More than three weeks ago, news outlets announced United States Congress Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) announced, at a CPAC event, that her seventeen-year-old son and his girlfriend are going to be parents in April, making her a grandmother at thirty-six years old, then she praised the teen birth rate in rural areas of the United States, stating people in those areas “value life” (notwithstanding it’s difficult for women and girls in those areas to get adequate reproductive healthcare). Representative Boebert is against abortion and comprehensive sex education, even in taxpayer-funded public schools, though studies demonstrate comprehensive sex education is effective and necessary, whereas abstinence-only education is counterproductive–and reinforces rape culture..
Ignoring, for now, that Representative Boebert violated her son’s and his girlfriend’s privacy for cheap political point-scoring, here’s at least a couple of examples–real-world–of what’s wrong with trying to force your worldview on the rest of society.
Savita Halappanavar was a thirty-one-year-old married woman with a career (she was a dentist) who was excited to be a first-time mother–before she started experiencing health complications caused by her pregnancy. Her daughter, Prasa, was stillborn, and she herself died, because of a mismanaged miscarriage and–because she lived in Ireland–was denied an abortion when she requested it, being told that she couldn’t abort her pregnancy because Ireland “is a Catholic country.” Both woman and fetus died in this situation, so what have the anti-abortion movement and abortion bans gained?
Becky Bell died at age seventeen because of complications caused by a septic abortion, which she obtained illegally because of parental-consent laws in her native state of Indiana–I’m guessing she didn’t want her parents to know she was pregnant because she was afraid of how they would react (very typical of so many girls in similar situations). For years afterwards, her parents have decried, and campaigned against, parental-consent laws.
There are other Savita Halappanavars and Becky Bells and everyone in between in the world, including the United States.
It’s not fair to force people to take care of others–especially those who never asked to be here–if they can’t even take care of themselves. And given how much of a shit Western society at large actually gives about people and their kids–especially those who are struggling–demanding people become parents before they’re in any way, shape, or form ready for it is the height of irresponsibility. As the late George Carlin once put it, “Pre-born, you’re fine. Pre-school, you’re fucked.” So, once again, we see the true aim of the anti-abortion movement and abortion bans–to punish people, especially women, for daring to exercise autonomy over their own bodies. The thing is, there’s always been abortion, and there always will be. It just goes underground whenever and wherever it’s illegal, and, since most of those abortions occur in unsanitary conditions, women who have them die.
But Representative Boebert and the anti-abortion movement are only part of a larger attempt to turn the clock back to a time in which everyone–especially those who are not wealthy, white, able-bodied, cis heterosexual men–knew their place and those in power experienced no consequences for abusing their positions and the power that came with those positions, which just goes to prove that, for people who hold conservative views, freedom is a zero-sum game–in short, when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.