Protecting Women’s Rights

When it comes to social and political issues, I usually keep my thoughts to myself because to be quite frank, I’m not really interested in arguing my views and beliefs with a complete stranger or someone who thinks they know me better than I know myself. However, protecting women’s rights is an issue near and dear to my heart and I cannot stay silent about what’s going on. I am, afterall, a woman in every sense of the word. I’m appalled that every woman on the planet isn’t as outraged as I am about having a bunch of old, rich white misogynistic men making decisions about what women should and shouldn’t be able to do with their own bodies.

News flash people…you do NOT have to be an advocate for abortion to rally for women’s rights. Just because it doesn’t affect you personally doesn’t give you the right to side with these men and tell another woman what’s right for her simply because you disagree with a particular decision she’s made. You may not like her choices, but if her decision doesn’t affect you personally, guess what? It’s none of your business. See how simple that is?

Before I get into the gist of how I feel, let me make some things perfectly clear so that you better understand my position.

I’ve never advocated for abortions or Planned Parenthood. I’ve never personally had an abortion, but I know women who have. I have never participated in any type of march on Washington or any place else. I do not agree with repeatedly turning to abortion as a means of birth control. There are way too many contraceptives available to prevent pregnancy from happening. I realize that contraceptives aren’t 100% foolproof. I have a set of identical twins to prove that theory.

I did, however, come close to having an abortion in 1983. But when it came down to the wire, I couldn’t go through with it. And I’m so thankful that I didn’t. I gave birth to identical twins that are now grown, beautiful, and successful women. However, other women’s situations shouldn’t be compared to mine. There are so many different reasons why an abortion can become necessary, and it isn’t always to terminate an unwanted child.

I’ll use myself as an example and tell you why I nearly aborted my second pregnancy. I was a single mother of a 2-year-old, making $5 an hour, receiving no child support although I’d been married to her father and it was court ordered. There was no deadbeat dad law back then. I was responsible for rent, utilities, food, daycare and anything else that came along without the help of government assistance. I didn’t even know what WIC was back then, so it goes without saying that I wasn’t aware I could apply for it. Boiled down, I could barely take care of the one child I had. How would I ever be able to take care of another? Understand, at the time, I had no idea I was carrying twins. So, I became a single mother of 3 still making $5 an hour, still responsible for my household, still not receiving any child support, still not receiving any public assistance. Do I understand how other women in the same situation as I was feel? You’d better believe I do.

Keep in mind that the Supreme Court Justices are trying to completely ban abortion with absolutely NO exceptions for rape, incest, or medical emergencies. And you think that’s okay? Fine. Then let’s take a look at some real-life situations. Their real names will not be used to protect their privacy.

“Karen” and her husband had tried for years to get pregnant. After suffering numerous miscarriages, Karen was over the moon when she progressed into her 5th month without incident. But then something went terribly wrong. Ultrasounds and other tests showed that the fetus wasn’t properly forming and would likely be stillborn, or only live for moments, unable to survive because of his multiple abnormalities. Carrying an unviable fetus to term would certainly result in extreme medical complications for Karen, possibly even death, if the pregnancy wasn’t terminated. Karen and her husband were both heartbroken when faced with having to make the toughest decision they’d ever had to make – choosing between Karen’s life or carrying their son to term who had no chance of surviving outside his mother’s womb. Against everything they believed in, Karen and her husband chose to terminate the pregnancy to save Karen’s life. Both cried for months over their decision. Karen sank into a deep state of depression afterwards and had to be placed on anti-depressants. She never became pregnant again.

“Katie” is a 12-year-old girl who was raped by her paternal uncle, impregnating her. Katie’s body isn’t mature enough to be forced to carry a baby to term. Making her do so robs her of her childhood for an incident she had no control over. “She can give it up for adoption,” you say. Do I need to tell you how stupid you sound? Katie’s life will never be the same. First of all, she’s been traumatized over the rape by someone she loved and trusted, then you insult her by telling her she MUST give birth to a baby when she’s barely more than a baby herself? Her body will be stretched beyond its limits, she will likely never be able to give birth naturally because she’s too young, which means she will forever wear a Caesarean section scar to constantly remind her of her trauma. If you’re okay with that, I have no words. On second thought, I have plenty of words, but I shall keep them to myself.

