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Something clicked for me last night, as I watched the scum of the Democratic party vote against me.

We've been having the wrong fight.

Because it's not about abortion.  It's not about religious beliefs.  It's not about whether it's okay in certain circumstances, but wrong in others.

"Partial birth" abortion, parental notification, waiting periods, mandated lectures from doctors about what characteristics your fetus might have had -- it's not about that.

It's about something much more simple.

Either women are full and equal citizens of this country, with the exact same rights that men have -- including autonomy of our bodies -- or we are not.

That's it.  

And it's time for Democrats to choose a side.

For more than thirty years, women have been at the losing end of this fight.  Since Roe v. Wade, the men of our government have systematically voted against us.  With every further restriction of our reproductive freedoms, they have said, in no uncertain terms, that women do not have the right to control their own bodies.  It is a right men enjoy, and a right women do not.

And we've fought this war on their terms.  Even the "pro-choice" Democrats are apologetic about it.  Even the "pro-choice" Democrats start from the position that abortion is bad and wrong and tragic, but a necessary evil.  As if that has anything to do with our rights.

In 2004, the Democratic presidential nominee said he was personally opposed to abortion -- as if his personal opposition to a medical procedure has anything to do with women's autonomy.

And every time we fight this war on their terms, we lose.  Every time we acknowledge the legitimacy of those who oppose reproductive freedom, we lose.  Every time we pride ourselves on our big tent, and how great it is that there are enemies of women among us, we lose.

And I am sick and tired of losing.

My autonomy is not about your religious beliefs.  My autonomy is not about your "concerns."  My autonomy is not about your arbitrary belief that rape victims are entitled to reproductive health care, but women who "use it as contraception" or "change their minds" or "forget to use birth control" are somehow not entitled to reproductive health care.

I refuse to argue the minutia anymore.  I refuse to beg for the right to be a full and equal citizen.  I refuse to be taken for granted by the Democratic party, who tells me I have no choice but to vote Democrat in elections, and then congratulates itself for its big tent when it comes time to vote on legislation.

Don't tell me how you feel about abortion.  I don't care how you feel about abortion.

Tell me how you feel about my rights.  Tell me whether you believe I am a full and equal citizen.  Tell me whether you really believe the Democratic party stands for women.

It is time for every member of the Democratic party to answer one simple question:

Do you believe in equal rights for women?

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 01:06 PM PST.

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