Thursday, January 18, 2007

it's never too early to start thinking about the elections

I made a declaration this weekend that took Jesse by surprise. I believe my exact words were, "I"m going to register to vote in Virginia." I figured it was about time. After all, no matter how many times I vote absentee in Cali, the Governator keeps getting elected (my only comfort is that my rep Loretta Sanchez keeps getting reelected). I actually suffered through an interview with the Governator on ABC News this past weekend and it was awful. He tried unsuccessfully to avoid giving his opinion on Bush's new proposed plan for Iraq. George Stephanoplous just kept pushing him and pushing him and finally the Governator gave an incredibly non-committal response (something like, "Well, we're not winning in Iraq so we must try something different"). Really, now? You think we need to do something different, huh? I could've come up with something more eloquent.

So yes, soon I will be a Virginia Voter. Maybe my vote during the next election will keep stuff like this from happening...

  • The VA State General Assembly is considering a total ban on abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe V. Wade. Surprisingly (considering the bleeding heart conversativsm that is widely practiced in VA) the proposed legislation does provide an exception when the life of the pregnant woman seeking an abortion is threatened.
  • Another bill under consideration would require parental consent before a minor can get contraceptives (!!!!). Are you serious? So you need a parental permission slip to pick up some condoms at Rite Aid? Pretty soon, we'll have to leave parenting up to the government.
  • Also under consideration is a bill requiring clinics that perform abortions to be licensed by the state and abide by requirements for ambulatory surgery centers. This one doesn't sound too bad.
  • The VA GA will also consider a bill making forced abortions a misdemeanor or felony if committed by the father. My question is how do you define "forced"?
  • And because clearly the above is not enough to restrict a woman's right to choose, the VA GA assembly will also consider the following changes to the state feticide law (it is against the law to kill a fetus if it is not yours)
    • Include the woman carrying the fetus
    • Allow the state to charge a pregnant woman with a felony if she misuses controlled substances, prescription drugs, etc.
    • Conduct a study to determine the reasons why women get abortions (because current research is not enough, I guess).

Oh, Virginia. It's not enough that one of your delegates thinks people should "get over slavery."* You need to legislate control over our uteruses and sex lives.

I bet the state legislature is mostly male.



*Del. Frank D. Hargrove said slavery ended nearly 140 years ago with the Civil War and added that "our black citizens should get over it" in an interview with a Charlottesville newspaper. His remarks were made in opposition to a measure that would apologize on the state's behalf to the descendants of slaves.

5 comments:

smarticus said...

Liz,

Don't be a hater . . . more women in the legislature doesn't mean more progressive policy. Women can be just as oppressive as men. See, for example, Phyllis Schlafly, Ann Coulter, and "Dr." Laura.

I am glad to see your vote will now count, though.

Madame M said...

Hey, at least you still get a CA ballot. Mine's been lost in the mail more than once *sobs*

lizzie said...

smarticus--i'm not being a hater. i just don't think it makes sense for men to make decisions over what i can and cannot do with my own body. what does a man know about pregnancy anyways?

madame m--i'm sorry yours has gotten lost in the mail. it's happened to me before too.

smarticus said...

L-- I don't think it makes sense for anyone to make decisions over what you can do with you own body, whether that person is XX or XY.

The logic you are proposing can quickly become silly. Should we disallow women who have gone through menopause from having a say on reproductive rights because they can no longer reproduce? Or those who have had a hysterectomy? Or those who are celibate?

The truth is we collectively make laws that often will not apply necessarily to us. There is nothing inherently wrong with having a man or woman vote on a law of general applicability. Your argument that women make superior choices when it comes to controlling the bodies of other women ignores the fact that women can be as controlling (and wrong-headed) as men.

After all, it wasn't the female members of the Supreme Court who recognized a woman's right to choose.

lizzie said...

point taken. when i made that comment, i was thinking of south dakota, a state with a mostly-male state legislature that voted (and passed) last year to make all abortions under all circumstances illegal. they didn't care to make an exception for the mother's life.

i don't care who you are...just don't legislate over my uterus.