The Right to Not Reproduce

It is possible to be shocked but not surprised.

As you likely know already, the Supreme Court of the United States declared this morning that abortion is no longer a constitutional right. This decision overturns Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision preserving the right to abortion. For nearly fifty years, people in this country had the right to prevent and end pregnancy. This is no longer true, and while I anticipated this decision for a variety of reasons, I am still angry and in shock.

My perspective on abortion has changed significantly over the years. As a young child, I was told that evil people wanted to just “kill babies” on a whim. As a young adult, I joined up with anti-abortion organizations to try and convince people to change their minds. Five years ago, I had an abortion. I’m still incredibly grateful that I had access to a legal, safe, and free abortion at the time. I am still fighting to support myself, and every time I think about it, I’m so glad I haven’t brought children into the life I’m living. 

Abortion is not murder. Abortion saves lives. Anti-abortion people are liars, from the lie of being “pro-life” to the lies of made-up statistics and details. They are committed to fearmongering and indoctrinating children. I was one of those indoctrinated children, and it would take many years for me to realize that I had been lied to. 

Here’s what is truly violent: the reproductive cycle. Menstruation is violent. Pregnancy is violent. Childbirth is violent. These things wreak havoc on the bodies of people enduring them. Even if a menstruating person never gets pregnant, they can benefit tremendously from contraceptive care. When pregnancy gets complicated, as it often does, restricted access to contraceptive care kills people. 

When pregnancy gets complicated, as it often does, restricted access to contraceptive care kills or traumatizes people. Contraceptive care is trans care as well. Trans masc people use contraception to manage menstruation to help alleviate dysphoria. Gender affirming care is often categorized as contraceptive, even if nobody involved is pregnant at all. This includes hysterectomies, a necessary first step in the phalloplasty process. Reproductive care is a human right and it applies to people with all kinds of reproductive systems. If your body produces sperm, one of the most important things you can do right now is get a vasectomy. This is a highly effective way to prevent you from getting someone else pregnant.

I am not here to give an extensive list of reasons that abortion is a human right, an exhaustive explanation of what kind of contraceptive options are available, or to go into excruciating detail about the violence of reproduction. I want to make clear statements about what is true, because I was fed so many lies about this throughout my life. I understand that there are still millions of Americans who believe that abortion ends a life. These are the same people who want to preserve the past, along with all its death. They want to bring back deadly diseases and other preventable causes of death, including menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth.

We who understand the need for contraceptive care are angry and grieving today. This is because menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth were dangerous before this decision was made. It’s really important to ask what we can do now, and this twitter thread does a good job of that. It’s important to continue fighting to dismantle our prison industrial complex. We must destroy the policing system that has no obligation to protect us and takes every opportunity to wound, injure, and kill people.

This government was constructed by and for men. Men who were white slaveholding rapists. Today, power remains in the hands of such men. If these rights are questionable according to the Constitution of the United States, why are we still judging everything by it? Countless scientific discoveries in all fields have been established since these men signed that document. For centuries, we’ve been fighting for inclusion for all against a piece of paper that excluded minorities when it said “liberty and justice for all.”

It is time to admit that our country’s very foundation was shaky at best, and trying to preserve it is the definition of conservatism.

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