Following the State of Alabama’s Senate overturning the 1973 ruling passed in Roe V. Wade that protects a woman’s freedom to choose to terminate her own pregnancy, thousands of people across the country are up for a fight against the bill.

Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, and a few others have all passed restrictive anti-abortion laws this year and in few years past, but the most restrictive laws passed yet came from the State of Alabama on Tuesday, 14th of May, 2019 [1]. This overturn allows no exception for any reason, not even rape or incest. Out of the 27 Republicans in the Senate (all males), 25 voted in favor of the anti-abortion law which states that [2]: “This bill would make abortion and attempted abortion felony offenses except in cases where abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother. This bill would provide that a woman who receives an abortion will not be held criminally culpable or civilly liable for receiving the abortion.”

In a document circulated by the conservative Republican Study Committee during the debate, the justification for the enactment of the bill states that [3]: “Committing a second violent act with abortion to a woman who has already been victimized by an act of rape or incest could physically or psychologically wound her further. Every single child should be afforded the opportunity to live, regardless of how they were conceived.”

Democrats are not taking this lightly, accusing the Republicans of slighting women all around the country and “offensively attacking them”. Women have rights as well and can do with their bodies as they please, especially those who didn’t have a say in the procreation decision, as in the rape situation.

You’ve got 27 men over on the other side ready to tell women what they can do with their bodies,” said Bobby Singleton, the Democratic Minority leader.

If reproduction requires two people, why should one person take the bulk of the burden?

From tracking her safe period to getting on the pill, and sometimes having to use emergency contraception, the woman has always been duty-bound to control her body and make solid moves to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

Asides from providing condoms (which the women still have to see to some times) and vasectomies, men don’t exactly worry so much about contraception.

Who gets an intra-uterine device installed in her uterus to prevent pregnancy? The woman. IUDs are known to cause a measure of pain during installation, and side effects may include worse cramping during periods, spotting between periods, pain after intercourse and heavier bleeding during menstruation [4].

Who subjects her body to the everyday ingestion of contraceptive pills to avoid pregnancy? The woman. Contraceptive pills have common side effects which include headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, swollen breasts, decreased libido, spotting between periods, and fatigue [5].

Who has to undergo oocyte cryopreservation, a procedure whereby the eggs are retrieved, frozen and stored until pregnancy is desired? The woman. Aside from being outrageously expensive, the chances of side effects occurring are low, although once in a while, the ovaries may begin to overwork themselves. This condition is known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

Who has to track her safe period with her heart in hands and her tongue between her teeth every day? The woman. May I state that sometimes, even the Mucus-Billings method cannot be 100% accurate, and your cycle may experience a shift that would alter the dates of your safe period?

Women are doing way too much, and wrongly so, when the facts are biologically considered.

Men’s bodies should be regulated too, if not more.

In the most insightful and intelligent tweet I’ve seen all year, Brad Betts shortly explained why society and the government are regulating the wrong bodies. Without men, there wouldn’t be anything such as pregnancy, and if women don’t get pregnant, there’d be no need for them to have abortions.

In a blog post published on Scary Mommy, Maria Guido gave insights motivated by her personal experience on the one-sided struggle women face during abortions [6].

She had an abortion at the age of 24, after getting pregnant even while still on the pill. Her boyfriend at the time, staunch Catholic he was, didn’t want the baby and also didn’t want her to abort it either. Talk about selfish and confused in one bowl.“He didn’t have to travel back to the clinic with his sister and take the valium they offered before the procedure,” she wrote.

He didn’t have to lay on a table and look up at the ceiling at a Monet poster while they shot another sedative into his arm, and have that poster with its lady in a large hat holding an umbrella be burned on his brain for all of eternity. He didn’t have to know the feeling of tears streaming down his numb face while his sister held his hand. He didn’t have to experience any of this.”

She went through the terrifying ordeal alone, something they’d both brought about. She suffered the pain of the procedure all alone, even though she didn’t impregnate herself. The blame on the woman is usually extreme. There should be laws regulating men’s bodies as well. This is a two-way thing and one party shouldn’t take all the hit. If men’s bodies can’t be controlled, then women should be free to do what they please with theirs as well.

Women get pregnant and they’re told they should’ve been on better birth control,” Maria wrote. “Or they should’ve been sure the man was wearing a condom. Or they should’ve never “opened their legs” to begin with. All of the responsibility of the choices that come with having a sexual experience are placed on our shoulders — until we get pregnant. Then magically — we should have no say at all.”

“Unfair” takes a new meaning with this societal convention.

Dar’shun Kendrick on men’s body regulation

It’s always better to prevent rather than to cure; to nip a problem in the bud before it springs up and gets out of hand. Since women can’t impregnate themselves, it makes more sense to regulate the source of the sperm rather than the uterus.

State of Georgia Rep, Dar’shun Kendrick, posted a picture that was dubbed “The Testicular Bill of Rights Legislation”, which would potentially level the playing field for everyone if the bill were ever to be passed.

As expected, 90% of the men in the comment section were quick to get offended and defensive, claiming that a man’s sexual freedom cannot be restricted that way.

But oh, it’s okay to make women take all the responsibility and then the government will tell them that they can’t terminate an unwanted pregnancy?

References:

  1. It shouldn’t be left to women to fight alone for abortion rights“, The Guardian. May, 2018.
  2. Alabama abortion law passes: Read the bill“, AL. May, 2019.
  3. House GOP grapples with abortion messaging after Alabama law“, Politico. May, 2019.
  4. What are the side effects of an IUD?“, Medical News Today. August, 2018.
  5. 10 most common birth control pill side effects“, Medical News Today. January, 2018.
  6. We’re Controlling The Wrong Bodies“, Scary Mommy. May, 2019.
  7. Roe v. Wade, Wikipedia.
  8. Egg Freezing“, Mayo Clinic.
  9. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome“, Mayo Clinic.
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