I am not someone who has directly needed an abortion or know someone close to me that has undertaken the procedure; however, I do not know one female in my life who has not been significantly threatened by a male at some point, sexually assaulted, or raped. In this sometimes unfortunate world, all females want and need the reassurance that if they are assaulted, they will have a say in their own body. And do you know why? Because my body is NONE of your business.
‘Human Rights’, as outlined on the official United Nations website, is this:
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.
Those against abortion will debate that this statement does not apply to such a circumstance, but there in black and white writing is ‘the right to life and liberty.’ The debate on abortion is not just a male versus female perspective, there are evidently opinions which differ regardless of gender. You have a clear right to hold an opinion against or an opinion for abortion, however governments predominantly consisting of men, do NOT have the right to make a decision about female bodies. In fact, regardless of gender, no human should have a right to make a decision about someone else’s body. Your body and my body is NONE of your business.
The recent law passed in Alabama and the bans in a number of U.S. states including Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri; is an absolute step backward in the wrong direction and is a clear disregard for females. In Alabama, females are not even allowed to receive an abortion due to rape; conflicted to love and hate the child – half a result of their attacker and half of themselves. In Georgia, the ‘heartbeat bill’ results in females not being able to abort as soon as a heartbeat is detected which is as early as six weeks; often when females are still unaware of the pregnancy. If a female decides to undertake an abortion independently due to such devastating mental outcomes, the punishment is up to 99 years, yet second-degree rape will only place a rapist in jail for 20 years. Let us not forget the male Stanford University student who only served 3 months for raping a girl in 2016. Theoretically, if his survivor fell pregnant due to that attack whilst in Alabama, she could have faced her attacker 3 months later in the streets and be required to give birth due to law. Take a step back and understand that my body is NONE of your business.
Let us not forget how pregnancy occurs; a female PLUS a male = foetus. Males have just as much responsibility in the act; the difference being, they can walk away. Whilst writing this at work, I overheard a customer come in and speak about how he and his girlfriend do not use protection and he does not take measures to ensure the possibility of pregnancy is reduced. He followed this statement by saying, “haha oh well I just know if she gets pregnant…I’M GONE haha.” It’s not their body which has to take a pill every day of their life due to most males not wanting to use a condom. It’s not their body which has to bleed every month and experience sharp-wrenching pains. It’s not their body which has to hold a baby for nine months whilst experiencing nausea, hormonal moods, and reactions to food. It’s not their body which misses a career-changing promotion due to maternal leave. It’s not their body which may experience postnatal depression. It’s not their body which has to give birth after being aggressively raped by a stranger. If you want to tell a female that she has no right to abort a baby, then that’s your prerogative, but my body is NONE of your business.
A recent research paper by Woodruff (2019), has outlined the coverage of abortion in the media, which clearly demonstrates abortion as a political issue when it should, in fact, be a health-related issue. Media has the most significant effect on public opinion and ultimately sets the scene for policies and regulations. The stigmatizing, the negative connotations associated with women, the assertion that abortion is murder and the personalization and sympathy provided to foetus’ but not the women themselves, is just some of the one-sided coverage regarding abortion. An interesting fact? Some of the most influential news outlets had the audacity to publish abortion segments which were 77% INACCURATE. Another interesting fact? Abortion is more often than not, a political scapegoat, a hot-topic, an election strategy and not a representation of public opinion. My opinion? My body is NONE of your business.
Abortion is not easy. It is not easy for men to fully comprehend and it is not an easy decision made by females. Majority of females undertake abortions due to rape, defects, and personal issues – many associated with mental health, that you don’t have to understand. Many people immediately defend the foetus, but who is defending the woman? Who is supporting her extremely distressing decision to abort? Who is helping her get over the rape that resulted in this child? Who is helping her come to terms with abortion due to a defect? If a foetus is spared and born into health issues or has a mother with severe long-term depression, are they really living a life, or just alive? Did an abortion law only result in the death of human rights? At the end of the day, my body is NONE of your business.
Woodruff, K. Coverage of Abortion in Select U.S. Newspapers. (2019). Women’s Health Issues, 29(1), 80-86. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2018.08.008