I’d like to think that my purpose as a woman goes far beyond being an incubator.
I wholeheartedly believe that motherhood is a beautiful and selfless act for those who choose to have children and become mothers.
However, ripping women of their bodily autonomy and right to choose when and if they want to become mothers is a grave human rights violation.
For centuries, men have been making choices regarding a woman’s place in society, the home, and most of all, their bodies. This week it has happened again.
Sorry, did I just walk onto the set of the Handmaid’s Tale?
These bills are death sentences to the women that are now faced with turning to unsafe practices to terminate abortions.
Worst of all is the hypocrisy behind pro-lifers who would prefer to see adolescents and victims of rape carry a pregnancy to term, to then ignore children in the foster care system.
There’s also the blatant ignorance toward reproductive rights and abortion itself. It is easy to cast judgment from a place of privilege without taking facts into account.
For starters, a fertilized embryo is NOT a baby.
Banning abortion after six weeks of gestation is a set-up. Most women don’t even know that they are pregnant at that point. They’re barely given time to miss a period.
Incarcerating women for “feticide” is like incarcerating men for masturbation. Is that where we are headed? If the reasoning behind banning abortion is that a fertilized egg at six weeks is a human being, then the millions of sperm cells that die in a sock on an hourly basis is mass murder.
Women do NOT want to have abortions for fun or as a method for birth control.
Whoever has their head in the sand about the reasons that women have abortions needs to pull it out now and repeat the following mantra:
Women are not having abortions for fun.
This misconception has penetrated the depths of social stigma and pushed women into a corner. Having an abortion is as much fun as having a root canal without anesthesia.
There are a plethora of reasons why a woman would choose
to have an abortion, including, but not limited to: rape, incest, health concerns, a dead fetus in the womb, limited finances, already has too many children, and the list goes on and on.
Abortions are meditated decisions made between women and their doctors. Not between white men in their dry-cleaned suits and their power
If the government is so concerned about abortions, then they should make birth control free and easy to access by women and girls of reproductive age. The Guttmacher Institute reports that “across all world subregions, Eastern Europe experienced the largest decline in its abortion rate, from 88 per 1,000 in 1990–1994 to 42 per 1,000 in 2010–2014, which corresponded with an increase in access to modern contraceptives following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.”
The problem is that it is not convenient to them for women to have sexual and reproductive health and rights—it’s simply easier to oppress them.
Guttmacher also notes that abortion tends to be safer where it is broadly legal than in more legally restrictive settings.
If a woman wants to have an abortion she will find a way of having one.
Let’s make something abundantly clear: banning abortion does NOT eliminate them. On the contrary, it will lead to the deaths of thousands of women.
Women will now be subjected to either leaving their state to get an abortion or find a clandestine way of getting one.
Do you know what this means?
Women will be forced to resort to underground clinics for services that may not fit the World Health Organization’s (WHO) standards for safe abortion care or have trained providers to assist them.
It means that women will perform abortions on themselves (remember the coat hangers?), take measures to induce miscarriage, or even resort to suicide in some cases.
It means that women will have to put themselves in danger to achieve bodily autonomy.
Abortion is medically safe.
Misinformed legislators state that abortions are not safe procedures. However, the Guttmacher Institute reports “Induced abortion is medically safe when WHO-recommended methods are used by trained persons, less safe when only one of those two criteria is met, and least safe when neither is met.”
The use of medical abortions (abortion pill) has also dwindled the number of complications women can face during an abortion. The “abortion pill” can only be used during early pregnancy and is a combination of two different medicines: mifepristone and misoprostol. The pill suppresses progesterone and stops the pregnancy from growing. Women can take the pill at home or with the supervision of a nurse or doctor, depending on your state’s laws (surprise, surprise).
So, what can we do?
Abortion is a controversial topic.
It would be simple and easy to stay quiet.
It would be simple and easy to scroll away from articles, change the news channel, and ignore the heinous acts being passed as “laws” that affect women in this country.
But, I wonder, who will stand up for me when they come for women in my state?
What kind of example will I set for my nieces, cousins, or future daughters?
Whose side will I really be on if I choose to support regressive legislation?
The truth is that staying quiet about abortion is the same as agreeing with all the men and women in government who are making decisions over women’s bodies.
We can help first and foremost by speaking up and defending women’s reproductive rights.
Call your legislator, senator, and congressperson and push for access to safe abortion care. Push for postabortion services where women receive counseling and a free method of contraception that will decrease the likelihood of them getting pregnant without planning again.
Educate those around you who are opposed to abortion and help them evaluate their opinions. Perhaps they are misinformed or have no idea what they are really standing for.
Support women in states where they are being oppressed. Solidarity is more important than ever now if we don’t want to end up like Offred in the Handmaid’s Tale. We must support each other because let’s face it, these laws are bullshit.