Roe v Wade; Opinion/Experience
If you are easily triggered or have trauma around sexual abuse, please know this discusses themes of this nature.
When I was in 6th grade, an OBGYN visited my science class. She was a parent to two students in my grade. I believe this was to compliment our health class/sex education section at the time. She told us stories about delivering babies to 11 and 12 year old girls.
When I was 13, I was not allowed to wear a tank top in public. I was told it would “attract the wrong kind of attention.” At the time, I was also attending a small, private, Christian school with a dress code — no tank tops, and shorts had to be a specific length. At this same age, I would go for walks around the block with my family, or friends and wear tank tops. I remember being cat called and whistled at while I was walking on the sidewalk — at 13.
At 14, a boy at school wanted to grab my boobs. I told him no, but, he had me cornered in the hallway at school, so I let him — afraid of what else would happen since we were alone.
At 15, I was raped. I was, again, alone with someone I thought I could trust. If this assault had resulted in a pregnancy, in a world where Roe v Wade does not exist, I would have been a teen mom — against my will.
In 2017, at the age of 22, I was raped. I was alone with multiple people I trusted, and knew to be my friends. I was under the influence of alcohol, and those surrounding me were people who carry a job meant to protect the community. If this assault resulted in a pregnancy in a world where Roe v Wade does not exist, or, if emergency contraception did not exist, I would have been a mom — against my will.
In 2018, I found myself in the car with someone I thought I could trust — again, not knowing they were under the influence of alcohol at the time. I was coerced into kissing this person, and, again, assaulted. In the middle of the exchange, I froze. Due to what had happened to me in the past, and also, I feared for my safety. This person had a gun in the car. I was able to remove myself from this situation, safely, however, it still occurred. It still happened. I was able to confront this person, and stand up for myself — once and for all.
These instances do not account for the multiple cat calls, whistles, and uncomfortable name calling that I have known to be my reality from a very young age. This is also the reality of many other women. Thankfully, in my situations, I was not in need of an abortion. I also cannot say, had I ended up pregnant, that I would have sought out an abortion. Becoming a mom has been the greatest gift of my life and it is the most important work I will ever do in my lifetime. However, the overturning of Roe v Wade is a war on women, and, particularly, women of color.
In Kentucky, there are no exceptions to the current abortion ban for rape or incest. In Florida, the ban makes no exceptions for rape, incest or human trafficking. In several states, girls who are raped will need permission from their parents or a judge to receive an abortion, if sexual abuse, domestic violence, or neglect is involved. In the scenarios outlined above, for myself personally, if I was under the age of 18 (and in some of them, I was) if I was pregnant and wanted an abortion, I would not have the ability to make that decision for myself.
The point of this, is to simply say, abortions are not easy decisions for anyone to make. In fact, regardless of circumstance, I know many women who felt deep shame and pain due to electing to go through with an abortion. Additionally, more women than you know have probably had an abortion, and even more likely, have been assaulted, raped, or molested in some way. I know for myself, in those situations, I was incredibly grateful for my right to choose what to do with MY body. If this was about being pro-life, our healthcare, foster care system, etc would be receiving a large overhaul. And, we would not be experiencing a nationwide formula shortage.
This does not even touch upon the fact that most unwanted pregnancies are primarily from rape, more specifically, from a known perpetrator, who is a family member. See the article listed below for more information. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8765248/
I will let my personal experiences speak for themselves. If you are a person who supports Roe v Wade being overturned, I hope that I have enlightened you in some way.