Advocating

My Body My Choice

It isn’t just for when it fits your argument.

I’ve been debating for a while now on writing/posting this, but I’m never one to back down from a challenge, or to steer away from uncomfortable conversations. This one especially, as I can’t believe it’s 2021, and we’re still talking about it. Buckle up because this is a long one, but as always, totally worth it.

For years, women have been chanting “my body my choice” for an abundance of things, but primarily, the right to choose what you can do should you become pregnant. When the COVID pandemic hit and masks, and now vaccines, were/are becoming mandated/required, suddenly just about everyone fully understood what “my body my choice” meant.

If we’re being honest, and I know this does not apply 100% (so don’t try and come at me), “conservatives” are the ones shouting “my body my choice” in relation to masks and vaccines while “liberals” are the ones shouting “my body my choice” in relation to topics such as abortion. What I don’t get is how you can understand the point when it pertains to you and what you do/don’t agree with, but not when it pertains to others?

When it comes down to a mask, something that quite literally alters your body in nearly no way at all, you’re all for it. But when it comes to incubating a human life for 9+ months that physically, mentally, and emotionally changes your body, all of a sudden it’s not your body, your choice. To me, it just seems like we’re being mocked. It honestly has me completely mind-blown.

Unless you live under a rock, you should be aware of the new Texas Heartbeat Act Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law back in May but went into effect September 1, 2021. If you are unaware of the details, I’ve read the bill in it’s entirety for you, and my key points are below.

Background Information – In 1973, Roe v. Wade was signed into law by the Supreme Court after a pregnant woman challenged the constitutionality of the Texas criminal abortion law that made abortion illegal except by a doctor’s orders to save a woman’s life. It was signed into law, because the Supreme Court ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution provides a “right to privacy” that includes “a woman’s qualified right to terminate her pregnancy”. (“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdictions the equal protection of the laws“). Within this right, is also the government’s “compelling point” to protect a woman’s health and “the potentiality of human life” – even though the Court also established that the word “person” does not include the unborn. Therefore, the Supreme Court gave regulations: in the first trimester (13 weeks) governments cannot prohibit abortions at all, in the second trimester (13-28 weeks) governments can require reasonable health regulations, and in the third trimester (29-40+ weeks) abortions can only be prohibited entirely so long as there are exceptions for when they are necessary such as saving the life or health of the mother. A state law that broadly prohibits abortion without respect to the stage of pregnancy of other interests violates that right.

That being said, this is exactly why the Texas Heartbeat Act is a hot topic of discussion. Not only is this in violation of Roe v Wade, but if Supreme Court rulings don’t take precedence over State’s, what’s the point? And, you thought masks were an infringement on your rights.

The bill states that “a physician may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child […] or failed to perform a test to detect a fetal heartbeat”. To be clear, if the physician performs a fetal heartbeat test, and one is not detected, they are not in violation of this bill.

The only exception to this is “if a physician believes a medical emergency exists”. That being said, “a physician who performs or induces an abortion under [those] circumstances shall make written notations in the pregnant woman’s medical record of 1. the physician’s belief that a medical emergency necessitated the abortion and 2. the medical condition of the pregnant woman that prevented compliance”. The physician performing or inducing the abortion also needs to make copies of those notations to keep for their own records for the practice (I assume for proof in case of a lawsuit). There are no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, nonviable pregnancies, or in cases where the unborn child has a fatal and untreatable condition.

So essentially, “medical emergencies” is defined differently depending on who you ask. What about in instances where a cancer patient is pregnant and cannot receive chemo and then becomes untreatable? At what point do we prioritize the living over the non-living? Your doctor could ideally believe you’re in a medical emergency, but if someone disagrees, they can still sue. Then it’s up to the court to decide if it was really an emergency or not? Also, if you have a nonviable pregnancy or you find out your child has fatal conditions, you have to see that pregnancy through to the end? Go through the burden of carrying a fetus for up to 9 months, your body and mind constantly changing, knowing you’ll be birthing a stillborn/nonliving baby? Unless you’re a woman who has experienced that kind of loss, you have zero say in the impact that has. Note – this is not the same as discussing aborting fetus’ due to livable conditions.

The bill goes on to say that you cannot prosecute a “woman on whom an abortion is performed or induced or attempted to be performed or induced” – which should be a given. However, “any person, other than an officer or employee of a state or local government entity in this state, may bring a civil action against any person who: 1. performs or induces an abortion […], 2. knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise […] regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced […]”. This means anyone outside of the woman receiving the procedure, can be sued. This includes friends, family, the receptionist, the doctor, a stranger (or baby’s father) who helped pay for the procedure, the insurance people who approve your claim, the driver who brought you to your appointment, and even anyone who shares information about abortion options. Whether you knew or didn’t know, you can be held liable.

