January 15, 2017

This is Why I March

I’m not sure who the opponents of abortions after 20 weeks think they’re stopping by passing “no exception” laws. Maybe these are people who have never spent any time around real human women and think that their weekends consist of sexy pillow fights and arm-in-arm trips to get late-term abortions. Or perhaps they’re after the cold, callous, yet severely flaky child-haters who accidentally got knocked up but just can’t remember to to make that darn abortion appointment! Whatever female tropes these supporters think they are targeting, they are wrong. The women who need access to abortions after 20 weeks are heartbreakingly the women who want a baby, but cannot have the one that they are gestating because of congenital defects.

So, Kentucky, you have passed a law that bans abortions after 20 weeks of gestation with no exceptions for medical misfortune. Let’s look at what exactly you have done. Imagine a woman, let’s call her Amy, and Amy and her husband are really excited because they are soon to have their first baby. A few days after Amy’s 20 week ultrasound and genetic testing, she gets a call from her doctor with tragic news: they have detected Bowen-Conradi syndrome. The fetus is developing with severe abnormalities and will likely die shortly after birth.

Now because Amy lives in Kentucky, she is unable to get an abortion even though the baby will have no chance of survival. When people comment and coo over her pregnancy, she has to smile and pretend that she isn’t continuously grieving. When people ask the gender, she has to smile and pretend that it matters. When people ask if she is ready, she has to smile and pretend that she hasn’t given up on converting that second bedroom into a nursery, that there isn’t a small pile of onesies on the windowsill and a little hat with ears that she bought especially for the trip home from the hospital that won’t see use any time soon. She has to smile and pretend that she hasn’t been made into an incubator so that Mr. Politician can get pats on the back from his buddies at church who congratulate him for “protecting life.”

Let’s pause for a second and analyze this concept that he is “protecting life” by asking the question “whose life?” It is not the life of the fetus - biology has doomed this life from ever truly living. It will suffer and die soon after its birth, and no government mandated birthright will change that. And it is certainly not Amy’s life, because if Mr. Politician had any respect for Amy and her life he would never force her to incubate a baby with a death sentence for 20 more weeks, suffer through delivery of that baby, and then watch as the baby struggles to live and ultimately dies because it was not able to develop into a healthy human being. It seems then, that Mr. Politician's actions have no consideration for life whatsoever, and he is simply voting in a particular way to make himself look like a hero.

Mr. Politician and his cohorts have no regard for the women that they are damning with laws like Kentucky’s SB 5, and they do not care to argue otherwise. They are so caught up in the idea that they are “protecting life” that they ignore the lives at stake. They are ignorant to medicine and even so feel it is their right to invade lives and bodies that are not their own, to make decisions that will not impact them, and to leave everyone else to deal with the torrential aftermath of their pen strokes. This is why I am standing up for women everywhere who need support. This is why I will not be silenced and sit idly while my sisters are attacked at the hand of the government that should be protecting us. And this is why I march.