June 06, 2014

Dear Christian Post, you're right, I'm not worth what my amazing female body can do:
I'm worth so much more.

So if you were following me on Twitter earlier this week, you might have noticed this tweet:


And you may have wondered what was up. Or you may not have, because I have no idea how Twitter really works or if any of you actually care about my tweets. #Truth

The reason for the tweet is the inspiration for this post today. It's an op-ed piece that I ran across on Christian Post entitled "Millennial Women: You Aren't Worth What Your Amazing Female Body Can Do". And it really was a giant pile of what the fuck for my feminist self.

To begin with, the piece is a response to a PolicyMic piece on women's rights in America. The claim that this particular writer took umbrage to was that women in America aren't allowed to make their own medical decisions.

I'm sure we can all see where this is going, but I'm going to head in that direction anyway and unpack the crazy.
The quote that was at issue, from the PolicyMic piece:
Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land, making such a ban [on late-term abortion] arguably unconstitutional. But that hasn't stopped anti-choice politicians from passing legislation making access to safe abortion procedures increasingly difficult in states across the country. [Sen. Lindsey] Graham claimed he knows twins who were born at 20 weeks... let's all remember that what Graham believes should have no bearing on a woman's choices about her health. Research shows that in states with more access to contraception and family planning, teenage pregnancy rates are lower and median incomes are higher. In fact, when young women are given robust sex education and access to affordable contraception, they are able to make more informed choices and the teen pregnancy rate drops.
Okay. I can see the issue that an author might have regarding abortion if they were pro-life. I can see that. And that's honestly what I expected.

What I did NOT expect was this (emphasis mine):
Aside from the fact that there is blatant misinformation about the effect of birth control and "robust" sex education in the author's attack on pro-life legislators, the title of the accusation itself is misleading. 
Come again? What blatant misinformation about the effect of birth control and comprehensive sex ed is there? Pretty much every single study we see backs up what the PolicyMic piece is saying.

In fact, I've compiled some of the facts myself, in earlier pieces such as this one on South Carolina's attempt to update their sex education legislation (which has stalled in our senate, but that's another story) and this one from a study done by the University of Missouri-Columbia's School of Nursing.

There's an overwhelming body of research that suggests--in fact, it practically screams it--that contraception access and usage and comprehensive sex-ed actually DO, in reality where most of us live, lower teenage pregnancy levels. We know that comprehensive sex ed also helps, while abstinence-only does incredibly little to affect when kids have sex and whether they have safer sex or not. Even in studies that show a benefit, the benefit is so short term that it's typically a year to a year and half stall in sexual activity.

But wait! There's more!
Remember the "war on women" we heard so much about last year? Many actual American women know that it is being waged against us by the other side. The side that would tell us that our fertility is a disease, and that the pathway to freedom is sex without its biological consequences (like children).
Ah! I see. So those that want women to have the full, medically accurate picture of their fertility are, in fact, labeling it a disease. That makes total sense.

No, wait. It doesn't.

Fertility isn't a disease. It's a blessing. Ask any couple that has struggled to conceive. Ask any couple that hasn't.

What fertility is, however, is a responsibility, and when and how women choose to (or choose not to) add that responsibility to their plates is none of the rest of the world's goddamn business.
We know that legislators who are looking out for the welfare of our pre-born children, and for our own safety and informed consent in our reproductive decisions are acting in the interest of women's progress.
Honey, honestly, if you believe any legislator has more than their own reelection in mind, well, you are more naive than I am giving you credit for.

Other than that, I have to take issue with her apparent misconception of what "informed consent" is.

In order to give informed consent, you have to have all of the information. You can't be misled, or presented medically inaccurate information, or battered by someone else's morality. You have to be able to consent, on your own, knowing the entire story. And that's definitely NOT what this op-ed seems to be advocating.
They are upholding a commitment not to let women regress by being subjected to the coercive and misleading forces of the abortion lobby, which stands for little more than profit. We know that these forces mimic all too vividly the patriarchal nature of the American yesteryear. And that is why we are pro-life: because it is the only way to ensure justice for women -- including pre-born women -- and to ensure that women's rights move forward rather than slip away.
No, they aren't. They are upholding an arbitrary standard of morality. They are saying that these "pre-born women" are more important than the lives and choices and autonomy of real, breathing, fully grown women.

That's not helping us move forward. That's not busting up the patriarchy.

That's giving into it, letting it hold the reins, and saying, "You know what, you man you, you completely understand fertility and what it means to be a mother and how that affects a woman's health and life, so I'm going to let you make these decisions for me."

If you don't want an abortion, if you believe your fertility is something magical, by all means, please, do not ever have an abortion. But to attempt to force that choice on other women? To imply that somehow birth control and comprehensive sex ed aren't positive things?

Well, honey, that just makes you look like a dumbass.

I would definitely challenge this author to look at statistics in the following areas, and then maybe reconsider her position on birth control and abortion:

  • Look at the differences in abortion rates between areas where abortion is legal and illegal. (Spoiler alert: Abortion rates are much higher in areas where it is illegal.)
  • Look at the differences in abortion rates between areas where contraception is easily accessed and where it is not. (Spoiler alert: Abortion rates are much higher in areas where it is difficult to get contraception.)
  • Look at the difference in abortion rates between areas were contraception is widely accept and areas where it is stigmatized. (Spoiler alert: Abortion rates are much higher in areas where it is stigmatized.)
But I'm glad, honestly, to see this piece. Why, you ask? Because it illustrates that yes, the current attack on abortion is a war against women.

If it were not, then the vast amount of statistics that show that comprehensive sex ed and contraception reduce pregnancies and abortions would not go so unnoticed. If it were not, every conservative pro-life legislator would be saying, "Get them all the contraception they need, let's save these pre-born humans."

But that's not what they are saying. What they are saying is, "I don't like it when you have sex without (in my opinion) considering the consequences."

And that...that is not gucci, man.

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