If you do sue someone liable for an abortion, and you prevail, the “court shall award statutory damages in an amount of not less than $10,000 for each abortion that the defendant performed or induced [… or] that the defendant aided or abetted [as well as] costs and attorney’s fees”. However, if you are sued, and found ‘not guilty’ you don’t get awarded any costs or attorney’s fees. Apparently snitches don’t get stitches anymore, they get checks. This must be the result of generations becoming “soft”, right?

If you should happen to be involved in such a lawsuit, you can’t use the following “excuses” to defend your actions: “ignorance or mistake of law, a defendant’s belief that the requirements of this subchapter are unconstitutional or were unconstitutional […], the consent of the unborn child’s mother to the abortion”. So even though this bill is unconstitutional, and even though the woman is consensually terminating the pregnancy, that isn’t enough reason to defend your actions. For those of you in a rampage about “religious exemptions” not being a valid reason for being unvaccinated, this is where you should be chiming in.

Also important to note, as I haven’t seen this brought up in anything I’ve seen, the bill does make an exception in case of rape but only in that of not being able to file a suit. The bill states, “a civil action may not be brought by a person who impregnated the abortion patient through an act of rape, sexual assault, incest, or any other act”. Therefore, if an individual rapes another that results in a pregnancy that is later aborted, the rapist cannot file a lawsuit. However, the woman can still be sued – by just about anyone else – including anyone the rapist may know. It would be extremely interesting to see how it’s determined if the rape “actually happened” if this were to be tried, given how most rape trials end. Not to mention the number of rapes that do not get reported.

The bill also states that “any person, including an entity, attorney, or law firm, who seeks declaratory or injunctive relief to prevent this state […] from enforcing any statute, ordinance, rule, regulation, or any other type of law that regulates or restricts abortion […] is jointly and severally liable to pay the costs and attorney’s fees of the prevailing party”. So pretty much, “you can try and fight us on this, but you’ll have to pay for your side and my side”.

Given that the number of abortions each year has been decreasing since 2009, you might want to know some important facts (based on the most recent data from 2018):

  • 92.2% of abortions take place in the first trimester (0-13 weeks)
    • 77.7% of this 92.2% take place in the first 9 weeks and are nonsurgical (“the abortion pill” – Mifepristone)
  • 6.9% of abortions take place in the second trimester (14-20 weeks)
  • Less than 1% of abortions take place in the third trimester (21-40+weeks)

Early medical abortions (via medication) have increased over time meaning those individuals who are choosing to terminate their pregnancy are doing so practically as soon as they find out. So if you’re someone who says women are going 9 months pregnant before deciding to abort their baby – 1. You’re wrong, 2. That makes up for less than 1% of abortions, and 3. You have no say if you’re not getting vaccinated or wearing your mask because your odds of catching or dying from COVID-19 are less than 1%. Can’t pick and choose when to use your reasoning – that just makes you a hypocrite.

Point is:

  • If this abortion bill was truly about “saving lives”, we would have a much more involved sex education program so young people truly know the potential impacts sex can have. We wouldn’t just take the “get pregnant and die” Mean Girls approach. Given that women in their 20’s account for more than half of abortions, allowing them to make more educated decisions by knowing their risks/options would lead to a decrease in cases (California did this and saw a decrease of more than 50%)
  • If we truly wanted to reduce abortions, we would make access to birth control easier and allow individuals to choose the birth control of their choice for free. Focusing more on giving free contraceptives and counselling would lead to a decrease in cases (Missouri did this and saw a decrease from 41.7 abortions/1000 sexually active women to 9.7/1000. Colorado also did this and saw abortions decrease by 42%).
  • In case you don’t know, banning abortions does not stop them from happening. It just stops them from happening safely. People will find other ways to terminate pregnancies they don’t want. Forcing someone to continue their pregnancy, against their will, will not stop them. Giving them the opportunity to fully understand their options, without judgement, can allow them to make the best educated decision for their life.

Further, if you don’t have:

  • A Vagina
  • A Uterus
  • A Period
  • Fallopian Tubes
  • Ovulation
  • Ovaries
  • Or knowledge of any of the above

You have no say.

If you aren’t:

  • Fostering and/or adopting children in the system
  • Donating to organizations that help single parents
  • Financing prenatal/postnatal/birthing/etc appointments

You have no say.

If you don’t want to have an abortion, that’s your choice.

If you don’t want to have kids, that’s your choice.

If you have an unwanted pregnancy and choose to keep it because that’s what you believe, that’s your choice.

Unless you are the woman carrying a fetus in your body, making decisions about your own body, you have no say in what another individual does with their body.

Unless you are going to financially, physically, and emotionally support the unborn/born child and their mother, you have no say. And even if you are, the say you may have is limited, because it’s still not your body.

