Men Should Not Regulate Reproductive Rights
I apologize to those who menstruate on their behalf
To all people who have a uterus:
White, cisgender men, but technically any person that has male reproductive organs, have no business regulating your reproductive rights. If we want to be super technical, nobody has any right to control your body in any capacity.
But this fact is one that many male politicians still have yet to grasp.
The weight of the world and child-bearing is not carried in their bodies. It is carried in yours, and I am deeply sorry your rights to your body are under fire.
My apology probably does absolutely nothing for you and much less help your situation. But many non-uterus-owning men need to do a better job openly supporting you. My apology, and this article is an attempt at doing that.
Heavy title, heavy caption, heavy message
Heavy, but necessary.
The stress of being a person who menstruates is a heavy reality when you have men(the white, cisgender, male kind) telling you what you can and cannot do with your body.
And yes, I know it’s not just them that voted in favor for overturning Roe vs. Wade.
Yes, there is a white woman and black man who voted for the overturning. But unfortunately, they are still outnumbered, and historically, this country became what it is (and is still run) by an overwhelming number of white, cisgender men.
We need to do some heavy lifting
There are several key concepts and terms we need to understand to understand the depth of Roe vs. Wade.
“We” encapsulates anyone on a journey to expand their knowledge of human rights, myself included.
It’s our job to educate ourselves and each other instead of expecting oppressed individuals to do the heavy lifting for us. They already have enough on their shoulders by merely existing in their bodies, as they are.
So, here’s what I’ve learned so far.
A few key reproductive terminology and concepts
Reproductive rights are not a concern limited to cisgender women.
Cisgender means an individual’s gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, I identify as a man(gender), and I was born male(sex). On the other hand, a cisgender woman is someone who identifies as a woman that was also born female.
Gender identity is not tied to the sex or reproductive organs we are born with, so reproductive rights go beyond “women’s rights.”
Reproductive rights include transgender people, nonbinary people, and any person who has a uterus.
Who the outcome impacts if Roe vs. Wade is overturned
Anyone with a uterus will potentially lose access to safe abortions, risking their lives.
But, there are layers to this.
Menstruating people will have their bodies become occupied against their will when they are forced to carry a fetus to term. In turn, they will more likely experience a decline in their mental health, understandably. All of this creates a ripple effect on the people in their personal lives.
It doesn’t end there.
NPR reports that women of color, specifically Black and Hispanic women, have abortions more often than their peers. Since healthcare is a privilege that leaves behind those living in poverty, women of color will be even more likely to seek unsafe abortions.
It doesn’t end there, either.
Children are at risk of a living difficult life they quite literally didn’t ask to have.
It still doesn’t end there.
Many biological fathers will be responsible for paying child support, too, and probably won’t be happy about the requirement.
But, the policymakers and supreme court justices know what’s best for people who menstruate, for their sake, right?
Let’s call a spade a spade
The various politicians throughout the country that are against abortions are not all *really* pro-life. Not even in the name of religion. Religion is just a blindfold that gives them the power to steer the general population in the direction of conservatism political interest.
If they were truly pro-life, the current turn of events would not be happening.
Many of them are probably pro-money.
And do you know what costs a lot of money?
Creating a family. Owning property.
And what happens when the government has the power to increase the market values of houses for growing families?
More money. More capital. More power.
The real endgame
The goal isn’t to protect life. It’s population growth.
The United States population growth has been record-breaking slow, and low, because of three key variables: too few immigrants, too many deaths, and too few births.
Politicians can’t necessarily control immigration and definitely cannot control deaths. But they can attempt to control the third variable: birth.
Many are likely under the false impression that “banning abortions” = more births = population increase. And what does an increased population lead to?
A stimulated economy.
A stimulated economy benefits the people who have the highest capital, money, and power. So, in their eyes, the easiest way to achieve that in the long term is by forcing people to give birth against their will.
It’s inhumane, greedy, and a shining reflection of what many politicians don’t value: life, nor the females that gave them life in the first place.
What we can do
We can continue educating ourselves. We can support the menstruating people in our lives how they see fit. We can donate to organizations that protect their bodies. We can protest. We can vote. We can use our platforms to discuss these topics. We can listen.
And, we can advocate for vasectomies as a mainstream form of birth control as much as we concern ourselves with abortion, female birth control, and people with bodies that menstruate.
That will be another post for another day.
For now and above all, we, especially those of us who don’t menstruate, can leave menstruating people, their bodies, and their human rights the fuck alone.
Or better yet, protect them.