Here I sit in my Upper West Side apartment on my sofa with dog, my husband, a cup of hot coffee, and no one threatening my rights or privacy. I was not up until after midnight last night praying, Tweeting, posting, rallying, or protesting. My senate was not working to pass legislation that affects me and not them. I didn’t have to worry that should I ever face the impossible decision of whether to carry a pregnancy to term, I would have to find clandestine, dangerous, illegal, and possibly life threatening alternatives to the safe clinics in existence.
Last night I closed my computer after fussing over an inconvenient iTunes problem and went to bed at 10:30, safe and sound with no worry of my fellow New York women’s reproductive rights or privacy being at stake.
A different story played out at the Capitol in Austin, TX. In my home state- a state that I love for its beauty, food, kindness, and family- women were fearful that they were not considered humans worthy of making a very personal, a very private, and a very hard decision. Women were fearful their rights were being stripped from them. My sister, my mother, my friends. These women, and some men, prayed, Tweeted, posted, rallied, and protested well into the night to protect their rights and their fellow Texan women’s right to a safe and legal abortion.
No one denies that abortion is a controversial topic. It pulls at our heartstrings, wrestles with our moral fiber, and makes us question when life begins. What is unfathomable to me is another person, man or woman, encroaching on a family’s decisions and personal life. That a pro-life defender believes that a woman can get “cleaned out” in an ER is just plain bonkers. (See quote from Rep. Jodie Laubenberg regarding rape kits.)
What has our great country and my great state come to when our elected officials are allowed to write legislation without fact, reason, or logic? In haste to appeal to future voters and conservative Christians the real issue is being ignored. Instead of inhibiting and drastically limiting a woman’s choice and her options, why aren’t we educating our youth (and elected officials) on sexual education and forcing stricter punishments upon sexual predators? Why are women being denied a choice?
The bill that one fearless women, Wendy Davis, stood on her feet for thirteen hours to filibuster doesn’t make special allowances for women in cases of rape or incest. It is estimated that 1 in 6 women will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime and over half of rapes aren’t reported out of fear and humiliation. Is no one willing to stand up for these victims? Is no one willing to read biology books to learn about reproduction?
I’m glad of the outcome from last night. I’m glad that, for now, women are protected. But I am saddened by the circumstances in which our voices had to be heard. There are countless women and families faced with the option of late term abortion due to fetal abnormalities so severe, some medical professionals would call it cruel to carry them to term. What about those families? Shouldn’t they be allowed to make their choices in private? What hell that must be for those mothers and fathers. How dare anyone in this society inject their opinions and vitriolic hyperbole into these people’s lives and pain.
Some questions and answers are better left to those whom are faced with these difficult realities. That law does more than close clinics and eliminate late term abortion, it denies women validity. My body, my choice.
I stand with Texas women and I stand with Texas parents.