by Kathy Greenier, Reproductive Freedom Project Director
Last Friday, the New York Times published an op-ed, “Pregnant, and no civil rights,” that highlights how anti-abortion measures can put all women in danger, including a woman who wants to be pregnant. The piece explains that the rationale for many anti-abortion measures - that fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses are people or have separate rights that the state must protect - can be used to justify depriving a pregnant woman’s right to life, liberty, privacy, bodily autonomy, and medical decision making during her pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Personhood measures, recently defeated in Colorado and North Dakota, embody that rationale.
The piece shares a number of powerful stories to drive home the scope of these anti-abortion measures. Take, for example, this story of a woman in Florida:
[A] woman was held prisoner at a hospital to prevent her from going home while she appeared to be experiencing a miscarriage. She was forced to undergo a cesarean. Neither the detention nor the surgery prevented the pregnancy loss, but they did keep this mother from caring for her two small children at home.
As this op-ed shows, story sharing is an important tool for understanding how abortion restrictions actually affect women’s lives. In Virginia, reproductive freedom is in jeopardy because of medically unnecessary restrictions designed to shut down abortion providers. On December 4, the Virginia Board of Health will vote on whether to amend those restrictions. They need to hear from people like you, because whether you use women’s health centers for birth control, STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings, or abortion, these restrictions are putting Virginia women’s health at risk.
The stories in the op-ed remind us all that the impact of abortion restrictions extends well beyond just a woman seeking abortion. It’s just not that simple.
We don’t know a woman’s specific situation, and we’re not in her shoes, but the bottom line is that a woman, not politicians, should make the informed decisions when it comes to her own pregnancy.
Take action and share your story now.
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