by L. Bryant

Anger doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel as a woman. My body, my choice. That’s something many women have heard before, and many men as well. What it means to me is that no one—no politician, not even my spouse—has the ability to make decisions for me when it comes to what I want done with or to my body, especially when it comes to abortion. I, as a woman, have to carry a baby to term for nine months—go through the morning sickness, the emotions, and the worry, the planning. I’m not trying to sound like a man-basher or hater here at all, but a man is not obligated to stay and help me take care of this unborn child, or to help me prepare. I’m stuck with it, whatever the outcome, whether it be married, unmarried with a boyfriend, or a single mother. What the Texas Legislature is proposing for an upcoming bill that will be signed into law by Rick Perry is not only repulsive, it’s taking away yet another right that women should all have: it is my choice whether or not to have an abortion, and no one ought to be able to tell me otherwise. What is the bill proposing, you ask? What three other states have enforced already: that a woman must have an ultrasound (forced) 24 hours before she has an abortion performed, and she must look at the fetus. I for one do not want anyone invading my space, telling me I have to look at something I have already decided to give up. It’s hard enough, making that decision. A quote from the Houston Chronicle article on the subject: “The doctor is also required to describe what the sonogram shows, to include the existence of legs, arms and internal organs.” You don’t have a choice, ladies. You must look, listen, and have to be embarrassed and shamed into either accepting your baby because it’s the “right” thing to do, or have people look down on you because THEY believe you are making the wrong decision. It isn’t about what is right in the Bible, or what the right wing believes. It is my body, and you can’t tell me what to do with it! Baby or not, if it grows in me, it is part of me. It is my decision to make, and no one but myself should be involved. Now, the bill does have a stipulation: women who are raped, victims of incest, or have fetuses with abnormalities are exempt. The question must be asked: for how long? How long before they are guilted into keeping instead of aborting?
Women, we need to rise up and defend ourselves! If we won’t, who else will? In the 1970’s the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) was not passed as a law. Its purpose? To guarantee women the same rights as men under the law. If our own country won’t take us seriously, why should anyone else have to? If that had been passed 40 years ago, we might not be facing this problem today.