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There is a concept called body autonomy. Its generally considered a human right. Bodily autonomy means a person has control over who or what uses their body, for what, and for how long. Its why you can’t be forced to donate blood, tissue, or organs. Even if you are dead. Even if you’d save or improve 20 lives. It’s why someone can’t touch you, have sex with you, or use your body in any way without your continuous consent.
A fetus is using someone’s body parts. Therefore under bodily autonomy, it is there by permission, not by right. It needs a persons continuous consent. If they deny and withdraw their consent, the pregnant person has the right to remove them from that moment. A fetus is equal in this regard because if I need someone else’s body parts to live, they can also legally deny me their use.
By saying a fetus has a right to someone’s body parts until it’s born, despite the pregnant person’s wishes, you are doing two things.
1. Granting a fetus more rights to other people’s bodies than any born person.
2. Awarding a pregnant person less rights to their body than a corpse.
Susan Faludi, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women (via bornamutant)
(not only women can get pregnant)
This post is soooo good at articulating why it’s so harmful to have to relate women to men through their relationships with men
*TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE*
It was sickening. That’s the best way to describe how I felt about Akin’s comments. I was sick to my stomach. I am still sick to my stomach. But what makes it worse is that no one seems to have any regard for how these comments are actually impacting people who have already been victimized by rape. These comments are causing us to be triggered all over again.
Other survivors have been contacting me and telling me they feel like they are reliving their trauma.
I was raped when I was 19 by my best friend’s husband and another man I had known most of my life while away on a camping weekend. At the time, I was afraid for my safety and afraid of these men and wasn’t sure if it was legally rape because I knew them. I thought: “this wasn’t someone who jumped out of the woods at me – I know them – will anyone believe me?” The only thing I wanted to do was pretend none of this ever happened. Two months later I realized I had become pregnant from the rape.
This whole situation just wasn’t going to let me go. I had lost so much. I had so much taken from me. This was the only time during the experience that I was able to exercise some kind of control over my body and restore my sanity.
It was an excruciatingly difficult decision [to have an abortion], but I know I made the right choice, the best choice for me at the time. It’s something I live with every day and will never forget. As any rape survivor will tell you, this is a lifelong experience, but [having an abortion] should be my decision and no one should have the power to take that choice away.
You don’t have a choice when you are raped. You don’t have any power. You don’t have a choice. And for someone to be so casual about their comments is appalling and extremely offensive. There are situations in life that can bring you back to the rape like a soldier with PTSD.
A debate on whether it was the survivor’s fault that they got pregnant and insinuating that the victim could actually stop her body from getting pregnant can send someone right back to blaming themselves and believing, ‘It is my fault. I did something wrong.’"
I’ve been noticing a lot of anti-choice activity on Tumblr lately, and (thankfully) I’ve noticed an even bigger pro-choice backlash to the antis’ posts. And I cannot appreciate all of you more than I already do, I promise. You all are amazing people, and I encourage you to continue taking down anti-choice bullshit when you see it.
But that being said, there are a lot of bad arguments being used by well-intentioned pro-choicers, and those arguments open our entire movement up to attacks by antis. Please take this post as constructive advice, and use the information here to better your fight for reproductive justice. You’re already badasses, so think about the damage you can do to the anti-choice movement with some rock-solid facts.
1) Zygotes, Embryos, and Fetuses are alive.
They are. They’re made of cells, and cells are the fundamental unit of life. And (the dedicated) anti-choicers are carefully trained to make you sound ignorant if you try to claim otherwise.
2) Zygotes, Embryos, and Fetuses are human.
This one is also true. A zygote is formed from two human cells and later splits into more human cells. At no point is that thing in a pregnant person’s uterus a protist, tree, or cat. That being said, “human” only refers to the species of the organism, and not its personhood.
3) “Personhood” means “having the rights and responsibilities of a person.”
When we talk about whether a zygote/embryo/fetus is a person, this is what we’re talking about. Does a fetus have the right to be counted in the census? Does it have the responsibility to produce a passport when travelling overseas? While a fetus is still a fetus, the answer to these questions is a resounding NO.
4) A zygote is a new organism at fertilization.
