The politics of abortion.. a thought

Posted on June 15, 2011


I know I post a lot of articles about women’s reproductive justice, especially abortion, and most often these posts include long-winded rants wherein i deconstruct common notions around the issue (sums up most of my blogging, really). But here’s something really simple to think about: 1 in 3 women have at least one abortion in their lifetime. 1 in 3.

This legislative session, something like 1000 pieces of legislation were heard in state governments nationwide which tried to limit a woman’s access to abortion (with extremes as far as criminalizing miscarriages). A very small group of (mostly) men are trying – and in many places succeeding – to restrict something almost half the population of women engage in under the guise of “saving the children”.  Most of the women I know who have had abortions, myself included, did so because they know there is not enough support for them to keep that child.

So once again I shall say, if you are pro-life and want to reduce the number of abortions, why not go to the root cause of the problem?  Abortion in and of itself is not the problem.  Unintended pregnancies are the problem.  Women and men deserve comprehensive sex education so they can make informed choices, women deserve easy access to birth control as well as support from their partners in preventing pregnancies (aka boys who don’t say “but it feels so much better without the condom” which means that men need to be educated on how to have a healthy and respectful sexual relationship), we deserve the right to choose when and if we want to get pregnant.   We all know we deserve it, and a new article i read somewhere (that i conveniently cannot find atm) outlines how millenials support comprehensive sex ed.  So it’s time to demand it.

Just now an amendment was voted down on the house floor that would restrict funding for mifepristone no matter the circumstances.  Small favors.  Mifepristone was the drug that I took to have my abortion just over 3 years ago. Though since i went to Planned Parenthood it was not government funded. I say small favors because mifepristone is a much less invasive and traumatic experience than having to do the vacuum thing, and since the feds only provide abortion funding for women who are victims of rape or incest (to my knowledge), it seems the decent thing to do would be to allow them this small concession.

1 in 3. I have said this before but i think it warrants repeating:  i would never ask women to come out until they’re ready. But imagine if women everywhere decided to take a leap, break the silence, and tell the honest story of what they went through, what they wish was different, etc.  I believe one thing would be highlighted by this: all of our experiences are different and they would fall across a spectrum. And that reality, the multiplicity of reality, needs to be acknowledged.  If our government really has our best interest at heart, they would listen to women and use their stories to guide this process of legislating our bodies.  If our government truly represented the interests of the people, I don’t think there would be any legislation around abortion at all, since so many people have them.  I bet there’d be a lot more in place to prevent pregnancy though.

unless of course it has less to do with saving the clump of cells in some woman’s uterus and more to do with the fact that men are so incredibly anxious about women gaining “power” in this society (backlash).  Unless it has less to do with fetal rights and more to do with a minority of the population who believes they have the right to tell others how to live (oddly authoritarian for people who love their liberty).  Unless it has to do with sexism, and the belief that women belong at home raising the children. Control. Power and Control.

Otherwise, why would the GOP want to defund PP (which offers such a variety of health services) and want to fund Crisis Pregnancy Centers (good article on a woman’s experience there).  Why would they simultaneously de-fund preventative measures and strip a woman’s right to choose?  I literally cannot find any other logical reason for why this is happening other than it centers around the desire to take away women’s autonomy and the belief that some people know better than others how to live their lives in the “right” way.

Also, when I am in a place where I’d like to have a family and I get preggo, I’m absolutely going to go to a Crisis Pregnancy Center to get free stuff and put their shit on blast.  Fuck it, i’ll go to hella and document each one, just so see what actually happens.  Because until I experience it firsthand it really is all just hearsay.