“Melody” is a 17-year old mentally and physically handicapped girl who has been raped by her caretaker, impregnating her. If you think this doesn’t happen, then you seriously need to pull your head out of the sand. This young woman can’t even take care of herself. How is she supposed to care for an infant? Having such devastating disabilities herself, what are the chances of the same genes being passed on to the child she’s carrying? Is it okay if she gives birth to a massively deformed child as long as she carries it to term, regardless of whether the child has a viable chance at life or will end up living a worse life than his mother did?

“Steph” is a 22-year-old woman suffering from an ectopic pregnancy. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s when the fetus doesn’t make it into the uterus. Instead, it begins growing inside the fallopian tube. The only medical procedure for this type of pregnancy is to abort it. The growing fetus will cause the death of Steph if the fallopian tube ruptures. Because Steph had to terminate this type of pregnancy, she’s now viewed as a murderer and called a child killer.

“Abby” is a 32-year-old divorcee who made it her personal choice not to have children. Abby is raped by a complete stranger in a random act of violence that leaves her pregnant with the child of a man she doesn’t even know. The trauma she suffers will haunt her for the rest of her life. She’ll likely end up on medication to control her depression and anxiety, if not in a mental health facility. But by all means, let’s add to her traumatic event by forcing her to carry a child she probably despises, and force her to carry it to term, thus putting the child in danger when Abby proves that she’s an abusive parent. She can always give it up for adoption though, right?

Women’s rights are about so, so much more than her private right to a legal and safe abortion. If the Supreme Court succeeds in overturning Roe V Wade, trust me when I tell you it’s just the beginning of your loss to other rights. Giving any entity this extreme amount of power never ends well. They will draw lines and cross over them until no lines are left, granting them with the supreme power they sought after. Banning abortions is only the first step in many more to come.

I know some of you weren’t around in the 60’s; therefore, it’s hard for you to understand how a woman’s life was back then. Allow me to enlighten you. A married woman had to have the written consent of her husband to be on contraception. A married woman had to have the permission of her husband to work outside the home. A woman’s place was to cater to the man and wait on him hand and foot because he was the leader, the king, the head of the household, what he said and did was the gospel.

I’m not interested in reverting back 50 years and being under the rule of a man’s thumb. We women have worked too hard and come too far to allow that to ever happen again. On this current day in the year 2022, there are legislators at this moment drawing up bills to either ban contraception altogether or make it nearly impossible to acquire. That’s right, by God, put those women where they belong! Barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen where they should be! Show them who’s the boss! Be a man and force them into pregnancy, then be an even bigger man and force them into childbirth. And when that baby comes along, do what you normally do…disappear and let the woman fulfill her duties. Then when you have yourself a satisfying litter of children, put that woman in a chastity belt and tell her to keep her legs closed. No sex = no pregnancy = no more children.

Experimenting with sex is a natural human act. Every teenager tests the waters. Unfortunately, some even younger are sexually active. I know this, you know this…hell, who doesn’t know this? You did it. I did it. We all did. Today’s teenagers and young adults are no different. What is different is that when I was a teenager, I learned about sex and sexuality in health class in school. I was taught about menstruation, and that babies aren’t created by kissing. I learned about venereal diseases and the importance of practicing safe sex. Why has that subject become so taboo? Wouldn’t it be better to teach our teenagers beforehand about the pros and cons of sexual activity? I find this extremely frustrating.

Right now, we’re looking at the possibility of a complete ban on legal and safe abortions, but that’s only the first item on the agenda. What’s next on the hit list? Banning same sex marriages? Dictating who you can/can’t or should/shouldn’t love or be married to? Taking away your right to vote in a free and fair election? Requiring your spouse’s approval before being able to work? Disqualifying you from running for office because you’re a woman? It all sounds so far-fetched, doesn’t it? Yeah, well, so did Fahrenheit 451, It Can’t Happen Here, and 1984 when I read them back in the 70’s, yet here we are in a situation I never thought I’d witness.

