I’ve generally stayed away from politics on this blog, and I don’t intend to change that in large scale. But I do write about our values, our experiences as a family, what is important to us, and what we do – and all of that affects our politics. I was raised by liberal Democrats; became a Christian and a conservative Republican in college; and have now transformed into an independent who tends to vote Democrat. The details of all of those changes are beyond the scope of this post, but their outline gives a bit of context.
I don’t expect everyone – or anyone – to agree with me. I don’t think my views are typical in America today. But I want it recorded for our family, for my kids, how we are working to think through these difficult issues and try to act honorably in the world.
I’m pro-life. I believe that babies are people, both before and after they exit the womb. I believe that, once created, they have a right to life. However, I also believe that black men are people, that just as the unborn baby in the womb of the woman considering abortion deserves to live out her life, that black man choked or shot by police officers deserved a right to his life. I believe children in Syria have a right to life. I believe children living in poverty in America deserve food and high quality schools and to be treated with dignity. I believe health care should be affordable. I believe people with disabilities – including my daughter – should have the same opportunities as everyone else. I believe in a healthy middle class and in prioritizing support for those who are less fortunate instead of subsidizing those who are most wealthy.
I realize that the Women’s March in Washington DC is, in part, about protecting a woman’s right to get an abortion. However, I do not believe that abortion access is all that’s included under the umbrella statement, “Women’s rights are human rights.” Women’s rights also include the right not to be sexually assaulted by anyone – including the President of the United States – no matter what she’s wearing, no matter how much she’s had to drink, no matter what. Women’s rights include the right to be treated with as much respect as a man in a similar situation. Women’s rights include the right to be seen as leaders instead of as bossy and to be seen as more than just their bodies. I support all of those rights.
Additionally, it doesn’t seem to me that it’s been proven that prohibiting abortion is necessarily the most effective way to cut abortion rates. It seems to me that, similar to our “war on drugs,” focusing on the demand side has much greater potential efficacy than attempting to regulate supply. Shannon Dingle wrote this past summer about why, as a pro-life person, she was planning to vote for Hillary Clinton, and that post resonated with me to such a high degree that I shared it on my own Facebook page multiple times. It seems to me that the Democratic Party and the causes associated with it is, to a much larger degree than the Republican Party right now, the party of life. It grieves me that there is no party with which I can identify and support completely. However, faced with a choice between two imperfect alternatives, I’m going to choose the better one. I’m going to choose life.
The event here in Columbia was marketed as being for trust, equality, freedom, hope, peace, justice, rule of law, dignity, and prosperity. It was described on the Facebook event page as being meant to “demonstrate a broad opposition to the Trump agenda” and to “show unity in the fight for the rights of women, other marginalized groups and issues including climate change, environmental concerns, minority rights, peace and social justice.”
I’m for all of that.
And I want my children to see that there are things we can do, even in defeat. Back in November, on election day, I let the big girls stay up late, expecting to celebrate with them as we saw the victory of the first female president in history announced. Instead we had a somber bedtime that night, and we’ve had many conversations since about what Donald Trump stands for and why we’re disappointed that so many people voted for him to be the leader of our country. I want my children to know and see that even when we don’t win one battle, we continue to work and fight for the principles in which we believe. I want them to be thankful for the many blessings of living in America – not least among them, the peaceful transfer of power and the right to assemble in protest. I want them to see what that looks like and have the opportunity to participate in it.
And so today, Matt and I loaded everyone into the van and went to meet up with the rest of the marchers.
And together with so many others, we marched through downtown Columbia.
My big girls chose what they wanted their signs to say. In support of her new sister and her rights, Miranda’s proclaimed, “People with OI matter!!” Madeleine CaiQun’s announced, “I am the future!”
I was proud to march with them today.