Yesterday was International Woman’s Day and the ladies who run the blogs Any Other Wedding and One Cat Per Person sent an email to some women bloggers and asked them to contribute a piece about women’s rights or what it means to be a women in 2011 to be posted on their blogs in celebration of the day. It was the first time that I have received an invitation to share my writing on another blog and I did what I’m best at and ignored it because I was scared. Yesterday I felt really angry at myself for missing an opportunity, particularly one I felt strongly about. So while T was napping I wrote something and sent it along to Angie at OCPP. It seems like there were a couple of other ladies who sent along late contributions and Angie was gracious enough to offer to post them today. Mine will be going up on OCPP at 1pm if anyone wants to check it out. I encourage you all to check out the sites regardless. A lot of interesting stuff was posted yesterday.
Of course, I am pretty unhappy with what I wrote. I felt flustered yesterday and couldn’t figure out what I wanted to say, so it is a sort of rehash of many things I’ve written about over here. And it’s pretty self critical. Perhaps someday I’ll get over that, but for now it feels like part of the honesty thing. I don’t like a lot of what I do and think and I can’t help but put that uncomfortable crap out there.
Now that I’ve had a day to think about it I know I’d write about the bill introduced into the Georgia Legislature that would criminalize all abortions and it would require proof that any miscarriage was spontaneous and not induced. Those unable to prove their miscarriages were spontaneous could face prosecution. I’m not going to get into the abortion end of this bill today except to say I feel every woman deserves the right to choose what happens to and in her body. And I would like to acknowledge that I think there is no chance in hell this bill would pass. But the man who introduced the bill, Bobby Franklin, was elected by the citizens of Georgia to represent them; he is currently shaping legislation in the state. He is in a position of power and I believe he is dangerous and anti-woman. He is the same man that wants the terminology changed from “sexual assault victim” to “sexual assault accuser” pre trial.
I’m sure that my visceral response of horror and disgust to this bill has more than a little to do with the fact that I recently had a miscarriage. I believe women are equal in every way to men. I believe they have the right to choose whatever happens to their body, they have the right to not be raped, they have the right to carry a baby to term or not carry a baby to term, they have a right to work outside the home if they so desire, they have the right to vote, to own property. It is amazing to me that they didn’t have these rights when the country was founded a short 234 years ago. Miscarriage is the one thing I have experienced (yes, I have led a very charmed life) in which I felt my freedom of choice was completely taken away from me. I could not believe that my body was betraying me, not when my mind and my heart wanted and loved what had died inside me so completely. My uterus clearly wanted the baby as well, it held on to the embryo for weeks after it had died and eventually I needed a D&C to remove it. The D&C procedure is similar to that used to abort an embryo or fetus in the first term. One of the hardest parts of my miscarriage was letting my future child become medical waste. It might have been dead inside me, but at least it was where I knew it was loved. Because nothing is straightforward for me not all of the “product of conception” was removed and I had heavy bleeding and clotting for several weeks after. There was an ER visit and discussions with the doctor considering whether I needed another D&C or if we should just hope the uterus would just shed on its own. We went with the latter, and I finally got the all clear about 8 weeks after the D&C. I cannot imagine going through that terrible process filled with desperation, self doubt, and loathing while facing an investigation in which I was required to prove that I didn’t cause the miscarriage. Because you know what? I second guessed every move I made during the pregnancy trying to figure out what I had done to cause this to happen. I felt like a complete and total failure as a woman and I felt like I could never trust my body again.
Yes, I don’t believe this bill will pass. But I don’t think I’m being a hysterical liberal by saying I believe women’s rights are being attacked in this country right now. I think we need to speak up, and use our votes. It is an honor and privilege to have the right to vote, and a responsibility. And it is the least we can to do help protect ourselves.
This is the pretty lady who lives on my shoulder. She is my favorite tattoo. Yup, voting is that important to me. This was taken when she was brand new. I should get someone to take another one that isn’t so scabby.