Watching the Makers series that I posted earlier about the women’s movement of yesteryear, I was appalled at how women were treated in the 60s and 70s. Those that had finally had enough with being treated like second class citizens rose up and voiced their demands. One of which included access to safe and legal abortions.
Roe Vs Wade happened in 1973, and yet 40 years later it is still being debated. It is still being contended in courts as seen recently with the amazing filibusting machine that is Wendy Davis.
It was a campaign issue in the last American election and with the aforementioned filibuster, now a trending topic on the internet. But why now? Is there truly a war on women that is now finally coming to a head, planned by conservatives who led women on for years, making them think they were safe? It sounds absurd and a bit radical, but the question must be asked. Women’s issues were so eagerly debated in the 60s and 70s with job equality and contraceptive rights. Maybe we did get too comfortable and are being pushed back a bit.
I encountered some pro-lifers yesterday on the corner of a busy Toronto intersection. They were holding up huge, graphic signs of fetuses who had been aborted. They were standing there silently, not yelling at cars or even pedestrians. They were all young, and they were all women. This perplexes me. Women who are anti-woman? I don’t get it. Similarly, I don’t get trans and bi hate within the gay community. Shouldn’t we be working together?
To quote the late George Carlin, “pro-life is anti-woman”. As a pro-choice individual, my wish is to not force every woman to have an abortion. I’m not some maniacal sadist who wants to kill babies; I just want women to have the choice on when she becomes a mother. This means she is able to have a freedom of sexuality, something society seems to be afraid of, as well as freedom to choose her own life path. Somehow, pro-lifers seem to turn this argument around and draw comparisons to other social movements, like when they say ” if you don’t believe in slavery, just don’t own a slave”. This is and absurd and immature tactic to try and discredit the pro-choice movement.
Abortions also save lives. If complications arise, then the pregnancy is terminated in order to save the woman’s life. But, as pro-lifers tend to ignore this fact, I feel as though they see women only as housing agents for babies and not as people.
It is also interesting to note something that is constantly being pointed out: most of the politicians that are proposing the laws to ban abortions, the ones who are voting, are mainly men. Men who will never know the real fear of a pregnancy scare; or what it means to have another child that they can’t support. Men, who because of their privilege, age, upbringing and gender, will never have to put their life and dreams aside to raise a child. That’s what their wives are for, right?
So as someone who is anxiously watching from north of the border, to my American sisters I say, stay strong. There are so many of you willing to stand up just as Wendy Davis did. Rise up. Don’t give up and don’t let some shriveled up old bloke tell you when you can have a baby. Try taking away his Viagra and see how happy he gets