This Week in the Mercury


Friday, July 19, 2013

My Least Favorite Piece of Misogyny This Week: Texas Edition

Posted by Barbara Holm on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 3:29 PM

My period has always been irregular—or as I like to call it, "adorkably quirky"—so I've had a lot of pregnancy scares. I've taken pregnancy tests while hiding in the stairwell at work because I didn't have time to go home before an open mic. And in those two minute increments, I've thought about what it means that I own my own body.

When I was 18, my first partner was very Christian, controlling, and emotionally manipulative (just my type!). I had a pregnancy scare and he tried to convince me to go through with the pregnancy, even though I was a college freshman with a whole life of reading sci-fi books ahead of me. I am pro choice for many reasons, but primarily because I think women can be trusted to make safe healthcare decisions for our own bodies. Yesterday, Texas governor Rick Perry signed into law one of the strictest anti-abortion bills that our country has ever seen. My least favorite piece of misogyny this week is Texas's passage of the anti-abortion bill HB 2.

HB 2 bans abortion after 20 weeks, and will shut down most of the state's abortion facilities. (All but five abortion facilities will be closed—you know, like your legs should... wait, what just happened? Sorry, I was possessed by a demon.) On the bright side, at least those now out-of-work abortionists probably don't have a lot of babies at home to support.

The bill makes it practically impossible to obtain a legal abortions. Because everything's bigger in Texas: even infringements on reproductive rights! By making it so difficult to receive safe legal health care, the state encourages the desperate to seek out illegal abortions. Many women get fatally wounded from unsafe abortions. It's horrible... that these politicians haven't seen Dirty Dancing.

It has always seemed obvious to me that the decision to become a mother, to change your body's entire chemistry, to completely redirect your life, is a private decision. I don't believe that life begins at conception; I feel like there are a few more ingredients to add before I get to stand in a dark, lightening-filled tower bellowing, "It's alive!" On the other hand, I myself was two months premature, and it's gotten worse. I don't believe life begins at conception, but because I popped out early and was sorta alive, I also don't believe it begins at birth. The beginning of life is kinda like a Jimmy Eat World song. All I know is...um... the middle?

I think every woman should have the choice of what to do in the case of an unintended pregnancy, especially in the case of rape, incest, not being ready, facing pregnancy complications, or being George Zimmerman's mom. Women are going to get this procedure anyway, so I want them to get it done safely. I want women to feel like our bodies are our own temples, and we get to do whatever we want with the golden monkey totem inside. That has been my least favorite piece of misogyny this week, tune in next week to find out it was Old Man Mcgregor in the goat mask the whole time!

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