I understand that I am not the best person in the world. I get that I have flaws, just like everyone else, and maybe my flaws outweigh others’ flaws sometimes. I learn and grow from my mistakes. I rise to the occasion when I feel strongly about something, and I do not back down if I know something is right. I have a personal creed. I have morals which I follow to the best of my ability, and I have opinions which are applied in my life.
I do not force these morals, creeds, opinions on anyone else.
I believe abortion should be legal. I believe it is a humans’ fundamental right to be safe, to feel wanted, to feel ready to bring another person into this world. I believe restricting women’s right to have abortions leads to unsafe procedure, desperation, and children in difficult (sometimes deadly) situations. I believe the same people who want to outlaw abortion are the people who do not want to give these born children, who have no choice in the matter, the same advantages they had when they were younger. They do not want to give them the benefits of welfare. They are, in essence, sentencing them to a hard life with no respite and giving them a low-quality beginning. I feel this is a crime against humanity.
I feel that women are being undermined and abused when abortion is not legal. They are having fundamental rights taken away from them because legislators believe they won’t fight back. I believe women’s rights dictate the right to have control of their bodies and minds, without limitations imposed on them by a religion. I believe women do not have to have abortions if they feel it is wrong or outside of their religion. I believe they should be offered the same choice as those who want to have one. I believe when you walk into an abortion clinic it should feel like every other type of doctor’s office. It should be professional, the patients should feel safe, and unashamed. I believe a woman’s life is more important than a fetus’s “life” which is the size of a lentil, has no appendages, and feels no pain.
Enough of my feelings. Enough of my beliefs. Here are the facts.
I have studied science. Studies on embryonic development abound; they are peer-reviewed, they have clear methodologies, they are appropriately followed up with more studies. These studies revolve around fetal development, fetal consciousness, and fetal pain. These studies are not part of my belief system. They are part of science, which is a basis for constructing knowledge, not for engaging with the supernatural (I am using supernatural in the strictest sense of the word). My belief system might be affected by science, but science is not affected by my belief system because my belief system is not based on a way of constructing knowledge, but on a relationship I have with the spiritual world.
Science is ever-evolving, but this does not mean it is wrong. It means it is constantly just more-right, more-accurate, more-detailed. Science states that fetal pain does not start until after 26 weeks. Therefore, a brain cannot process pain until 26 weeks in the womb. Science states that modern abortions are safe. Science states that abortions are common; economics and science state that abortions will still be common even if abortion becomes illegal, however it will be less safe. Science states that abortions happen to women naturally within the first trimester of many pregnancies. Almost every women who is sexually active will have had a natural abortion by the time they die; they might just not realize it. Science states that modern abortion is more safe than child birth, natural abortions, and natural miscarriages because it is more controlled.
Science dictates my beliefs, but beliefs do not dictate science.
I am so incredibly upset today. My home state of North Carolina has given up on women. They have sentenced them to be less-than-men, less-than-human because they are letting their beliefs dictate science. I cannot only blame male Republicans.. I am blaming myself. I am blaming the women around me.
The women in North Carolina need to stand up and be heard. That is all there is to it. We are taking our freedom for granted. We think that because we live in a modern society with modern amenities, that we have everything we could want, that we are no longer oppressed, and that is just ridiculous. Maybe women in North Carolina are scared. Maybe we don’t want to seem like feminists. “Those kinds” of feminists. Well, I’ve had enough of it.
We aren’t “any kind” of feminists; we are human beings. We want rights like everyone else. We want the right over ourselves, which maybe seem indestructible. But, as we learned today, it isn’t. Our most basic rights can be stripped away from us, as if we didn’t have to inhabit our bodies every day, as if we already didn’t have to live in a world where women are used and undersold and oversexualized. We have to take back control of ourselves. The South isn’t an awful place, it isn’t any more messed up than anywhere else, but only we know that. We have to represent ourselves. We have to fight. And, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I plan to.