That is my vagina, and I don’t know you!

Some mornings are amazing. You wake up before your alarm, feeling refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of the day. Other mornings, you feel like you woke up in Gilead, a piece of property owned by men with all autonomy stripped from you. If you live in Alabama, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, or Georgia, you’d better get used to that feeling, as it looks as though politicians are using Margaret Atwood’s dystopian Handmaid’s Tale as an instruction manual. Forced childbearing? Sign me up! This is the Finest Nerd Czarina, and I hate the news.

woman on rock platform viewing city
Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

As I stated some months ago, there is a lot to hate about the news these days. So much, in fact, that it’s mentally draining to think about all of it, much less address and unpack it. For me, it’s easier raging on social media about five different topics at a time and then settling down to do something else. But not today, friends. Not when women’s rights are in danger.

In my Love and Apostasy post, I mentioned being a pro-life activist during my teen years. Not only did we lack a comprehensive sexual education in my religious school, but we were shown gory abortion videos and told that only the worst possible people would agree to such a procedure. We were fed the usual propaganda, and most of us bought into it. I was one of the few who took it to that next level and signed up for our local Respect Life chapter, and in no time, I was a full-fledged activist for, frankly, the wrong side. However, I do bring the perspective of someone “from the inside” when it comes to the topic of abortion. It’s especially fun when someone tries to use the same “arguments” (propaganda) that I used to challenge people with back when I was indoctrinated.

Gurl, you know it’s not true.

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(I’ve just aged myself, I know it.)

Pro-Choicers are abortin’ left and right!

As a pro-lifer, I was taught, first and foremost, to refer to likeminded folks as pro-life. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll continue to do so here. However, I don’t believe that most “pro-life” people are, in fact, pro-life… not all lives, anyway. Our opposers were “anti-life” or “pro-death” because we had to see them as evil people, and not as people who disagreed with us. Pro-choice people were, after all, pro-abortion. Right?

The truth is, someone who is pro-choice may not necessarily agree with abortion or think abortion is something they would ever undergo, themselves. They just disagree with mandates being placed on a person’s body/autonomy, specifically when it comes to a woman’s right to choose to continue with a pregnancy or not. I have never encountered a person who considered abortion as a primary method of birth control, especially when there are dozens of alternatives that don’t involve the cost, pain, bleeding, and downtime that comes with an abortion. So this idea that there are people out there going in for their weekly clinic visit to get scooped out? No.

Abortion is akin to murdering a newborn baby.

Pro-lifers want people to believe that a 6-14 week termination is the same as killing a fully-developed infant. Misleading photos are all over the place, and their intentions are the same: They want people to believe that, at 6 weeks gestation, your baby will be a grape-sized version of this:

baby lying on white fur with brown blanket
Photo by kelvin octa on Pexels.com

They share false photos and and ultrasounds showing a fetus in the 2nd or 3rd trimester in an effort to intentionally mislead people to believe that abortion is the same thing as actual infanticide. I, personally, was told that in the USA today, the most unsafe place for a baby was in its mother’s womb, and that a child could be killed up until its due date. I was made to believe that those kinds of scenarios actually happened.

If you want to see what an actual early ultrasound looks like, this site has some photos and explanations. This is what a 6-7 week old embryo looks like in reality. At this point in a woman’s pregnancy, it does have a heartbeat, but it does not have a brain or anything close to it. It can’t swallow. It can’t feel pain. It is also the size of a literal pea. Compare a human embryo to the embryos of other mammals at this same gestational period; you can’t tell them apart. A shrimp would be more evolved than an embryo at this stage. This is the supposed fully formed “baby” that you are “murdering” when you get an abortion. Most women have no idea they are even pregnant at 6 weeks since the “timer” starts when the woman has had her last period, not how long she has actually been pregnant. Pro-lifers may paint the picture of a woman fully knowing she is pregnant for 6 entire weeks before just changing her mind on having a baby, when that really isn’t true. “6 weeks pregnant” is “2 weeks late” if her period is even regular, to begin with.

At early stages, a woman can get what’s called a medical abortion – in other words, she can take medications to induce a miscarriage. This early on in a pregnancy, she may be highly susceptible to miscarry naturally, anyway, as so much can go wrong with the embryonic development. Contrary to popular pro-life belief: Having a medical abortion has not been shown to affect a woman’s fertility long-term.

