Criminalization of pregnancy | Seattle Times

The recent Supreme Court decision to end a woman’s right to an abortion and the years of agitation and the restrictions caused by that decision are manifestations of a social tendency to criminalize pregnancy.

Women and those able to conceive are seen as a threat to their potential offspring, not as perfect humans capable of making thoughtful and intelligent reproductive choices. This is reminiscent of a time when women were seen as inherently dangerous (see Adam and Eve), where the pretense of female sexuality challenged the sacred social order, where a woman’s body was naturally her own. Destiny was there and men were completely in charge of nature. Male.

The punitive misogyny arising among certain sections of our society is probably a reaction to the increasing power of women in contemporary life, challenging their traditional subordinate positions in the home and workplace, creating fear among some men, who Being told to do so. Share traditional male roles at work, along with the tasks of housekeeping and child-rearing. Women’s freedom is seen as very cruel.

Women began to take more forceful control over their fertility when reliable, relatively safe contraception became available, and it should be noted that most chose to have fewer children than their ancestors. The ability to terminate an unwanted pregnancy due to contraceptive failure, rape, incest or a night of fun at the local bar gave women a significant level of autonomy. This led to a dramatic increase in personal control: the ability to finish a degree, continue working and remain financially fulfilling, and better care for pre-existing children, without the fear and embarrassment of an unplanned pregnancy. It also meant that those capable of becoming pregnant could engage in sexual activity without the worry of an unexpected positive test. Such independence challenged the long-standing male power and supremacy.

Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 and as the option of abortion became more available, especially with the advent of medical abortion, there was a flood of well-organized and well-funded activities to make the delivery of those services more difficult. Has been. , The Hyde Amendment outlawed federal funding for the process. Tougher rules were made for abortion centers from the hefty wait times to the specified width of hallways. Providers, sometimes facing threats of harassment and death, were required to perform ultrasounds and detailed descriptions of the fetus prior to the procedure or to maintain difficult-to-penetrate privileges. A new language and rhetoric developed regarding the rights of “individuality”, “the unborn” and “fetal pain”, being included in particular religious beliefs ignoring the fact that when it comes to these deeply personal questions, religions There is no unanimity between the U.S. and that America doctrinally maintains a separation between church and state.

In many states where abortion is currently illegal, support systems for pregnant women are under attack: a new alert to caregivers, friends and family, Lyft drivers, pharmacists and other medical personnel, spying on neighbors, reporting suspected criminals. And financial recovery is at risk. 20. Awards in a manner reminiscent of the German Stasi in the latter part ofth century.

The fact that this is a so-called advanced society with startling inequalities in antenatal care as well as high maternal morbidity and mortality, especially for people of color and low socioeconomics, suggests a lack of respect for the needs of those in need. Talks to those who are having children and their families. It is the same political bias that leads to pitiful maternity leave and a serious lack of affordable, quality child care. Women (as opposed to fetuses) are clearly less valuable, less deserving, (insurance coverage for Viagra not birth control pills), and are to be punished for simply being themselves. This is what linguistics professor George Lakoff called an “angry god”. Men are less likely to be asked to endure the consequences of their sexual activity during divorce cases, perhaps until child support is settled. There too, women with children have been at a legal and economic disadvantage for decades.

The implications of the criminalization of pregnancy are enormous: increased surveillance and interrogation of women who present with incomplete spontaneous abortion or stillbirth and who are accused of self-harm; Terrible legal complications for pregnant people who develop cancer and are literally unable to make a choice in favor of their survival; People with ectopic pregnancies or rupture of membranes prior to viability are told that they must wait for treatment until their life is threatened or the fetus has thawed, which may affect their own survival and future reproduction. potential at risk. Women in more oppressive states have to travel to receive care and are likely to be more stressed financially and emotionally as well as pregnancies. We are seeing the creation of literal abortion refugees as well as underground and underground “railways” that are either taking women to sanctuary states or abortion pills to states where they are illegal. People using the same drugs for other diagnoses now have difficulty finding them or are challenged when they pick up their prescriptions.

These trends in society are dangerous for women and those able to conceive, and challenge the motivations of the so-called “anti-abortion” movement, reactionary judges push these agendas through the legal system, and politicians create their own culture. fuel the flames of war. own biased advantage.

One in four women in America has an abortion. It’s time to share and perpetuate our abortion stories with organizations working to normalize and protect women’s reproductive options. We must inspire the two-thirds of Americans who support reproductive autonomy and vote for candidates at all levels who will create legislative solutions at a time when the judicial system is failing. The time has come to make reproductive rights an inherent component of basic human rights in this country.

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