Abortion, Parenting, and our Obsession with Judging Women

18 Jan

Breaking News! Princess Kate is pregnant, finally!
Breaking News! Kim Kardashian is pregnant, by Kanye!
Breaking News! Oklahoma and Texas cut funding to Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics close.

Okay, so none of the above events are breaking news. Everyone has been waiting for Princess Kate to conceive because that’s her main lot in life, apparently. Kim Kardashian is a perennial pop culture icon, her pregnancy a shock to some, and outrage to others because she’s not “mother material.”

Meanwhile, while twitter flutters with outrage and excitement about famous women having babies, anti-choice lawmakers push through increasingly extreme anti abortion legislation that is literally causing clinics offering vital abortion and reproductive health services to close.

Even after President Barack Obama’s resounding victory in November, the House of Representatives remains firmly in anti-choice lawmakers’ hands, and state legislatures across the country are led by anti-choice representatives and anti-choice governors who are all too eager to cut off access to abortion.

Poor women be damned, their policies say, and look over there, a princes is pregnant!

Don’t get me wrong, I think celebrities having kids is exciting and in some ways interesting. It’s no different to me than a coworker of mine coming into the office with her new grand baby, I coo and cuddle, and then continue on with my life.

For many, however, celebrity pregnancies are more than just a sweet moment, they are a distraction, and a reversion to judgement and unfair criticism of women. That judgement eventually trickles down, and reinforces long standing negative ideas about femininity and a “woman’s place,” in the world.

Indeed, over the last month and a half I have seen some of the most misogynist and patriarchal responses to celeb pregnancies and have seen people outraged at the “horrible woman” Kardashian reproducing, damn her, but no outrage at the increasing number of anti-choice injustice perpetrated across states like Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Florida.

Enough judging women and their choices, more helping women, and respecting their choices. The sooner we as a community acknowledge and move on from celeb pregnancies, the quicker we can get back to saving clinics and advocating for increased access to resources is economically disadvantaged communities.

The more time spent criticizing famous pregnant women and wondering how they will get flat abs immediately post birth, the less time there is for helping women that are hurt by clinics closing and Planned Parenthood losing funds.

It’s truly a sad state of affairs when two celebrities are judged and ridiculed, lauded and loved for their pregnant state as if that’s the only thing that matters while women are routinely denied health services and choice across the country. We can and must do better.

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