Tomorrow is a VERY important midterm. It’s Roevember. And people are on ballots across the country who are election deniers. This midterm is crucial to democracy. Vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote
The misinformation that has spread about what a pregnancy looks like at the beginning weeks, is astounding. (The misinformation has been intentional by forced birthers.) it’s important to know what it really like. See below for what a pregnancy actually looks like before ten weeks. And, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s a beautiful thing if you want to grow those cells into a life but it’s also perfectly fine to avoid the growth of those cells too.
With the amount of misinformation that is spread about the female body and with forced birthers in the Supreme Court gearing up to get rid of Roe v Wade, I’d like to share some excerpts from the book “Woman: An Intimate Geography.” By Natalie Angier the Pulitzer Prize winning writer and science journalist.
For centuries, the female body has been (often intentionally) clouded in mystery. Hippocrates’ fundamental mistakes in understanding of the female body dictated scientific and medical (mis)understanding of it for years and years. But now, much more is understood. Just for the sake of it, let’s delve into some fun facts and explorations of the female body’s unique internal features, particularly the uterus.
The non-pregnant uterus is about the size of a child’s fist. The ovaries are the size of a strawberry. The clitoris is a complex network, and is like an iceberg in the sense that there is much more below the surface than you can see. (The full anatomy of the clitoris was only “discovered” in 1998.)
In her chapter titled “the Prodigal Uterus” Angier writes, “The war of the womb continues to this day. One of our most bellicose and indefatigable of issues, the abortion debate, distilled to a question of who owns the uterus, woman or fetus (or fetal proxy such as the church or state.)”
“The womb does not define a woman, philosophically, biologically, or even etymologically. A woman does not need to be born with a uterus to be a woman, nor does she have to keep her uterus to remain a woman. We don’t want to fall into the trap of womb-worship, or hope that men suffer from womb envy…Having said all of that, I argue that the uterus was and is a magnificent invention, a revolution in physiology…”
“More recently, the uterus has emerged as a maker as well as a taker. Yes, it responds to steroid hormones from ovaries and other organs, but it also expresses hormones and releases them into the global marketplace of the body. It makes proteins, sugars, and fats… the uterus also fabricates drugs that in other contexts would be illegal. It synthesizes and secretes beta-endorphins and dynorphins, two of the body’s natural opiates and chemical cousins to morphine and heroin.”
“[The uterus] makes anandamide, a molecule almost identical to the active ingredients in marijuana. Until recently, these compounds were thought to be exclusive property of the central nervous system- the brain and spinal cord…The uterus produces at least as much opiate material as neural tissue does, and makes ten times more of the cannabis equivalent than any other organ of the body does.”
In other words, the uterus secretes feel good chemicals and hormones, just like the brain does. How amazing is that?
I haven’t entirely decided what my purpose or my argument in this blog post is other than to exemplify the incredible nature of the female body and to state unequivocally that woman/person with the womb, owns the womb. There is still so much that is unknown about the female body, but at its very simplistic form, woman/ person with the womb, owns the womb. The uterus serves a purpose beyond growing life. It secretes chemicals that are necessary to the well-being of the woman/person with it. We own our wombs. We own our reproduction AND our decision to avoid it. It is a nature-given gift and burden. Let it continue to be our decision to make.
Here is a LINK to donate to NARAL Pro-Choice America.
A major part of fighting against these forced-birther bills like those in Texas and Alabama is to not just fight against something, but to fight for something: Fighting for the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) is a great offensive move to try to enact legislation that actively prohibits such restrictive legislation against abortion, and would work to protect Roe v Wade, the constitutional right which makes abortion legal. As CBS points out, the WHPA, “…would guarantee the right of all Americans to access abortion care regardless of where they live.” CBS Denver
Let’s face it: The issue here isn’t just this insane bill in Texas that just passed. It is the floodgates of absurd legislative acts that potentially await us, in which states try to control a women’s right to her own body. In-fact, anti-choice legislation is already in the works across the country. That is why it is so vital to pass legislation that prohibits bills which restrict abortion. So who is working to pass this legislation?
Texans protest the 6 week abortion ban in their state.
Source: Sergio Flores/Getty Images
Members of Congress, (such as Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette) are fighting for our basic and vital rights. Find out where your representatives stand. Urge them to pass the WHPA. Also, let’s not just urge our reps or reprimand the bad politicians, (though let’s definitely do that too) but let’s tell the good ones we support them and appreciate them. Lets let them know we need and thank them.
And who can you donate to? One organization is NARAL Pro-Choice America.(NARAL, in case your curious, stands for National Abortion Rights Action League. Yes, odd name, but GREAT organization.) NARAL Pro-Choice America has been a trustworthy and reliable pro-choice organization for over 50 years. They work to elect candidates who are dedicated to reproductive rights.
