I have thought long and hard about posting this but I have become weary of the wimpy response women have about abortion. Please understand that most of the women in the US today have grown up being able to obtain safe abortions more or less on demand. They simply have not heard enough stories, lived through their own back ally abortions or lost a loved one to sepsis caused by those darn knitting needles.
What exactly is ‘slavery’? In the strictest sense it is the actual ownership of one person by another, that is, an actual deed is held which can be transferred to another person along with the ‘slave’ in the same manner as one can transfer ownership of a house or car. A ‘slave’ cannot withdraw from the arrangement that is coded in the law. The slave has no control over the use of his or her own body but must do what the owner requires…by law. And I am not talking about human trafficking here.
Now let us discuss what slavery looks like these days for ordinary women since slavery is also defined by being in a state that is comparable to being an actual slave in which freedom is restricted. And, an advance warning, this blog post is about abortion. If you find such discussions abhorrent then go read a romance novel…some of them are really well written. Reading on? Then here goes. If a women is pregnant and she wishes to terminate the pregnancy and she is prevented from doing so by law then she is a slave. Please do not try to waffle around this. Slaves do not get to do what they want with their bodies: they are bound by law to as the law decrees. There are plenty of legitimate laws telling us what we may not do to other peoples’ bodies, shooting them or striking them with our cars, for instance. But a law that restricts what we may do to our own? That is slavery.
Having babies is an absolute mandate from nature. No babies, no human race. But having a child is more than producing a live human. As has been stated often on Facebook recently, the pro-life people and the laws they are forcing on all of us are not pro-life, but pro-birth. They have no agenda beyond forcing every baby conceived to be born. No provisions made for conception due to rape, incest, or failed contraception. No provision made for the support of the child once born…and I should add, many unwanted children become wards of the state in one way or another forcing society in general to support them.
There are many reasons behind these laws from Dinnerstein’s theory in her book, “The Mermaid and the Minotour’, to the empowerment of men in keeping women barefoot and pregnant to trumped up religious arguments by people who yammer about being good Christians. I think that the desire for power over women is a large part of this and fear of women is another large part. Some put forth the idea that White Supremacy is at the root of it as white men fear that all their babies will be aborted leaving all those ‘babies of color’ left to rule the world. (And by the way, white folks are already in a huge minority in this world so that ship sailed before our ancestors left Africa). There are probably dozens more reasons including that many of the lawmakers are men who have notches or their belts already. But some of the legislators are women and all I can think of is that 53% of white women voted for Trump so they have already betrayed their sex.
We can tell what the bases for these laws are by examining the punishments handed out to the men who commit the crimes of rape or incest and the laws that govern what the male parent’s responsibilities are toward the woman and the child. The punishment does not even fit the crime, in fact, there rarely is any punishment and if there is one it is mild. The only sex offenders who get their just deserts are pedophiles and that only very recently. Women are fair game, fodder for the grist mill of male lust.
There is a partial solution to the slavery laws that are being enacted. Why not just stop having sex with men? Young women, don’t go to bars, have hen parties with friends at home, wear those pretty dresses for the girls, after all, girls look at dresses, men look at what is in them. Looking for a man on-line? Take your self off the matchmaking sites…read them carefully, most men are looking for someone to have sex with…just change your profile to fat instead of thin and watch what happens. . Dating someone? Just stop for a while. Just quit being around men as much as possible, politely decline. If questioned mention the fact that you don’t like the current laws and are afraid to take any chances with men. Don’t believe their blandishments. Shrug your shoulders and walk away. Don’t be mean, don’t explain, just don’t be available. Don’t even play hard to get, don’t flirt, just don’t put yourselves in any position where men think they have any claim on your time, your charm or your bodies. Eventually they will get the picture. Unfortunately this would not help victims of incest or rape.
But now another warning, do not read this if you cannot stand the heat. Don’t come back to me later about how ‘raw’ it was or that I could make my point without all the drama. Her name has been changed, my name has not because the story was told by her to me. When I was at Michigan State a friend of a friend met me on the sidewalk. She sat down on the curb and patted the space next to her for me to join her and then, for no reason I knew then, she told me her tale. Not too long before this she had a boy friend, a black man which in 1967 was not at all common, and she had been seven months pregnant when he took her to a friend of his, a premed student and he and another man forced her to drink alcohol, held her down, then proceeded to cut her seven month baby out of her body. When they were done they left her on the table with the body parts strewn around her. She had wanted to get an abortion in the early days but they weren’t available so she had to go on with it trusting that her boyfriend would ‘do the right thing’, which used to mean marry her, but, well, times change. At first as she told me this story she was animated but her voice became flat and she was staring off into space, or the past, and I saw that tears were streaming down her face though I don’t think she noticed them. After the story was told she sat there in silence. Finally, I asked her if I could do anything for her then but she said no, that she just wanted to sit there for a while and I should go on to class. Now, all these years later, with her story in my head as perfectly as she told it decades ago, I wonder if she, like the Ancient Mariner, has been forced by some inner demon to retell that story, over and over throughout her life in an effort to soften the pain, the sorrow, the sheer horror of what had happened to her. And it is so easy to say that at seven months she should have kept the baby and given it up for adoption or that it was not her fault as the father forced this on her, but if she had been able to get the abortion she wanted when appropriate this horror would not have happened at all. And in an effort to be compassionate according to Thich Nhat Hanh’s dictum, we have to consider the effects this had on the father and the medical student. Everyone involved suffered.
So, I am not just pro-choice, I am pro-abortion. I am pro safe, clean, compassionate, available, inexpensive or insured, non-judgmental, women supported abortion. And I want all slavery laws repealed and anti-slavery laws enacted that give women hegemony over their own bodies. Single women, married women, young women, all women. And don’t come back at me with every exception you can think of because I don’t care. Ever since listening to her story no other argument for the so called “pro-life”, anti-abortion stance has made any impression on me at all. Please support the pro abortion organization of your choice and write, write, write your representatives.