Thousands of women will be marching again on Saturday January 20 and Sunday January 21st 2018 across the United States. "Really Again" echoes in our footsteps. Part of US history that is forgotten is that in 1776 Abigail Adams told John Adams that if he does not Remember the Ladies they will foment rebellion* and in 1848 the "Declaration of Sentiments" was presented at the first Women's Rights Conference pushing back against the enslavement of women. http://bit.ly/2EQdQOa
The "Declaration of Sentiments" opens with
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;"
To understand "Really Again" I researched some dates -
The Civil War was 1861-1865 and when amendments were drafted to the Constitution in 1867 to remove the right to discriminate those amendments were to be for all people. The back room political deals limited the freedoms only to men and turned the knife in women's backs by inserting the word "male" for the first time into the Constitution. The "Really Again" rings true in light of the fact that in 1873 the Comstock Laws made it a crime to put any information into the mail regarding contraception. States then passed their own form of the Comstock Laws. (The discovery of vulcanized rubber allowed condoms to be massed produced by 1855) By 1880 every State had criminalized abortion. (See United States Herstory Timeline http://bit.ly/2y9sxvF)
Basically after the Civil War the men decided that women, instead of being given equal protection of the law and the right to vote, were to be enslaved as the Life Bearers. It is true that war falls longest, hardest and cruelest on the backs of women. Today, we are in a place in history where women's basic human rights are a political football "Really Again"
This sign "Real Feminists are Pro-LIfe" at the Washington DC Women's March 1/21/2017 made me stop and think about what was being said "Really Again" Today what is happening is that have allowed men to divide us and frame the debate around women's basic human rights.
My sign would have said "Feminists are Pro-Life but we are not Forced Birthing Demanders"
Women are born with millions of eggs in their bodies, menstruate monthly for an average of 40 years and know that they will sacrifice and face pain and death's door in order to nurture, birth and feed new life. Women embody the universal feminine archetype of creating life.
We are all Pro-Life. What we are not is Forced Birthing Demanders.
We are all Pro-Life in that we "embrace quality of life and freedom of choice to ensure that quality in all dimensions"* At its roots Pro-Life is non violent. It honors and respects women as the Life Givers. It calls out the normalization of women as Life Bearers as a form of violence.
It is violence to defund and criminalize women's human right to choose when she will open herself up to the mystery of life. For 38 years of fertility her essence is to cherish and celebrate life in a fashion that is true to her nature and spiritual gifts. Reproductive Justice supports women as the Life Givers and asks women to be generous.
We need to create a new narrative for women that embraces the label Pro-Life and calls out the people who are advocating violence against women. There is a fundamental difference between a Forced Birthing Demander and someone that honors and respects women as the Life Givers. One perspective devalues and enslaves women and one embraces women as human beings with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We need to make clear that the term Pro Life does not mean both.
As a result I believe it is prudent for us to use the term Compassionate Pro Life. Science knows that when a sperm and egg meet there is a flash of light. The potential for a human being with unique spiritual gifts and talents has begun. Aligned with the gospel of Matthew 13 the male seed will fall in many places that are not prepared to accept and grow it. Women the Life Givers must go to death's door to birth. It is the woman's fundamental human right to decide when she will accept the new life and become the mother to that child. Human beings in their essence honor, respect, cherish and celebrate life. Nature in her infinite wisdom has give us the gift of embracing life. Rather than putting in policies that force women to birth against their will we need to "Ask Women to be Generous"** and support them in their path in life as mothers.
I ask where are the memorials to all the women who have died in childbirth?
(*Mary Daly definition)
(* http://bit.ly/2gaH0gN and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.)
(Prior to 1940 1 in 8 women died in childbirth in the US and today the US has some of the highest rates of maternal death in the developed world.)
(A good example of a Forced Birthing Demander who has risen to a powerful position is E. Scott Lloyd a conservative lawyer from the Knights of Columbus who has become the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.)
Matthew 13 NIV “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
** Pope Francis