Time to take a stand for what you believe | RecordCourier.com

Time to take a stand for what you believe

by Regina Purcell, Staff Writer

I have a lot to be thankful for in my life. I come from a family of relatives and friends who love me. I have been blessed with good health. I am proud to be an American and a veteran.

With that said, I feel it’s my responsibility to be a contributing member of society — to approach my job with gusto and professionalism. Fortunately, my job allows me the freedom to express my opinion, with this column.

Growing up, white and middle class, my upbringing was easy, with vacations and independence to travel the world. Going to other countries opened my eyes to have more respect for my life. It also tripped a switch in my conscience that some things could be better.

First and foremost is my conviction to participate. I plan to do that later this month at the March for Freedom of Choice in Washington, D.C. I haven’t been to our nation’s capital since I was stationed there in the U.S. Navy in the mid -1980s. It will be exhilarating to see my old stomping grounds and visit with girlfriends and their families.

More importantly, I am marching to be a face on the issue of freedom of choice. Luckily, my generation only heard horror stories of back room abortions. It’s my responsibility to march so generations after mine don’t have to relive those horrors.

The generation of women before me, who assured passage of Roe vs. Wade in 1973, must be shocked that we have to fight for the basic freedom over our bodies, again … in 2004.

It’s such a fundamental right and an issue that, in my opinion, men (lawmakers) have no business having an opinion about.

I liken the threats of the Bush Administration in this personal choice issue to Nazi Germany and to slavery — when people different from those in charge were divested of all freedom and personal rights.

President Bush has cut off any funding nationally for educational programs that offer alternatives other than abstinence. Statistics show that teen-age pregnancy shows up just as frequently with those who have signed the “abstinence vows” initiated at public schools.

Bush has cut funding in Third World countries for any birth control programs. As a result, children are borne into poverty and helpless conditions. Many don’t make it to their fifth birthday. The women have no choice. America doesn’t even step up to take care of children who are living in poverty, not to mention the homeless starving on our streets.

Without education, females throughout the world are treated as second-class citizens, being mutilated or killed and certainly forced into conditions they can’t change.

It’s appalling that since the Bush Administration took control of the government, nearly 7 million jobs have been lost, the deficit has quadrupled and domestic educational and social programs have been severely under-funded.

The latest, under-reported legislation, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, is another step toward government regulation of freedom of choice. Lawsuits are pending in three states to have it repealed.

What’s next? I am too frightened to know. But not too frightened to make a stand for my granddaughters and their granddaughters, too.

It’s imperative during this election season that you vote. Register now to make sure your voice is heard, too.

n Regina Purcell can be reached at rpurcell@recordcourier.com or (775) 782-5121, ext. 211.