Draw the Line

12 Oct

The Center for Reproductive Rights this week announced a new campaign they are running called Draw the Line. The campaign shows us a number of headlines (including “Woman Arrested for Using Birth Control,” “The Last Abortion Clinic,” and “Roe v Wade Overturned”) that could soon become reality if the current trend in anti-choice legislation continues. In the end, it asks readers to sign the Bill of Reproductive Rights, which has three main components:

1)      The right to make our own decisions about our reproductive health and future, free from intrusion or coercion by any government, group or individual.

2)      The right to a full range of safe, affordable, and readily accessible reproductive healthcare, including pregnancy care, preventive services, contraception, abortion, and fertility treatment, and accurate information about all of the above.

3)      The right to be free from discrimination in access to reproductive healthcare or on the basis of our reproductive decisions.

These are extremely fundamental and important rights. In deciding to create this campaign, Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, told Mother Jones, “We knew it was time to not only continue defending in the courts, but to begin a very aggressive campaign with a clear articulation of what it is that we are seeking to establish.” In other words, this is not to replace the hard work being done across the states to stop current anti-choice legislation, but it is a way for people across the movement to come together and take a stand for the future.

After signing the Bill of Reproductive Rights, I decided to take a stand of my own, and draw a line in my conversations on Twitter. In the past, I’ve tried to inform antichoicers why abortion would still be legal even if a fetus was considered a person. Our rights do not allow us to use the body of another human being without their consent–if a woman didn’t want to be pregnant, she could still end the pregnancy. However, I’ve found that the most common response I get is for the anti-choicer to start questioning my humanity, by calling me cruel and claiming I have no heart. Since this tactic is obviously getting me nowhere, I’ve decided to draw a line and stop letting anti-choicers control the conversation. I will no longer let their assumption about fetal personhood into the conversation. This is one way I can work towards a world where language is led by reproductive justice advocates.

So how will you take a stand? Will you sign the Bill of Reproductive Rights? Will you call your local legislator and tell them to support abortion rights? Will you make a donation to a local Abortion Fund? Will you do all these things and more? Let us know in the comments if you’ve learned of other ways we can Draw the Line and take a stand against anti-choice attacks!

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