This time, it's Missouri passing anti-choice, anti-woman legislation. But this time, it's not the content of the bill that's noteworthy. It's your standard chipaway bill, with requirements that the local prosecutor be notified any time a woman under 18 even seeks *information* about abortion - ostensibly to aid in prosecution of statutory rape and/or incest cases, but it's more of a shaming than anything else - rewriting and tweaking the brochures and "educational" information clinics give out so that they prominently feature ideological claims about life beginning at conception, and requiring that clinics "prominently display statements encouraging a pregnant woman seeking an abortion to contact agencies that help a woman carry an unborn child to full term" (from the official bill summary, in case anyone thinks I'm exaggerating that). It also creates a felony offense "coercing an abortion", which, if they're so worried about people influencing pregnant women about abortion, makes one wonder why they're so determined to influence women themselves.
However, as I said, the worst part isn't the bill itself. It's a statement made during the debate on the House floor, by one (absolutely-unhinged, anti-contraception, anti-sex, anti-everything) Rep. Cynthia Davis.
“...women don’t naturally want to kill their offspring. Women who are loved, cared for and supported don’t mind having their own child.”
And just like that, I and other women like me, childless by choice and willing to enforce that choice with abortion if necessary, am erased from existence.
How dare she? How dare that presumptuous fuckwit talk as if she's some kind of monolithic mouthpiece of women, as if all women are made from the same mold? Oh, that's right, I forget. For misogynists, the rule is and always will be: By the transitive power of the uterus, all women are interchangeable. Well, fuck that. I am loved. I am cared for. I have a great deal of support, both now, and four years ago when I had my abortion. You know how the important people in my lives (those who I let in on the decision at the time, anyway, cause honestly, yeah, it can be a private thing) showed that they love, care for, and support me? By helping me have my abortion. By not making a fuss. By understanding that I was making the best choice for me and my life. By accidentally running into me on my way out of the health center when I got hit with a positive pregnancy test, and refusing to let me go home to brood, instead taking me out to lunch and hanging out until I'd regained my equilibrium enough to be alone safely (my dear friend, who knew me very, very well). By making a 2-hr drive at 5 AM on a weekday to go to the clinic with me for my appointment (my mom, and the same friend offered, though I told her to get some sleep instead). By shooing my brother out of the house for the weekend and hanging out and taking care of me during the actual abortion weekend (mom, again). By sending the money I'd need to pay for it, and offering to fly back out, despite the couple hundred dollars it would take to do that, if I felt I needed him there with me (my boyfriend at the time).
So I dare you, Rep Davis: Go ahead and go tell my family and friends and loved ones, to their faces, that they didn't "love, care for, or support" me, and that if they had, I would have had a baby instead of an abortion. And depending on their temperaments, you will alternately get hit upside the head, ignored/eyerolled at, laughed at, or treated to a scathing lecture on your idiocy. Because they know me, and trust and believe when I tell you: I very much DO mind having my own baby. I could have armies of servants catering to my every whim, hordes of devoted fans and friends and lovers worshiping me as a Goddess, and I would still mind having my own baby. This is not a situational thing. To set it up as if it is, and assume that all women want babies, they just don't know it yet, is ridiculous, rude, disrespectful, dishonest, insulting, and frankly, stupid.
I know strawwomen are much easier to control (and let's face it, that's the real goal of the anti-choice movement), but howsabout you try actually, I dunno, talking to other women outside of your tiny personal circle, before you make sweeping proclamations about women's reproductive desires? I am a woman. I do mind having my own baby, I will always mind having my own baby. I do not fit into your idea of "women", and I sure as fuck never authorized you to speak on my behalf. So don't. fucking. do it.