I have been struggling to put into words all of the things swirling around in my brain, so I've been putting it off. It's the 4th of July, which in the U.S. is a celebration of Independence Day, which is a holiday with not the most inclusive history (for a long time, just Independence for landowning white men) but feels particularly un-celebrate-able with recent moves by the Supreme Court that make me feel like we are just hurtling toward Gideon and I should practice saying "Blessed be the fruit" and "Under His eye" and "We've been sent good weather" because Margaret Atwood was a soothsayer.
Overreacting? Maybe a tiny bit, but when the Supreme Court rules that women are no longer constitutionally guaranteed the right to make decisions about their OWN bodies for their OWN health and their OWN wellbeing, and it's harder to restrict guns, and now the doors are wide open for prayer in public school (bye-bye separation of Church and State)... kind of hard not to feel like the U.S.A. today is sliding backwards into something unrecognizable.
It burns my britches that the same people who had signs that said "my body my choice" when it came to vaccines, a PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURE that impacts everyone, have now made choice over bodily autonomy not a thing anymore for women. I know that this decision impacts men, too, but it's WOMEN who carry pregnancies, WOMEN who assume all of the risks, WOMEN who lose time from work due to pregnancy-related things like birth, C-Section recovery, IVF procedures, bed rest, complications, WOMEN who face our dire maternal death statistics in the U.S., WOMEN who have no choice but to be left with the bodily consequences of any number of awful situations because men are depositors. That doesn't mean that all men choose to just spurt and run, but there are no maternity tests (obvious) but there are entire shows dedicated to paternity tests and men trying to prove that they are/they are not the father.
It fills me with absolute fury. I have a wonderful man who did everything possible to support me through all the indignities, pain, and lost time due to IVF when he really only had to be there to provide material in a cup. I chose to try to have a baby and it was HARD, so hard, and I lost two of them -- one to an early miscarriage that completed on its own so I did not need a D&C (which now is something people may not have access to in states that decide that's abortion), and one to an ectopic pregnancy that once identified as such when there was nothing in my uterus but a big old bulge in a fancy ultrasound of my tube, resulted in a swift ER admission to the hospital and surgery that showed that the tube was starting to rupture. I have never considered that surgery that took the embryo growing abnormally in my tube and the busted tube a TERMINATION, even though effectively it ended what was never going to be a viable pregnancy, it saved my life. I saw a picture of my tube and the mass post-surgery, and it was more like a tumor than the tiny half-formed babies people love to put on their anti-abortion posts and signs. Bryce was afraid for me though all of these experiences, but he was afraid FOR me because it was only ever my body that was at risk.
I am angry that so many people who claim to be about the sanctity of life don't seem to care once that baby is born, or care about the care for the pregnant woman pre- and post-partum. There's not funding for social programs that would help young children and families and the WOMEN who more often than not become caregivers. There's defunding of organizations like Planned Parenthood, which actually do a whole lot more for contraception, health screenings, and cancer screenings than abortion, but oh please, let's start restricting CONTRACEPTION too. People realize that contraception keeps pregnancy from happening (most of the time) which prevents abortions, right?
I remember years ago, when I was in the IUI part of my journey, I worked with a devout religious person who saw that part of my medical treatment to try to have a shot at having a baby and said, "doesn't it just make you so angry that all those people are having abortions when you're going through this?"
The answer was no. No, because pregnancies are not interchangeable. They aren't aborting "my" possible baby. Someone else's situation is NONE OF MY BUSINESS. If someone decides to have an abortion, that is between them and their healthcare provider. Just like there are people we knew who did not approve of our decision to do IVF and donor gametes, and who when we were deciding what to do with our embryos that I could no longer transfer, said "well I would never put myself in that situation," YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE THE SAME DECISION AS SOMEONE ELSE. We made decisions that were right for us. Many of those decisions were ones we never, ever, EVER thought we'd be in the position to make. But, we wanted a baby, and the harder it is to have one "naturally," the more of an ethical morass it becomes. But you know what? We made the decisions that are right for us, and no one, NO ONE has ever been in our unique situation. We have never been in anyone else's unique situation. Someone else may have decided to destroy their embryos that they could not transfer themselves. We did not. IT DOES NOT MATTER, because everyone has their reasons. The phrases "I've been in your shoes" or "Been there, done that" fill me with fury because NO, NO YOU HAVE NOT. Everyone's situation is predicated on everything that they've experienced up until that time. Decisions are made based on all those permutations that make your situation unique, and every situation is unique. So would I have chosen to have an abortion had I gotten pregnant due to a circumstance where it was not an outcome that was welcome? I don't know, and I don't presume to know, because I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN THAT SITUATION. Maybe I would have. Maybe I wouldn't have. But what I do know is I would never tell someone else that that is the WRONG decision because of my beliefs. (PS, my beliefs are MY BODY MY CHOICE and if you are facing the risk, you get to make the decision, and it is healthcare and between a woman and her provider to decide.)
Also, it's interesting to see the shirts that say things like, "No uterus no opinion" and realize that THERE IS A WOMAN JUSTICE WHO VOTED FOR THIS. There are many women who have uteruses and also seek to control other people's uteruses (uteri?) in the name of religion. Also, I feel like I do not have a uterus anymore (but I did have one) and I most definitely have an opinion. I do not want this next reproductively-able generation(s) to be shackled to their ovulation and ability to become pregnant, no matter the situation. I can't get pregnant anymore, I really never had the ability to have a baby, but I would never ever ever force that on someone else.
Okay, so this is soooo far from a Microblog and I've basically just gone off on a rant that has been building for a while now. But, I guess the upshot is, when the government says they care about the unborn but not the 51% of the population who is physically tied to the unborn, when the actual real life children are shot in their classrooms or at 4th of July parades or we don't fund CPS appropriately and children die at the hands of those who are supposed to care for them, I feel like THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE "SANCTITY OF LIFE." This is about controlling women. This is about disenfranchising women. This is about blaming women for a situation that is FIFTY PERCENT PENIS, but no penis carries an embryo so I guess it's HER fault? This is about caring about the idea of a person but not an actual living person or the consequences of forced pregnancy and birth. This is about telling a woman with a life threatening situation that an unborn life is worth more than hers.
It sucks. And it makes me feel very much like not celebrating freaking Independence Day.
Sorry, so not a #Microblog Mondays, but if you want to read others, go here and enjoy!