I’ve been thinking a lot about this today. The presidential election here in the U.S. brings out the best and the worst in ourselves. While I voted for President Obama, his election leaves me wanting . . . something that is hard to put into words. I am happy about the Affordable Care Act and his many other achievements. I won’t try to list them. I like that he cares about women – no derogatory remarks and always positive things to say about women. That is probably in part due to his remarkable wife and daughters.
It used to be that being engaged in women’s issues was a cool thing. I grew up during the age of Gloria Steinem and MS Magazine. It was exciting to think about women’s issues that had gone underground for so long. Title IX brought women’s equality in education and sports. Birth control became an open topic. Careers formerly available only to men opened up for females. Now it seems that “Women’s Issues” has become synonymous with healthcare and by extension abortion. I hate the word. I hate every part of the issue. I could never support it, and I have made that clear in conversations with several people, for religious and moral reasons. And yet, I voted for the president who is in total engagement with issues facing women: parity in the workplace, sports, education, and healthcare (and by extension abortion). This gnaws at my conscience. But by every other measure, he was a far superior candidate to Mitt Romney, who seemed to have no clue about foreign policy, and his tax numbers just didn’t add up. He flip-flopped around the issues, and I never knew where he would land. I could never have voted for him for all of these reasons. And were he president, could he have done anything about the “A” word? It is the law of the land.
So where does the horror of abortion land in this muddled mixture of women’s health, religion, moral values, and politics? It is what it is, and it is not going away. I wish I had the answers, for myself and for the world. This I know: there is no one perfect candidate; politics is here to stay; and mixing religion with politics will always end in disappointment.
Another frustration is that the Catholic bishops and others have been preaching and sending letters saying that you are doomed to hell if you vote for Obama. Come on, really? We don’t need that kind of false doctrine mucking things up. Shame on them all.