As any of you who’ve read issue 8 of my zine will know, I used to be pro-life. But now, I am staunchly, passionately pro-choice. I believe every woman should have the right to choose what happens to her own body, which should include access to birth control, sexual education, sexual autonomy, when to have children, how many children to have, and how to birth her children.
Recently I’ve been really het up on the issue of reproductive rights – first by all this Tory shit and Theresa’s May (thankfully rejected) attempt to restrict abortion access; then by reading through the vast amount of anti-choice bullshit posted on the new PostSecret app, which served to remind me how ignorant and judgemental people can be.
I recently read a fantastic zine called “Jane: Documents from Chicago’s Clandestine Abortion Service, 1968-1973″, which reminded me exactly why abortion is so important to keep legal, and what difficulties women will face if abortion access is restricted. While we’re not under as much threat as the US are, I think it’s still important to remember how lucky we are, and how precarious our reproductive rights are under a Tory government (Anne Milton MP commented that the government supports the ‘spirit of the amendments’, even if the amendments themselves were rejected).
Anyway. Inside “Jane”, they printed the original information brochure that was passed out by the Abortion Counselling Service in the late 1960s, part of which dealt with the “social problem” of abortion. It’s frightening how this brochure was printed 40 years ago, and yet many of the problems listed still exist in today’s society. I could never make an argument as eloquent as this, so I’m posting it here for everyone to read. Enjoy!
“Women should have the right to control their own bodies and lives. Only a woman who is pregnant can determine whether she has enough resources – economic, physical and emotional – at a given time to bear and rear a child. … Cultural, moral and religious feelings are largely against abortion, and society does all it can to make a woman feel guilty and degraded if she has one.
The same society that denies a woman the decision not to have a child refuses to provide humane alternatives for women who do have children, such as child care facilities to permit the mother to work, or role flexibility so that men can share in the raising of children. The same society that insists that women should and do find their basic fulfillment in motherhood will condemn the unwed mother and her fatherless child.
The same society that glamorises women as sex objects and teaches them from early childhood to please and satisfy men views pregnancy and childbirth as punishment for “immoral” or “careless” sexual activity, especially if the woman is uneducated, poor, or black. The same morality that says “that’s what she gets for fooling around” also fails to recognise society’s responsibility to the often unwelcome child that results. Punitive welfare laws reflect this view, and churches reinforce it.
Only women can bring about their own liberation. it is time for women to get together to change the male-made laws and to aid their sisters caught in the bind of legal restrictions and social stigma. Women must fight together to change the attitudes of society about abortion … We are for every woman having exactly as many children as she wants, when she wants, if she wants. It’s time the Bill of Rights applied to women. It’s time women got together and started really fighting for their rights. Governments have to be made to realize that abortions are part of the health care they must provide for the people who support them.
(note: any abusive/aggressively anti-choice comments will not be approved. You’re not going to change my mind.)