Considering the current attack on women’s reproductive rights, healthcare, privacy and dignity, it is especially important for those of us who have been shamed into silence to support one another in speaking out about our experiences, and advocating for ourselves, and all women on any and all topics that have impacted our lives in such significant ways.
There are many experiences within the lives of women that have been traditionally clouded with the aspects of shame and silence, and we’ve been made to suffer alone. There is power and healing in unity and solidarity however, and from adversity comes great change. Women have been historically repressed, and oppressed, as our lives have been controlled and manipulated by institutions and social constructions of power, control, greed, and economic gain. The quality and status of our lives have always been, and continue to be compromised, and we are especially vulnerable today, as the patriarchal powers are working hard to put us back into subordinate, socially gendered, racist, sexist positions to keep the positions of power and privilige in place. I am a mentally sound, intelligent, beautiful and talented person. I reject most if not all of the social prescriptions of gender, race, sex, age, and economic status that society tries to label us with. I reject the stereotypes of the welfare mom, the single mom, the legitimate/illegitimate mother/parent. I am a responsible person and I
had 2 abortions in my life. While I can not say I am proud of this, and that I never intended or wished to be in that position, it happened. I had two unintended pregnancies. It is not such a rare occurrence. For those in legislation currently trying to promote an abstinence only education, as a realistic solution to ANY of our problems is complete and utter ignorance at its worst, as well as an insult to the general population whose lives will be most severely affected by such pathetic non-legislation. Teenagers are going to engage in sex, period. Any intelligent responsible adult who truly seeks to provide solutions to existing problems would lean toward prevention as a more reasonable solution to unintended pregnancies. The first step to prevention is education. Accurate, objective, nurturing adequate education, resources, access to reproductive health care, contraception, and abortion. Planned Parenthood was a blessing in my life as I would have never had yearly pap-smears otherwise. We need more resources and support systems not less. We need to stop demonizing women and start compensating them for the unpaid work that everyone expects them to do. We need to change laws, police practices, and courtroom politics that continue the old legacy of victim blaming and fail to properly prosecute abusers and rapists. And do something about the dead beat dads who don’t ever pay child support instead of continuously bashing women for being single moms and expect them to be able to do it all alone. WE need serious changes in society. But first, we must put an end to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops violating our first amendment rights and dictating to the Congress all the Catholic doctrines they feel they have a right to impose on the world. I have a right to use contraception, I have a right to have sex without getting pregnant, I have a right to have a legal, and safe, and affordable abortion. We need to fight for our rights. I’m tired of being treated like a second class citizen and working twice as hard to not even make ends meet. It’s time for a revolution.