To the editor:

What is a holocaust?

Holocaust is a Greek word for a Hebrew idea, which was to completely burn a sacrifice on an altar. American historians began using the term in regard to the detention and murder of millions of Jews, gays, Gypsies, scholars and others by the Nazi regime during World War II.

Yet the term is often casually applied to many ideas today, such as by anti-abortionists bent on limiting women’s rights to make their own decisions.

A more appropriate application would be to what was known as the Burning Times, a period in European and American history wherein women were often burned at the stake as witches. The Burning Times were temporarily overshadowed by the Catholic church’s reign of terror known as the Spanish Inquisition, which began as a way to ferret out false converts from Judaism to Christianity.

In the real witch hunts, though, millions of women were estimated to have been accused of, tortured for and a majority killed for practicing witchcraft, with at least one town in Germany losing all its women to the craze.

America’s own witch hunt, most famously surrounding Salem, Massachusetts, came at the tail end of the craze, luckily, or more women and men would have been killed.

Scholars have long speculated about why women would have been the primary targets for these obviously crazed time periods.

In essence, these acts were terrorism at its worst, wherein women become too frightened to speak out or to act independently for fear of being accused, imprisoned and killed for being knowledgeable and outspoken citizens.

Ironically, those times seem to be resurfacing, led primarily by the anti-choice proponents who want to limit American women’s legal rights to determine our own fates and to control our own health by attempting to convince the ignorant that abortions kill full-fledged human beings.

While any woman who wants to have a child will tell you that protecting her growing fetus is a priority to her, the choice to continue carrying that fetus is hers and hers alone. Every woman has the same rights under the law that every man has – to determine her own fate.

Eliminating women’s rights to make our own health choices threatens to reduce us to chattel – what women became when the patriarchy rose in “the West” at the beginning of the Bronze Age, when men first began using brutal weapons, armor and faster modes of transportation to harass and terrorize whole cities, taking the women as “booty” – sex slaves.

The witch hunts, a true holocaust, ended more than two centuries ago, but UCon factions in America want to imprison women for making decisions about our own bodies.

We American women will not be enslaved by or terrorized by men again.

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