This is just one example of how the abortion, reproductive health and reproductive justice debates are not nearly as black and white as debating politicians would like people to believe. Each and every one of these decisions is deeply personal and deeply felt and definitely not something women need overbearing “help” with.
The deepest grief I ever experienced was over the loss of a life that I, myself, ended. I was so traumatized by the entire experience that I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
I had all the symptoms: flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks. I would obsessively replay the scene in the abortion clinic over and over again in my mind, desperately wanting it to un-happen. I would have sacrificed a limb instead, if I could have. But that wasn’t the choice I was given.
My options were to lose a pregnancy or lose my life, and… well, I guess you could say I chose life.
I had been overjoyed when I found out I was pregnant. I thought there might be a little trouble at first because I suffer from a number of chronic health problems that would no doubt be difficult to treat without medication, but I figured they would all be manageable. Continue reading…
The past four years have been nothing short of devastating for abortion rights in the United States. From 2011 to 2015, 231 abortion restrictions were enacted across the country, leaving the majority of American women in states that are outright hostile to reproductive healthcare. Thirteen states have enacted bans on abortion at or before 20 weeks, some without exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the pregnant person. In fact, states like Alabama and North Dakota have passed bans at 12 and six weeks, respectively – a point at which many don’t even know they’re pregnant. Earlier this year, House Republicans proposed (then sheepishly shelved) a federal ban on abortion at 20 weeks. These laws are all designed for one purpose: to force today’s sharply divided Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
But these laws aren’t harmless judicial test cases. They have a real-world impact and do immediate, lasting damage while they wait out their day in court. These bans are wrong, dangerous, and should be roundly opposed. Here are five reasons why:
It’s not very often that we find anything dealing with abortion that isn’t emotionally, politically or religiously charged, which to some degree is understandable. It’s a touchy subject, with as many voices as there are mouths (even those mouths that really don’t have a clue what they’re saying.) This comic from Oh Joy Sex Toy takes a medical approach to what is in reality one of the safest medical produces we have today, giving an outline of what women who are considering an abortion are looking at going through with actual resources for further research.
This is one of the likely outcomes of personhood bills that keep cropping up across the US. Even from a conservative perspective, vilifying and imprisoning a woman for a miscarriage – or, by extension, a stillbirth, baby born who shortly thereafter dies – is (or at least should be) cruel beyond reason and carries no justice. Not to mention the fact that there’s a difference between an abortion and a miscarriage, a line that personhood bills would go a long way towards blurring. Regardless of where you stand on abortion and reproductive rights and justice, miscarriage is a loss, something that should never be a political statement.
But since the world at large doesn’t seem to understand that distinction, I have three simply question: a) Especially in terms of El Salvador, which is where this particular woman is, what is the justification for jailing a woman for something she had no control over, and actually is fairly common b) Here in the US, how can we as a nation (or individual states) guard against this happening with the passing of a personhood bill c) In the case of women jailed for miscarriage, how will this action help anyone or anything.