Midwest Voices

July 18, 2014

Melvina Johnson Young: Hobby Lobby decision spurs debate between most American women v. GOP

Birth control is the gateway drug to women’s equality. Plan your family — plan your future. When somebody else’s ‘religious freedom’ gets in the way of that it’s time for a ‘Freedom From the Other Guy’s Religion’ amendment.

Most American Women: “Ouch! That hurts!”

GOP: “Seriously? Come on! You’re not hurt.”

Most American Women: “I know what pain is.”

GOP: “No. You just think you’re feeling pain because liberals and the media told you that.”

Most American Women: “You think I have to be told I deserve equal pay for equal work, that rape isn’t ‘regret sex?’ I need to be told that I should be able to choose the best contraception for my body, health, lifestyle and sexual choices according to my own religious or non-religious understanding? That’s not ‘liberal.’ It’s American.”

GOP: “Don’t try to tell me you were worried about any of that until the ‘lame-stream’ media started with that ‘war on women’ crap.”

Most American Women: “It wasn’t the media that started it. Devastating funding cuts to prenatal and maternal care? Closing down family planning clinics with fake concerns about room temperatures and building codes? Supporting this Hobby Lobby mess?”

GOP: “We have to respect and protect the religious freedom of job creators. They oppose contraception that kills babies...”

Most American Women: “Are you really siding with people who think abortion can happen before pregnancy even occurs? Their ‘sincerely held beliefs’ forced what’s basically a religious definition of pregnancy (sperm meets egg) into public policy over the objections of doctors.

“ Doctors — like The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists who’ve studied how lady parts work and actually help women conceive and have babies — say pregnancy can’t happen until sperm and egg meet and implant in a hospitable uterine environment. (Did you know up to 80 percent of fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant? How many “pregnancies” is that?) By Hobby Lobby’s definition of pregnancy, the methods they object to could cause abortions before a woman is even medically pregnant. Abortifacients? How?

“They’re entitled to their beliefs. But thanks to their money and powerful people who agree with them, American women who depend on the Affordable Care Act are apparently entitled to Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs, too.”

GOP: “Calm down ... no need to get hysterical.”

Most American Women: “Don’t tell me to calm down, Elephant Man. Birth control is the gateway drug to women’s equality. Plan your family — plan your future. When somebody else’s ‘religious freedom’ gets in the way of that it’s time for a ‘Freedom From the Other Guy’s Religion’ amendment.”

GOP: “Their consciences told them...”

Most American Women: “Their consciences should have listened harder to science.”

GOP: “Bah! Women won’t fall for this ‘war on women’ claptrap. They’re more than reproductive parts.”

Most American Women: “True. Your economic policy sucks, too. Fighting equal pay? Standing against minimum wage when two out of three minimum wage earners are women? Slashing food stamps and day care in a bad economy when one in three women live in or near poverty?

“Yeah. ‘Sucks’ covers it.”

GOP: “You’re adorable! Seeing anybody?”

Most American Women: “Come election — anybody but you. We still get to make private decisions in the voting booth.”

Melvina Johnson Young is a former university lecturer and writer specializing in U.S. history, African-American history, women's history, and gender and cultural studies. To reach her, send email to oped@kcstar.com.

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