Recently, reproductive justice has become an interest of mine. Not on a level of obsession, I don’t think, but I know there are those out there who would disagree. Since most people seem to think abortion should never, ever be discussed publicly, I guess you could call my recent interest in the subject “excessive.” Whatever. I don’t really care.
The bottom line for me, is this: Women should have free agency over our own bodies. For anyone else to try to control my body, and my future, especially from afar, is a gross violation of my human rights. A grown woman should always be given preference over a fetus. Period. Full stop. Now we can all sit down and try to hammer out at what point a fetus stops being a fetus and whether or not abortion should be limited in some fashion. That’s all reasonable and fine.
But there is no rational objection to abortion in the first trimester. There just isn’t. We’re talking about a non-sentient form of life with no capacity to feel pain. It’s also estimated that 10 to 20% of all pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage, which is defined as a pregnancy that ends on its own before the 20th week. Like it or not, that’s science. If you have an objection to abortion in the first trimester, then your objection must be spiritual — either religious or nonreligious — and that’s fine. If you think abortion is wrong in the first trimester, then don’t get one.
But don’t try to tell me I can’t. I don’t share your religious beliefs, I never will, and that is my right as an American and a human.
I get into a lot of arguments with pro-lifers online, and I’ve noticed a disturbing consistency. The prolife women with whom I argue almost always have religious objections. Again, that’s fine. I can’t ever convince them that God doesn’t exist and they can’t convince me he does, so our arguments generally end in “We’ll have to agree to disagree.”
But arguing with prolife men is a whole other ball of fucked-up-idness. With them, it really is about control of women’s bodies. They generally fall into a couple of categories:
1) Narcissists who can’t stand the thought of abortion because they are convinced that somehow, had they been aborted, THEY WOULD KNOW ABOUT IT. And the rest of us poor slobs would be forced to live in a world in which THEY NEVER EXISTED. The horror.
2) Narcissists who can’t stand the thought that some mere WOMAN would have the AUDACITY to abort their valuable DNA, not to mention their gifted progeny!
Seriously. The entitlement is nauseating. It is palpable. I can feel it emanating through my computer screen when I argue with them. Nearly one hundred percent of the time I end up blocking them because they will not stop telling a woman how wrong she is to abort a fetus. Only what he really means is it’s wrong to abort his fetus. These guys will argue for DAYS in ridiculous circles about vague notions of “life” and “murder” and “holocaust” and “butchery” and “sacredness,” when they clearly don’t give a damn about women, or children, or birth control, or wage parity, or childcare, or health care or ANYTHING that has to do with real life babies or women or children. Often they aren’t even particularly religious. They’re just positive they are right and women who abort are evil. They don’t care if women die, or suffer or are plunged into poverty forever. All they care is that they have control over women’s* uteruses. That’s literally it. Because they have some delusional notion that their piddly sperm donation gives them agency over someone else’s very life, future and body.
And I am OVER IT.
The person with the uterus is the one who takes on the full medical risk of a pregnancy. The person with the uterus is also often the one who ends up taking on the full financial responsibility of the pregnancy, the birth and the child; not to mention the work of childcare. And childcare is WORK. Lots of it. ‘Round the clock.
So no, random sir, you do not get a say in whether or not someone carries their pregnancy to term. And you are just going to have to learn to deal with that.
*I do realize that not everyone who seeks abortion care identifies as female, and I don’t mean to disrespect anyone’s gender by not discussing that topic here. But I think it’s important to understand that there’s a large component of the prolife crowd who are simply misogynistic. There’s no other word to describe it, as they seem to take great joy in attempting to punish women who have sex.