Why #ArrestUs Proves Women Won’t Stop Fighting For Safe And Legal Abortion

August 7, 2019

Go ahead, #ArrestUs for exercising our fundamental human right of choice over our bodies. 

Legal or illegal, abortions are going to happen.

Nearly 70,000 women die each year from complications arising from unsafe abortions.

To be clear, that’s 70,000 women dying from completely preventable causes. If your mother, sister or best friend was part of this statistic, I’m sure you’d agree that a law that kills 70,000 women a year is not a law worth obeying.

The criminalization of abortion doesn’t just make abortion illegal – it makes it dangerous. I’ll be damned if I stay quiet and silently allow politicians to govern my right to exist within my body just because I’m a woman.

The fight for body autonomy is happening all across the world, including the most recent abortion ban in Alabama, and this week, protests were also happening in Sydney. But no matter where the abortion argument is occurring, one thing stays the same; when faced with the injustice of (white male) politicians making personal medical decisions for us, women will not stay quiet.

Fifty years ago, in New South Wales, Australia, women fighting the same fight wrote their names down and volunteered themselves for arrest because they had committed a crime – they had exercised autonomy over their bodies and aborted an unwanted fetus.

An now, In spectacular fashion, the hashtag #ArrestUs has taken off on Twitter. Fuelled by the anger and defiance women have had towards the 119-year-old law that criminalizes our right to choose, women from across the world have been sharing their abortion stories and thoughts and daring the government and police to arrest them for it.

Because we shouldn’t use religion or political agendas as a justification to restrict women’s rights.

Here’s the thing. (Warning: controversial opinion alert.)

Laws are supposed to apply to everyone without discriminating based on gender or religion. Relying on religious ideology as a backbone for the pro-life agenda and current illegality of abortion contravenes everyone’s right to be governed with religious neutrality.

I got into a bit of a – let’s say ‘colorful’ – discussion with a Pro-Lifer recently. Her argument revolved around these three points.

What about the life of the child?  

I’m sorry, what child? We are talking about cells. A fetus is scientifically just an amalgamation of cells until the 22nd week of gestation. We aren’t talking about children or babies, and it’s not fair to risk the lives of women just so you can indulge yourself in this delusion.

Having an abortion is wrong. If God gave you a baby, you should keep that baby.

Unless God is going to give me 18 years worth of financial security and is willing to compromise his body for the sake of these cells, keep him out of this. The only people ‘playing God’ are the male politicians who are dehumanizing women’s bodies and stripping their rights away because they are terrified of equality.

This third point is my favorite because it’s just so damn illogical.

How would you feel if your mother aborted you?

You see that’s just the thing, I wouldn’t have felt anything.

I don’t know about you but I have zero recollection of my days as a fetus. Aside from an inability to feel, well, anything, I would much rather come into this world because my mother wanted me. It would kill me to know that my mother was forced to have a child and sacrificed her quality of life to raise me because she didn’t have access to a safe and legal abortion.

There are thousands of reasons to get an abortion.

From health reasons or financial difficulty to the 32, 101 US women falling pregnant after a sexual assault, each year I can think of thousands of reasons not to bring a baby into this messed up world. I personally wouldn’t want to raise a daughter in this political climate, but that’s not the point.

This is; the decision to get an abortion is not an easy one, but it’s also not one you should go to prison for.

In a world where women are so often put last, choosing you is not something you should be ashamed of just because it’s easier for politicians to get votes by criminalizing your right to decide.

Women’s bodies have been dehumanized and used as political ammo, manipulated and regulated in an attempt to elect people who will further manipulate and regulate us.

Frankly, I don’t give a damn about what white men think we should do with our bodies and I don’t care about their laws. I care about equality and I care about women. If you want to put women in prison for exercising personal autonomy, you aren’t pro-life – you are blatantly anti-women.

#ArrestUs proves that criminalizing abortion will not stop abortions.

When you are in no circumstance to raise a child and a pregnancy test comes up positive, the last thing you are thinking about is the law.

We won’t stop fighting for autonomy. We will continue to push back for the sake of our daughters and ourselves. We won’t stop fighting until we have safe and legal abortion. Only then will women truly have control of their lives and we can start taking steps towards equality.

Legalize abortion. It’s about time.

Featured image via unsplash.com

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Join the discussion: What are your thoughts on safe and legal access to abortion? 

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