I’m cis male, so for obvious reasons I’ve never had an abortion, and I can’t foresee a reason I ever will. Like many members of my sex, I enjoyed the luxury of never really having to think about abortion while growing up. I never had to worry that I would someday have a pregnancy that needed to be terminated. Even when the idea of abortion became somewhat more relevant to my life in my late teens, knowing that it was an accessible medical procedure was comforting. If my partner ever needed to decide to have one, care was available.
By then, in a very privileged fashion, I had only really considered abortions as a way to terminate an accidental pregnancy. I had never heard the term ectopic, didn’t consider rape as a factor, and wasn’t aware of the myriad of other reasons (both medical and personal) a person may have for deciding to have one. I was largely unaware of the issue, but one thing stuck in my mind: the right to have an abortion is protected by the Supreme Court.
Well, what the fuck.
Right now I just stared blankly at my keyboard for about five minutes trying to find the words. This is an absolute outrage. A crime. A barbaric violation of basic human rights. We need to guarantee the right to safe and accessible abortions. I’m not going to try to re-articulate all of the reasons, as so many others have covered them in better-written and more informed pieces, but this needs to change.
Every time something happens – every time there’s a mass shooting, every time a rapist gets acquitted or appointed to the Supreme Court, and every time a black man dies at the hands of a law enforcement officer, they tell us to vote. And we should. Voting is great. But, fuck. It’s clearly not enough. A man with a gun killed twenty children in a school at Sandy Hook. And we voted. Brock Turner raped an unconscious girl behind a dumpster and got off with a slap on the wrist. And we voted. George Floyd was murdered. And we voted. And now this. Politicians on both sides have obviously failed here – after fifty years of using the looming threat of an overturned Roe v. Wade as a scare tactic to garner support and donations, it is any surprise that Senate Democrats immediately doubled down and tried to use this as a fundraising opportunity?
Currently, my partner and I live in a country where abortions are not only guaranteed to those who choose to have them, but they’re free. We’ll be moving back to the US in a few months to a state where abortion rights are protected, but not all are so lucky. As of now, just a few days after Roe v. Wade was overturned, abortions are fully prohibited in nine states and limited in several others, with more states expected to follow suit soon. The are millions of people living in those states that don’t have the means to travel for an abortion, who will either be forced to carry the pregnancy to term (and die, if the abortion was intended to address a life-threatening complication), or seek alternative ways of terminating the pregnancy, which are often incredibly unsafe.
If you’re as pissed off as I am (and I’m fucking livid) and want to do something, consider donating to an organization that is working to making a difference. There are travel funds that help underprivileged people in restricted states find the care and treatment they need. There are advocacy groups working to change and create laws to protect this right. Many resource lists have been compiled, and this one was recently shared with me: https://donations4abortion.com/.
This isn’t a political issue. This isn’t a moral issue. This is a human rights issue. Something that should have been solved decades ago. I listened to Billy Porter give a speech recently, and he really nailed it: “If you don’t believe in or agree with abortion, don’t get one.”
We need to do better.