Thursday, December 12, 2013

Still not there yet

Politics is a marathon, not a sprint. It's a never-ending slog through muddy water in the dead of night with a thousand invisible things make menacing noises at your from every angle. And you have to keep on going, because off in the distance, however faint it may seem, there's the promise of better days, a better nation, a more perfect union. If you can tough it out, you'll be remembered as one of the greats who was on the right side of history. If you fall, well, at least you tried.

But we're not all running in the same direction, and some of our esteemed representatives seem to be following paths that make no sense to the rest of us. And while we've made progress in some things, we have undoubtedly lost our way in others.

Take, as one example, the new law passed in Michigan that forces women to take out an additional insurance policy that will cover abortions in the case of rape. While statistically, rape victims have a low chance of opting for a rape-caused pregnancy, the state of Michigan has decided that a woman must plan ahead for the possibility of being brutally attacked if she wants full access to medical procedures that are supposedly guaranteed under federal law. This is unbelievably horrendous for two reasons. First, it forces women who want to exercise their freedom of choice to purchase a product that men do not. Isn't that discrimination? Isn't that creating inequality between the sexes? Surely, men don't need to purchase abortion insurance, since they will never have to worry about getting pregnant. Secondly, this law implies that a woman has to take responsibility for the consequences of being raped. It shifts the responsibility and the consequences to the victim instead of the perpetrator. Again, a man does not need to purchase an abortion plan, even if he then goes out and rapes a woman who becomes pregnant. The responsibility is placed solely on the victim.

What astounds me is that this whole law was passed as a way to prevent people from having to pay for an insurance plan that covers something they find morally reprehensible. Never mind that the people who get on the insurance plan never have to actually have an abortion. Apparently, Michigan believes that merely having the option available in their insurance coverage causes people to lose sleep at night. It's absolute insanity, and the result is a degradation of women's rights and freedoms.

It's depressing that we are watching this happen in 2013, that we still have groups who believe in this kind of legislation, and believe that they are moving in the direction of a greater, more equal and perfect nation.

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