I take offense to any measure that would infringe on a woman’s rights. We’ve come a long way and a step backwards, even one, is unacceptable.
To the mere suggestion that a woman’s rights should be lessened, my eyes narrow, pulse quickens, blood boils (figuratively and not literally), and if looks could kill, my glare would be considered a deadly weapon.
Over the last 200+ years, women have slowly and sometimes painfully so, earned their rights. We struggled for the right to an education, the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, the right to divorce an abusive spouse, the right to own property, the right to wear whatever clothes we choose, the right to serve in the military (other than being a nurse), the right to keep our maiden name after marriage, the right to be in public without a man, the right to smoke in public, the right to hold certain jobs, the right to equal pay, the right to compete in the Olympics, etc. That list could continue.
While some of these rights were activities that societal norm pressured upon us, others were laws levied against women specifically. Women have not only been shunned by society, they were jailed by “justice” because they desired to be treated equally to, and not less than, a man.
Some states actually had laws on just how many times a man could physically abuse his wife before she could ask for a divorce. My mother called this “home corrections,” a term given to a man’s “right” to correct his wife’s behavior with violence.
There was a time when women weren’t allowed to own property, regardless of how she obtained it. If it was a family inheritance and she married, her property would then belong to him. Married women couldn’t even have their own passports. Hers was placed on her husbands, because, you know, she would never travel alone.
When it comes to the recent Roe v. Wade controversy, women have been denied access to birth control measures, denied elective tubal ligations and denied the right to do with their bodies as they wish. Before Roe v. Wade, abortion was illegal and deadly. Women died.
No male deaths were reported. Not one.
If a wife wanted to prevent future pregnancies and requested a tubal ligation, the doctor asked permission from her husband. If he said no, she wasn’t allowed to have one.
Women without children weren’t allowed one, period. However, a man could walk into the doctor’s office on his 18th birthday and say ‘I don’t want children’ and a vasectomy would be performed. I believe that double standard still exists.
We’ve come a long way, but in many ways, we still aren’t treated equally. Let’s not take a step back. Women should have the right to choose to have an abortion regardless of anyone else’s opinion.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.