Whats 'War On 'Women,' you ask?
Although broad and complex, it’s also a concept that is so universally illustrated that it borders on the mundane. Seriously, every time I hear that phrase I want to roll my eyes.
“War on Women” very simply refers to the systematic removal of autonomy from women. This has happened and is happening to every group that is considered a “minority.” We can literally replace ‘Women’ with ‘Black/Latino Youth,’ ‘LGBT People,’ ‘Immigrants,’ etc., and see the disparities between the aforementioned groups and their counterparts in terms of human, civil, and/or social rights.
Lately, a lot has been happening in politics that directly affect women and their reproductive rights. In the past year, the following states have tried (not all succeeded) to make abortion access as difficult as impossible: North Dakota, Arkansas, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina—and most infamously, Texas. (Senator Wendy Davis is to thank for the filibuster that prevented Perry’s 20-week ban from passing.)
Abortion is just one of those messy topics that people generally like to avoid talking about. A person can be “Pro Choice,” but still have qualms about abortion in certain situations. A person can be “Pro Life,” but still think abortion may be necessary in specific situations. Ideas that usually come up during this debate include: abortion because of rape or incest, abortion because of an abusive partner or coerced unprotected sex, abortion because of financial, physical, mental or emotional issues, or abortion because of severe developmental or health problems the fetus is expected to have.
I will never stop talking about abortion as a necessary medical procedure because it’s a reality that women face, and in being logical about this reality, it’s important that women have access to safe and affordable services if they so choose—no matter the reason. The thing about the First Amendment of the U.S Constitution is that it keeps religion out of our laws—it aims to “separate church and state.” And though I recognize and respect everyone’s views on religion, if you don’t like abortions, then don’t have one. Having an abortion is not only a difficult decision—it’s a personal one.
Under the monumental Supreme Court decision of 1973, Roe V Wade, women are guaranteed the right to choose abortion up until the fetus is viable outside of the womb, which is at about 24 weeks. In the first trimester, states may not regulate or ban abortion. (North Dakota’s attempt to enact the “Heartbeat Ban.”) In the second trimester, states may regulate but may not ban abortions. (Hey, Texas.) In the third trimester, when the fetus is viable, states may ban abortions considering the woman’s life isn’t in danger.
When there are people like Rick Perry, Glenn Hegar, and Bob Goodlatte debating what women ought to do when they’re pregnant—a lived experience they will never have—I realize that there is so much progress to be made. I mean, loopholes in our laws mean that rapists could actually take survivors to court for custody should the women decide to carry their pregnancies to term.
How then, can we blame folks for acknowledging that there is in fact a “War on Women?”
What are your thoughts on medical abortions? Do you think it should be accessible to women? Or does morality always play a role in the abortion debate?