I’m a practical old woman and a win is, IMHO, a win. Since Dobbs, polls show a trend of people supporting family planning rights. Some of that switch, I suspect, is people who once, without thinking much, opposed abortion rights but are now kind of terrified at the idea of fifth grade girls being forced to carry their rapists’ fetuses to term. And, sure, you know, whatever it takes.
But we don’t need abortion rights because of ten-year-olds or because of women forced to die carrying septic non-viable fetuses to birth. We need abortion rights because women are people.
Abortion is right because it is about women having control over their own bodies. This is one of the reasons why “and her doctor” pisses me off so much. Is there any other medical procedure — vasectomy, plastic surgery, viagra, removing skin tags — where we feel required to add “and his/her doctor”? No. It’s only women making the most life-impacting decisions of their lives who have to have “and her doctor” added to make it all more palatable. If a man wants a vasectomy, he should get one, with no “and his doctor” added in; if his doctor doesn’t do vasectomies, he should just find another doctor. Women are adult humans and we don’t need “and her doctor” added to our decisions. If I want to consult a doctor, I will. Otherwise, fuck off.
Look. It’s my body. I get to decide. I get to decide if I want plastic surgery. I get to decide if I want to remove a skin tag or a mole. I get to decide if I want to have a hole punched through my ears, or a tattoo of a line of poetry inscribed on my arm. It’s my body and I get to decide.
Let’s set aside the religious/philosophical debates about when “human life” begins and when/against what profit motives we “protect” that “human life” (e.g. when it would cut too much into profits to make cars go slower or to make coal plants emit less pollution) and consider a twenty-five year old grad student in medicine. S/he needs a kidney transplant to stay alive and keep saving hundreds, thousands of people with his/her life-saving research. Your kidney, it turns out, is a perfect match. Can the government force you to have surgery to donate one of your kidneys? I mean, there are risks, just as there are with pregnancy, but your kidney will save a life. And you can, generally, live with one kidney, just as most women can, generally, live through a pregnancy.
Nope. The government can’t make you have surgery and donate a kidney. Even if that means another human will die. That’s because it’s your body and you get to control what happens to it.
So, sure, if it works, I’m happy to have all the bad examples of ten-year-olds being forced to give birth to their rapists’ babies or women forced to carry dead, headless fetuses to term used to make the point. But even if they made all of those cases exceptions, it’s still my body and you still can’t make me the brooding ground for anyone else. My body. My choice. Or, you can line up to donate your kidney.