The handmaids are always going to be a provocative image whether or not you’ve seen or read A Handmaid’s Tale and could be used for many a subject for a blog. The title of this post could be used for many a subject too, I’ve used the term in relation to bullies, cyberbullying and general feminist discussions. However, this time I want to talk about pro-choice and why votes like repealing the 8th Amendment in Ireland are so important. How pro-choice changes lives in an important and significant manner. Why sex education for children and teenagers is crucial and why women should have ultimate control of their bodies and as much control of their destiny as chance allows.
Explaining my own position will hopefully put things in greater perspective. As a 37 year old white, straight woman living in the UK I am supremely privileged – yet I am still not equal to a white, CIS, UK male. There are some things I want to clarify from the get-go.
- I support pro-choice not pro-abortion
- I support education of all options, not press ganging women into one choice using alarming and psychologically distressing pictures and videos.
- I would never have the abortion procedure but I fight for the right for all women to make that choice and do not judge others choices.
Until a few years ago I would have had an abortion. Even now, as a better educated woman on the procedure itself, I’d have an abortion if my life was in danger. Now my reality is that if life and death did not come into it I’d not abort, but that is my choice and my reasons are my own – though I’ll hint at the reason being linked to how the baby is gotten out, but I’ll not scaremonger by saying more. It’s up to us as parents, carers, teachers and responsible adults to make sure children and teens are educated on all choices. ALL CHOICES.
It horrifies me that any women is put in a room with pro-life literature and forced to read it all before even being allowed near an abortion clinic. Then there are those women throughout the world who are denied anything at all. Not only do we have to pay for our menstrual cycles and have tampons and sanitary towels taxed but so many of us – 50% of the world’s population! – are denied control of our bodies. Everything from pro-lifers shooting patients and nurses outside of clinics to child brides and women dying in labour because they had no other choice than to have the child.
These are decisions ultimately made by men and unfortunately there are women who prop up this culture too by being complicit.
In Ireland a major step was taken, a step for all women in the world. Today we need to build upon that.
“Illegitimi non carborundum…”
“Don’t let the bastards” (men, pro-lifers, governments) “…grind you down.”