Make no mistake about who’ll suffer the most if Roe V Wade is overturned. The rich and elite will always find a way to nullify their problems, whether it’s buying their way out of a criminal charge or finding a way to provide a safe abortion for their wife or daughter. It’s the poor, uninsured, and unfortunate who will suffer the most. Regardless of whether Roe V Wade is overturned, abortions will not stop. Only safe and legal ones will. We’ll return to a time when women rely on “back alley abortions,” to terminate their pregnancies. Scores of them will die due to unsterile and unsafe practices and procedures. Many will develop sepsis. Others will hemorrhage to death. Some will be left sterile because of a botched procedure. Do you really care so little about other women that this is okay to you? Would you feel the same way if it were your daughter? Mother? Sister? Niece?

Let me tell you something, folks. A decision such as this should NEVER be made based on religious beliefs. There are numerous belief systems and denominations in the U.S. Just because you’re a practicing Baptist or Methodist or Catholic or whatever else doesn’t mean everyone else is. By doing so, you’re proudly announcing to society that only your beliefs matter and everyone must abide by them. You have no right to shove your religious outlooks down the throats of those who don’t share the same beliefs as you. I used to honestly believe that America was the home of the free and the brave because, as American citizens, we’re protected by the rule of law, and by the United States Constitution that allows us to have the freedoms we have. Now I wonder if that’s true at all.

When you take away a woman’s right to privacy and her right to choose what’s best for her, that isn’t freedom. It’s dictatorship. There is no other term for it.

I do, however, have a very important question that I would love to have an answer to but probably never will. How many of those misogynistic lawmakers making these decisions for women regarding abortion and contraception have, themselves, paid for abortions for their mistresses? Wives? Daughters? If you say none, then I’d like to have a discussion with you about selling you some beachfront property in the Sahara.

And if you think adoption is so simple, explain to me why there are so many children in foster care and orphanages waiting for someone to adopt them. Would you like to know why? First of all, adoption ain’t free, baby. Adoption agencies don’t simply give a child away. On any given day, there are more than 100,000 children who are available for adoption in the U.S. There are more than 670,000 in foster care. The average cost for adoption is between $40-$45,000. On the downside, the average person doesn’t want to adopt a “child.” They want an infant. And adoptions don’t happen overnight. Finalization could take weeks, months, or even years. The infant they initially chose aged in those three years it took to finalize the adoption. In that amount of time, some change their minds and opt to adopt from foreign countries in order to obtain the infant they wanted, thus keeping the other child in the system for an undeterminable amount of time.

A majority of these town criers who choose to demean women and trash their right to safe and legal abortions aren’t pro-life…they’re pro-BIRTH! Once that baby comes into the world, they couldn’t give two shits about what happens to it. If they did, they’d advocate for affordable housing, lower cost daycare, higher salaries, obtainable and affordable insurance, and so many other things, instead of bitching and whining about these mothers who have to request public assistance because they can’t make ends meet on their own, seeing them as a menace to society.

To all of you who feel that way, I say to you…HYPOCRITE!!!!! And might I add that you make me sick? You can take your holier than thou attitudes, your piousness and hypocrisy and stick them where the sun don’t shine.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. What a woman does with her own body is none of my concern, nor is it yours. Unless you’re willing to babysit free of charge for her, pay her bills, feed her, clothe her, house her…it’s really none of your business. Go ahead and argue that she’s defying God’s will. Again, that’s a two-way situation between her and God, not a three-party line that includes you. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, and judge ye not lest ye also be judged. Why don’t you leave the discipline and judgment up to the One they’ll answer to? Here’s a hint…it isn’t you.

You know, the last time I checked, it took a penis to make pregnancy possible, so where are all the regulations pertaining to men and their right to knock women up without consequences? Here’s something for you to think about in determining the differences in rights for men vs. rights for women. If a woman has multiple sex partners inside of a year, she can still only get pregnant once and remain that way for nine months until the baby arrives. A man can have a hundred sex partners in the same amount of time and impregnate every single one of them. So tell me again why regulations pertaining to contraception and abortion are solely the responsibility of the woman. She didn’t get herself pregnant, yet she’s the one who, in the end, will suffer the consequences.

Women need to stand up for what’s right and support each other. I’m a 63-year-old female with three grown children who will never give birth again, yet I stand with these women who are being targeted from every angle and support their right to choose. Call me a baby killer, a murderer, or whatever you want to call me, even though I’ve never killed or hurt anyone in my life. I really don’t care. I care about protecting and preserving what’s right. I will continue to stand up for what I believe in even if it means standing alone.

Here’s to strong women everywhere!!  Stand tall, my girls…..stand tall!

GNP