Pro Choice by principle

Chelsea Ratterman

Editor in Chief

Pro Choice by principle

The GOP has attempted to draw in women voters, to close the gender gap that pushed President Obama to the 2008 win, but their recently reaffirmed views on women might make that gap grow even more.

The platform the GOP approved calls for a constitutional amendment called the “Human Life Amendment” that gives legal status to the unborn, with no-exception for rape in the abortion stance and a measure that opposed FDA approval of drugs like RU-486, which has been used in medical abortions.

Members of the GOP called to not approve the platform, and the Romney camp attempted to distance itself, but with Rep. Ryan as the VP pick, they can only distance so far. Alabama representative Jacqueline Curtiss said that to “reaffirm to the American people the [GOP] sensitivity on the subject of rape, I believe that we should not support an amendment which opposes approval of a method that has been proven effective in preventing the pregnancy of rape victims.”

Rep. Paul Ryan, GOP Vice President pick, had a hand in the debate.

Please note: Rep. Curtiss is a woman.

She also referenced Rep. Todd Akin, whose recent remarks brought the abortion argument to the forefront of the election. He remarked that in cases of  “legitimate rape” a woman’s body has a way of shutting down any pregnancy that occurs as a result. This calls back to Rep. Ryan’s attempt at a “forcible rape” definition, which would eliminate available abortion services to victims of statutory rape and incestuous relationships when over 18.

At what point do we say enough is enough? Planned Parenthood is constantly under attack, and although it does not use federal funding for abortions, there are constant threats to defund and shut it down.

The Affordable Care Act signed by Obama now provides women a free yearly well woman visit, as well as costs for follow up and screenings for sexual violence, access to a DNA screening for HPV every three years when over the age of 30, which will help prevent cervical cancer, free testing for gestational diabetes and support for care and adult women can get contraceptives at no cost, including sterilization procedures, but does not include abortion. These strides made access to women’s health care easier, enabling women to be able to make informed decisions on how they treat their bodies. Religious organizations have already challenged this part, and won the exception to not provide birth control to employees in its sector. When can we expect these to be challenged again, not as part of Obamacare, but directly for the services they now guarantee women?

The fight is now no longer between pro- or anti-abortion, but now pro- or anti-women’s rights. Being pro-choice is not a matter of whether or not abortion is right, but is now a matter of principle. The principle is that women should be able to take care of their bodies, as they see fit, not how the government does.

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