A guest post from Ellen Ramona.
It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: if men could get pregnant, they’d be aborting like there was no tomorrow. Choice would not be an issue — how else would men have time to go to work, create wars with each other, entertain each other with sports? In the world we live in, a man’s body is his own, and will never belong to anyone else. Women, however, are at a greater risk of being subjected to the atrocities of rape or sexual slavery that demand a relinquishing of the body, that victimize, dehumanize, and diminish- that, in short, devour a woman whole.
That there is a question of choice at all says only one thing: a woman’s body is not hers to own. This message is saturated throughout our culture, where the objectification of women seeks to separate women from their bodies, while simultaneously suggesting that a woman is little more than her body. And once a fetus enters the picture, the woman nearly vanishes altogether, serving almost solely as a transportation vessel for some tiny cell.
I remember watching an episode of a local talk show many years ago when I was but a young teenager, and being thoroughly horrified by an episode that featured a devoutly religious man of some fanatical sect showcasing his newborn twins that his wife had died giving birth to. He spoke so glibly, in near whispers of glee, about how the lives of his newborn children had, from the moment of conception, been more important than that of his wife- they had gone through with the pregnancy even though they knew from the start that there was a very large chance that the mother would die from complications in childbirth. This they “agreed” too.
My mind still reels. How could the life of a fully developed, contributing, loving, caring person ever be more important than that of something as yet unborn? The answer? Because it’s a woman. It’s highly unlikely that this said man would have sacrificed his own life for that of an unborn child, nor the life of his other children. In each instance, the existing lives would have been deemed more valuable. Only the life of the “vessel” lacked the same worth.
So the real issue is: there should be no issue. As long as we continue to separate women from their bodies, to devalue their minds and rights, we will be unable to acknowledge that freedom of choice belongs to all of us. Women anywhere should be able to do as they please with not only their bodies, but their lives. Women, too, have a right to life.