One of the most common arguments that the anti-choice movement pulls out is “Life begins at conception/ a zygote has its own DNA.” And one of the absolute worst responses that I have seen come from the pro-choice movement is “yeah, but half that DNA is the pregnant person’s.” This is absolutely irrelevant. A four-year-old’s genome is also a 50:50 mix of each parent and any anti-choicer worth their salt is going to recognize that.
A better response to “life begins at conception” is that life began about four billion years ago, and it hasn’t ended since! That zygote came from two gametes that were entirely alive, and those came from precursor cells in each parent that were also alive. And if you trace those cell lines back far enough, each parent came from a live zygote which came from live gametes… etc. Life began with the first cells on Earth and has persisted ever since. Fertilization is not magical or special.
And of course, if they argue about genomic DNA content, you can refer back to “what is a person?”
5) Persons do not have the right to use other persons’ bodies without consent
This is really the crux of the pro-choice stance, and it holds even when we play the “personhood game” and let anti-choicers believe that zygotes are people with all of the rights and responsibilities of born persons.
We do not force individuals to donate fluids, tissues, or organs to sustain the lives of others, even when the potential recipients will die without a donation. We do not force individuals to serve as living dialysis machines or respirators for anyone after birth, so why are fetuses so special?
At this point, you may get a feeble “but abortion destroys the fetus, it doesn’t just end the connection between the host and the recipient!” And that’s true. This is because our current medical technology cannot sustain the life of an infant born before 24-ish weeks gestation (which means that more than 99% of aborted fetuses are not viable), so our current abortion techniques are not really designed to produce a whole embryo or fetus.
But you can ask your anti-choicer, “Would it bother you less if we did remove a whole embryo and let it die from lack of sustenance?” Because according to the argument they just gave you, it should.
6) Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy
If you haven’t managed to shut down your anti-choicer by now, they will probably fall back on that tried-and-true mantra, “Don’t spread your legs if you don’t want a baby!” (sourced to prove that this is not a strawman argument). I have had many an anti argue that the difference between saying “No, you may not have my body” to your sister with kidney failure and saying “No, you may not have my body” to an embryo is that you did not put your sister in a dependent position by being a slutty, slutty, slut.
This is obviously a bad argument because it lends itself to some rather silly corrolaries like “if you don’t want to drown, don’t live in a coastal region.” Bring the argument back to the issue at hand: does “being a slut” mean you give up your right to bodily autonomy? And how, exactly, does that happen? Should parents be required to donate organs to their born children?
7) Try not to fall back on “What about rape?”
Anti-choicers in general are pretty insensitive people- they want to tell other people what to do with their bodies. But anti-choicers that advocate forcing survivors of sexual assault to continue a resulting pregnancy are the scum of the earth. It is easy to jump on an anti waving the “don’t spread your legs!!!” flag with “what about rape?”
But when the argument shifts to rape, it ignores all of the pregnant people who had consensual sex and have an equal right to not be pregnant, and it takes the discussion away from the consent and focuses it squarely on the sex. And that is exactly what that anti-choicer wants.
8) Keep your cool and remember that Guttmacher.org exists for a reason
As a pro-choice activist, you will encounter some really inane shit from anti-choicers. It may range from “abortion causes breast cancer and/or PTSD!” (it doesn’t) to “birth control pills cause abortion!” (they don’t) to “back-alley abortion is a myth!” (it’s not). Just remember that there is a peer-reviewed, scientifically sound source to counter every claim and use Google to whip it out. You don’t need to resort to threatening or yelling at the anti, because they’re guaranteed to get really angry eventually. And when that happens, you can just laugh.
*Edited because I know the difference between an “m” and a “b,” I promise.
(On why he let Willow cut all of her hair off)
Read more: Will Smith On Allowing Willow To Cut Her Hair: ‘She Has Got To Have Command Of Her Body’ | Necole Bitchie.com
- He raises a really great point. What would it mean to believe very early that my body was mine. That it’s not for anyone or for any particular purpose other than to be mine until I decide otherwise.
I was damned near 30 before I could believe my body belonged to me & me alone. Dear people who take an issue with this,
Let the Smiths do right by their babies & shut the fuck up about how you think they should parent.
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