Views From a Conservative Woman Regarding Women's Health
As a women’s health writer and blogger, I stay away from politics for obvious reasons. It’s not that I’m apolitical. I’m not. I have very strong political beliefs. It’s just that I don’t see the value in politicizing women’s health. Unfortunately, as we all know, our politicians don’t have a problem doing that at all. Neither do pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and various and sundry other organizations and groups, which stand to gain a great deal by doing so.
At this stage in my life, though I am a registered Independent voter, I lean in a very definite right direction in my political beliefs. However, as a former left-leaning, liberal thinker, I also hold what many conservatives consider liberal views on a few hot political topics. As a result, I believe I have a unique perspective on women’s health issues, particularly as they pertain to politics.
I am very passionate about women’s health, and it pains me when I see political parties using our health issues to gain political leverage. It pains me even more when women stand against each other as a result.
I am very aware that when I say out loud that I am a conservative woman, many people -- far too many people -- will make assumptions about who I am and what I believe about women’s health. But I’m here to tell you, that likely 99% of those assumptions will be dead wrong.
For example: I have had two abortions. I have also given birth to three children, and I will tell you without hesitation that I am at this stage in my life, very pro-life. However, I do not wish to take away from women their right to make that choice.
Having walked down that road, I know full well that women who have abortions are not foaming at the mouth to murder their baby. Yes, I know the pro-life arguments, and I do believe that life begins at conception. But, I also believe that unless you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you do not know the weight of the burden they carry.
So if you are politically liberal, you might call me pro-life. If you are politically conservative, you might call me pro-choice. I would call me a woman who understands first hand that life is rarely cut and dry or black and white; and that we all, even if it is only in one tiny area of our life, live with various shades of gray.
So, in this hot political season (which is only poised to get even hotter), as a passionate women’s health advocate, I would like to appeal to my sisters on both sides of the aisle. Let's stand together in solidarity around our issues, and let's not allow politicians with their self-serving political agendas to divide and conquer us. While we may disagree about who we wish to see in the White House in 2013, I think we all agree that no one can speak for us better than we can speak for ourselves.
Let us not let politics and politicians dilute our voices.
Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women’s health and a women’s freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog.