Right now in the United States there is a huge debate over abortion. Or maybe it’s about choice. There are people who argue both sides.
In the past year and in the past few months, women have had rights to make decisions about their bodies taken from them. There have been laws put into place that take decisions for women and their bodies out of the hands of women. Right now there are more laws on the table set to take away more decisions from women.
There are people who believe that abortion is wrong and are advocating for the government making abortion illegal. The thing is that when the government takes away women’s right to make legal and safe choices about their bodies it sends another dangerous message- that women can’t make decisions for themselves.
If you think I’m being extreme, consider that people need to be able to make decisions about their bodies in many ways. In my post yesterday, I referenced an article that proposes chemical castration for men who rape. This takes away the right to make a choice about your body- just like rape does. So, I don’t agree with it. The article’s author was upset with feminists for not supporting chemical castration, but the reason is ALL people need to be able to make choices for their bodies. Rape doesn’t allow people to make choices. Taking away the legal right to a safe and legal abortion also doesn’t allow people to make choices for their bodies.
Other choices people need to be able to make about their bodies include: Whether we eat or not and what we eat. I eat fish, but don’t eat other meat. I don’t want to be forced to eat red meat, for example. It includes what we wear, I don’t want the government dictating what I wear and in some countries they do. It includes whether we want to have sex or not and with whom. It includes whether we want to be sold into slavery or into marriage. It includes whether we want to have acid thrown on us.
We need to be able to make decisions for our bodies.
When rights are taken away from women, we are seen as less than. We have less rights and are valued less. It is perceived by everyone in the culture that we are not as important if we are unable to make decisions for ourrselves, much less about the world.
When we are seen as less than or second class, we are devalued. When we are devalued, we are seen as less human, as objects. There are many things that contribute to this within the culture and it’s hard to tell which came first. They feed the notion that women are inferior and the notion that women are inferior prompts those things happening. A recent example would be Rush Limbaugh calling women sluts for wanting access to birth control. It would also be people saying the War On Women doesn’t exist when clearly rights are being taken from women, laws to try to lessen the wage gap between men and women are being done away with, and funding from Rape Crisis Centers and the Violence Against Women act is being taken away. It would also be a woman getting cat calls on the streets or her butt grabbed on the bus. These are all acts that are a part of the system that oppresses women.
When I say connect the dots- the last dot is violence. When women are seen as inhuman, objects, or just as inferior, it is easier to perpetrate violence against women. Rates of violence go up against women. More domestic violence/intimate partner violence. More rapes. More sexual assaults of any kind. More murders.
Violence is used to keep women in line, silenced, and from speaking out. It is used when women are not valued.
The rights of half the population of the world are at risk and so are lives. Whether you believe abortion is a viable option for women to make about their bodies or not, understand that abortion will always be around, legal or not, and women’s rights to make choices for themselves might not be.
Trust women to make decisions that work for them. The government or anyone else doesn’t need to dictate laws that restrict rights and ultimately increase levels of violence.