The Abortion of Bodily Autonomy (and so much more)

“I am so mad.” That was my husband as I got into bed last night. We had each seen the leaked Supreme Court document earlier.

“Try being a woman.” I snapped back.

“Every fucking breath I take is legislated by men. No one legislates a thing about YOUR body.”

Yes, I apologized for my bite. My husband is one of the good ones when it comes to men. But as I told him, there are not enough of him, and certainly not enough of him loudly standing alongside women.

With the leak regarding the potential full repeal of Roe v Wade, my hair was on fire. In the light of day, it still is. Yes, I could have sat down here last night and typed. It’s not like I was sound asleep all night. At one point I told my husband I felt like my entire body was vibrating. That is how angry I was, and still am. Had I sat here last night, every other word I would have pounded out would have been FUCK. With 12 hours to reflect and coalesce my thoughts on the matter, I sit here now promising that the ratio of FUCK to other words will be more judicious.

I want to get one thing out of the way upfront. I do not give a FUCK about the who/how/what/why of the leak. It is not without precedent, and frankly, it is next to impossible to make our Supreme Court look much worse than it already does. It is riddled with Christofascist zealots who choose fealty to The Federalist Society over the people of the United States and the Constitution. Even faced with a country which overwhelmingly opposes overturning Roe V Wade — 69% — matters not to them.

Because the them that are on the brink of wrenching bodily autonomy away is a submissive Handmaiden (Comey) who never should have even been nominated, a boof loving sexual assault artist (Kavanaugh) who lives for beer more than justice, and an old crank (Alito) who invokes another old crank (Sir Matthew Hale, who was responsible for two women being burned for witchcraft and wrote at length about marital rape being okey dokey) in the leaked draft opinion. And let us not forget the one who loves a good pubic hair on a Coke can (Thomas) and whose wife has a kink for funding insurrections. Then there’s the one who just enjoys his robes (Gorsuch) and fapping to the original intent of the Constitution (you know, the white, male, cishet, Jesus-is-from Kennebunkport-and-is-carved-from-cream-cheese intent). Rounding out this cabal is the “leader” who revels in his status more than actual jurisprudence (Roberts).

Three of them placed on this court by a spray painted, weak, sniveling, fascism loving, wannabe dictator.

Hat tip to all of you protest voters; to all of you who bought the “but her emails” bullshit; to you third party assholes; and a special FUCK YOU HARD to every person who could not even be bothered to vote in the 2016 election. You own this. None of this just happened last night. It has been in motion for decades, and the 2016 ascension of a serial assaulter, criminal bag of graft and chicken grease made this possible.

I also must lay a portion of blame at the feet of the venerable Justice Ginsberg. Yes, she was a lioness, a champion, 5 feet of FUCK YOU in a lace collar, but she also stayed in place way too long. Given all her givens — especially age and health compromises — she could have stepped down allowing President Obama the opportunity to replace her and secure the seat with someone who understood the gravity of what hung in the balance. But she did not. And in that gamble, she lost and we lost.

As I told my husband last night — ok, fine, growled at my husband — no woman has ever been deluded enough to think we have equality. We know we don’t. We are aware that what we do have can be traced back to the benevolence of men deciding to grant us things like voting, credit card accounts, mortgages, and yes, even abortion.

Men. A collective FUCK YOU. Yes, even to you good ones, because the good ones don’t stand up to the pieces of shit in your ranks often enough. Like police departments, the bad ones just churn on with the good ones choosing to look the other way, keep the peace, not stick their necks out, and worse, not truly believing us when we tell you how bad it is. News flash — just like them, not going to bat for women all these years lumps you right in, too. All the good thoughts, “support”, and intent make not a bit of difference. You have to step up, step in. Dare to get in the faces of your peers and tell them to STFU.

Hear me now — there is not a woman you know who has walked down a street without fear. You do not know a woman who has never put up with chauvinist bullshit, workplace harassment, innuendo. Every one of us has been in the position of gently mitigating an escalating situation, assuaging a shitty, overbearing, aggressive ego, and planning an escape should things go badly. We spend our lives knowing that rape is a constant threat. And that if it happens, we will be immediately suspect as somehow deserving it, looking for it, inviting it. Were we drinking? What were we wearing? Did we smile?

We endure all of that and more because of MEN. Men who have been raised in a society that values them more than us. Men who have seen time and time and time again how their behavior is constantly written off and slaps on the wrist don’t even leave a mark. Men who believe women to be property, their property.

In the draft opinion, Alito writes that “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” He accosts abortion, going on to include legalizing sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas) and same sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges) as “not deeply rooted in history”, ergo, bogus.

Not deeply rooted in history.

You know what else is not deeply rooted in history? Women voting. Black people being more than 3/5s a person. Interracial marriage. Gay rights.

Make no mistake, these are all on the table and these justices are gunning for them, supported by an increasingly gangrenous and vile network of elected officials who have infiltrated the body politic with their views of a white patriarchy being the only answer to everything they find distasteful, mainly equality for everyone. Equality that forces this nation to live up to that document they claim to hold so dear. Equality that puts actual meaning behind the words liberty and justice for all. Equality that protects every LGBTQIA person. Equality that truly levels the playing field for all genders, skin colors, ethnicities, religions. And equality that removes decision making over an entire demographic (women) from the hands of another demographic (men).

