On abortion rights, wandering wombs, and hysteria
I know you all mean well and care a lot about me. So I know it comes from a place of kindness, but if one more person emails me and tells me to switch doctors or gives me medical advice, I might scream. Please know I have advocated for myself adequately and have switched doctors and will proceed with my choice in this situation. And I am not crowd sourcing medical advice.
An insignificant story I can't seem to shake, which always makes me wish I got hysterical at the time: when my parents were visiting for my second child's baptism about 18 months ago, a neighbor posted a need for a high chair on our buy nothing group. I was so excited to share ours since our 2 year old at the time refused to use it anymore. As I was pulling it out to the porch for the pick up, my father said, with big smiles/winks, etc., that maybe I should hold onto it, just in case we have another. I smiled back and told him that Husband had a vasectomy scheduled, so pretty sure we can give this one away and he got SO WEIRD. Smiles vanish, and "that's absolutely none of my business" with an air of how DARE you violate his privacy even mentioning something like that. I let it go at the time because Family Event in Progress, but REALLY?! A person I care so much about and loves me as best as he can, can wink and smile about my body going through something profound and life altering (because obviously my body gets entirely ignored in the whole baby thing to him), but as soon as it is a male body having a 45 minute out patient procedure it is all about privacy, autonomy, and respect?!
Some days I just want to scream I'M A FULL, WHOLE PERSON. WOMEN ARE FULL, WHOLE PEOPLE AND YOU CAN'T MAKE THAT NOT TRUE NO MATTER HOW YOU KEEP TRYING TO KILL AND CONTROL THEM.
I'm of childbearing age myself, and I have three daughters. We have all lived in Iowa our entire lives. I don't want to have to move from friends, from family, from the networks I've created. But I also don't want my daughters to die from lack of maternal care, or to not have the choice to make their own reproductive choices. I'm already envisioning a scenario in which we have to take a child over the border to Illinois because she's got an ectopic pregnancy, or a missed miscarriage, or something, and the doctors won't help because they're afraid of losing their license. Oh, and today is also my birthday. So happy birthday to me; the state of Iowa just took away rights from me and my daughters.
I always knew I didn't want to have children. For years, people (mostly men) told me, "Your biological clock will start ticking and then you'll have tons of kids!" It took until the age of 37 when I wasn't in a relationship where my partner had asked me to not get my tubes tied "just in case." When I told my OB-GYN that this is what I wanted to do, she politely told me she wouldn't do that procedure, but referred me to another OB-GYN who would. I was required to see a state-mandated (New York) Nurse Practitioner who did everything she could to talk me out of it. I was adamant. She finally shrugged her shoulders and said, "Well... you ARE thirty-seven..." before signing the proper forms. When I went to the second OB-GYN, he asked me when I was available for the procedure. I said, "Just like that?" And he replied, "You know what you want." When I left his office, I made it to the sidewalk before bursting into tears because someone finally acknowledged that I knew my own mind. That was 16 years ago and it was HARD. I am horrified by what women have to go through today to prove they know what they want.
What a day yesterday was. So many folks showed up. We were angry, loud, we took up space. We wearied of making way for Chuck Hurley of the Family Leader to dismiss us, to ask us to make way for his holiness. We will not back down. I was guessing the crowd to be close to 1,000. And Jennifer Konfrst observed that public comments on the house bill were 28 to one AGAINST what passed late last night.
And to top it off, Gov. Reynolds is signing the abortion ban at the Family Leader Conference on Friday. Good Lord Love a Duck.
Democracy, at its core, is the understanding that people have the right to make their own choices. The point of representative government is to best empower people to express those choices so they can be heard. (There is a theology behind this as well - which is what I've been hacking away at for the past few years.)
It is not coincidental that it is a minority suppressing democracy in order to impose what is literally an anti-choice policy on everyone else.
I cannot BELIEVE, in the sense of believing but not wanting to, that in 20 fucking 23 there are still doctors going bUt WhAt aBoUt yOuR fUtUrE hUsBaNd???? when a woman wants to make a decision about her own goddamn body. I hope no one ever says that to me again (my father did when I was a teenager). I hope if they do I'm able to scream furiously at them so the whole building hears.
I'm 30 years old which I guess is still pretty young, but old enough that I'd expect to be taken seriously by now. I've known that I never wanted children since it suddenly became a possibility at age 12. It took me a while longer to shed my Catholic upbringing to admit to myself that I would absolutely get an abortion if I became pregnant. I feel on an absolutely visceral level that saying about wanting an abortion like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg. I'm so angry I feel sick every time I read about the state of human rights in this country.
This is so fucked. I'm reading this as I recover from surgery getting my fallopian tubes removed. I've never wanted children, AND removing them decreases your risk of ovarian cancer by 85%. Happy to answer any questions for Lyzters here!
