On Tuesday, September 4, Anne Arundel County Council will vote on Resolution 30-18 introduced by Councilman Michael Peroutka:
“RESOLUTION recognizing and declaring the humanity of preborn children and urging citizens of Anne Arundel County to encourage the humane treatment of all human beings, including preborn children, as well as to promote and defend the dignity of all human life.”
Peroutka is asking us to “defend the dignity of all human life.” His long-standing affinity for racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and religious intolerance has been well-documented and stands as clear evidence that he does not value the dignity of all human life. He is a hypocrite pretending to care about the “humane treatment of all human beings” in a back-door maneuver to limit woman’s reproductive rights:
- Peroutka was a member for more than ten years of the League of the South, a racist white supremacy group dedicated to creating an independent Southern nation run by and for the benefit of white Christians.
- He has bashed the LGBTQ community repeatedly, claiming “The reason why it is so desperately important to homosexuals to redefine marriage has little to do with ‘fairness’ and much to do with gaining access to straight, normal, decent Maryland children from straight, normal, decent Maryland families.”
- He and his colleagues at the Institute on the Constitution regularly denigrate Muslims. According to Peroutka, “The American View can be summarized thusly: There exists a Creator God. He is the God of the Bible. He is not Allah.”
- Peroutka has stated, “The current politically correct version argues that pluralism, the acceptance and celebration of differing religions, philosophies, and ideologies contributes to the strength of America….Those who founded and fought for our American culture and our American form of government didn’t think so.”
- He has also called for mass deportation or incarceration of all undocumented immigrants.
Given Peroutka’s history of attacking vulnerable communities, if he wants to “encourage the humane treatment of all human beings,” he needs to single out more than preborn children. I challenge him to list African-Americans, Muslims, immigrants, atheists, and LGBTQ people alongside preborn children in his resolution to “defend the dignity of all human life.”
Resolution 30-18 ends by calling for…
“That the County Council, as the Board of Health, instructs the Health Officer to submit a report annually on the available data regarding intentional terminations of pregnancies in the County; available research on the emotional, physical, and psychological impacts of these terminations on the mother; and the public health efforts to reduce the incidence of these terminations.”
Stacks of peer-reviewed scientific studies have already been published on the “emotional, physical, and psychological impacts” of abortion. Peroutka can readily find them with a simple online search. In 2008, for example, the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion evaluated all empirical studies published since 1989 exploring the emotional effects of abortion. The report concluded that “The relative risk of mental health problems is no greater among adult women who resolve unplanned pregnancy with a single, elective, first-trimester abortion than it is among those who give birth.”
Moreover, if Peroutka is concerned about the impact of abortion on women, he should also be concerned about the impact on women of having a child they can’t adequately care for. Furthermore, he should be concerned about the emotional, physical, and psychological consequences of being an unwanted child.
I support a woman’s right to abortion though I cannot say that I am not morally troubled by abortion. But as I man, I don’t get to decide. I will never become pregnant. I will never face the prospect of giving birth to a child that I do not believe I am able to care for.
The County Council consists of seven men. I don’t feel good about seven men making a judgment on a very difficult and personal choice that no man will ever have to make. And I certainly don’t feel good about a man like Michael Peroutka who has denigrated and endangered so many people pretending to care about “the dignity of all human life.”
On Tuesday September 4, 2018, Resolution 30-18 will be introduced to the County Council. The meeting begins at 7pm at 44 Calvert Street in Annapolis. All citizens are permitted two minutes to speak at County Council meetings on any topic they want to bring to the Council’s attention. Some citizens are already planning to attend the September 4th meeting to address Resolution 30-18. I urge you to consider joining them and raising your voice as well. If you plan to speak, it is recommended that you arrive about half an hour early to sign up as a speaker in the lobby adjacent to the County Council meeting room.
In addition to speaking out at the next County Council meeting, please contact your County Council representative to express your opinion on this resolution.
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