A couple weeks ago, I got into an Uber.
I wasn't expecting my driver to tell me what she did. She informed me that just weeks ago, she had picked up a girl on the side of the road walking alone who had just been raped. Raped. She did what she thought to be the right thing and took her to the hospital, right in the heart of a college town, and was shocked to find out what they didn't have: rape kits. They told the victim that by the time they got one from the closest hospital that had one, it would be useless.
I was appalled.
Now, what's even more appalling is everything that's going on at this very moment surrounding female reproductive rights. I've tossed up the idea of writing on this topic for a while, but I finally decided it's time. Numerous states, including my own home state, have recently made big moves in the wrong direction on the topic of abortion, including the heartbeat bill.
As one article puts it, "Heartbeat bans attempt to outlaw abortions as soon as a heartbeat can be detected, which is often in the embryonic stage, as early as six weeks' gestation, before many people even know they are pregnant. These laws, some of the most extreme in the country, are flatly unconstitutional because they seek to ban abortion months before the point at which a fetus is viable."
Now, I'm not one to believe that abortions should just be thrown around like nothing, but in no way should they be completely thrown away, which is essentially what these states are trying to do.
What's even more appalling on this matter is the speech that our country's politicians are using to validate their positions. Here are some of the most shocking:
"Rape is kinda like the weather. If it's inevitable, relax and enjoy it." — Clayton Williams
"Rape victims should make the best of a bad situation." — Rick Santorum
"In the emergency room, they have what's called rape kits, where a woman can get cleaned out." — Jodie Laubenberg (I can't even begin to express how wrong this statement is.)
"If a woman has the right to an abortion, why shouldn't a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist's pursuit of sexual freedom doesn't (in most cases) result in anyone's death." — Lawrence Lockman
These are actual statements from politicians on why they remain pro-life. These are the people representing our country. These are the people who are now representing my body and my reproductive rights, and I'm not going to lie, I'm scared.
Scared to get raped in a college town where the hospital even doesn't have rape kits.
Scared to get raped in a society that doesn't believe in or care about the woman making a claim.
Scared to get raped.
I'm honestly not sure if and when I want children, but I now live in a country where these concerns do not matter. However, my own thoughts aren't the only thing that does not seem to matter.
Eleven years old. This is how old a rape victim in Ohio is, who is now pregnant. Thanks to the new law, young women like her will now have to follow through with their pregnancies, but it does not matter to these politicians.
When signing the bill, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine focused on the rights of the fetus. "The essential function of government is to protect the most vulnerable among us, those who don't have a voice," he said. "Government's role should be to protect life from the beginning to the end."
If they really wanted to protect the "most vulnerable," they would think about the young (and old) rape victims who go unacknowledged each and every day.
As one article from CBS reports,
"More than 4,000 women were raped in Ohio in 2017, according to data compiled by the FBI. Of those, more than 800 victims were assaulted by a family member. In the future, if women became pregnant as a result of such crimes, Ohio's so-called 'fetal heartbeat bill' would prohibit them from receiving an abortion any time after about six weeks, which is before most women even know they're pregnant."
Ohio's new law has no exceptions for rape victims or incest. These states do not care. In several cases, they even place the blame on the victim and shove the situation under the rug.
If we truly want to "Make America Great Again," we need change.
These laws are inhumane, as are the people supporting them and representing us as a country. It seems as if every day we keep moving backward instead of forward, and are moving back into a society that advocates against women, minorities, and more.
I could never support something that could easily affect me at any point in time that I have no control over.