Why you should care about Roe V. Wade, even if you don’t live in the US

Why does it bother you so much when it doesn’t even affect you? A question asked to me in response to my views on Roe v. Wade in the US. But it does affect me; it affects all women everywhere because it is, simply put, an attack on women’s rights. It is giving the right of the state, and the middle-aged white men who run it, the right to dictate what we can and can’t do with our own bodies. Do you remember learning that anything you post to Instagram or Facebook (now Meta) is legally owned by Meta? That’s what this feels like – your body is owned by the state and you are obligated to apply with the laws set by these men. The abortion debate has and will always continue to be a moral dilemma, but it shouldn’t be. It feels like a plot from a dystopian novel or a sci-fi movie; or the Handsmaid’s Tale come to life. It goes without saying that if men were child-bearers, this wouldn’t even be up for discussion. Imagine, the idea that a panel of women were making the body and life decisions of these men. The same men who, stereotypically, kick up a fuss about wearing a condom. Perhaps that wouldn’t be such an issue in this alternative universe where men could be impregnated and refused an abortion.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

It stems from an outdated view that sex is purely for reproductive purposes and not enjoyment, which is why it’s funny seeing so many men on the internet telling women ‘to keep their legs closed’ to avoid abortion, seemingly forgetting that it takes two to create a child, and that they play quite an essential role in that process. Perhaps the men making these comments are happy to abstain or have a vasectomy… The idea of abstinence being a solution is connected to ‘slut-shaming’ where men are allowed to openly talk about enjoying sex but women are seen as sluts if they enjoy it, another blatant attempt to control women’s behaviour.

As sexually active beings, we all have a responsibility to put in place practices that prevent pregnancy if we don’t want to become pregnant. But that doesn’t always work out. Protection fails, condoms break. Women are raped and can be impregnated by their attacker. How inhumane and unfeeling must you be to force a traumatised female, in many cases underage and unprepared for the birthing process, to bear the child of a man who violated her body? How can you possibly justify valuing and protecting a collection of cells more than the living woman who carries them? We also have to acknowledge that, for many people, this isn’t the reason they want to criminalise abortion; it’s power play. It’s craving the right to have power over women by restricting their freedom, punishing them for something that isn’t necessarily their fault. It’s misogyny which is playing a big part in creating laws in the US. The most obvious example is the potential introduction of the death penalty for women who get an abortion in Texas – there is absolutely no way that you can call yourself ‘pro-life’ and then kill females who choose not to keep their babies. It shouldn’t be all or nothing, it shouldn’t be both mother and child or neither.

There’s a reason we call it an anti-choice movement; that’s exactly what it is. It’s the implementing of laws that prevent us, females, from making life-changing choices about our own bodies. Imagine if you’ve done everything right and yet you still get pregnant, but you don’t want that child. These people that care so much about an unborn bunch of cells would happily have the child sent off to social care, or raised unwanted by its unwilling parents. It’s the morally superior complex carried by Americans unaffected by this issue, stemming from right-wing politics and religion.

So it does affect me in that I am outraged for women everywhere. At a first-world power trying to take us back to the Dark Ages. At misogyny under the guise of a skewed moral compass. Because I’m in a position where, if I accidentally get pregnant, knowing full well that I do not want a child, at least not at this point in my life, I am lucky enough to be able to carry on with my life as normal without facing any consequences. And if that were taken away from me I’d be in a very distressing situation feeling utterly helpless. My thoughts go to all women standing up for their rights in the US. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: