Sister Barbara has a long, thoughtful post about the various theories on the beginnings of life. It's well worth a read.
For my part, I haven't written much recently because I don't see any clear vision in the Feminist leadership. They're all so concerned with being reasonable - that won't work when your opponents don't function reasonably or ever intend to try.
The goal of the anti-choice movement is not to end abortion. They'll see that their own kids can get them if they need them. Their goal is to control women's sexuality and reinforce patriarchal values. If they wanted to save lives, they'd be advocating that all women have access to the vaccine that can prevent HPV. Instead, the want to block access to it so that young women who fornicate risk getting cervical cancer. Charming.
If you wanted to stop abortions, you'd make birth control safe and readily available. They're going to go after birth control as soon as they topple Roe v. Wade, which will only create more unwanted pregnancies. If you wanted women to welcome unexpected pregnancies, you'd provide social services to make it easier for a mom, wed or not, to raise her kids - health care, affordable housing, child care, good education, a living wage. They are doing none of that. In fact, they are cutting our badly needed social programs left and right to pay for Bush's emperious tax cuts. They don't see a fetus as sacred, or a baby as a blessing; they see it as a punishment for fornication. What a way to come into the world.
Never forget this one basic reality: They can't have a patriarchy if they don't know who the daddies are.
A woman with options won't take shit from an unfaithful, violent, neglectful or stupid man. A woman who expects an orgasm and a little romance might go looking elsewhere if hubby can't measure up, and a woman with her own money doesn't really need a man for anything else.
There's a reason Bush is always surrounded by old white men when he signs an anti-choice bill. Those are the guys who want control of young women's bodies, politically, literally, biblically. Makes your skin crawl, doesn't it?
A commenter at MahaBlog stated that hir perception is that the average 30-50 year old man doesn't understand the basic biology of reproduction enough to be passing laws about it. The older ones would know even less, and let's face it, the few doctors in Congress are Frists (Terri Schiavo was blind, dummy) and Coburns (who has done abortions, but thinks others who do should be jailed.) We aren't talking about intelligent, well-informed people here. We are talking about privileged, well-heeled control freaks who see women as property and their children as cannon fodder.
We had a revolution in this country once over taxation without representation. Why do women pay taxes to a government that rarely includes us? Why does 53% of the population have less than 14% representation in Congress, yet allow that body of government to pass laws that only affect our bodies? I don't see any moves to regulate male sexuality, and frankly, I can see plenty of need for it.
This is a woman's issue, and only women are qualified to discuss it. Only the woman herself should be the arbiter of what she does with her body and her life. Any restriction of contraceptives or abortion kills women. It's that simple. This is about young women dying unnecessary deaths. If life is so sacred to our opponents, why aren't they fighting for those girls? The ones who will die in childbirth, or have their lives ruined for believing the wrong guy, or get cervical cancer when it was easily prevented? The actual woman with a family and memories and dreams and aspirations. Save Her.
There's another reason men shouldn't be allowed to make decisions regarding abortion - they can't be mothers. There are two aspects involved in a birth - the mother who gives life, and the child who depends on the support of her body until it is born. A woman can fill either role, and empathize with both. A man can never know what it is to be a woman. There are aspects of the feminine reality and female anatomy that will only ever be an abstract concept to men. The only role they can empathize with in the birth process is the fetus. That negates their ability to comprehend the mother's experience, and leaves them unable to view the situation objectively. Even Progressive men will shove reproductive rights to the side because they don't affect them directly. Let's acknowledge that and put the control where it belongs - in the hands of women.
The right to control one's own person is the most intimate, most basic of rights. Women endure intrusions on this right constantly - as many as 2 out of 3 women are sexually abused at some point in their lives, and only a few of those cases will ever be reported, let alone punished. We are restricted in our freedom of movement by the constant threat of rape or violence. We can be beaten to death in our own homes while the police sit outside in their cars. Now we are to endure the state wielding the speculum when we make our reproductive decisions. It's absurd, it's obscene, and if there were ever a concept that is contrary to the rights to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" it is the restriction of a womans sexual and reproductive autonomy.
If it takes a revolution, ladies, let it be now, and make it count because our sisters will die without us.