Worry about yourself and your own choices. I know there are politicians, presidents, people of power that have benefitted from an abortion. I know there are men that have benefitted from an abortion. I know there are women who have benefitted from an abortion. I’m not sure where exactly they are now, but they’re there.

There are people who wish they were aborted due to the impact their birth had on their loved ones and the guilt it’s caused them to endure. There are people who grew up in the foster care system that wouldn’t wish that experience on others and respect an individual’s right to choose. There are people who are adopted who wonder their whole lives why they weren’t good enough to keep. There are people who could’ve been aborted, but weren’t, and are happy to be living their best lives. There are people who are adopted/fostered and are appreciative of the life they’ve been picked for. There are sides to every story, and every decision has a result. One size does not fit all, and the choices other people make have relatively no impact on you and your life; let alone the government’s.

Of the many “reactions” to this bill I’ve seen, some that I think bring up exceptionally good points are (in no particular order):

  • People who are actively trying to get pregnant typically do so on their ovulation day – the highest chance of getting pregnant. This woman tried 2 weeks after the first day of her last period (how they base your gestational weeks) based on when she was ovulating. She was expected to get her period less than 2 weeks later and didn’t. Within the 2 days before her expected period to the 3 days late (on her very regular period), she took a total of 4 pregnancy tests – all of which were negative. Even though she has no positive test to show for it, based on her last period, she would be 4 weeks and 3 days pregnant right now. Keep in mind, this is someone actively trying to get pregnant. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be likely to continue testing after your first negative test.
  • Another woman brought up the same point I did earlier. She points out that it’s contradicting to say it’s an infringement of your rights when it comes to wearing a mask, but it’s not an infringement of your rights when you lose all rights to your reproductive system. She also points out that it’s contradicting to say you want to save lives regarding fetuses that are not consensually incubating inside of your body, but you don’t want to save lives by wearing a mask (or getting vaccinated).
  • One of my favorite responses came from a man responding to a comment saying “the woman consents to carrying and providing for the fetus when she has sex”. The fact that a man is speaking against this bill is the type of energy we need, but his explanation is even better. He explains that just because someone consented to having sex, doesn’t mean they consented to be an incubator. He then says, “Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy”. You can’t consent to outcomes, you can only accept the possible outcomes. Then it comes down to whether you’re responsible for that outcome, or if the state can enforce that responsibility by forcing you to stay pregnant. He gives the example of – if I’m driving my car recklessly, a possible outcome is me crashing into you, injuring you, and causing you to need my kidney to survive. Let’s say this possibility happens. I then wake up in a hospital bed with my kidney attached to you. Can the state force me to stay connected to you? Legally, no, even though I may be responsible for your condition. Even if you think a woman has a moral responsibility to keep the fetus, she does not have a legal responsibility. Also, and another extremely important point, consent can be revoked at ANY time. Therefore, consent to pregnancy can be revoked at any time – via abortion.
  • Another man presenting his spoken word regarding the bill also brings up how hypocritical it is for conservatives to protest masks and vaccines using my body my choice, but are now telling women what they have to do with their body.
  • Justin Baldoni also made a video stating if this bill isn’t about controlling women, then the government should have a say in what men can or can’t do with their bodies. Therefore, the government should make mandatory *reversible* vasectomies. Then you can have all the *consensual* unprotected sex you want and still prevent births.
    • I did a poll of this on my Instagram asking if men would get vasectomies and 43% voted yes while 57% voted no. Do with that information what you wish.
  • A medical student who used to live in Texas made a video talking about the medical terms used in this bill. Right now, in Texas, they are defining the beginning of life when the heart starts beating, but in the medical field you’re not considered dead when your heart stops beating. You are considered dead when your brain stops functioning. How can we define the beginning of life differently than the end? She then gives a funny cake analogy for those who can’t understand the straight forward point worth checking out.

By now, a majority of people have stopped reading and closed their browsers. If you made it to the end, I applaud you. It’s good to know people still want to be educated, even if that means having to read a little. If you’re not willing to read and become educated, you definitely have no say, so kudos to you for being smart!

Remember – be a good person, mind your business, don’t be a hypocrite, keep your personal beliefs out of it, and speak tf up for what’s right!

If you feel so inclined, purchase your own “Stay Out of My Uterus” shirt (shown below) from my boutique here! Also feel free to check out my YouTube video The R Word about another thing today’s society seems to condone.

As always, thanks for reading ❤

3 thoughts on “My Body My Choice”

  1. I’m glad you speak your mind! I agree with what you wrote…WELL DONE & IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE TO THINK ABOUT. Anyone who reads this entire composition should get the message. I’ll call it, “2 for 1”.

    Liked by 1 person

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