I learned something new today! (An important part of daily life.)
One of the lovely members of Abortioneers explained to me over Twitter that the scars from a c-section can be reason to deny a woman an abortion.
I had never even thought of this. I knew of women being denied a vaginal birth because of their risk of uterine rupture, but I had never considered women being denied an abortion because of previous c-section(s). It shouldn’t have surprised me, of course. 60% of women who abort already have at least one child, which means they’ve already given birth at least once. And with a c-section rate at somewhere around 32% or more, depending upon the state, it makes perfect sense that many women wishing to obtain an abortion would have had c-sections.
This past week, when I haven’t been worrying about real life, I’ve been trying to think of a way that the birthing activists and abortion rights activists could be brought together, to fight together for reproductive justice. Could this be it?
I know that prochoicers who fight for abortion rights, when they think about it, fight for all reproductive rights. However, a lot of our time is spent focused solely on abortion rights. I think a lot of people, even feminist activists, don’t realize that women have trouble accessing vaginal birth. The stigma surrounding abortion makes it obvious to us how difficult accessing abortion can be. But there isn’t a stigma surrounding vaginal birth (except inside a hospital room behind closed doors). We’re just never told that women are denied vaginal births after c-sections, unless we suffer it ourselves or find our way into the birthing community.
Even though I’m sure abortion right activists care about birthing rights, I can see where some might decide to focus solely on abortion rights. However, when we consider the above, birthing rights BECOME abortion rights. If a woman is forced to go through repeat c-sections, and then she is denied an abortion because of her c-sections? That’s an abortion rights issue. We can’t change that a woman is denied an abortion because of medical reasons. But we CAN change that she is forced into a repeat c-section for no reason besides hospital policy.
If we care about abortion rights, we have to care about birthing rights.
Now just to figure out how to bring the birthing community majority into abortion rights activism.