I have been, at several points in my life, a member of the 47 percent. I have been unmarried and pregnant. I chose (because I had, and deserved, a choice), to carry my baby to term and raise her. I was a single mother. If Republicans are to be believed, I am to be disdained – a drain on society, just looking for my next handout.
I put myself through college (and paid back the loans, with interest). I’ve held a job for most of my adult life, beginning with summer jobs, from the time I was 15. I have been married to a caring, considerate man for 17 years. Our college-educated daughter was valedictorian of her high school class (and not, as Republicans would have you believe, a criminal, based on her past as a child of a single parent). We are homeowners, valued employees, who volunteer in our communities. We are now among the 53 percent, which allows us to be included in the warm embrace of the Republican party, should we chose to accept it.
But why would we? I cannot recount for you all the rude, condescending things religious leaders, true believers and party faithful have said to me over the years; particularly during my unplanned pregnancy and single motherhood. And now, here we are, with people who are leaders of one of the two major political parties in my country – people running for some of the highest offices in the land – verbally slapping at me again. I thought I had moved past that part of my life – learned and grown from it, put the hurt and bad feelings away and moved on, but now, here it is again.
When these political leaders argue about what rights a woman is entitled to in regards to her own body, claim that a pregnancy caused by rape is a “gift from god,” that women can’t get pregnant from rape because “the female body has ways to try to shut that thing down,” that the mission of Planned Parenthood is to “help kill black babies before they came into the world,” or that women who want better access to contraception are “sluts,” it all comes tumbling back, and I fear for what our country is becoming, and I fear for my daughter and all the world’s future daughters.
Interesting, too, that all of this “Ladies, you must have your baby no matter what” gibberish flies directly in the face of what I was told, from the pulpit, so many years ago. In a sermon aimed directly at me, on the day I walked away from my family’s church forever, the (Republican) minister informed us all, in no uncertain terms, “babies born out of wedlock are an abomination.”
So, if I understand correctly, any child born to parent or parents who are not married is an abomination. Unless the child was conceived in rape. That child is a gift from god.