More than ever in this election year, it is imperative that women make their voices heard. There will always be two sides to an issue. The current trend toward introducing bills to dictate control over a woman’s reproductive system and eliminating preventative screenings must be recognized by Conservatives as well as Liberals for what it is in many cases—manifestation of a personal belief, represented as the only way that is right.
Just because one believes something is right, whatever their persuasion, doesn’t make it so. Is it the right of legislators to push personal beliefs relative to a woman’s body as the only policy that should prevail? If we lived in a dictatorial society where there was no opportunity to voice beliefs, the dictator would tell us what to do and we would have to follow without the possibility of refusing, because we would suffer severe punishment.
But we don’t live in such a society.
The Constitution gives Americans the right to have a voice, and the best way to make that voice heard is by voting. For example, abortion is currently legal, but many do not believe it should be. Those people have the right to refuse to have an abortion under any circumstance, and can stick by their principles. However, when that same person crosses the line to demand that everyone uphold their belief, and it is then presented it in the form of a bill, something is wrong. That’s when we go back to the days in the not so distant past when women died on the steps of hospitals or in filthy backstreet clinics after being butchered by illegal practitioners.
Since taking over the House in 2010, Republicans have introduced 916 anti-women Bills related to reproductive rights. This is not liberal dither as some might claim. It is fact that is in the record, which brings us full circle to the responsibility of women to make their voices heard. Whether Democrat or Republican, your personal rights—control over one’s body and future health—can be hijacked if women don’t show up and cast their vote this year. If you don’t agree with what you see on the ballot, cast a negative vote. If you do, vote for it. That simple.
Don’t take TV commercials, newspaper and magazine ads at face value. Check them out and see what they really mean.
It is the job of advertising agencies and political pundits to deliver the spin. They can make something awful look beneficial. For example, taking away preventative medical services in the name of cost savings can actually be cost escalation. It is much more cost-effective to catch diseases and deficiencies through routine screening than to treat advanced cases.
It is necessary to look beyond the case presented on the surface of an issue. Consider that preventative procedures have been proven over and over again to save lives and reduce ultimate cost of treatment. That goes for so many of the screenings for women that are currently at risk. When caught early, treatment is generally much less costly and survival rate much higher. When a condition progresses because there was no early screening, we enter into the pennywise and pound foolish school of thought. Women must stay informed and speak out. Women on both sides of the aisle have taken action as they see their rights being compromised, but unfortunately many remain silent.
Please pass the link to this article to every woman you know who’s voice may be in jeopardy. Comments are welcomed.
Morgan St. James is the author of several works of fiction, including her most recent book, Who’s Got the Money?—a funny crime caper that takes place within the federal prison system. Visit her at Twitter – @morganstjames – and on Facebook or visit her websites for more information about her books and blogs. www.morganstjames-author.com, http://morgan-stjames.blogspot.com, http://silversistersmysteries.wordpress.com, http://funnycrimecapers.com and http://writerstricksofthetrade.blogspot.com