The War on Women

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you may have noticed that politics have made an ugly turn towards making social policy which restrict women’s reproductive rights. In addition, some states, like Wisconsin, have also repealed laws for equal pay for women. If you think that there isn’t a “war on women” you’re probably a republican male or in my biased opinion, an absolute idiot. Recently, laws have been passed that require women to carry stillborn babies to term, require women to undergo invasive procedures (I’m sure forcing a woman to undergo an unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound must be some type of insurance fraud) , humiliating interrogations by their employers (which is a violation of federal employment laws), and the like to obtain an abortion (which is still legal according to federal laws) or to obtain birth control. Doctors are allowed to lie to women with no fear of being punished if they think it will prevent abortion. Now the state of Arizona has passed a law saying pregnancy begins BEFORE conception, and in effect, before sex even occurs.

None of these laws do anything for the economy. None of these laws provide national security, further foreign policy, or build much needed infrastructure for the country. None of these laws improve air quality, reduce dependence on foreign oil. None of these laws bolster education of our children. These laws serve one purpose-to tell women that they are not in control of their own bodies, that we are, in effect, chattel and not capable of making decisions about our bodies. These laws state that Government has the right to make choices about our bodies, because for some reason we are unable to make these choices for ourselves.

These laws are also based on the morals of a single religious faith. These laws are in effect unconstitutional for this reason, as the First Amendment governs the separation of Church and State. All these laws are based on a moral, rather than scientific argument, and outrage aside, this is one of the primary reasons I am against the passage of these laws. I don’t care if you are pro-choice or pro-life. I personally am pro-choice because I fundamentally believe that everyone deserves a choice over their own body and I feel forcing the nation to be pro-life is egotistical and a form of social imprisonment, taking away my rights over my own life. Moreover, I am pro-choice because being pro-life intermingles church and state, which I am against.

Especially now that I am pregnant, I have become an even stronger pro-choice proponent. Although my pregnancy has been fairly “easy” comparatively-I’ve had no complications, I didn’t have severe morning sickness, gestational diabetes, or preeclampsia, I have been miserable the majority of my pregnancy. I’ve experienced daily soreness and pain, severe swelling, and carpal tunnel syndrome. I no longer have control of my body, my emotions. I’m uncomfortable 95% of the time. I can no longer wear shoes because my feet and ankles have swollen to a level that stretches my skin to a point where they burn and itch. I’ve experienced all of this for the past 38 weeks because we wanted a child. Now imagine being forced to experience all these symptoms for a child you don’t want, and never wanted. Perhaps she was raped and is being forced to carry the child to term because of some law. Or forcing a woman to carry a child to term that has no hope of surviving or is already gone-how can you rationalize that as OK? I liken it to cruel and unusual punishment. And wouldn’t forcing a woman to carry a stillborn child to term cause medical issues for the mother, in addition to preventing her body and mind from repairing  and being prepared to have another child?  I would never force a woman to experience what I’ve been experiencing. I want this child and I’ve been miserable the majority of my pregnancy. If I were being forced into this against my will, my misery would be quadrupled.  Yet states are making laws that do just that-force women to undergo procedures and life events against their will and in some cases would force women to carry unwanted children to term.

I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind about their feelings about abortion. I think everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but I draw the line when someone else’s beliefs restrict my freedom over my body, or anyone else’s. Women need to stand up to their lawmakers against these laws. With the way these laws are going, when will they stop. First they take away our reproductive rights, now they are moving towards moving our equality in the workplace. What’s next? Our right to vote? Truly this is a war on women, and we need to stand up and fight for our rights. Let each individual woman have the right to choose what to do with her body without being shamed, without invasive unnecessary procedures.

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