"TAKE YOUR ROSARIES OUT OF OUR OVARIES" was the tag that I had seen on a wall in the streets of Spain in my early twenties. At the time I was taking hormonal contraception prescribed to me by my white male doctor for migraines (it didn't help), so the concept of abortion wasn't really something that I had much concern for. Sure I was aware of the injustice of reproductive rights in different parts of the globe, and lack thereof, yet it was a mere concept to me. Yet the tag left an impression on me, to this day over a decade later, I have remember these words of demand for reproductive justice.
It wasn't until I had gone off hormonal contraception and fell pregnant that I had to face this major, major decision, and all that came with it. The shame, the judgement, the confusion, the guilt, and, the relief.
To hear more about my abortion story watch here.
I have learned many a things on the topic of abortion, both in my own personal experience as well as in my studies in Sexology. Something that I became all too aware of along the way was that while it is true that religion greatly influences our societal ideals, laws, culture and norms, it isn’t the only reason that abortion is a hot topic in politics and legislation.
Can you guess what else may be driving this issue in government?
I'm sure you can.
The issue of reproductive rights is a mere game for many people who are in power and want to remain there. These controversial topics are brought up and ruled on not only to divide and conquer, but to gain footing in the political realm. What is sad about this is that the masses, myself included for a long while, are unaware of this. Our good nature wants to believe that our leaders are only wanting what is best for us. And maybe that is true some of the time. But not all of the time.
It has been normalised that for 99.9% of time over the last 5000 years decisions have been made for society by men. Our entire globe has been dominated by not only a patriarchal perspective of how to best manage ourselves (so much so that we oftentimes aren't even aware of it), but is lead by the most powerful men in the world. This is just a tad concerning when contemplating the maxim by John Dalberg-Acton, "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men". And this was written by a man.
We have seen time and time again “hot topics” with sensationalised headlines such as "pro-life" being used for manipulation of those who just don't know any better by powerful men. Other topics that spring to mind are the “boat people” and "gay marriage" in Australia, Britain with "brexit", the States with "the wall"- these important topics used to trigger fears and create imaginary problems in the mind of the human family in order to gain votes, control and power.
While I realise government isn't going anywhere too quickly, and that voting must be done, I do not feel that our regain of control over our bodies and rights should end with politics. My hope is that white womben of privilege will use this privilege coupled with passion, aka rage, to take action, not only to protect our current rights, but so that we can expand these rights to marginalised womben. I don't see this happening in the arena of politics, but rather uniting as womb-carriers from the grassroots level, as unstoppable forces, stronger together. At the moment one way to do this is to donate to @yellowfund@abortionfunds and @arc_southeast on instagram and other charities elsewhere. Other ways are to speak about it, to normalise it, to share your experience, to raise awareness on the topic, to educate ourselves on the topic, to sign petitions, to show UP. (If you have more ways to support this cause please feel free to comment below).
I know it may be a challenging topic to educate ourselves on and a tough conversation to have. Yet the freedom that many of us now experience as queer folk, as womban, as a fertile beings, as immigrants, as a BIWOC, is due to our ancestors who fought for us in far more dreary circumstances.
Lastly, For those of you, my family, who have recently experienced an abortion or may be doing so in the future, I have a free supportive course for you available here.
Much love to you all,
Pic credit @narvaez_art