I HATE when people are like “what if your future husband wants kids” because it not only assumes the woman wants to get married but also? If he wants it that badly, he can find someone else. Do they honestly think breaking up is more devastating than physical, financial and psychological harm of an unwanted pregnancy and child?
I won’t even get into the obsession America seems to have with biological family. Suffice to say that I love plenty of kids who aren’t blood related to me and think I would make an amazing stepmom.
The line is: Do people have autonomy over their bodies or not?
And to not be horrified at the prospect of that line being crossed shows that a person has never had to fight for their human rights.
I don't miss my uterus, not one bit. I don't miss my gallbladder, either. I did want a child but didn't end up having one. I'm okay. Can I say that I am so fucking angry that women are STILL considered to be vessels and property? I was fighting for this in my 20s. Is it pretty cool that women can birth whole other humans? Sure! But that isn't our sole reason for being. I love the history you shared about roaming wombs. I'm going to share that with my husband since he teaches about art from that era. When I met him I was pleased to hear he had taken his teenage daughters to a pro-abortion rights march in DC. I'm sorry you are experiencing this with medical people, but not surprised.
Regardless what side of the abortion issue you are on, I truly don't understand why anyone feels its right and just to control another human beings body? A womb is not community property, no more than a mans balls belong to the local piñata club.
A 6 week ban is wrong on so many levels, yes! however a ban of any kind is also wrong. A woman's life, liberty and happiness is NOT up for exceptions. It is literally unconstitutional to force women to birth.. one only need look to the 14th Amendment's equal protection under the law. If men cannot be FORCED to birth, then women can't, period. It's not that hard.
I was raped, I got pregnant. I wanted an abortion, however, my mother quickly ran around telling the town I was pregnant, so I wouldn't (this is possible with a population of 648). The stigma around abortion is ridiculous, but I was 19yrs old and very introverted, I didnt' have the guts to stand up for myself. Mostly I feared my mother. She's the reason I couldn't report the rape either...seeing how she paid the guy to do it.... (that is a story for another time... u can fill in the blanks here...or not.. https://medium.com/@trmugler/compliance-is-not-consent-241ec8a4b797 )
The point being, a rape is a serious violation on the most intimate level, and forcing women to report it, and prove they did within a 6 week window, and then to actually realize they are pregnant prior to that same ridiculous window is insurmountable for someone in the throws of trauma. What's next? Your accusation has to produce a conviction? Afterall, women can't be trusted, and certainly aren't a reliable witness to their own assault....
Rape is a life sentence for the victim. It will spread itself over your entire life for the rest of your life. You move on, you 'get past it', you find a strength in yourself you didn't know you had, you don't let it define you, or control you. but its still there... it may be small things like never sitting with your back to a door, putting locks on your bedroom door (though your an adult and live in your own home), be over cautious with your own daughters, suspect of every male that speaks to you (like the rest of your life).... and I could go on and on.. but you get the picture.
A lot of the time, it felt like I got two life sentences... I was 19, a single parent and had a child with multiple disabilities in a podunk town with zero resources and the internet didn't exist yet.
DO NOT assume how I feel about my daughter. Harli is a FUCKING ROCK STAR!
That does NOT negate the fact I wasn't in a position to have a CHOICE!
NO ONE should have to 'prove' a 'good reason' to NOT be pregnant! period.
I know that is only one of the many fucked up pieces of this legislation, and every part of it is equally appalling.
Thanks for letting me rant.... again.... *pours a double shot*
The moment my ex-husband told me I was hysterical was the moment I knew I would divorce him, and I did three months later.
I sent pointed messages to my senator and representative last night in which I quoted Maya Angelou’s “when people show you who they are” statement.
This morning, I got an email back from my representative, Gary Mohr. I ran against Gary for the Iowa House in 2018 and lost. Here’s his comment and my response.
Gary: Maybe you should run against me. Oh, you tried that and it didn’t work…
Me: Yes, when (then) District 93 sends its people, it doesn’t send its best. You do you, Gary. Over and out.
These are the people who represent us...
I was told as a teenager by multiple doctors that I should never get pregnant and bear children because of serious complications. And yet when I requested to get my tubes tied as an engaged 29 year old, my HMO made me go to a specialist to confirm this. During the several months it took to make the appointment, I actually got pregnant. I scheduled the abortion the day I saw my positive pregnancy test, but who knows exactly how much harm those weeks of being pregnant did to my body? How much healthier would I be today if the provider in my appointment had just said “ ok, call this number and schedule your tubal ligation”?
Bravo Lyz. Keep speaking for those of us less eloquent and more prone to hurling wasted insults than facts. I will keep forwarding the facts to my own legislators, both self righteous dicks who feel they are immortal, infallible, and immune from election loss. I like the poster that said "Regulate Dick, not Jane." As a physician, now retired, I know first hand what harm lack of access to reproductive health care does.