Apparently this needs to be said all the time, non-stop until we live in a world where politicians no longer try to force faith-based-anti-woman legislation down our throats. It is ludicrous to me that in 2013, in one of the most liberal areas of the country, that these bills are being proposed and granted consideration- as if they are somehow legitimate in any way. I appreciate that is an annual event, the anti-choice brigade places great faith in the "shots on goal" methodology of politics (almost 40 attempts at repealing the ACA! Winning!), but come on people, it is just pathetic.
So, for a re-cap, here are all the reasons this can not stand:
- Personhood bills can, in literal interpretation, also ban hormonal birth control methods and many fertility treatments. Don't want to/can't have a baby right now? Sucks to be you. Want desperately to have a baby and can't? Oh hey, also sucks to be you. Basically this is the exact opposite of reproductive justice. (I have discussed this in depth before)
- These policies are not only anti-feminist (obviously this is more a woman's issue than not) but are also elitist class-warfare. Policies that limit access to reproductive counseling, contraception and medical coverage for family planning disproportionately impact low-income women. Add in that we do live in a country where race/ethnicity is highly correlated with socioeconomic status, and the real motivations behind this become clear. This is about punishing those we perceive as "less than."
- Ultrasound bills and/or waiting period bills serve no medical purpose. Forcing a woman to jump through unnecessary hoops serves only to further the sexual shaming of women. Women who have chosen to terminate a pregnant do not, for the most part, do so lightly and forcing them to undergo unnecessary procedures and endure unnecessary bureaucracy is purely draconian punishment by those who feel their personal religious beliefs are the moral compass by which all choices must be judged.
- Medical autonomy is a humanist issue. On some level this legislation goes beyond the issues of feminism and reproductive justice. This now sets a precedence that it is okay for governing bodies to decide what medical decision you and your doctor can make. Once the politicians in your state can force a doctor to give you and ultrasound or lie to you about breast cancer risk (NH, IN and KS, I am looking at you), they can pretty much make your doctor do anything they want. Consider what happens when your leaders decide that depression or anxiety is not a real thing and prevent you from seeking medication and counseling? Or that high cholesterol is all your fault for being fat, so no life saving statins or cardiac surgery for you? Even when you ignore the abortion issue, this is not a road we want to go down. (I have discussed the ultrasound situation and medical autonomy implications before as well.)
Saying it as many times as it takes for people to get it is just one of the many steps we need to take to protect the reproductive and medical rights of ourselves and our children. I wish I could do more, like attend the votes in Providence, but alas my SAHM status (happily caring for my two lovely children who were much wanted and planned thanks to the "luxury" of reproductive choices I have been blessed to enjoy) I can't. However, as my girls get older, I hope to make more use of my time supporting the kinds of social and political movements that will make this fight obsolete. My greatest wish is for my girls to grow up and enjoy their adulthoods in a world where having to fight tooth and nail for reproductive equality is a thing of the past.