The GOP Has Taken Away Women’s Right To Vote For Safe Abortions And From Other Key Rights!

By Donald A. Collins | 20 December 2022
Church and State

(Photo: Victoria Pickering / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

As a young married couple with 3 small children, my wife and I decided our family was complete. However, the refusal of my wife’s Catholic obstetrician at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC to give us birth control prompted her visit to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Yonkers which fitted her with a diaphragm, and they suggested I use condoms. Successful advice! The pill was just approved that year but then not widely accepted or available.

In 1965 I joined the staff of charitable foundation which had a primary interest in providing women with family planning options. That resonated with me most favorably and as a part of my duties I was assigned to help identify such programs to support. Substantial support from this charitable entity had already been provided to enable the widespread use of an IUD known as the Lippes Loop in Asia where it was favorably accepted by large numbers of women.

By then as I soon learned, the battle for basic reproductive rights and for other human rights for women has long been underway. Its history which most of my readers know all about is briefly recalled below.

Recall the first recorded women rights meeting in 1848 in Seneca Falls, NY had begun the women’s fight for the right to vote which took until 1920.

Read here that history.

The right to vote in 1920 did not include a women’s right to birth control as a fervent Christian fighter against birth control named Anthony Comstock went to Washington and in 1873 (100 years before Roe passed) got Congress to pass his bill known as the Comstock Act which “defined contraceptives’ as obscene and illicit, making it a federal crime to disseminate birth control through mail or across state lines”.

This law was challenged bravely by many, but none will more effectiveness than Margaret Sanger who was the founder of Planned Parenthood and the spark plug of the campaign for women’s reproductive rights.

Read a brief history here.

My early foundation days began in the late 1960’s before Roe in 1973 and education featured learning about the one of the main controversial issues remaining ABORTION.

My work then and since has evolved helping abortion providers.

When the famous Pill for birth control was FDA approved in 1960, its rapidly expanded in use, although it is still not available without a prescription today, over 62 years after its subsequent advances in making its low dosage safety made approval for safe nonprescription use obvious. Message: women’s rights are still standing in the way of unconscionable drug company profits and obstruction of birth control by right wing fanatics.

The prospect for further attacks on women’s reproductive rights by the Trump empaneled Supreme Court’s religious zealots remains particularly unnerving.

Dobbs is the symbolic equivalent of taking away women’s rights to vote! Flawed as Roe was in having any regulation which put limits on when a fetus could be removed during a pregnancy, the national right under Roe to choose worked well enough that Roe wasn’t tested since 1973 before religious objections widely took away that key women’s right to vote!

The Court’s Dobbs decision on June 24th triggered unprecedented adverse reactions from voters of all political persuasions.

The GOP leadership may not have yet fully understood the implications of this seminal Supreme Court attack on women’s rights to safe, inexpensive, easily accessed abortions.

However, the immediate consequences first in conservative Kansas was followed by voter reactions favoring choice in the best in party showing in the 2022 midterm elections in 20 years.

Now we get another clear message from voters about the favorable prospects for a new Roe to emerge. Maybe not immediately as the Republicans have won a slight margin the House.

Anti-GOP Issues such as choice, racism and homophobia are becoming non-negotiable demands for most voters of both parties.

Cracks in GOP opposition to choose so far have been slight.

However, in my opinion abortion choice remains the most powerful lever to use to regain abortion rights AND to codify and continue other rights now in jeopardy.

The theme of restoring rights on others issues so perfectly coordinates in exposing and underlining the GOP’s Trump fostered racism, its male dominance philosophy, and against our genuine concern for fashioning a more civil, moderate, and inclusive society.

Thus, choice becomes the prime way to illustrate for all voters the core immorality on these key GOP positions.

My key point. Human rights are not tied to any religious belief and the tyranny of religion in some cases created the horrors of child molestations and drove many believers into paroxysms of violence and hatred. That a particular affinity for members of the Catholic clergy for sex with choir boys greatly undermined one’s belief their teachings on abortion and the need for forced pregnancies.

Democrats at all levels need to keep pushing in all states particularly those where choice clearly affected outcomes!

Now the GOP is now attacking the spread of information about abortion. Read here.

No free speech??!! And guess who suggests we ignore our Constitution too.

Read here about the voter substantiation of the power of pro-choice in the midterms across the US.

Information about choice is key particularly for young women in the 35 states which try to take women’s vote away!

Abortion choice stands out as the most vulnerable wall of all the repressive issues Republicans are foisting on women and others of all political persuasions.

The goal of all voters should be to achieve enactment of a national law on abortion, this time removing any government interference in when, where or why women choose choice! In short, there should be no interference with that right and the law should say so!!

Women finally got the right to vote in 1920. They have since sought and achieved prominence in all traditional male bastions. For example, Mary Barra has been CEO of General Motors since 2014. Our Vice President Kamala Harris could move up as our first female President.

If you are a woman and want equity you won’t find it in the Republican Party’s basic stance on human rights in our democracy.

Trump, the soon to be ousted owner of the GOP, offers in his life history constant examples of his contempt for women, truth, and integrity. In short, as the perfect symbol of his disrespect is his role in appointing 3 anti-abortion religious disciples to the Supreme Court.

America must get past its past now present of denying abortion rights for women, racial discrimination, anti LBGTQ laws or enacting any laws under our secular Constitution which mandate any versions of religious bias.

Our future depends upon making human progress. Originalist thinking about our Constitution being immutable is false as our Constitution already has 33 Amendments.

All Americans can be proud as we see how our Constitutional democracy has played the key role in making us the world’s most successful country. Still our present tasks must be making it stand free from hindering human rights a job far from accomplished.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?” and “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”.

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