Every single time abortion laws are tightened, women suffer. The lives of unborn bundles of cells are being put above the lives of living, breathing, human women, so we need to stop calling this movement ‘pro-life’, and start calling it what it is: anti-woman.
Women have always suffered because of our bodies – whether that be the biological inconvenience of a period, the societal assumption of us as primary carers, or the rapist’s view of us as vaginas, we continue to be persecuted, continue to carry the painful burden of being born with a vagina. We can all sit at home and watch this happen and think about how awful this is, and how unfair it is, but we must all take part in this war. Some Americans have taken The Handmaid’s Tale as an instruction manual, and we’re consequentially living Margaret Atwood’s dystopia.
Abortion is the easiest way to criminalise women making decisions about our own bodies – by calling us murderers. Hours could be spent discussing the multitude of reasons for this choice, from rape, failed contraception, accidents, the ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality, medical bills, financial constraints, health issues, to losing a partner, the list is endless. The point is, nobody should be able to send a woman to prison for making such a traumatising and intensely personal decision, one that should not require justification.
Pregnancy is so unique in that it is an equally male and female transaction, but in Georgia, now the male can walk away afterwards, but the only way a woman can walk is straight into a prison cell. Understandably, people have vastly different ideas on when life begins. But marking this at six weeks, or inception, is absurd. So few pregnancies are even detected by this point, and it is a massive decision to give someone two weeks from a missed period – if their periods are, magically, militantly regular – to decide if they are ready to be a mother, or a prisoner.
Countless factors are being hugely undervalued. To cross-question a woman who has miscarried, to begin with, absolutely reflects the complete lack of understanding and intolerance to compassion that goes into these kinds of legislations. What’s more, if these states truly want to restrict abortion because they are so passionate about human life and see pregnancy as immediate motherhood, then where is the support for working mothers? The affordable healthcare throughout a pregnancy? Affordable childcare? Where is the law tying a man to every single egg he fertilises? And where is his prison sentence for his complicity in an unwanted pregnancy?
When all these babies are born, unwanted because of physical, emotional, financial harm onto the mother, what happens then? Because dramatic improvements will not be made to the care system, children might not be raised feeling wanted and loved and safe, and adoption rates will not suddenly spike. Women are forced to have children against their will all over the world (whether they legally have access to abortion or not), but this fact does not magically encourage people to adopt, as opposed to getting pregnant themselves. These legislators do not care about individual lives – if they did, they would care this much about gun laws. All they are interested in is policing women’s bodies, and anyone with power allowing this to continue is wholly complicit.