This blog discusses what an abortion ban really means and who it hurts the most.
It pains me to have to write this blog, my dear readers, yet here we are. I find myself forced to talk about a procedure that has nothing to do with me and everything to do with me. I write this blog because there are some antiquated (mostly male, mostly white) people who seem to think that they know what’s best for a woman’s body, for my body. As a person who believes 100% in body autonomy and a woman’s right to choose, I couldn’t sit by and not put my thoughts into a blog.
Before I truly begin, I need to make it clear that I’m not really interested in trying to convince pro-lifers to be pro-choice or vice versa. I think it’s important for people to come to their own conclusions on this issue. What truly gets under my skin is trying to force others to live based on your system of ideals. I can’t get behind that. As you, my readers, will find out (or already know), I have a very strong set of core beliefs that were formed based on my life experiences. I do not attempt to force everyone around me to adhere to those beliefs. For example, growing up, we had rice and beans on Mondays. I’m not going to use any force of strength, will, or power to make everyone in the state or country also eat rice and beans on Mondays. Nor will I sugar coat it by saying how nutritious and filling the meal is or invoke the poor rice and bean farmers who would now experience prosperity due to the increased consumption. Ridiculous, right? Well, so is what the lawmakers have done in Alabama, Georgia, and six other states, including my home state of Louisiana.
Just to give a quick recap on the happenings, these states have passed state laws that ban abortion for women once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually at six weeks. Each state has a couple of differences, like in Georgia a woman can be prosecuted for leaving the state to have an abortion and in Alabama, there is no exception made in the case of rape or incest. In the case of Louisiana, the law doesn’t go into effect until the recently signed Mississippi law goes through the courts. Regardless of the quirks, these states have successfully managed to say to their woman population that their uteruses are now property of the state, which is a no-go for several reasons.
The main reason is that an abortion isn’t any of the government’s business. The only people who need to know about a woman’s abortion are the woman, her doctor, and her partner, if applicable. Everyone else needs to mind their business. If you contend that the government must know about an abortion, the only reason I can even think that the government would need to know is to make sure that the abortion is done safely with no harm done to the woman. That’s all Roe vs. Wade does, folks, is make sure that a woman has safe access to this form of health care. And before you ask, yes, having an abortion is a form of women’s health care. Mind blown.
Since we’re on the topic of laws, it’s my utmost pleasure to inform you that these laws are largely unconstitutional and will never be enforced. Truth be told, having enforceable abortion restricting laws is not the end game for these abhorrent people. The true target is the Supreme Court, to openly challenge Roe vs. Wade. You may ask me why these folks want to get rid of abortion altogether. The answer may surprise you: most of them actually don’t want to get rid of abortion, per se. Sure, you have your religious fundamentalists who believe they’re doing God’s work, and we’ll get to that soon. You even have some who believe that abortion is a state’s rights issue, which is the same type of language people used for the continuation of slavery.
I believe the reason is just plain old misogyny and classism. It’s easier to keep a woman “in her place” by making sure she always has a child to take care of. It is incredibly difficult for a woman to come up in this world while taking care of young children. If she’s raising them on her own with no help? It’s damned near impossible. It’s a real easy way to keep the growing majority from overtaking the aging minority. Why is this also a classist issue? Simply put, those with money and power will always have access to these types of services. If someone with money and power wants to end a pregnancy, they can do so discreetly, (sort of, as we’re hearing stories of men ending the pregnancies of their mistresses). It’s a wicked game of making sure that those who are in power stay in power, no matter the cost.
Of course, we have those who say that abortion is murder, which is incredibly laughable. An abortion does not “kill a baby.” It ends a pregnancy. Language is important here, readers, so pay attention. These bans are set at six weeks. Most women don’t even know they are pregnant at six weeks. Do you know what six weeks is? Six weeks is one missed period plus two weeks. Most women do not even exhibit pregnancy symptoms until eight weeks. Also, let’s not do the “a woman should be clued in to her body” argument. Periods can be skipped for a variety of reasons. Hell, I can skip a period from being stressed out. Do you know what a pregnancy looks like at six weeks? It looks like this.
It’s not even a fetus at this point, readers. That is a pea-sized lizard thing called an embryo. It does not have thoughts, feelings, and most importantly, cannot survive outside of a woman’s body. Since this is a truthful blog and we deal in truth over here, a fetus can’t survive outside of a woman’s body until 24 weeks, and it’s not even a coin flip on the odds. However, because language is important, you can call someone’s moral values into question by saying that they’re killing a baby instead of a pea-sized parasitic lizard thing. Plus, it’s also easier to say and remember the word fetus, instead of embryo. Got to say I’m almost in awe of the marketing of the anti-abortion crowd. If I didn’t know any better, they might have me ensnared in their sea of lies too.
Oh, was saying lies too harsh? How about “unproven theories of falsehoods” or “alternate facts”? My personal favorite is “fighting for the lives of the unborn.” That almost makes me giggle. Don’t fall for any of the artful lies, readers. These people do not care about these pregnancies or the women affected by them because if they did, our infant mortality rate wouldn’t be rising (which disproportionately affects women of color) and there would actually be programs at state and federal levels to make it easier to raise children. As it is currently the SNAP and TANF programs have already been slashed tremendously. The CHiP and WiC programs have been threatened recently as well, and who does it hurt the most? Children. I don’t even want to go into the abysmal foster care programs, for those who say that women should put up those babies for adoption.
Let me pull myself up from this rabbit hole before I fall too deeply into it. It’s a simple issue that has a lot of reach, affects, and hurts a lot of people. Allow me to end the blog by saying this. Pregnancy and a baby should be a joyous occasion, if you want to have a baby. But, if you don’t, you shouldn’t be forced to carry a pregnancy to term. That decision is ultimately left to the woman who would be carrying that pregnancy for nine months. We should all be fighting for a woman’s right to choose the best path for herself, regardless if we agree with her or not. That’s called respect for one’s body autonomy, folks. Thanks for reading.