After 12 weeks, women can get surgical abortions, which are more invasive but, unless there are complications, also shouldn’t have an impact on future fertility. The reasons women may end up having an abortion later on could range from, again, simply not realizing they are pregnant to realizing the child has severe medical issues that could be fatal, or their own health has been compromised – whatever the reason, it is very unlikely that a woman would carry a child for several months only to just decide she doesn’t want to be a mother anymore. Surgical abortions, like any other operation, carries risks. It is also, as I said, an invasive procedure that requires aftercare. Nobody would jump right into something like that for the hell of it. Usually, an abortion this late in the pregnancy involves a difficult, heart-wrenching decision about what is best long-term in the big picture.

There are infertile people who desperately want a child. Why not go through with the pregnancy and put the child up for adoption?

What a GREAT idea, thanks pro-lifers; that is the perfect solution! According to the most recent data from the Children’s Bureau website, 442,995 children were in the foster care system in 2017. This number had been steadily climbing since 2013. Of that 442k, 123,437 of them were still waiting for adoption. Most of the children who are separated from their parents live in group homes, and for children who are no longer adorable little babies, or those who have special needs, they can reasonably expect to be in DCF custody in non-familial living arrangements until they age out of the system.

So let’s think about that for a moment. Kids are put into the system every day and many don’t have a lot of hope for finding that “forever home”, yet pro-lifers believe that giving a child up for adoption is a good idea? DCF is already overburdened, and now we have to think about immigrant children who have been forcibly separated from their parents and are being held in custody, as well.

I know what some of you are thinking. Those Latinx kids are a different story because their parents were trying to cross into our country illegally, and they knew the risks, and they’re brown, anyway. Some of you are racist, though.

Anyway, everything I said only covers those children who are born healthy/viable. As mentioned, sometimes abortions are chosen because the baby has severe medical risks and may not survive their birth, may not live for very long, and/or whose lives will be nothing but suffering. Their parents choose to terminate as the better of two options; an abortion ban would force a woman to carry a baby to term whose short life may be nothing but agony for that child. Let’s say, though, that a baby with severe needs is born and the parents relinquish rights because they can’t care for the child and, as you all say, “someone out there will adopt them”. Really? I don’t see people rushing to adopt a child with severe special needs; adopters tend to want “perfect” babies. Not all, but most do. Adoption is an expensive, lengthy, and emotionally draining experience; very few would then choose to adopt a child whose needs would require a massive amount of commitment and resources.

In short: Adoption is not an option. It sounds great on paper, but the reality is that there aren’t enough homes for all the children who are waiting to be adopted. More children means more strain on a department that is already bursting at the seams. It won’t end well for anybody.

Ending abortions means saving lives, and I believe in the sanctity of life.

Whose lives, though? An unborn embryo or fetus who has no say in the matter, or the woman who is carrying it?

There are talks of punishing women who have abortions and/or her medical provider. As mentioned above, the most likely time for a woman to naturally miscarry is the same time that a woman who may realize she’s at the early stages of pregnancy can get a medical abortion. Do we assume all pregnancy loss is criminal? Who would end up in jail, then? Probably the poor, women of color, immigrant women or women who don’t speak English fluently, young women… women whom Conservatives don’t tend to care much about. Down the line, a woman may miscarry but be too afraid to seek medical attention because she is worried about being prosecuted as a criminal. There is talk of putting people away for up to 99 years for performing an abortion.

How much time do rapists serve? Child molesters? Some don’t serve a single fucking day. Theoretically, a man could rape a 13 year old girl and, if she gets an abortion, she would be the one spending time behind bars while he goes on his merry way, victimizing more girls. Rapists, particularly young, white ones, are let go because “one bad decision shouldn’t ruin his life”. It kind of sounds like these pro-lifers are more like anti-women than anything.

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I still think abortions are murder, and when we declare a ban, they will come to an end. Yay for babies and life!

Abortions are not going to stop if there is a legal ban, or if Roe v Wade is overturned. They will just go back underground, where conditions are potentially unsafe for women. We will see an increase in mortality rate or other complications, and if your first thought is, “Good, that’s what they deserve” then scroll up just a little bit.

Why don’t the women just move to a state that allows abortion, then? Why not just go across state lines to get an abortion and come back?

This comes from a standpoint of great privilege. People who have money (or are paid by their wealthy white Conservative sugar daddies) are absolutely able to go somewhere to get a safe abortion. Most people who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy, however, do not have the means to travel or move. This ban unfairly targets the poor, who already lack access to adequate healthcare and contraception.

Not only this, but the bans also focus on insurance companies, which are the means that most women use to pay for these procedures, and also birth control. When insurance companies are attacked, this makes it less likely for a woman to get healthcare, period, much less obtain a safe abortion.

I’m going to leave this here for now, but I have a lot more to say about the issue, and I’m already disjointed. There’s just a lot to unpack. Comment below for discourse!

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