We keep having these pitched battles in and out of court over whether a woman has the right or not to have an abortion.
The embryo is contributed to in equal parts by woman and man, but it is women who have the bodies to carry the fetus to delivery, women who feed and nurture the infant and generally carry the greater burden of caring for a child, though the latter may be slowly changing.
Women, then, should have the greater say in when a pregnancy should proceed or be interrupted. Not men.
The fact that men have had such influence in the fate of a fetus is testimony to the imbalance of power between the sexes. In spite of much progress in equalizing that power, it is still clearly evident in our society.
I propose that there be a national referendum, where American women and only American women vote on when a pregnancy should be terminated.
Men would stay out of it.
Women have as much interest as men in producing the offspring needed to preserve the nation. To think otherwise is to devalue them and not see them as equal partners in the making of our country.
A national referendum on abortion for and by women alone, would likely legalize what is abundantly clear. Women play a greater role than men in the production of our heirs. And to them should belong the right to choose when to make such contribution.
A referendum for and by women to make that decision is no guarantee that they will choose to have the right to end a pregnancy. There are religious influences at work on many women urging them to forgo such right. But let women talk to women about that critical decision. Let them have the discussion at length. And let men, whether lay or clergy, stay out of it.
For one reason or another – as demonstrated in the fact that we have yet to elect a woman president – we still don’t trust women to make critical choices. And women may not trust other women, either.
A legally binding referendum for and by women alone, offers the option to reach a national consensus.
And it could be held once again in another five years.
American men need to step up, for the sake of their spouses, their daughters, their sons and themselves.
Women should demand it.
The time is now.
Oscar Valdes. Oscarvaldes.net. also available in anchor.fm, apple and google podcasts and buzzsprout.