Counter Arts
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Counter Arts

War Against Women

Whose rights matter?

Photo by Michelle Ding on Unsplash

Like many left-leaning Americans, I was shocked, though not surprised, at the leaked memo by Justice Alito, a first draft of a potential decision that would dismantle the protections of Roe v Wade.

How does the folderol look, through the eyes of a pinko-commie-lesbian liberal with a lot of critical race theory, LGBTQIA theory, and women’s studies seminars under her belt?

I’ll tell you: it looks like a war against women.

I watched a female politician from Arkansas defend her position on PBS News. Her argument was this; millions of babies have not been born in the 50 years since Roe V Wade became law. God created them at conception, and they were killed.

This argument glosses over so much: how Arkansas has a miserable track record caring for those babies who are born, particularly poor babies. How all those pregnancies, had they continued, would not necessarily result in a healthy baby with a healthy parent.

It implies that adoption is a viable option not taken by these women. It turns out it’s not so viable in Arkansas, particularly for BIPOC and poor babies and children who enter the immensely overloaded foster care system.

And here’s the gist of the argument: women who choose abortion are murderers. One in four women in the United States is a murderer of babies!

This paves the way for an argument about when the soul enters the fetus: conception, quickening, or fetal viability age, etc.

This is all beside the point, and these are questions best answered by the woman in question. There are as many reasons for having an abortion as there are women who have them. Presuming to understand women’s motivations assumes motherhood is sacrosanct and must be made inevitable, and furthermore, women must be punished for their sin.

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Never mind that the circumstances of conception are myriad and staggeringly personal.

Isn’t this the crowd that argued that masking and vaccination are personal choices, that the government has no right to impose itself on individual decisions?

That it is a matter of religious importance that one’s body is one’s own? Even when that decision affects the lives of others, even when not wearing a mask or vaccinating endangers the lives of the people with whom one comes in contact? Is that murder as well?

The obvious difference between those individual choices of a mix of women and men reacting to COVID-19, and women’s reproductive choices, is that women’s bodies are at the center of the debate. We live in a patriarchy that asserts rights to some bodies over others.

Women are individuals with the right to make their own decisions about their own bodies. Full stop.

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Jackie Olsen

Jackie Olsen

Come for the insights on aging, leave with a doggie bag full of frogs and exoplanets. Now more poems about vacuuming! she/her/hers