Maybe you saw my post love life and also birth control. Feels good to speak up about important values of freedom, even though I feel vulnerable. I decided to speak about abortion more intentionally, because something happened recently where I was asked not to speak of it.
Abortion is a right I need. It’s ok to have differing opinions about many things. But the elimination of my own bodily freedom is not ok with me.
The well-being of my own body is not an abstract, theoretical question to ponder–it’s right here. My abdomen, valid vulva, heart, hands, feet, breasts, ass, belly, legs, and arms. My body is not a question-place of wondering and abstract ideas–it’s right here. Actual, animal, and important.
The radical mental health work I do is dear to me partly because I need freedom. Forced medication and involuntary hospitalization are not ok with me. Being imprisoned in a hospital is not ok, or having unwanted mind-altering drugs injected into my butt. Being crazy doesn’t mean I lose the rights over my own body.
Abortion is similar–being forced to carry a fetus to term and give birth is not ok. An embryo or fetus is not more important than my rights as a fully formed, undeniable human.
I really need not to be a mom–one of the most important choices of my life, made with decades of consideration. I think about it every day. Mom-ness is sacred and beautiful, as are babies. Forcing me or anyone to be a mom is repulsive. It’s wrong for a culture or anyone to stop me from making my own health care choices.
I’m an anarchist for many reasons–needing freedom is the most important. Freedom is sacred. Pushing down my own needs for the comfort of people who’d like to oppress me is not in keeping with my values.
I don’t see men against abortion worrying about my comfort. “How does Laura-Marie, a fertile woman who I believe should not have rights over her own body, or be able to make her own health choices, feel? Is she ok, knowing I believe she shouldn’t have freedom? I hope she isn’t hurting, that I disrespect her needs. Maybe I should ask her if she’s ok, and ask her to tell me about her life, including the men who have raped and abused her. I’d like to know why she chooses not to be a mom, and hear about the birth control health struggles she’s endured since she was ten years old. I bet I have something I could learn from her.”
I wish those men would understand they don’t know what it’s like to be me, or the very poor young woman I was, or the teenage girl I was, dodging dicks all day. Let alone all the other billions of women in the world, and their stories, many more horrific than mine.
Rather than pointing out possible motes in my eye, I wish they’d focus on helping themselves and other men practice responsible birth control and learn how not to rape and abuse people. Maybe they could do something preventative on the sperm side, rather than give their energy to oppressing the women who are victims of poverty, rape, other violence, and poor birth control access.
There are known ways to make a culture where less abortions occur–they can be studied. They’re not about guilt, shame, religion, disrespect, misogyny, or telling women to dress differently or keep our legs shut.
It reminds me of racism. A lot of white people say, “I’m not racist. I’m not wearing a white sheet or refusing to hire a Black person. Racism is not my doing, so it’s not my problem to solve.” They look the other way.
Men who buy diapers for single moms, pay for the college education of foster kids, and adopt unwanted children are ok with me. Please do support the suffering poor people of all kinds.
My friend who said he would raise the unwanted kids of unwed mothers so they wouldn’t have an abortion seemed sweet, when he said that. But I met zero of his kids that he’d adopted. I’m pretty sure he didn’t have any.
I’d like to create a culture where we all get what we need. There’s enough love and resources to go around, if we share. A culture where women are abused, used, lied to, gaslit, raped, under paid, under valued, blamed, shamed, starved, over worked, simplified, under supported, and silenced is the problem.
If we had money and freedom to leave relationships when we needed to, that would be basic, and eliminate the need for many abortions.
If women had abundant help with childcare, including rest and breaks, and were expected to do a human amount of work, rather than super-human impossible amounts of work–wow, wouldn’t that be better, than stressed to the point of breakdown, much of the time?
It would also be great if women had partners who communicated, cared, and were present in a meaningful way. With Ming I have that, but seems awfully rare. Even minimal emotional competency would be swell, for all people.
If I had those basic needs covered, and a medical system that works, I might consider having a baby. But culture decided that’s not what really matters–making money is what really matters. So I need access to abortion.
Respect for all people is basic. I need a functional culture where we can have difficult conversations, and for my differences to be honored. Women have been silenced for a long time, about our bodies especially. I choose to speak my truth. Thank you for reading it.
“I was going to die, if not sooner then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.” — Audre Lorde