I was chatting with a friend last night about the imminent demise of legal abortion, and she used a word I think is exactly right: humiliating. What is happening in this country is not just terrifying and unjust, infuriating and awful—it’s humiliating.
We have spent years—decades!—trying to convince the government that women deserve to control our own bodies. We’ve shared our most personal experiences, recounting stories of sexual abuse and domestic violence, financial hardship and medical traumas. We’ve explained, calmly and politely, how the ability to choose if and when to have children can be the most determinative factor in a woman’s life. We’ve provided research showing that those who are denied abortions are more likely to stay with violent partners and suffer financial hardships. We’ve shown that abortion is safe (much more so than pregnancy), and rebutted the misinformation around the procedure over and over again.
We’ve knocked on doors and raised money; debated at school, work and on the floors of Congress. We’ve started organizations and research groups; we’ve raised awareness everywhere from pop culture to your local barbershop.
We voted: Election after election, year after year.
What has it gotten us? Not only is Roe going to be overturned—our daughters growing up with less rights that we had—but we’re still debating? Still trying to convince people that 1 in 4 women in America aren’t murderers? Why? Do we really think that one more story of a child raped by her father will move the hearts of men who would legislate away our humanity without even bothering to learn remedial facts about pregnancy?
Absolutely not, I’m done. We’re getting our abortions whether you like it or not.
I refuse to explain, over and over again, that women are people. I’m done degrading myself by sharing the most intimate details of my life with strangers in the hope that perhaps one will muster a spark of empathy. Why should we beg for scraps of humanity from those who will never give it to us?
Most of all, I’m done with the Democrats who tiptoe around abortion as if it was some sort of political landmine. Seventy percent of Americans don’t want to see Roe overturned—why are the people we elected to stop this horror show from happening still putting out polite press releases? Get a spine, and do your jobs.
Part of the reason we’re in this colossal mess is that Democrats ceded our most valuable asset: the moral high ground. Instead of hammering home that we are right and anti-abortion legislators are horrifically, dangerously wrong, they let conservatives call themselves the party of life. They spoke in whispers and favored ‘choice’ over ‘abortion’. Instead of listening to years of advice of reproductive justice activists to support abortion unapologetically, they held onto the mantra that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare,” lending credence to Republicans’ claim that there’s something wrong with ending a pregnancy.
There isn’t. Abortion is a human right and a moral good. AndI’m done feeling humiliated.
No more bad faith debating, no more explaining basic medical facts or pinning our hopes on politicians.
Right now, my only priority is making sure that anyone who needs an abortion can get one safely. And after years of doing this work, the one thing I do have faith in is that a nation full of furious feminists can make that happen. As the organization Shout Your Abortion put it this week, “Fuck SCOTUS, we’re doing it anyway.”
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Amen to this: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/may/07/enforced-childbirth-is-slavery-margaret-atwood-on-the-right-to-abortion
As someone who has had more miscarriages than babies, and not for want of trying, I have always been a little conflicted about abortion. But what I am not conflicted about is that this is not my choice to make for other women. How dare the Republican justices put themselves above the will of the majority of the people. It should not be about who shouts loudest. It should not even be about an antiquated constitution written almost a quarter of a millennium ago. Especially since those who roar about pro-life are the same people who pay no heed to the high maternal and newborn mortality rates, appallingly high for a “civilized” country. They don’t care about the number of children living and dying in poverty. They don’t care about the number of innocent people who have been executed. It has nothing to do with life and everything to do with control. If it was about life ….