I’ve been quiet until now about the attack on women’s rights happening in the US mostly because I’ve just been angry and in shock and disbelief at how blatantly it’s happening. I’ve also been appalled at how there’s enough women who are foot soldiers of the ridiculous religious fundamentalist patriarchy (The Alabama law was crafted by a woman and signed into law by one as well). My anger has just increased as more details have come out and I’ve looked back at the patterns under this Dump administration and now I can’t help but rant a bit.
The simplest way to put my core thoughts on this whole matter is this — bodily autonomy is something that shouldn’t be up for debate or legislation, and people (especially cis men) shouldn’t be allowed to legislate against what others can or cannot do with their bodies.
That’s really all that it should be and I’m being very intentional when I say “others” because bodily autonomy extends not just to cis women but across all genders. I also totally agree with the notion that this is just another manifestation of the rise of the far right around the world, as male supremacy seems to be a cornerstone of these movements.
The hypocrisy of the nonsensically labelled “pro-life” arguments is nauseating, as the only thing they’re pro, is the fetus and birth. This focus and their anti-abortion stance, for a myriad of reasons, is just there, as AOC suggests, as a means of controlling women’s bodies and sexuality. When it comes to things that can actually be pro-life like healthcare, childcare or even just caring about women with dangerous complications like ectopic pregnancy, they couldn’t care less. On top of this, criminalizing abortion doesn’t stop it, it just leads to more unsafe abortions that lead to more women dying of health complications associated with that. Then again, the people making these laws probably don’t even know anything about women’s reproductive health to start with.
Even prior to these legislative moves, the existing anti-choice laws in the US were already putting women in jail for no fault of their own. Now, under this new Alabama law, to add additional levels of monstrosity, doctors can be punished with upto 99 years imprisonment (which is likely a worse punishment than most rapists get), while in Georgia, the new law is worded so vaguely that it’s possible even miscarriages are something that can now be investigated and punished as a crime. It gets even more monstrous given that Alabama voted down any exceptions to their anti-abortion law even in cases of rape or incest. The hypocrisy becomes even clearer when you realize that the very states that are desperate to be “pro-life” have the worst infant mortality rates in the country and worst health outcomes for women in general. That’s on top of these “pro-life” monsters staying quiet as yet another child died in a detention center after being separated from parents at the border.
The US has already shown how far they’ll go on being anti-choice when they forced the UN to water down a resolution on sexual assault in conflict regions and threatened to veto if it even hinted at support for abortion. They also banned their own health departments (like the CDC) from mentioning even the word “fetus” and they seem to have expanded the horrid “global gag rule” which denies aid funding to groups that provide or even promote the possibility of abortions. Plus with the US supreme court tipped in favor towards this nonsense, it is clear this is a sustained attack to topple Roe vs Wade and take the US back decades (and possibly other parts of the world with it).
All this because a bunch of idiotic religious morons cannot abide bodily autonomy and will go to any length to return the world back to the stone age.
Now more than ever, it’s important for men to stand up and be counted and fight for equality and for women to just be able to live their lives in peace. Where can you start? You can start by informing yourself (plenty of resources in the responses to this reddit post) and in this specific issue, you can also start by listening to women and what they go through. It infuriates me that it is 2019 and women in one of the most developed nations in the world are having to live in fear of laws infringing on what they can or cannot do with their bodies. This has to change and men have to be allies in this to make that change happen.