Meredith C. Carroll: Meredith Pro Tem
Aspen, CO, Colorado
In Sunday’s New York Times, Thomas Friedman made what is quite possibly the single greatest argument in support of life that has ever been written on the subject:
“In my world, you don’t get to call yourself ‘pro-life’ and be against common-sense gun control – like banning public access to the kind of semiautomatic assault rifle, designed for warfare, that was used recently in a Colorado theater,” he wrote.
“You don’t get to call yourself ‘pro-life’ and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency,” he continued, “which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet. You don’t get to call yourself ‘pro-life’ and oppose programs like Head Start that provide basic education, health and nutrition for the most disadvantaged children. You can call yourself a ‘pro-conception-to-birth, indifferent-to-life conservative.’ I will never refer to someone who pickets Planned Parenthood but lobbies against common-sense gun laws as ‘pro-life.’
No doubt some people will understandably be voting with their wallets when they hit the polls next week. And while the economy and other issues such as health care are, indeed, formidable subjects, it’s hard to imagine anyone who is a mother or wants to become a mother or who has or had a mother or wife or daughter or sister or niece or aunt or granddaughter or grandmother could possibly support Mitt Romney in light of how he so consistently, callously and easily turns his nose down on what should be a woman’s inalienable right to make very personal decisions about her own body.
No one life is more valuable than another, but imposing a singular religion’s belief on what constitutes a life on someone with opposing views is highly inappropriate and misguided.
Although Romney had nothing to say when a candidate he endorsed for the Senate in Indiana, Richard Mourdock, remarked last week that “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” his silence was deafening nonetheless.
(Never mind clowns such as Rep. Todd Akin, who is running for Senate in Missouri and made the utterly inane case not long ago for “legitimate rape,” or Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, who idiotically said there’s never an instance in which a woman wouldn’t survive without an abortion. Out of deference to those with heartfelt arguments against abortion, the lunatics shouldn’t be lumped in with their cause.)
Romney’s faith has nothing to do with mine. While I respect Mormonism, as well as Christianity and just about every other religion, I hold in highest esteems those who preach absolute tolerance of others’ beliefs and who don’t expect their god(s) and mine are one and the same or that theirs is better than mine and therefore I should necessarily put aside my religious values or personal morals out of some sort of ass-backward submissiveness. Religion has no place in government, and Romney’s principles certainly aren’t welcome in my OB-GYN’s office.
I solemnly acknowledge that there are those who steadfastly feel as if life begins at conception and that their god would want all embryos to have a chance at life outside the womb. What I respect even more, though, is when those same people understand that my religion doesn’t speak to the events in my uterus or at least recognize that what happens in my uterus is not for public consumption.
At least Joe Biden, who declared himself anti-abortion in the vice presidential debate, had the good sense to clarify anyway that while he was raised a devout Catholic, “I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that, women, that they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor, in my view, and the Supreme Court. I’m not going to interfere with that.”
Colorado remains among a handful of a battleground states in next week’s presidential election, and women are said to be the big wild card in the Centennial State. Except nearly all of the women in Colorado I know don’t consider our bodies to be a hot-button topic. How we decide what happens to us should never, ever be subject to change depending on who occupies the Oval Office.
I’m absolutely convinced we’re all pro-life, every last one of us – who could possibly argue against life? How we’re all not pro-choice, too, however, is the maddening question that will get so many of us to the voting booth next week.
Abortion isn’t a political issue, but having undisputed choices about our own bodies is a life issue. As in, it’s my life, and if you want me to vote for you, stay out of mine.
More at http://www.meredithcarroll.com
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Aspen School District is not the only district in the country facing teacher shortages as schools across the nation are struggling to find available staff to fill gaps in teacher positions, writes Teen Spotlight columnist Beau Toepfer. Still, the district has faced challenges with teacher retention and replacement this year.