Bodily Autonomy

I am so angry, I doubt this is going to be a coherent post.

Suffice to say, that once more, SCOTUS has decided that a woman’s decisions about her body and her healthcare take a back seat to someone else’s right. Friday it was free speech (and a unanimous court), today it’s religious freedom — and a sharply divided court.

This is what I don’t get, and what I do not accept: these decisions place undue burdens on women. Now I have to worry about how to plan my family; now I have to figure out where to get my healthcare; now I have to worry about whether or not my boss is a Christian who is going to impede my right to take care of my business.

I have two daughters. They are 7 and 9. I make a lot of decisions for them right now: where they have to go to school; what constitutes meals and healthy snacks; what healthcare they receive; what extracurricular activities they participate in. I make them wear sunscreen and weather-appropriate clothing.

This is my job as a parent.

It is also my job as a parent to teach them to make good decisions. To make clear that someday in the not-to-distant future they will be autonomous creatures and will be making those decisions — what to eat, what to wear, how to treat their bodies — for themselves.

And yet.

The following comes from my friend Gina, who said it better than I can right now:

This pisses me off.

And I refuse to defend my position using the “other uses of birth control” argument, because those other uses are not the only reason that birth control should be equally accessible for everyone. We need to stop moralizing sex. If a woman needs birth control because of a medical condition, fine. But if a woman WANTS birth control because she wants/enjoys sex, and thus wants to prevent contraception — ALSO FINE.

The perpetuation of the attitude that sex is bad (which, as we all know, is aimed primarily at women), is the perpetuation of the patriarchal society that continues to contribute to the inequality of women in every aspect of life, as well as the rape culture which places the responsibility of the sexual behavior of the male race on the female.

We need to stop punishing women/girls for the things we celebrate in men/boys. Birth control needs to be treated as any other medication.

The double standard about sex, and healthcare, and privacy, and bodies is well in effect. It’s just got to stop. These rulings are about abortion and women’s healthcare. And I don’t think speech and religion get to trump my daughters’ rights about what they get to do with their bodies. I just don’t. I promise to raise them to make good decisions. Don’t take that ability away from them.