EDITORIAL: ‘Liberty and Justice for All’ means women, too


Kris Hall

Women at Sacramento State walk around campus, their rights in the hands of a majority male US Senate, protected by a pro-choice California State Senate. Women at Sac State have more jurisdiction over their bodies than women in Texas, who have very little time to decide what’s best for them when they discover they are pregnant. Graphic made in Canva.

Women alone should decide what to do with their own bodies.

On Feb. 28, the Senate voted down the Women’s Health Protection Act.

The bill aimed to reserve reproductive rights and the freedom of choice for women in America. The senate bill was voted down 48-46 by senators, a mix of men, women, Republicans and Joe Manchin, a problematic Democrat.

The senate is made up of the largest percentage of women in US history, but that’s still only 24 positions, less than a quarter of its 100 members.

Former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said she believed that there will be enough female supreme court justices “when there are nine.”

Perhaps there will only be enough female representation in the Senate when there are 100.

Even if there were an even distribution in the Senate of 50 men and 50 women, that would still be 50 men voting on women’s rights bills that they have no personal interest in.

Change should only happen in the form that women call for. Men making the decision on their own as to what is best for women is not just conceptually absurd, but makes it difficult for women to speak on women’s rights.

Women had to fight in a male oriented society for those positions, but still women’s rights bills are outvoted and have their voices diminished by some men who vote on something that does not directly affect them.

Women deserve the right to choose whether or not to have a child.

The Senate bill would have reserved reproductive rights for women in a time where multiple states are creating anti-abortion laws.

On March 9, a Texas lawmaker introduced a bill  that would seek the death penalty for abortion.

Texas State representative Bryan Slaton cares so much about life that he is willing to put women to death for it.

Opponents of the Senate bill called it the “Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act” in complete disregard to the desires and safety of women in this country.

Senator Steve Daines renames the Women’s Health Protection Act which would protect the right of women to choose for themselves whether to have an abortion or not, the “abortion on demand until birth act”. Senator Daines was one of the 48 senators who voted down the women’s rights bill. (screenshot provided by Senate floor proceedings for Feb. 28)

The choice to have a child is not to be taken lightly.

It’s about trusting in yourself to keep your child safe from the dangers that you faced as a child and reflecting on the successes and failures of your parents.

It’s about having the resources to give your child the upbringing they need to succeed so that they will never have to wonder if they are loved.

It’s about being in a position in life where you have the time to be home and watch them grow into a full-fledged person.

If a woman is not ready, then they should not have to take on the responsibility of a lifetime.

Our country has not created a safe space for women to thrive without being persecuted, harassed or assaulted – the decision to carry a child to term is heavy, stressful and emotional.

In order for women to be equal in this country, there must be a dismantling of the old roles of women in America.

No longer are women restricted to the role of stay-at-home parent or the soft and compliant wife who has little aspirations above pleasing their partner. America has grown out of this old, strict and traditional way of life.

Though we want to believe the nation has made strides in this area, the old traditional behaviors of men are constantly obstructing the realization of free space.

Until that free space is created, women live in fear that their independence will be threatened.

Another threat is the oversexualization of women.

Women’s bodies are associated so closely with lust in many facets of American society. The beauty of a woman’s body is lost on the one-track-mindedness of misogynistic traditions.

Many women cannot walk alone at night without fear of being assaulted because men cannot control themselves.

Men too are damaged in some ways by the expectations set upon them by our country. They are denied the intimacy necessary for healthy development, and by the time they become adults they are desperate to satisfy this need for intimacy.

Instead of controlling themselves and respecting women as their own person with their own desires, men exercise their wills upon them without consent.

All of these factors add up to a healthy burning fire with no shortage of fuel.

Neither man nor woman is safe from the pain and suffering.

The country is male-driven and has historically supported giving the majority of the power to men. As long as men have more power than women, they will never be truly equal.

By creating laws that protect our women, we protect the free space that they deserve to make their own decisions and follow whatever path they want in this country.

America stands for freedom, and that must include the freedom of choice.