It should go without saying that nobody knows what’s best for women — specifically, their health and safety — better than women.
And now, of course, male politicians. And male commentators. And male clergy. And, well, any male with a mouth.
Over the last several years, we have watched and listened to some men with political influence attempt to contradict the well-settled but crazy notion that women are in the best position to determine what is best for their own bodies.
The men’s attempts have been hilarious and frightening all at once. Who can forget Republican donor
Foster Friess who told reporter Andrea Mitchell that women should put aspirin between their knees to prevent unwanted pregnancies?
And we won’t soon forget the conservative, male-dominated legislatures around the country that sought to force women to have invasive ultrasounds when women are pregnant and considering abortion.
But, these progressive men who lead our state governments and know what is best for women are not alone. Even religious leaders have had counsel for women and their bodies.
From the early church to now, religious leaders have displayed a contempt for women and their bodies.
Church father Tertullian noted, in a remark that is the mother of all back-handed compliments, “Woman is a temple built over a sewer.”
And Clement, another church father, believed that women by their very nature were weak, irrational, and good for nothing above producing children.
So, when Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and his colleagues introduced a bill to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, it was no surprise.
Yes, we live in an age in which it’s not surprising that sone men fear women and their desire to control their own bodies.
It’s not even surprising that these men have used scare tactics such as accusations of fetus selling and killing, complete with graphic images, to illustrate their point.
What is surprising, at least from my perspective, is the extent to which these men have told us that they are simply carrying out God’s wishes by moving to defund Planned Parenthood. They’ve even used words like “divine” and “ordained” to describe their cause.
But, I need help understanding how this is so: how God would ordain such a fight against a women’s health organization.
Verily, God loves all human bodies, as the scriptures point out. God was the originator and creator of all things. And the Apostle Paul notes in his first letter to the church in Corinth, that the body is the temple. Yep, that means everywhere women are divine.
And God is a pro-choice God. God distinguishes between when a person is created and when life is created.
We see in the very first scriptures of the bible that men and women were created by God at the same time, equally. And then, God breathed life into those humans.
In essence, life begins with God. Personhood begins more pragmatically on earth.
God doesn’t have a problem with Planned Parenthood. Men do. Some men. And what’s more, all of us men sound pretty foolish offering counsel to women about what’s best for their bodies.
So, I suppose what I’m saying is, God bless Planned Parenthood.