This is NARAL's sixth year of putting on Blog for Choice Day, and the topic is "Given the anti-choice gains in the states and Congress, are you concerned about choice in 2011?"
Obvious answer is obvious: Yes. I still remember what happened when the Republicans controlled Congress under Bush, and given how wishy-washy Obama has proven to be when it comes to abortion rights, well...
Had Blog for Choice Day happened last week, I would have posted a few snide remarks about how Republicans were probably going to make attention-seeking, partisan jackasses of themselves and waste everyone's time by introducing a bunch of anti-abortion bills and attempting to repeal health care reform, neither of which would ever clear the Senate, much less the President's inevitable veto. On the upside, I was right. On the downside, well...I was right.
Sometimes being right about (almost) everything kinda sucks. In cases like this, it really causes you to lose faith in your fellow man.
Admittedly, I wasn't a huge fan of the health care reform bill that ultimately got passed. Like many progressives, I feel that it didn't go far enough in some ways (no public option, which means that I'm now rocking the "Oh crap my appendix ruptured!" insurance with a side of riding the sliding scale at Planned Parenthood plan), and actively worked to my detriment in others (allowing states to bar insurance companies from providing women using public funds to purchase insurance policies that cover abortion). I maintain it was better than nothing, though, and it did get me about six month's worth of decent coverage on my dad's insurance.
At the same time, watching coverage of the debate over the abortion provision was nothing short of rage-inducing, so now I'm really looking forward to (at least) two long years of watching a bunch of old, wealthy men who probably haven't had sex with a woman of reproductive age since the Carter administration hand-wringing about how abortion is just awful. Of course, now it'll be with an added side of and cutting social programs will help balance the budget (and single mothers are bad for society, anyway). As irritating as I find anti-choice Democrats, they at least support social safety nets that would (in theory, anyway) provide for children born to women who can't afford them.* They're also generally on board with comprehensive sex education and widespread access to birth control-- you know, the things that actually prevent abortions.
Anti-choice Republicans, on the other hand? I refuse to listen to a lecture on morality from anyone who will wail and moan about how horrible abortion is on the grounds that all human life is sacred while doing everything in their power to kill social welfare programs that are aimed at ameliorating the condition of poor children. The American child poverty rate hovers at around twenty percent. That's one in five children that is poor. Denying them food, shelter, and healthcare because of a Puritannical need to punish single mothers** is bad enough, but doing that while actively working towards the generation of even more unintended, unwanted children who will almost certainly be born into deprivation? Reprehensible.
It's going to be a long way to 2012. I can already tell.
*According to the Guttmacher Institute, over two-thirds of women who have abortions list an inability to afford an(other) child as a reason for terminating.
**I assume I don't need to get into how screwed up and wrong "I don't believe in rewarding bad choices" rhetoric is when it inevitably leads to punishing children for their parents' behavior is.