Anti-Abortion Laws Prove We Need Equal Representation

This isn’t what progress looks like.

Image for post
Image for post

On May 15, 2019 a group of white men decided what women can’t do with their bodies. Under this decision, victims of rape would be convicted to 99 years of prison if they sought an abortion six weeks afterward.

Many women now live in the dark reality of being powerless to act on their independent decision of not wanting to have a child. The people deciding for these women have probably never personally met them, yet for some reason these people see it fit to still make the decision. This law plain and simple gives government control over women’s bodies.

Look, I speak from the privilege of being a white male myself, coming from a somewhat upper-class family. I cannot adequately represent who this law will severely affect, and I don’t intend to pull any “white knight” actions and speak on their behalf. I write this in solidarity with the women affected by this law, sharing my opinions on this event from my perspective, and mine alone.

So, my perspective,

This law is the direct result of having unequal representation in Alabama's Senate.

Two Steps Backwards

This law is not in consideration of human rights.

First off, what an utterly foolish argument to make in defense of this ruling. Here is a hot tip for all of you future lawmakers out there.

If you create a law that states someone can’t do something that solely, directly, and significantly impacts them as an individual, you are infringing on their human rights.

An example of this is when our previous government in Canada wanted to completely ban the hijab in the “chivalrous” defense of women’s rights. In this case, the government is directly telling women they can’t wear a hijab, which is eliminating their freedom of choice, and therefore affecting their human rights.

Many women actively choose to wear a hijab because it allows them to become closer to their god, not because they were forced too. So again, when a bunch of people walk in and say you can’t do something that has no effect on them, they are eliminating that decision women once had.

In regards to human rights, it’s completely backward.

The only argument to this point is this abortion law, in particular, is ruling in favor of children rights.

For the sake of argument, let's address this.

My issue with this statement, why is this the chosen human right Alabama wants to fight for? Why do they not fight for proper education for children? Why not gun regulations to make your state safer for children? Why is it not proper health care to aid children?

In 2018 Alabama ranked among the lowest in public safety, education, and health care in the country.

I would argue these rights affecting living breathing children are more important and have more weight to them than what was decided yesterday. For some reason, lawmakers are only advocating for rights that demand the control of women’s bodies.

To some, criminalizing abortions may seem like the best way to improve human rights in the simplest way. This view, however, lacks the identification of privilege coming from the decision makers involved (in this case the decision makers being male.) This is precisely the problem with unequal representation in politics.

It’s a simple concept to grasp, but it seems politicians refuse to even try.

Poverty will only escalate from this.

Women have the full right to decide on whether they keep the child. Maybe someone from the lower class always wanted to have a child, so her sacrifices are made happily. I don’t know, and I’m not saying I know what will make an individual happy.

I’ll never be able to make that call because I’m not her, yet they made that call in Alabama.

If you come from a poor or even middle-class family, a child will create a much deeper financial strain, that’s just a fact. This fact is now going to be unavoidable for many people living in the state of Alabama. Even if adoption is chosen, it’s short-sighted to not factor in carrying the child and how that will also cause financial stress.

We are now directly adding to the poverty and financial strain of an already broken middle class. This again is something that cannot be understood from decision makers with money and power, and that identification of privilege just isn’t there.

One Possible Step Forward

I would barely call this a step forward honestly, but in all of my writing, I try to find the silver lining in things. Try to end on a note to hold onto sort of deal.

My silver lining,

This bill passing is modern proof of how important it is to advocate and have equal representation in you political office. Full stop.

If anyone thinks equal representation in office is just progress for the sake of progress, bring up the fact that when a law was voted to remove a woman’s right to her body, 25 men voted yes, against a Senate that held only 4 women total.

This vote is an all-around failure: a failure to recognize privilege, a failure to address the growing poverty gap, and a failure for women’s rights.

We can do better, but it starts with equal representation.

Writing optimistic unsolicited advice. Sign up for my monthly, unhinged, ramblings →

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store