I'm sure you've all heard of it: abortion. You've seen it in the news for the past six months. You've seen the backlash, the religious responses, the feminist responses. Here's the thing, I don't care what you believe. I don't care if you disagree with abortion. I don't care if you believe it is murder. I don't care about your opinion on the matter.
What I care about, is the fact that as a country, we have decided that fetuses mean more than women.
Spoiler: They don't.
Now if you're sitting there thinking, "Of course a baby is more important than a grown woman," I encourage you to keep reading. Not to mention, I'm not talking about a baby. I'm talking about a fetus. First of all, a fetus, BY DEFINITION, is not a fetus until it is over 8 weeks old.
So what is it for those first 8 weeks? A cluster of cells.
With the new Fetal Heartbeat law that was passed in Georgia this May, abortions after 6 weeks are illegal. Not only is aborting a fetus illegal but so is aborting a cluster of cells. Another provision in this law allows for prosecutors to interrogate a woman who has miscarried to determine if she is at fault. If it is determined that she miscarried because of her own conduct, she would be convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to thirty years in prison. Furthermore, the language used in the bill to define abortion clearly categorizes birth control as a method of abortion as it claims that "any birth control that could act to stop a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus is considered an abortion."
Of course, soon after, Alabama and Missouri both passed bills that banned abortion even in cases of rape or incest.
So let me break this down even further for those of you who are still in support of these bans.
I am a 21-year-old female. I am being told that (1) I cannot take birth control, (2) if I get pregnant I have to have the baby even if my life is at risk, (3) there are no exceptions if I am raped by anyone, (4) I am required, by the government, to undergo intense physical, mental, and emotional pain that could easily be avoided.
I am being told that a cluster of cells, a life that hasn't started, something the size of a grain of rice, is not only more important than me, an actual human being, but that it has more rights than me.
One last example before I get off my soapbox. Legally, in the United States, you cannot be forced to give blood to another human — no matter who they are. If your brother was injured and required a transfusion and you fit the bill, doctors cannot force you to give blood. Why do you ask? When someone's life is at risk? It's because of the concept of "bodily autonomy."
This basically referred to the cultural idea that a person's control over their body is above all else and cannot be infringed upon. If you think about it, the only way in which your organs can be used to help others is if you're an organ donor. We can't even take organs from a corpse without permission.
So tell me then, why is it okay for us to ask a woman to give up her bodily autonomy for nine months? Why is it okay to demand lesser bodily autonomy from a living, breathing person than we do to the dead.
This article is in no way centered around my beliefs on abortion. I feel that it isn't necessary to talk about individual beliefs. But I don't think the government should have a hand in deciding what a woman can and can't do with her body. I don't think the government has the right to strip women of their freedoms and deny them the same bodily autonomy as men.
Abortion bills aren't life-saving bills. They are right-restricting bills. They are a way for the men of this country to continue suppressing women.