By: Joshua Simmons
Why, in 2019, are we still fighting the issue of men making laws that affect women? Why are men using the government to force religious principles on women? Why are men doing everything they can to subvert our democracy to willfully challenge our judicial branch in order to force a requirement on women?
Abortion has long been an issue, even after the law on abortion became settled with the decision of Roe v Wade, people have comfortably camped out in their Pro-Choice or Pro-Life camps. I can understand if someone does not agree with a woman choosing to terminate a pregnancy, but that is as far as that should go. The disagreement with termination should be just that, an expression of an opinion based on a belief system. After all, everyone is entitled to an opinion. The opinion becomes a problem when lawmakers, especially male lawmakers, go out of their way and force their beliefs on the American people through legislation and policies that those male lawmakers have no biological nor physiological clue about.
These extreme anti-abortion bills making their way through state legislatures throughout the country are wrong, willfully ignorant, and dark. These are not policies that will advance their state nor the country, these bans and bills are designed to do one thing and one thing only: Trigger another Supreme Court fight over the issue of abortion. These male lawmakers are not consulting women. They aren’t sitting down and talking to women who were victimized through rape or any other unwanted sexual act committed against them. They are not listening to the stories of women who had to terminate their pregnancy because of eventual life-threatening complications. These men have decided to shut their ears, ignore a moment for personal growth, and have decided that they will force themselves through legislation on every woman in their respective state and community.
One principle we should focus on is the separation of church and state. Most people who espouse pro-life views point to religious teachings as their basis for this view. America was founded on not allowing religious doctrines to influence the ability of government to provide for its citizens. This is also a requirement of the government to uphold its end of the social contract. These male lawmakers are turning state legislatures into theocracies and therefore a violation of the social contract. These lawmakers are neglecting their duty to uphold the Constitution and violating the will of the people, which the government is supposed to obey. The men pushing these extreme abortion bans are, in fact, forcing the government to terminate its end of the social contract with women.
In a time where the United States is failing to meet its obligation to provide affordable and equal access to reproductive healthcare, legislators should be focused on improving access to these affordable and equitable services. Now is not the time to enact policies that will further the well documented racial disparities regarding reproductive healthcare services. Instead, lawmakers, especially male lawmakers, should be using the power of their office to improve access.
In writing this piece, I am speaking as a man against men who think it is their right to tell women what to do. I do realize that I can only speak out against what I am seeing without truly understanding how women must feel seeing this invasion of their free will. I do not know what it feels like to be told what I can and can’t do with my body. After all, men are given all types of freedom to do as they please, usually with women on the receiving end of our actions. I will also acknowledge cisgender women (denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex) are not the only ones who are able to be pregnant. The term “woman” in this piece, for brevity, is meant to encompass any person who can get pregnant.
My hopes are that I can encourage more men to step up, speak out, and to stop telling women what to do. Enough is enough and more men must do their part be an ally and not the opposition. The Not So Gentle Men that have made it their mission to take away a woman’s right to choose should be forced to forfeit their seats due to their willingness to destroy our democracy and reckless violation of the United States Constitution.
Joshua Simmons is a Coral Springs City Commissioner. Coral Springs Talk welcomes all points of view. To submit yours go to Submit News.