I was in 4th grade when my school required me to wear tights under my skirt because I was a “girl” and my legs needed to be covered when the little boys could run around in shorts. I knew something about this wasn’t right even though I may not have understood all the nuances and the gravity of the situation at hand.
Yet, I knew the seeds were planted for what I wanted for myself and informed many of my decisions including convincing my parents to send me to a boarding school in a different country where girls had more agency than what I saw in my own micro environment.
And every time, I reflect on my childhood experiences I am reminded of how much our systems try to silence women’s voices and take away our power and choices that are ours to own.
And here I sit again confronting the decision made by others on what should happen with women’s bodies.
The decision to have an abortion is deeply personal and can often be gut-wrenching for people making that choice.
And, I understand and respect how an abortion can feel like a crime for people who disagree with my stance on Roe V. Wade.
But here is the thing that I do not understand and cannot respect – this conversation is not about whether an abortion is the right choice for every woman in this country, it is about who gets to make the decision?
It is about not taking away the power that is a woman’s intrinsic right and a decision that ultimately is hers to bear.
When a woman who cannot financially afford to raise another child, who will be living in chronic anxiety and can barely feed her existing family CAN’T legally have an abortion, do our policymakers step up to keep that family safe and well-fed? Sadly, no. So, then why are they allowed to make the decision on how this woman should proceed with her pregnancy?
And this was one painful example but here’s the thing, even if a woman can afford another child it should be her decision to decide what to do with her pregnancy, not someone else. Period.
I am saddened, hurt, and mourning the loss of agency that is being stripped off of women especially the most vulnerable in our society, the ones with the least access to resources and information in our society. As much as I always like to see hope and a path forward, this one, for now, is really heartbreaking and I know that we also need to continue to do the work to fight for what women rightly deserve in this country, in the world.
I am sitting in the dichotomy of both. And, I don’t have all the answers.
Pic Credit: Marcus Ganahl