We are lesser for recent court rulings

My mother was an educated, opinionated, strong-willed woman. She was also soft and loving and was a very admired teacher in the community I grew up in.

I learned a lot from my mom. One thing I learned from her was to respect women and understand that men are not superior to women – no matter what the Constitution said when it was written. Well, it didn’t really consider women much, did it? In fact, the Constitution does not mention women at all. Not once.

My parents were very much equals in our house. I have always treated women as such, and don’t understand those who don’t.

I remember the 1970s when women burned their bras and marched in the streets for their rights. Women couldn’t even have a credit card in their own names until 1974. If that doesn’t seem crazy to you, it certainly should.

Of course, women also couldn’t vote until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920. Today we find that horrifying.

I also remember the fight for women to have control over their own bodies and health care decisions. This is something men have always had. But women, along with their doctors, were not allowed that when I was a child.

That changed, of course. But now, we see that it has changed again.

Look, I am a man so me even writing about this seems ridiculous, but I feel that I must. The recent Supreme Court decision on abortion – lawyers deciding a medical procedure for ALL women I this country – is going to have very long-term ramifications. Let us count the ways.

First, it will certainly hurt women who live in states that have already outlawed the procedure – some even in the case of rape or mother’s health is in jeopardy.

Second, many lawyers in states that have outlawed the medical procedure have already said they will not prosecute women who get one. That is a decision between a woman and doctor.

Third, this reeks more of religion than politics. The unborn, of course, are not mentioned in the Constitution. This is a decision based on religion, and nothing more. For the life of me, I can’t understand how anyone against big government is for government telling a 13-year-old rape victim she must have the child.

The court also ruled recently about prayer in schools. So, all children, no matter their religious or non-religious beliefs, will be forced to listen to prayers of choice from the coach – probably teachers too. So, at a public school paid for with tax dollars, a Muslim kid might have to sit through a Christian prayer. That is wrong on every level. I have no problem with anyone worshipping as they see fit. That is their right. But this country’s laws are based on the Constitution, not the Bible. We have no establishment of an official religion in this country. Besides, about 3,000 different gods are currently worshipped on the planet. Which one is the right one? That is up to your personal beliefs. Yes, personal.

Fourth, there is nothing in the ruling about holding deadbeat dads responsible. A woman can have one baby a year and a man can create hundreds. But nothing to control men? Nothing?

Fifth, this will hurt the Republican Party in the long run. Maybe not right away – historically, the mid-term elections should be good for the party not in power. But this will be a problem over time. It is hard to say you are pro-woman and pro-small government and cheer this ruling.

Ultimately, this will change again, and health care providers and their patients will make decisions about health, and not a few people on a court. That is the way it should be in a free country, and it will be again.

But in the meantime, this will be a heavy burden on many, many women – especially lower income women. I have a daughter, and I think that I have zero say in her health care decisions. It seems so simple.

And for those who think Planned Parenthood does nothing but provide abortion services, you are very, very wrong.

Ultimately, our country continues to treat women as less than second class citizens. And we are the lesser for it.

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