Monday, November 10, 2008

A New Day for Women

The election is over, Barack Hussein Obama will be our president, and already the silliness is running rampant. One first-grader came home from school to tell her mother that the new president will kill babies. Gun enthusiasts are lining up to stock their armories. “Values” voters are bemoaning the election of such an immoral person to the highest office in the land. Racists are…well, being racists.

It is heartening for those whose values include issues besides making abortion illegal and attacking gay rights to know that around the country people gathered in groups and burst spontaneously into the “Star Spangled Banner,” performances that are immortalized on YouTube. People around the world cheered and waved American flags, scenes reminiscent of the post-9-11 reaction, only this time joyous rather than elegiac.

Most importantly for women, women’s rights will once again be a priority. Vice-president Elect Joe Biden has been a co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act and will now be in a good position to push this bill through a Democratically-controlled Congress. Pay equity for women will have a chance with this Congress. And given that a President Obama will be able to appoint Supreme Court justices during his term, Roe v. Wade will likely be safe for years to come.

Those who bemoan this fact should give a thought to the fate of abortion rights during the long eight years of the Bush administration. Despite some setbacks to abortion rights around the world and in the United States, abortion is still legal, and therefore safe, in this country. One has to ask why the Republicans and Bush didn’t do more to make abortion illegal when they had the chance. It seems that without the issues of abortion and gay rights, right-wingers would lose their two biggest money-maker issues. It’s certainly the case that leaders of groups such as Operation Rescue and Focus on the Family make a bundle off their fundraising efforts aimed toward shutting down abortion clinics and denying equal rights to gays and lesbians.

Of course, these groups will now be able to rake in more dough than ever as they fight the "evil" Obama empire. Thankfully, though, women, even the religious, anti-choice women who make up a good percentage of those having abortions, will be able to look forward to an administration that trusts them to make choices. Those who have children may look forward to an administration that pays attention to their needs. Those who are in a situation in which they need to have an abortion may be confident that the procedure will continue to be legal and therefore safe.

It’s a new day and good day in America and around the world for women, a day that is long overdue.