As a woman and a person of color, I am oftentimes amused, baffled, and at times even enraged when I think about all the conversations that I overhear about topics being discussed by people who have no clue about the realities of the topics they are discussing. It ranges from the stupid generalizations I hear of people who have traveled to maybe one or two cities in a country and are now somehow making massive all-encompassing statements about x country in comparison to this country or others they have visited, to a bunch of white men gathered around a table discussing diversity – no woman at the table, no person from the LGBTQ community, no black, brown, yellow, or blue person. What exactly do anyof you know about what you are discussing, anyway?
Then there’s the generalization of old white men in Alabama today making decisions that affect women in the form of not only banning abortion, but making it illegal for doctors to perform the operation, without exceptions for incest or rape. While all of that is horrible and completely lacking of empathy or any ability to relate given that no man will ever have the opportunity to understand how horrific this situation could personally be, I would even go so far as to say that women who identify as pro-life and consider abortion “baby-killing” likely have zero idea how judgmental, unempathetic, and wrong they are in their opinions. It’s not really anyone’s place to be deciding what any one person decides for her own body. That’s like regulating when someone decides to cut their hair or pee. Leave them alone. It doesn’t affect you at all. How does this affect your life…?
I oftentimes think back to my last workplace where one of my colleagues was five months pregnant, and at five months, the fetus suddenly stopped growing. And she had to face the absolutely horrifying decision to either a) abort the baby (which was essentially dead), or b) take the risk of ‘carrying it to term’ and giving birth to a dead body and suffering massive potential health consequences. Given she lived in San Francisco, she was actually able to make choice A… as painful and depressing as it was. But I’ve read other cases where women had similar situations when they were not so lucky to live in a progressive city or state, and thus were forced to take major health risks and carry the fetus to term. Some of these stories have resulted in significant health ramifications that never seem to get brought up when the topic of “pro-choice or pro-life” debated.
We have no idea what we don’t know… until we learn it. So why are we all trying to regulate the bodies of other people? Why does the Republican Party, who prides itself on being for small government, want to have “big government” specifically when it comes to making personal decisions for women, who represent over half our population?!
Until this week, I didn’t even realize that New York State bans abortions after about 20 weeks. It’s even nearly impossible to get an abortion in New York City, LAND OF PROGRESS. That’s my city where I live right now, today! Even in a land where Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land over 46 years, people still can’t accept reality and still try to oppress vulnerable women who need the most support of them all. The progress we have made is slowly being rolled back and destroyed. And that “progress” is still a long time coming and has a long way to go.
These are the moments when I am so ashamed to be a part of this country. This is really when the lack of funding in education, the overall lack of knowledge in this country is just so painfully apparent and excruciatingly raw.