ever, be pregnant. And you will not find a single pro-choicer who advocates infanticide, as you outlined in your argument. As I said before, we value to born, and a man murdering a born child is not the same as having an abortion, no matter how you try to twist your logic.

    We thank you for reading our blog and debating with us. And if you ever find yourself in the unfathomable position where your rights are being violated, or you have no choice, we will be here to support you then too.

  7. Divine Oubliette September 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    If you aren’t pro-choice, you aren’t pro-life and if you are anti-choice, you are anti-women.

    Perry has gone out of his way to prove he is anti-choice, anti-women by his putting up that insulting ultrasound law as an ’emergency legislation’ and by slashing the Texas Women’s Health program funding by Medicaid. Perry is down right dangerous to women. And that’s not to mention that he hasn’t balanced our Texas budget in years and somehow he thinks he’s a good candidate to balance our nation’s budget??? HA!

    @Caroline – I bet you one unintended, unwanted, unplanned pregnancy that you are secretly pro-choice.

    Anyway, you do have the right to your OPINIONS but you and Perry do not have the right to impose your personal beliefs on the rest of us.

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