My Body, My Rights, Your Problem

Bodily-Autonomy

Above is a very popular image describing the fundamental concept of bodily autonomy. Many people who believe life starts when a sperm fertilizes an egg deem these laws irrelevant when it comes to pregnant women.

What would happen if men were held to the same lack of bodily autonomy as women seeking abortions?

-Protests for the sterilization or castration of serial rapists and murderers would not only be tolerated, they be encouraged.

-Men who routinely failed to make child support payments and be present in their child’s lives would be shamed for not having vasectomies. “If you can’t support it, don’t have it,” protestors would routinely yell outside family court and local clinics.

-Men who weren’t ready to be parents would be told they shouldn’t be sluts and stop having sex if they don’t like the consequences. Affordable birth control and information about reproductive health would be a constantly waging war.

-Men who had sex before marriage would be likened to a used tissue or used shoe. You don’t want something everyone else has had, do you? They’d be told they’re worthless and disposable.

-A conservative business would be approved to deny healthcare coverage of family planning medications (including condoms) and viagra.

-Any man who has been to jail beyond a certain number of times would be considered worthy of sterilization and shamed by society for having children. They aren’t fit to raise a child.

-Men who wished to receive a vasectomy must undergo an uncomfortable, unnecessary, and invasive medical procedure and then be made to wait an additional 24 hours before the procedure ‘in case he changed his mind.’ They would have to fight their way through a mass of people calling them murderers and damning them to hell. They be shamed and condemned for wasting their seed, a gift from God.

Most of this sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Yet these are things women and girls deal with every day. It only sounds ridiculous when we try to liken it to men’s experiences.

Abortion is a LEGAL medical procedure. Denying women access to it is shameful. Attacking abortion providers is domestic terrorism. Trying to pass personhood amendments and giving fetuses rights to an attorney is disgusting and shameful. Women deserve more rights to their body than an unidentified corpse!

What happened if abortion wasn’t legal? Rich women would pay their doctors to look the other way or they’d leave the country. Poor women would go back to being sterilized or dying in back alleys. Getting rid of abortion will create more problems that it could ever hope to solve.

What will get rid of abortion? Comprehensive sex education. Access to family planning services and contraception. You know the phrase, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? It can apply here too. If people who hate abortion so much stopped wasting their time fighting it and invested that time in preventing it from happening, society would be a much better place.

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