Spare me the ‘outrage’ on Sims’ abortion comments

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

So there it was, the screaming email this morning from someone named Marian Casillas declaring “Bully Brian Sims must RESIGN!”

Sims is a state legislator from Philly who got a little over the top when calling out anti-abortion protestors (they are decidedly not pro-life when they want to cut food stamps, slash health care, and fight against gun safety) they just want to force women to either not have sex (they oppose birth control, too) or essentially be breeding mares.

Yeah, Sims’ rant was poorly advised. Were I his political consultant, I’d be kicking his ass right now for giving the unwashed and under-informed new talking points to breathlessly rain spittle (literally or virtually on social media) as they pass judgment.

But let’s be clear: Sims has a First Amendment right to be an ass. The GOP legislators calling for some sort of legal sanction on Sims for expressing his opinion — I guess they ran out of books to burn — need to get their heads out of their posteriors and read the U.S. Constitution.

Although Sims used a flamethrower when he only needed a single candle to illuminate, he mostly had a point.

This whole assault on women’s rights to control their bodies is both morally wrong and politically stupid, which is sort of what Sims was trying to say in a ham-handed and excessively angry way.

New and proposed laws, such as the new doozy in Alabama, ignore science and morals and attempt to enforce rigid Taliban-like religious standards on a larger body of people who, frankly, don’t agree.

And let’s be clear, it’s not about religion: it’s about the power to control women, their bodies, their sex lives and their choices. Nothing more.

I’m not pro-abortion — I know from personal history what a crushingly painful decision that can be — my own preference is through education, birth control and the like to make them safe, legal and rare. I know of no one — no one — who is pro abortion. It is, and should be, a worst-case, last-case scenario. But it must remain an option for women who need it.

It is, at the end the day, a choice made between a woman and her God, or her conscience. We — society — have no right to criticize a choice, solely based on what we, or you, or the guy down the street “believe.” Beliefs are just that, not facts. Feel free to live your life by them, but you have no right to expect me to live by your beliefs.

That’s not religious freedom, it’s religious tyranny.

I don’t expect others to live by my faith, don’t expect me to live by yours.

Politically, this is idiotic, by the way.

For more than a generation, even most Republicans have known to give lip service to overturning Roe v. Wade, knowing that actually doing so would amount to political armageddon. But now, too many Republican “true believers” see this as some sort of political Rapture or End Times — but if they keep on this path, the only thing that will disappear will be the Republican Party.

As for Sims, I suspect he’s learned a lesson about realpolitik, but it should hardly be a career ender.

I dunno, maybe I’d be more inclined to be sympathetic to those “offended” by Sims if the tens of thousands of people who have yelled invective, spit on and worse, young women (sometimes in their early teens) for daring to enter a Planned Parenthood clinic felt any remorse. They don’t.

Maybe these women were there for birth control, or medical exams or any number of women’s health issues. And yes, maybe some were there to get information about or were having a pregnancy terminated. For that, they got harassed, or worse.

Not that these foaming at the mouth, judgmental twits cared much — I have seen with my own eyes the furor, the ranting superiority that drives these folks and it is disgusting and sad. With their eyes fired by righteous hate (an epic oxymoron) they presume to tell others how they should live.

So yeah, maybe Sims is a knucklehead. But honestly, some part of me — the part of me of me who is a husband and a father of a teen female — feels the same anger, the same frustration that Sims vented.

It could have been handled better, but Sims is entitled to express his beliefs, too — one many of us share, even if we don’t make it known in the same manner.

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