Sometimes I wonder, does society hate our women?
In light of the recent laws that have been passed in America and the international outrage it has garnered, I feel compelled to say something.
New laws state that after 8 weeks, getting an abortion is an offence punishable by jail time, as is miscarriage. There are no exceptions for cases of rape or young people. You cannot travel out of state to get an abortion. You cannot encourage someone else to do so. It is criminal. As a doctor performing an abortion, you could face up to 99 years jail time. A rapist however might get 7-10 years. An example has been made of a 12 year old girl who, when attending a summer camp, was raped by a 45 year old maintenance man. She was afraid and didn’t report what had happened. The most heartbreaking part though is that she didn’t fully understand what had happened to her. After a missed period, she was taken to the doctors where they found out about her pregnancy. She had missed the small window of time where getting an abortion is still legal. She was in the majority- most women find out about pregnancies around the 6-8 week mark. She is expected not only to carry this baby and birth it, but also to coparent with her rapist.
The mere thought of this, to most of us, is unthinkable. It is cruelty, insanity. Imagine being told that you have no rights to your own body, YOUR home. Imagine all control being stripped away, having your fate lie in the hands of a complete stranger. The white men of America, who likely won’t experience rape and will never become pregnant, should not be making decisions about women’s bodies. There was a statement made that really struck a chord with me- You can’t take organs from a corpse without the deceased’s written permission, even if it will save lives. When you outlaw abortion, you’re allowing women less bodily autonomy than the dead.
I believe the problem starts with our longheld belief that women are inferior and even inhuman. For the progress that has been made in some areas, there is a complete lack in others. Examples of this are everywhere- the pay gap, assault and violence rates, even the ways people in power have talked about women. This is only the start.
The irony is that we come from women. We would not be in existence if it were not for women, for our mothers. Why are we biting the hand we feed from?
More than anything though, the way we treat any woman is reflective of the respect we have for all women. It is a question worth asking any man or boy who dares come out with a hateful or dehumanising statement. Do you feel this way about your mother, sister, daughter or friend? Would you want this for them? Would you accept this had it come from someone else? Is that truly okay?
The sad truth of that matter is that when it comes to abortion, there is no easy way out. Sometimes you find yourself stuck, without options. Women who have abortions might find that it was the best decision for them. They might not regret making it and that’s perfectly okay. Others might be wracked by the guilt of what could’ve been but now never will. They won’t be the same again. Some women aren’t in positions to raise a child. That certainly isn’t great. When people take on the stance of pro life, they believe that all lives are valuable. This is true, but there are cases when keeping a child might not be in anybody’s best interests. This is especially true for people unable to care for a child, babies found to have severe disabilities, babies conceived through rape and pregnancies in young people. If you are capable though, all the power to you. I believe that at the end of the day, people will make the decision they consider to be right. It likely won’t be easy. Everybody, no matter what they choose, deserves the utmost respect and care. When there is no real right choice to be made, just an option that sounds better than the other, you do what you can.
I think the most important thing you can do is to be educated. If you make a choice, you also have a responsibility. You must know the truth of both sides. I am pro choice and I do believe that life is important, sacred and should be protected. I do believe that babies are people from the start. If they weren’t, there’d be nothing to abort. The very nature of abortions is undeniably violent. All of this taken into consideration though, choice is important. There will always be a situation that calls for it. The emphasis must always be on the right to reproductive control, free will and privacy. Outlawing abortions doesn’t get rid of them, it just makes them unsafe. I’d say that a huge part of being a feminist is allowing other women the freedom to make choices you might not necessarily make.