Words according to Dakota, SHE II, and Raven Vanguard’s third member, also known as Sloth
Ah yes, the time has come for yet another Weekly Once-Over. What shall we discuss as the world of male political policies closes in on reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, the Raven House is coming together and is in pieces all at once, and the Earth is basically on fire according to Bill Nye?
Well - I suppose we should focus on the all out fuckery that is happening in Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, Texas, and Ohio. I started this week off on a positive note. I was just getting back from a long weekend mini-vacation in Helen, GA. I was warm and sun-tanned (kinda - I have a rather ghost like complexion) and absolutely un-bothered, not knowing that reproductive rights in several states were quickly about to be threatened - setting a very scary precedent in 2019. Do not get me wrong. These are not liberated times. It has not been all sunshine and rainbows for women of color, the LGBT community, specifically trans men and women, and low-income communities.
TRIGGER WARNING: This post goes on to discuss pregnancy and abortion - referencing topics of sexual assault, incest, and slut-shaming.
Believe whatever you want - but get your filthy hands off of my bodily autonomy. Yes, you, Governor Kay Ivey. That is putting it simply. If you haven’t heard, Alabama recently passed a bill criminalizing abortions, making it a felony, including abortion of pregnancies caused by rape and incest. As TIME puts it:
Alabama this week signed the most aggressively anti-abortion law in recent American history. If enacted, the law would only permit abortions only if the mother’s life is at risk or if the fetus cannot survive, but not in cases of rape or incest.
Ohio is making moves to not only pass a “heartbeat” bill, but to restrict access to contraceptives and birth control. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a law that would ban abortion as soon as there is a detectable heartbeat, which keep in mind, often comes before someone knows they are pregnant. In Missouri, Governor Mike Parson is attempting to sign a bill banning abortion in Missouri 8 weeks into pregnancy. Texas is proposing the death penalty as a punishment for having an abortion - so much for “pro-life” huh. Doctors in all of these cases are being threatened with prison time, Alabama threatening 99 years in prison.
1 - Fucking hands off. Everyone has bodily rights. Everyone should have the right to make choices about what is done to their bodies. Every law I just listed repulses me. Why? Because its my BODY. My temple. My skin. My lungs. My limbs. My organs. My reproductive system. And a FETUS is an extension of that body. That is not a separate life form. That is a dependent. All of these laws have zero consideration for the human who is bearing said “life.” Ask my sister. Bearing children takes everything out of a body, and the life of the bearer matters.
2 - Said perfectly by @iwritefeminism on Instagram in her statement “Debunking the Pro-Life Lobby: Classy Responses to Common Anti-Abortion Arguments:
Imagine that! Yes, abortion is the responsible choice for many. What is unethical is the complete disregard for human quality of life postpartum. These white men and women (yes, in Alabama, the 22 signatures that passed the bill were ALL white men. Governor Kay Ivey who approved the bill is a white woman) have not taken into consideration the child’s quality of life postpartum. There is no consideration for the trauma endured by those who have been raped, molested or are victims of incest. Children having children. People having to carry a baby conceived through tears and terror. There is no consideration for the emotional labor involved, the fact that rape does not lead to the creation of wanted children. The trauma experienced. There is no consideration of the financial burden of parenthood, the deteriorating foster care system, the emotional and physical requirements of parenthood, child health care, or education. In fact, Alabama is ranked 50th for their education. They do not give a shit about that kid once they are born. They do not care about the individual bearing the child. Talk about blatant disregard for responsibility.
3 - Circling back to my comment about white representatives. Statistically, the people voting for these anti-abortion bills are upper middle class, privileged white people that have never once experienced life, let alone child-bearing, in a low-income situation. I, myself am a white middle class woman, and it is our responsibility in a place of privilege to point out injustices affecting under-represented groups. This matters. And it matters because of everything I stated above. The financial, physical and emotional cost of pregnancy. Example - a low income single mother finds out she is pregnant. She already has limited access to contraceptives and extra expenses are not an option. Working for another child would require her to find daycare for both and would eventually force her into a position where she could not afford to feed them or pay for shelter. These laws restrict her from getting an abortion. That option forces children into a system that is already failing. Or forces these women into unsafe options for terminating pregnancy. Imagine the emotional suffering. My point: these politicians do. not. represent. her. They do not empathize with her. They do not care about her well-being. They do not care about her children. And they never have.
4 - Abortion is not murder. And it is NEVER an easy decision. My mom worked in an abortion clinic as an in-house counselor years ago. The clinic was in a low-income area of Buffalo. And you know what? The women that came through there had to. They were 14 years old. They were hurt. They could not go through the pregnancy for medical reasons. They could not financially support a child. They feared for their life. They feared the future. None of them were jumping for joy. It’s a traumatic experience. So many people fail to see how much the access to safe abortion matters.
And back to my original statement. Hands off. It’s not a representative’s body to dictate. It is mine.