Hopefully by the time you read this, the United States isn’t routinely opening up criminal investigations into women who have miscarriages. And I say routinely because there are already cases where women have ended up in prison after their miscarriages were called baby murders. So imagine how much worse it will get for women if the radical right-wingers have their way and overturn Roe v. Wade. And if you can’t imagine it, I challenge you to talk to your grandma about what it was like back in her day, or just read a goddamn book. Conversely, you could also watch “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu, which is on track to win an Emmy for Best Documentary.
Right now conservative state governments — like Georgia, Ohio and Alabama — are hot to pass anti-choice legislation with the intent that these laws will be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court and that the end result will be to make abortions illegal.
Now, there are plenty of voices in the media and on Twitter (aka Trump’s Hellmouth) calmly reminding that nobody’s making abortion illegal right this very minute in the these states. And that’s true. But when women’s right to make decisions about their own bodies is on the chopping block, don’t tell ladies to calm down — especially since by and large, men are writing and passing these bills, and, from the looks of it, most of them don’t know a damn thing about health or anatomy.
Take state Rep. John Becker (R-Ohio) who thinks that you can magically take an ectopic pregnancy and abracadabra it into a viable pregnancy inside the uterus. Don’t know what an ectopic pregnancy is? Well, neither does Rep. Becker but that didn’t stop him from writing laws about what happens inside women’s bodies. If you do know what an ectopic pregnancy is, then you know that Becker and other supporters of this bill are deeply ignorant, and/or they clearly think that all women are witches.
The thing is, Becker doesn’t even care that he’s ignorant. He told Local 2 news, “I’m not smart enough to know what causes abortions and what doesn’t. The bill’s just written ‘if it causes an abortion’ and people smarter than me can figure out what that means.”
Here’s the thing: People smarter than him already know what that means and they are called doctors! He is not a doctor. And yet, here he is deciding what goes on between women and actual medical professionals.
Now, you might be wondering, what does this abortion stuff have to do with LGBTQ politics? The answer is, well, everything. If you were to make a Venn diagram of anti-reproductive choice folks and anti-LGBT folks, you’d basically have a total eclipse of the hate.
I’ve been saying this for decades, but the same people who want to take away a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions and turn her into a mandatory incubator also aren’t very keen on LGBTQ people having any kind of legal rights.
I remember being told by a heterosexual person that it was “a stretch” when I claimed that the anti-LGBTQ folks would not be satisfied with keeping same-sex couples from getting married, but that they would move on to banning birth control and imposing Puritanical laws on all things sex, no matter who is doing it.
It wasn’t a stretch then, and it sure as hell isn’t a stretch now.
Rep. Becker also supported the “Ohio Pastor Protection Act,” a so-called “religious freedom” bill that sought to “protect” pastors from being forced to marry same-sex couples. On his website he writes, “Marriage can only be between one man and one woman. (It really is that simple.)” He is also very concerned about transgender people being allowed to use public restrooms.
If you identify as heterosexual but you think the LGBTQ equality fight isn’t yours, you are wrong. If you identify as LGBTQ and think the reproductive freedom fight isn’t yours, you are wrong, too.
The bigots want to divide us and gain power when we ignore our collective humanity. So don’t let them. (It really is that simple.)
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.