Amy Irvin: Helping Women Exercise Their Right

Listening to the rhetoric of anti-abortionists in and outside of government, it sometimes takes an effort to remember that abortions have been happening for as long as there have been humans and the right to a safe abortion has been protected by the United States Constitution since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

But, this is Louisiana where even lost causes are never actually admitted to be lost. We talk in tongues, never saying in public what we mean in our hearts. Unless, of course, we slip and the bile in the form of hatred comes spewing out.

Louisiana’s fetus fetish grew out of the same cultural cul-de-sac  that venerates confederate leaders but ignores their barbarous acts. Anti-abortionism uses the fetus to bludgeon the rights of women. It was not until the 1970s in Louisiana that women got the right to borrow money on their own. The resentment against that has never died down.

Louisiana’s restrictions on women’s health options have much less to do with the alleged sacredness of life (the canard that is exposed every day in this state by a long litany of statistics ranging from high poverty rates, poor health outcomes, low levels of education, the highest rate of incarceration, etc.) than with the urgent desire of insecure  men to maintain control over the lives of women.

Thus, you have the anti-regulatory legislature passing an increasingly arcane set of regulations on abortion clinics. You have legislators in a state with high teen pregnancy rates fighting to keep sex education out of schools. And you have legislators gutting funding for the Department of Children and Family Services on one day while trying to tighten abortion regulations the next.

We are a backwards state because our elected leaders consistently try to drag us back to a white male supremacy fantasy world of where everyone knew their place and Trey’s son could get a job at a bank even it he couldn’t count too well.

The confederate monuments fight has served two extremely useful purposes. The first is that it has forced us to examine our history. Those monuments had nothing to do with the Civil War but much more to do with trumpeting the rule of white supremacy harkened by the Plessy v. Ferguson decision. The second thing it has accomplished is peel back the thin veneer of politeness and exposed the ugliness that lurks just below it in the bright light of day.

Women seeking abortions have seen this ugliness every time they have approached a clinic to exercise their right to a safe medical procedure. The people who protest and try to block them from exercising their right don’t care about the women and they don’t care about the fetus that the women want to abort. What they care about is attempting to exercise control over those women in a desperate attempt to cling to the illusion of a past that they can’t allow themselves to comprehend.

What unites opponents of removing confederate monuments with anti-abortion activists is the fear and hatred that lies at the core of their beliefs, but which erupt from time to time in ways that are so stark and pronounced as to reveal their alleged higher purpose to be a scam.

Amy Irvin and I had a great conversation. I’m proud to be included as member of the New Orleans Abortion Fund board of directors.

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Thanks to Matt Roberts, AOC’s Community Production Manager for help locating the music used in this segment.

A Foolish Game by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/55394 Ft: Snowflake