Someone asked me why I care about Roe v. Wade being possibly overturned. Is it because I am a woman who might have an unwanted pregnancy one day? Is it because I have two daughters?
I stood and considered. I’m a 43-year-old woman, so chances of me having any pregnancy are diminishing by the minute. I think it’s fair to say my reproductive days are numbered, and I have all the children that I desire. So, no, this isn’t about me. Is it about my daughters? Damn straight, it’s about my daughters! And your daughters. And everyone’s daughters. I want my children to be able to choose their own reproductive destinies.
However, it’s more than that. Overturning Roe v. Wade is an issue that is masquerading as caring for women while trying to control women’s bodies and choices. The patriarchy is alive and holding strong when we chain families to poverty by not allowing women to decide how many children to have and when to have them, by not allowing a 15-year-old to terminate a pregnancy she’s not ready for, by not permitting a young woman to abort after being raped.
As we know, women have always and will always seek their own reproductive freedoms, so the question becomes not IF women will continue to get abortions, but HOW SAFE those abortions will be. The women who will suffer the most will be the ones who can’t travel to another state to receive a safe procedure and will instead pursue other precarious options.
Diminishing women’s reproductive freedoms and control over their bodies also weakens our place in the civilized world. Over 90% of European countries, for example, allow women to legally terminate a pregnancy. Making this change in our laws effectively shows the United States taking a step back in history.
The bottom line, the only line, is this – the right to make choices about your body is a fundamental civil right. Roe v. Wade concerns not just women and girls. It should alarm all people who value their autonomy and self-determination. Just as the State cannot order men to obtain a vasectomy, it cannot – morally and ethically – dictate to women not to terminate a pregnancy. All people should have the right to decide how fast their families will grow – if at all. This is why I care.