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Wednesday, January 24

going public to keep it private?

When John Ashcroft was Attorney General he requested the medical records of women who had late-term abortions. People with sense realized that medical records and indeed whether a woman opted for an abortion are private. The entire basis of Roe v. Wade is that government cannot place restrictions on a woman's right to an abortion in the first trimester. That means record keeping, intimidation, or asking a woman if she had an abortion.

Abortion, the Supreme Court reasoned, is a private matter.

He wouldn't even need a subpoena if Ms. Magazine cons American women into signing a list that touts the signatories as not only pro-choice but active participants.

Again this solicitation came in my e-mail and I share it with you:
In commemorating Roe v. Wade, Ms. magazine is delivering thousands of names from our "We Had Abortions" petition to President Bush, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and other U.S. Representatives and Senators. These brave women lent their names to the continuing struggle to protect our reproductive freedom. Top decision makers will see that thousands of women can personally attest to the necessity and importance of safe, legal, and accessible abortions.

Join these brave women. Send a letter to your Representative and Senators now.

We recognized that today, during a time in which local, state, and national attacks on abortion rights are not uncommon and social stigmas surrounding abortion persist, women and men still need to speak out in support of reproductive freedom.

The response to the new Ms. petition has been overwhelming. Women have expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share their stories and to hear that they are not alone. Women of all ages from every state in the nation signed, showing their desire to preserve the legal right to abortion for future generations.

Our voices are making a difference. Join us by sending a letter to your Representative and Senators.

For Women's Health and Lives,

Eleanor Smeal
Yes and those government officials will know who had an abortion because these women were conned into believing that if they gave their medical history to the government it will somehow protect their rights to privacy.

This is patently ridiculous. And dangerous.

Women do not need to have an abortion to attest to the value of the right to control their own bodies and reproductive capabilities. And a woman does not need to attest to her most private decision to have power. And if Ms. wants to show that they can rally women, why should men sign the petition? They don't get pregnant. Should they say, "I paid for my girlfriend's abortion? I drove her to the clinic. Aren't I a mensch."

How is a woman's opinion or political power more valuable if she had an abortion?

Women inherently embody the obvious reason to support abortion: no government should be able to tell a woman that she must be pregnant. Government does not tell men that they must father children. Government cannot tell women that they must be mothers. A woman either has control over her uterus or she is not equal to men. A woman either can control her body or she gives her body to the government and then ultimately to men.

Ms. Magazine is being disingenuous when it uses women's bodies to further a political agenda. In order to make Ms. a force on the political stage a woman may sign this petition and receive harassing phone calls, criticism or worse at work, from her "friends," from her loved ones. Is Ms. going to help women deal with the consequences of naming their own names?

If abortion need not be private then why not publish women's names who are pregnant. Let people call them and tell them that they must give birth. Make sure that they are weighing all their options. Why is Ms. promoting abortion the way that hair coloring is sold. We used to say only our hair dressers knew for sure.

Why should we air our most private decisions in public? In this age of television confessions and kidnapping victims telling their stories to television personalities before they tell their stories to prosecutors--see if they can get a conviction against the monster of the month in Missouri now--I suppose we should tell everyone about our vaginae and uteri. Ms. used to promote the notion that women were more than their body parts.

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