I have two daughters and a son. One wants children. One does not. One is transgender. This affects them all. I lay there in the dark thinking about them all night. What if the one who wants a child becomes pregnant and finds out the pregnancy is ectopic or that the fetus is severely compromised? What if the one who does not want children accidentally becomes pregnant? My trans son has a uterus. None of this omits him from danger. Hell, I am 56 and still have periods, ergo, my body still has the capacity to become pregnant.

I can tell you this. Were I to turn a test positive? I WOULD BE GETTING AN ABORTION. No question. Not even a pause, a blink of an eye. My body, my life, my choice. Which is what I want for all of my children. For every person.

I do not give a rat’s rabid asshole that you personally find abortion distressing. I could not possibly care less what your church tells you. Your own Bible talks about abortion. It does not prohibit it. It gives instructions. It contains a recipe, for Christ’s sake. But your church doesn’t tell you that part. It just tells you to condemn and scream at women making a personal, medical decision. To deign to insert yourselves into the worst nightmare of people who desperately want a child but who find out what they are carrying is not viable, or is threatening the life of the woman.

Here’s the reality for you Bible clutching, conservative, family values folks — your kids are fucking. That’s right, despite those mandatory sessions in the pews, purity rings you glue to their fingers, and forced viewings of the Duggar clan’s latest shenanigans — your kids are fucking, getting pregnant, and getting abortions (you are, too). Every statistic bears that out. Your holier than thou attitude is just that, an attitude. And basic biology gives not fuck one about how pious you pretend to be.

Your kids fuck, you fuck, you cheat, your spouses are responsible for the largest viewership of online porn in the country, you create LGBT kids daily, and you get abortions. Your pews are full of hypocrites. And you know it. So just what is your grand plan when all of this happens? It all affects you, not just the liberals you blame for all of society’s ills.

Outlawing abortion will not make abortion vaporize. Prohibition did not make drinking go away. It simply created an underground that catered to the ongoing demand. Criminalizing something does not make it stop. It makes it more difficult to access, more dangerous, but it does not change the fact that it continues to exist.

Abortion will not be going away. Ever. Gay people, not going away. Transgender people, here to stay. People of different skin tones loving one another, still going to happen. And just because of a bunch of wig wearing, tights clad, slave owning, rich white men did not enshrine these things in the founding document does not mean these people do not exist or that these rights are not inherent. The 9th amendment, which conservatives love to ignore, addresses that.

That amendment states “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” James Madison makes it very clear that the Bill of Rights was not the end of the discussion, the rights of the people, of the individual. Hell, just what do people think amendment means? Amendments are part of the living document of this nation. Amendments are changes and additions that respond to the evolution of this nation, the times, the people, the issues that come forth that were not thought of back then.

What was leaked last night was the orgasmic result of decades of masturbating over the thought of wrenching bodily autonomy away from women. Putting us back in our place. Consigning us to complete lesser than status, back to chattel, property. Removing our ability to decide for ourselves what is right for ourselves. Condemning us to pregnancies we do not want, outcomes we do not choose, dangers we should not have to contemplate.

And do not start with the bullshit about birth control. (Make no mistake, they are coming for that also — pay attention to what is happening around this country, the words being spoken.) We do not get pregnant on our own yet we are the ones who pay the price, are subject to derision, castigation, legislation. If you really want to cut down on abortion? Then enact a law that every child born with testicles is given a vasectomy. Nip the problem in the bud as it were. It can be reversed down the road when said person is ready to procreate.

What’s that? It would be wrong? It’s not OURS to make that CHOICE for another? BINGO! You got it in one. That baby has bodily autonomy. It is not up to me to sterilize it, if even temporarily. Just like I cannot force you to donate blood, a kidney, your sperm, or wear a mask on your stupid face.

You know, when gay marriage was legalized I thought, Wow, we are really on the right track. I truly thought this country was facing forward and moving towards protections for all. How naive. It is stunning how far and how fast we are slipping into fascism, authoritarianism, religious zealotry, and into the pages of The Handmaid’s Tale. That is not hyperbole. What Margaret Atwood scribed was simply taken from real life — atrocities against women that had already been committed throughout history or were being actively practiced at the time — she did not make anything up. And now, the ground is quickly eroding beneath our feet, being reshaped into the Gilead of her book. A place where women are truly chattel, where our job is to procreate, to do what we are told. BY MEN. No rights, no money of our own, no voting, no autonomy. LGBTQIA persons hunted down and exterminated. Persons of color relegated to the margins, if allowed to exist at all.

We told you. We warned you years ago. We begged with you to not throw your vote down a Jill Stein toilet. We asked you to see your privilege and use it to vote to protect other people, to not joke vote for Trump. We pleaded with you to see what was so evident even then. You laughed. You told us we were being hysterical.

Look around. You did this. You own this. And voting in the largest numbers ever seen is the only way to even begin to remedy any of it. I cannot stress this enough: DO NOT FUCK IT UP AGAIN.

We will not get another chance.

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Linda Sharp

Author, columnist, blogger. Don’t Get Me Started and Transparent Trans Parent blogs