I have frequently donated and volunteered for NARAL because they get to the heart of issues and fight fiercely for pro-choice rights. At one point, I volunteered for NARAL when they were exposing harmful practices of anti-choice, fake clinics. I went undercover for NARAL to expose what these anti-choice people were doing to women at these fake clinics. But that is a different story, one which I will perhaps tell at a later date. (If you’d like more info on the fake clinic issue which is still plaguing our country still, check out this article by the AMA Journal of Ethics, titled “Why Crisis Pregnancy Centers are Legal but Unethical.) The point is, I support NARAL Pro-Choice America and I believe in the incredible and important work they do. And I encourage you to research them as well and donate to them if you so choose. They are fighting for the Women’s Health Protection Act to get passed and are fighting for women to have access to reproductive healthcare.
Here is a link to donate to NARAL Pro-Choice America. Donate what you can. My pocket book is a bit slim these days, so I made mine a monthly contribution of 5 dollars, which adds up to 60 bucks over the year. You can do that if you’d like, or, frankly, a one time big contribution may be even better, since there is little time to waste.
No matter how you do it, make some sort of difference in whatever way you can:
-Talk to your friends and family about abortion issues.
-Tell your own story about your abortion if you feel comfortable.
-Talk to your brothers, male-friends, fathers, uncles etc.. Dudes need to know about these issues too! And they need to hear it from the women and trans men they care about.
-Approximately 1-4 women get abortions, (according to the Guttmacher Institute.) Abortions happen and they are necessary for many women, people and families.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s contribution to Americans, particularly American women, is absolutely incredible: If you are a woman, and you have a credit card in your own name (and not your husbands name) you owe RBG thanks. If you have leased an apartment or bought property in your name, you owe RBG a thanks. If you have consented to your own medical treatment, you owe RBG thanks. If you played a sport in school, you owe RBG thanks.
One of the biggest contributions she has made to our country, is being a voice for choice: The right for women to control their own bodies and not be forced into motherhood. The right to an abortion.
I have had difficulty expressing the magnitude of the passing of Ms. Ginsberg and the immensity for what it means for women (and men’s girlsfriends/partners) to potentially lose access to the safety net of abortion.
Therefore, I would like to leave you with my friend Lynsey Bourke’s words of wisdom. She gets right to the heart of the issue and the problems we face as a nation. Bourke works to make abortion accessible in West Africa and she is someone I knew from when I lived in Montana. She is a regional operations director for DKT International, the world’s largest providers of family planning and safe abortion services. She is an incredible authority on the topic. In a post on September 19th, she states:
In the wake of the anti-choice news coming from the south, particularly Alabama, and even other states across the country, it has been tough for me to express just how horrible this outlawing and criminalization of abortion will be for women and men and the hypocrisy of the people who are anti-choice/forced birthers. So, instead of words, I wanted to share some visuals, news clips and words from other individuals:
I’m always astounded when guys, particularly liberal/progressive guys, are not outspokenly pro-choice. If they got a woman pregnant, and abortion were illegal, they would be forced to become a father, whether they liked it or not. This issue deeply affects them.
This issue has come up several times lately in conversations with my guy friends:
Whether or not the child were to be given up for adoption, or if he decided to abandon the kid, he would still have to live with knowing that he has a child out there.
How many guys out there have gotten their girlfriend pregnant and just weren’t ready to be a parent? How many guys out there had a one night stand who would dread it if they had gotten the woman pregnant? How many guys out there got a woman pregnant and have no idea because the gal got an abortion without telling him? If that woman weren’t allowed access to abortion, BAM: That man’s life would be changed forever. He would be a father to a child with a woman he potentially never intended on seeing again. He would be forced into procreation. He would be forced into fatherhood for life and everything that comes along with that.
Why is it that so many men, good men, are so quiet on this issue?
(Shout out to my guy friends who ARE outspokenly pro-choice! Love ya.)
While Trump and his administration have been busy distracting us away from important issues, here is what has been happening behind the scenes. Over 2,000 new bills have been introduced. Here’s a video summary of just 8 of them. Not mentioned in the video is Trump’s intention to gut meals on wheels, a service that provides meals to the elderly who may not get another meal that day. Meanwhile, the proposed budget for the military is going up.
Click the video below.
Also, of interesting note: (Look at the picture below from the video.) I’ve known anti-choice individuals are confused about how reproduction works, but…. really? Setting aside that people who are anti-choice seem to think abortion means killing a full grown baby, instead of what it is which is preventing the further growth of cells, does this person think babies grow in a woman’s behind? Or was this person, who made this sign so squeamish about women’s bodies they decided to provide an angle less uncomfortable for them? Looks like being squeamish, (or just plain wrong about how reproduction works) hasn’t stopped this person from loudly voicing their opinion about other peoples bodies. Wow, really? But… well… just butt.
To commemorate the people who died in the shooting that took place at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, (PPRM) the Planned Parenthood of Montana hosted a vigil. As one man who attended mentioned, we need to not only grieve for the victims of the violence, but also, we need to take action in the political process, to ensure human rights for bodily autonomy are not threatened. Only some twenty people turned out on the blistering-cold Montana night, but I know so many more who were there in spirit. I was glad to be a part of this vigil.