It wasn't shocking, or even mildly surprising, when the newly-gathered Congress attempted to float an abortion ban bill on their very first day in Washington.
Any time the balance of power swings, as it did in the midterm election, the party gaining swag will try actions it knew it couldn't manage before.
In a situation like that, you swing for the fence. You show everybody who is running the place. You take your shot to make the history books.
An abortion bad would surely be a bombshell.
The thing is, abortion is not a political issue; it's a social one, a very personal one.
It is human rights, it is life and death.
In short, it is not something that you want a gaggle of rich old white men in Washington deciding for you. These are people who can't manage to budget a means to keep government running. People who have managed to achieve nothing on health care, peace, immigration and the other great, defining issues of our times. And we want to trust them with life and death?
Women's rights, babies' existence, is not to be made a political football of, to be booted back and forth every time a party gains advantage.
Conservatives in the House have cried endlessly over executive orders by President Obama on things like permitting undocumented immigrants from staying in the country, with some reason by the way, insisting he has violated the balance of power by overstepping another branch, Congress.
Wouldn't this be the same thing? If the ban passes, it would be in direct violation of the Supreme Court and its Roe v. Wade constitutional decision.
I'm no expert on legislation, but I'm not sure a bill, even if passed by House and Senate, which is indeed possible this year, could hope to stand up long if opposed by both the judiciary and executive branches.
I think a majority of Americans believe in women's rights to make their own reproductive decisions.
With all that said, I strongly believe, and I think a lot of people quietly share this, that while women may have the right to choose abortion, there is a better choice.
This much I can say... I have never met anyone in my life who has a child who has told me they wish they didn't. Circumstances may suck, parental relationships may break down, times may be awful, parents and children may bang heads at times - but what if that child had never existed? No.
As a young man, I never longed to be a parent. Didn't think I could afford it, didn't know if I could handle it. I was the youngest in my family, so I wasn't around babies much - they made me vaguely nervous when one was pressed upon me by a relative once or twice removed. Am I holding it right side up? What's that smell. How do you feed this thing? I felt like I had a lot to do, and being Dad wasn't at the top of the list. I would have been perfectly satisifed to wait. And wait.
And then there's that pregnancy test. So much for waiting. The panic. The uncertainty. Game on.
Then a baby. And miraculously, you find that you do know how to hold it and feed it, that the smell ain't all that bad. And when the child smiles, your heart does things you've never experienced.
The children I wasn't longing for are the best thing, the most important thing, that have ever happened, could ever happen, will ever happen, in my life. Despite the struggles now and then, thank God for them.
Not everyone can raise a child, I get that. Today you can arrange yourself for a perfect adoptive home for your baby. That's the third choice that never gets talked about in the "choice" issue. I was one of those babies once, and now I'm about to be a grandfather. I'll have to relearn how to hold one.
In the worst of worst case scenerios, you can carry a baby into a hospital or other approved place, hand it over and say, here, I can't do it, take care of this. And they will. People are standing in line to love a child, even if they can't have one of their own. Like it was meant to be. The world is a crazy, beautiful place like that.
No one should want to take away a woman's rights, but they should want to make sure that they know what they would be giving up, and that there are more than two choices.
Sometimes I wish we were able to elect leaders who could educate instead of dictate.