I rarely, if ever agree with the National Abortion and Reproduction Rights Action League (NARAL) or Planned Parenthood, but their reaction to State Sen. Steve Martin’s comment about women being “hosts” when pregnant is exactly right.
As Matt Clark posted earlier, Sen. Martin was responding sarcastically on his Facebook page to a provocation by NARAL.
Apparently, he fell right into their trap by writing as part of his response “once a child does exist in [a woman’s] womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it to remain alive.”
This elicited a slew of reaction, including an article on The Huffington Post, tweets by NARAL and Planned Parenthood, and the obligatory Democratic Party of Virginia fundraising email about Republicans who express “extreme”, “Tea Party Republican” rhetoric (consider trademarking this, Ashley Bauman).
However, what is most important to me is what is written by Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia to the Huffington Post via email:
“Sen. Steve Martin obviously has zero understanding of the reality of reproductive choice and what it means for women to have control over their bodies, families, and lives,” Keene said. “His remarks demonstrate what exactly these extreme lawmakers mean when they talk about ‘personhood’ – that pregnant women are no more than vessels. Even more outrageous, he also fails to understand how he as a lawmaker can help empower women to reduce unintended pregnancies — something that should be a common goal for all.”
I couldn’t agree more with Keene about her specific comment that pregnant women are not “vessels.”
Of course, if they are not “hosts” or “vessels” – and indeed they are pregnant…what exactly is it they are carrying? And, what is it that we should call them?
In this clumsy back and forth with Sen. Martin, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and DPVA have acknowledged for all that pregnant women indeed are carrying life.
To me, that’s the news of the day.