My Unborn Daughters

I’m sorry but I thought this was America; where women and men are equal and free, where there is a defined separation between church and state. Clearly, the bricks are being laid to contradict what America has stood for. Clearly, this is more concerning than just a four year election cycle.

Let me back up and present House Bill 1134 for Indiana State Legislation. It’s synopsis is as follows:

Protection of life. Repeals the statutes authorizing and regulating abortion. Finds that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm. Asserts a compelling state interest in protecting human physical life from the moment that human physical life begins. Redefines “human being” for purposes of the criminal code to conform to the finding that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm. Makes other conforming changes.

Pretty unconstitutional right? Right. I predict that this bill won’t actually make it into legislation due to it being very clearly unconstitutional but this is nonetheless alarming. My brain is almost still trying to overcome the shock of reading such a proposed bill introduced into state government. Not only does this go against the legal document of the nation but also has some very disconcerting implications for the act of reproduction itself.

Let’s look at how reproduction works – short recap, I promise. Sperm fertilizes an egg and because this is 2017, this simple sentence can mean a variety of different things. Obviously, the most traditional is a biological man and a biological woman (where everyone has all of their parts…) have unprotected sex that results in sperm infiltrating an egg. Which by definition of HB-1134 is when human physical life begins. In this scenario, the human body (let’s continue with this example) can do multiple things; the egg grows and is carried to term, the egg isn’t within the uterus and it needs to be surgically removed before death of the woman, the egg is naturally expelled from the body for a wide variety of reasons (also called a miscarriage). These are all viable and naturally occurring paths of what ‘pregnancy’ can mean.

Okay great – now that we established that… Introducing this bill in fact actually criminalizes two out of three of these naturally occurring processes. I mean, criminalizes them, with a full investigation and a possible verdict of manslaughter encompassing the full legal breadth of what that word means. This bill indirectly takes parts of the naturally occurring reproductive process in which the woman is entirely powerless to stop or prevent (if assuming no contraceptives where used, hell, even if assuming contraceptives were used), and turns it into a felony punishable by jail time and a fine.

What are women supposed to do? Not have a uterus or eggs? But any of that is beside the point. Why would a Christianist (yes, I am using that word instead of Christian), take something that is supposed to be absurdly treasured, celebrated even (talking about a child here) and turn it into a shameful, terrifyingly act of murder? Now – outside of all the aftershocks pressed onto women’s minds and bodies, I believe this one bill is part of a bigger plan to impart stricter state based laws around the definition of life and a woman’s body.

This will be struck down as soon as it can be, I am positive. In fact, I am not even interested in seeing how it fares. I am more interested to see the house bills that descend upon us after this one. Each one getting less and less draconian, changing words just enough to seem less restrictive when compared to the last but nevertheless, restrictive. Until the day comes where a bill is introduced that is just vague enough to skirt around the Roe V. Wade ruling and put a Christianist foot in the door; just enough to pry it open and start the immense challenge of unraveling women’s rights.

I have been privileged to have grown up with all of my rights intact but I worry about the generation of women coming up now around this turmoil that teaches they are lesser for not wanting children, or murderers for wanting to abort a product of rape. I have been fortunate enough to see and experience my government fighting for my right to choose who I marry and whether or not I add to the world’s population. But my nieces and younger cousins, they don’t have that luxury anymore. My fights have been for equal pay, marriage equality, and supporting my african american brothers and sisters for their right to life. I am afraid the youngest generation of women will have to fight – once again – for their right to choose what happens to their bodies in one of the greatest upheavals of adopted American cultural values we have yet to see.

It is things like this that make me so supremely sad for where America is going after where it has been. Reading these words and being afraid for my unborn daughters in a country where I have always been free is unsettling, disheartening, and one of my deepest fears. And I think to myself, ‘No – this can’t be. I live in America where I am valued for my gender and celebrated for my differences. I don’t live in a society where a woman can’t show her face, have access to sexual pleasure (don’t even get me started on Female Genital Mutilation), or marry without a patriarchs permission. Right? Everyone – Right?’

Please someone tell me America’s daughters will be safe from the beginning the of end; Where women are second class citizens and the value of an unborn baby regardless of origin, is higher than our own.

 

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