First they came for the pregnant people…

I started to post this on Facebook, and then realized I needed more room to say what I have to say.

TW for SA, forced birth, loss of civil rights.

I may lose followers over this but I think it’s important that we understand ending Roe v Wade is not just about “stopping abortion”. If it was about that alone, then sex education and free birth control would be available to all. 

Roe v Wade was established on a fundamental right to privacy. Eliminate that, and you eliminate the right to privacy on everything. Everything.

They are already trying to ban ALL contraception in some states. Enacting laws that would require women to have a negative pregnancy test before leaving the state. Some people recommend you stop using any app that allows you to track your monthly cycles NOW. Can you imagine yourself as a business person, being required to show proof of a negative pregnancy test before you can fly out of state for your company? Before going on a trip to visit your family? Having your search history on your reproductive options–such as the one I used to put together this post–being used against you in a court of law?

They are currently creating laws that require a mother who has had a miscarriage prove that it wasn’t intentional while dealing with one of the worst emotional and physicals traumas of her life. Laws that make using an IUD a felony. Laws that prevent a woman from leaving an abusive relationship if she’s pregnant. Laws that force victims of rape to carry to term, even if that person is a minor. Laws that prevent the ending of a non-viable, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy and demand the embryo be transferred and implanted: something that is NOT MEDICALLY POSSIBLE. Failure to terminate an ectopic pregnancy can kill the mother–but hey, what does that matter, right?

It’s about criminalizing anyone who seeks reproductive health care in this manner (or provides it) so they cannot vote again in the future.

It’s about ending your right to privacy: who you can love, marry, and build a family with.

It’s about creating a very specific theocracy that has no tolerance for other belief systems.

It’s about locking people into a cycle of poverty. It’s about preventing women from moving further up a corporate ladder, or being financially independent. It’s about eliminating each individual’s right to vote and creating a state where only the “head of house” is allowed to vote. It’s about giving that HOH absolute power over every family member, including the right to rape and perform incest.

At this point in time, 5% of all rape victims become pregnant as a result of their attack. Lawmakers are currently enacting legislation that would force victims to have continued contact with their rapists should the attack result in a pregnancy, giving the rapists more rights than the victims themselves. International law defends the right of a rape victim to get an abortion as a basic human right. How can we call ourselves the greatest nation on earth when we intend to strip half our citizens of a basic human right?

1% of all women using birth control still get pregnant. There are 72.7 million women of child-bearing age in the US right now. That comes to 727,000 unwanted pregnancies each year by people who took every precaution–short of not having sex with their partners–to prevent such a thing.

And that’s another factor in this creeping erosion of women’s rights: they want to be able to decide when we have sex and with whom. They want enjoying sex to be the prerogative of the impregnator, and the incubators just need to shut up and submit.

People tend to forget that it wasn’t all that long ago that women were not allowed to do certain things in the US that we take for granted today. Spousal rape wasn’t criminalized in all 50 states until 1993. Women were routinely charged more for health insurance until 2010. The birth control pill, which had been available since the 1950s, was not available to all unmarried women until 1972, and up until 1978 someone could get fired merely for being pregnant. A woman could not get a credit card in her own name until 1974, and many banks required they bring a male relative with them to co-sign. Women were deemed too “fragile” to serve on most juries until 1975, fight on the front lines until 2015, and were shut out of most Ivy League colleges until the 1970s as well. They could not take action against workplace sexual harassment until 1977. It was 1980 before workplace sexual harassment was considered a form of sexual discrimination.

My point being this: these hard-fought rights were not achieved all that long ago. And we are facing our biggest threat to those rights today. People like to believe that once civil rights have been granted, we can stop worrying about them. The truth is, they must be defended every single day, or else someone will try to take them from you.

I would like to say to those people who staunchly maintain that any baby’s life is more important than that of the mother, who do you intend to raise that baby? Feed it, clothe it, nurture and love it? Because as soon as that baby is born, the forced-birth extremists cease to care about it. No formula in the stores, no social programs, no safety net.

How about the fact that for a developed nation, the US has one of the worst records on maternal care? At least 2 people die in childbirth in the US each day, despite our spending more on healthcare than other developed nation. Most die from preventable causes. Black women are three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, but that’s another stat these people don’t care about, because part of this drive to forced-birth extremism is about making more white babies. Tennis player Serena Williams, who had a history of blood clots in 2010 before her 2017 pregnancy, had to fight to get her medical team to screen her for blood clots when she lost the feeling in her legs after delivery of her daughter. If she had not been educated about her health issues, if she had not been a famous person, would she have survived?

Odds are, if she lived the Southern US, no.

To those who say that it’s God’s will a rape victim gets pregnant, or any person practicing birth control gets pregnant, I ask this: does this mean you don’t want to be treated for cancer? That you should be allowed to bleed out at the scene of a traffic accident? And whoa, who needs Viagra anymore, because isn’t that also GOD’S WILL?

If you think this is going to end with abortion rights, you are wrong. If you think this doesn’t apply to you personally, you are wrong. It may start with Roe v Wade, but it will spread to same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, what can be taught in schools, and book-banning. It will force a rape victim to give parental rights to her attacker. It will force people to remain in abusive relationships. It will strip large numbers of citizens of their right to vote, in part because the powerful want to remain in power. We can’t just move out of state, either. We must stand our ground and vote where we live while we still can vote.

And if you or anyone you know is capable of having babies, I would think long and hard about that vacation trip to New Orleans or sending my daughter to university in a red state right now.