published Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Equality eventually: All men and women are created equal until we talk about pregnancy

Independence Day is truly a day to celebrate, but we have more work to do.

Our Founding Fathers fought for American independence and wrote a fine framework for freedom -- for men.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

That wonderful sentence is probably the best-known portion of the Declaration of Independence, ratified on July 4, 1776.

But it was 72 more years until, in 1848, the first Woman's Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls, N.Y. It was there that convention organizers Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Mary Ann McClintock, Martha White and Jane Hunt improved on the Declaration with new words and a motto: "All men and women are created equal," and they demanded social and political equality for women. The idea got a headline or two, but little more.

It would take still another 72 years before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution would pass in 1920, giving women a right to vote in this great and free country -- a full 144 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Equal pay laws, equal credit laws and other equality measures followed.

But still a struggle continues for full equality.

Just ask Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, who breathed new life into a long-aborted Texas Democratic Party as she filibustered for 11 hours to defeat the first but not final effort to ban Texas abortions after 20 weeks. You can also ask choice advocates in Ohio and North Carolina.

All three states in recent weeks have been in the crosshairs of "TRAP" legislation -- Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.

The Roe v. Wade case and subsequent Supreme Court decisions prevent states from banning abortion outright, but state legislation can make abortion more difficult. The newest tool is to nitpick the clinics and doctors out of business with new state "standards."

In Texas, "standards" were about facility sizes and doctors' hospital admitting requirements.

"We're really regulated already," said Amy Hagstrom Miller, who runs five Texas abortion facilities. "Primarily what we're talking about in this bill is the physical plant -- the size of the hallways, locker rooms, closets." She estimated it would cost at least $4.5 million to bring her facilities up to the new code -- which wasn't necessary.

The Texas bill, and another like it in North Carolina, also requires that doctors performing abortions have hospital-admitting or transferring privileges within 30 miles of the clinic in question.

Hospitals -- always sensitive to protests and political pressures over funding -- often decide not to enter into those agreements with abortion providers. With no privileges, the doctor can't provide abortions, so the clinic closes.

That strategy already has closed at least two Ohio clinics after Republican Gov. John Kasich signed a bill there Monday banning public hospitals from entering into such transfer agreements.

In North Carolina, the anti-abortion bill started as a Sharia Law ban sent over from the House, and it wasn't made available to the public online until just before the floor debate started. Senate Republicans passed it after only 90 minutes of pubic notice.

Nine other states also have hospital "transfer agreement" requirements, including Virginia and Tennessee, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights advocacy group.

Proponents say the transfer agreements ensure speedy treatment for a patient who suffers complications, but opponents say hospitals are required to accept emergency patients with or without an agreement.

The fight for reproductive freedom isn't new. In 1916, Margaret Sanger opened the first U.S. birth-control clinic in Brooklyn. The clinic was shut down 10 days later, and Sanger was arrested. In 1921, she founded the American Birth Control League, and she eventually won support through the courts and opened another clinic in New York City. Her American Birth Control League in 1942 evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

In the meantime, it was 1936 before a federal law prohibiting the dissemination of contraceptive information through the mail was modified and birth control information was no longer classified as "obscene."

Then in 1973, Roe v. Wade established a woman's right to safe and legal abortion, overriding the anti-abortion laws of many states. Abortion rights were reaffirmed in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a case that successfully challenged Pennsylvania's effort to reinstate restrictions previously ruled unconstitutional.

Yet women (and men) still must fight for this simple freedom -- choice -- over and over.

Imagine a law that says a man can't have a vasectomy.

Conversely, imagine proposed legislation to deny men Viagra.

Good heavens. The filibustering in this great, free country would never end.

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librul said...

If men could get pregnant, abortions would be free and walk-in clinics would be available all across the land.

As it is, we have committees dominated by ultra right wing religionist male graduates of sectarian schools and subversive organizations like "The Family" with their Ivanwald clubhouse, passing laws to turn women into subservient second class citizens with no rights of self determination - sorta like the Taliban's approach to social structure.

Hopefully this insane overreach, so typical of these fanatics, will see secularism arise and sweep them out of our government peacefully. Otherwise .....

July 4, 2013 at 8:28 a.m.

As long as the unalienable right to life is threatened, the likewise unalienable rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness are logically rendered meaningless. Pro-abortion advocates show their contempt for the latter in the qualifications they attach to the former.

Biology has never been equal. The pro-abortion position is based on a number of similarly illogical, emotion-driven assumptions, thus the special-pleading and demagoguery in editorials such like this one. Human existence has never been autonomous or independent. It takes two (of complementary genders) both to tango and to raise a healthy child with equal opportunities to succeed.

Roe v. Wade has especially benefitted philandering men prone to abandon their mates and to forsake responsibilities resulting from their behavior. The supposed possibility of pregnancy for males would indeed likely expand the availability and number of abortions. How does that justify expanding the ways they take advantage of women and children as they now do?

Roe vs. Wade was decided on very flimsy legal grounds (as acknowledged by some pro-abortion judges and legal scholars), and it will inevitably be overturned. The courts have politicized the issue, turning the discussions about inconveniences vs. responsibilities into notably ugly and unnecessarily divisive ones.

The Spirit of liberty and the Spirit of life are inseparable. The culture of death has introduced a very dark cloud over our most fundamental values as a nation.

July 4, 2013 at 1:51 p.m.
FreedomJournal said...

PARABLE: THE PLACE FOR MAN (12 Nov. 2005 by Carl A. Patton, Stewart Creek, LaVergne, TN)

“WHAT ARE THE LABEL’S AND TITLES OF LIFE?”

I could see John he looked disgusted but there was a smile on his heart. As he grew he knew that there were no liberal or conservative Christians; the people that follow Christ. He was grateful he knew that among these people reside no political titles are political parties. So up went the Democrats and the Republicans. Where are the Independents, do they exist? “Out upon the land stood the law. As John opened the Book he found no reference to the many titles of the world. However, he did see that the law of the Book was uncompromising. He prayed for courage as there was/is only one title and He is King.” Peace and Paradise, Brother Carl A. Patton writing for the FreedomJournal Press Thursday 4 July 2013 in the year of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

July 4, 2013 at 3:08 p.m.
labwstone said...

Are you seriously comparing an abortion to a vasectomy or Viagra? A vasectomy would be equal to a tubal ligation if you want an equal comparison to men and women. Or even closer than abortion would be a hysterectomy. Women can't walk into a clinic and request one of those. Why aren't you fighting for that? And what right do men have when it comes to a voice in saving the life of their child when a woman wants an abortion--the baby is theirs also? I have never heard a woman say, "I got an abortion and I'm glad of it, I feel good about it." You know why....because they don't feel good about it. Women are tricked into thinking that it's okay and then later feel guilt and loss. Those like the author of this article have minimized the aftermath of this, and also underestimate the intelligence of women. Do you really think a woman doesn't have enough sense to know she's pregnant and get an abortion if she really wants one BEFORE 20 weeks--this is what these states are arguing about! Have you followed the trial recently in regard to the abortion clinic who was killing babies after they are born along with the permanent damage/infections/lack of ability to conceive in the future- imposed upon women who visited this clinic? And you still think the laws are too strict? This doesn't sound to me like you really want "equality" for women but want to ensure men are superior by debilitating women in a number of ways.

July 6, 2013 at 2:27 p.m.

Fight for abortion? Who's stopping anyone? Remember R v W, that law passed without anyone getting to vote on it, and the 60 million plus abortions since? Once again, the left won't stop until everyone has the same opinion.

July 8, 2013 at 12:16 a.m.
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