*TRIGGER WARNING* This post discusses rape, assault, violence, racism and miscarriages in relation to abortion rights. If these topics might upset you, I would advise you to stop reading now.
I have always wanted to use this platform as a means of speaking up on things that I care about, and today it is going to be abortion rights. It’s been all over social media recently and rightly so – to give you a quick rundown, the most restrictive laws in Alabama make abortion illegal in virtually all cases, including incest and rape. A “heartbeat bill” is also being proposed in five other states which criminalises abortions after 6 weeks – that’s just 2 weeks after noticing a late period. Most women wouldn’t even know they were pregnant at that point.
I honestly think the whole concept is horrifying, particularly because it is clearly just another means of oppressing women – I guarantee if men were the ones who got pregnant, this wouldn’t even be a situation. The wildest thing about all of this is the lack of male inclusion. Women don’t just magically become pregnant, it involves two people and yet only one of them is suffering – only one of them is oppressed. If conservative “pro-lifers” are going to make abortions illegal, why aren’t they making it illegal for a man to leave a woman when she gets pregnant? If women are not allowed the choice, men shouldn’t have it either. On that note, here’s a reminder that 100% of pregnancies are caused by men, because let’s be honest, this situation would be completely different if women had to have an orgasm to get pregnant. It isn’t about pregnancy, it isn’t even about abortion. It is about controlling anyone with a uterus.
Calling yourself a “pro-lifer” is a pathetic argument in itself; these people are obsessed with the idea that the unborn fetus needs to be protected, but after birth, where is the care? They don’t want to hear from you and they don’t want to support you. Now is a good time to remember how expensive healthcare is in the US: in Alabama, a vaginal birth without insurance can cost $9,013 and a C-section $12,593. On the other end of the price range, Alaska can cost $19,775 for a vaginal birth and $28,491 for a C-section. It’s an absolutely astonishing amount of money, particularly for a child that you may not be ready for. On top of that, if you can’t afford the healthcare you need, it only gets worse after you have had the baby. There aren’t affordable neonatal healthcare plans just like there aren’t food stamps and aftercare for new mothers that need it, not to mention the lack of mental health care that would inevitably be essential to a woman who has just been forced to have a baby.
Instead of worrying about a fetus, why don’t conservative pro-lifers worry about the 440,000 children in foster care in the US, or the millions of children who are growing up in abusive households? What are they doing about the number of people in the LGBTQ+ community that are abused and murdered every day? What are they doing about the ethnic minorities living in western countries that experience racially-driven violence on a daily basis? What are they doing about the children living in war-ridden countries that are not getting an education or food? They aren’t doing anything, because their morality ends at the point of it no longer being a means to oppress others. They are not pro-life. They are anti-women.
Here’s one of the major problems: they are against abortion, but they are also against contraception. Why? Because they want to control the sexuality of women. They want women to be used as a means to produce children (hello, The Handmaid’s Tale), where sex is not to be enjoyed and not to be embraced. Criminalising abortion is NOT going to reduce abortion rates. It is going to increase the number of unsafe abortions. It is going to keep people in poverty for generations, because let’s be honest, there will always be people at the top of the hierarchy that can go and get abortions somewhere. It is horrifying to think about women using coat hangers and throwing themselves down staircases because they were stripped of their bodily autonomy. I’ve read about women bathing in scorching hot water and whisky, people taking pills and going through miscarriages in school toilets, and much, much worse. They can’t ban abortions. They can only ban safe abortions.
If you’ve been following this blog or my social media for a while, you will know that one thing that I feel incredibly strongly about is rape culture and sexual assault. I can’t begin to imagine how horrifying it must be to have to go through the process of being raped, deal with the mental and emotional consequences, and then find out that you are pregnant. There are pro-lifers who are approving of abortion only in the case of rape – I personally think this is equally as horrific. I shouldn’t need to be violated in order to have control over my own body. I can’t even begin to comprehend how people think it is remotely okay for doctors who perform abortions to be given a longer prison sentence than rapists, it’s disgusting.
It’s a common argument in rape cases where sex is apparently some *uncontrollable human urge*, and “how was he meant to control himself, look at what she was wearing” is often thrown around. But when a woman gets pregnant, she should have been more thoughtful about the consequence, as if a child is a punishment for having sex? Women get pressurised into unprotected sex every day, and we know the reason: there is no consequence for the men. There is no pregnancy scare, there is no panicked trip to get an emergency pill, there is no desperate wait for the next period. There is no consequence.
So, instead of criminalising abortion, this is what the world needs:
- better sex education
- free contraception and sexual/reproductive advice
- better neonatal care
- affordable health care
- increased rape sentences (or just any rape sentences, at this rate)
- better foster care systems
- better care for victims of rape and assault, and children in abusive homes
- financially feasible childcare
It’s more important now than ever before to stick together and look out for each other. This is a very real issue and we need to talk about it. We need to keep talking about it until everyone’s ears bleed. Check your information, make sure you’re spreading the correct word and keep fighting for rights whether it directly affects you or not.
Everyone’s situation is different and it is never our place to comment on anybody else’s decisions. I am not in a position of judgement and I would 100% support anyone who makes whatever choice is right for them. I know this post might have been a tough one to read (I found it incredibly difficult to do the background reading before I wrote this) so if you ever need to drop me a message, my Instagram and Twitter DMs are always open for a chat.
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