The first time I was arrested I was 16. My parents still don’t know. I refused to move when the police instructed me to; forty five minutes later when they got around to processing us and I gave them my high school ID, declaring me a high school sophomore, they told me to just go home. They didn’t care to deal with a minor who had committed the very serious crime of blocking a public street.
I was arrested for blocking a group of protestors in front of a local abortion clinic. They were on the sidewalk. I was in the street. They were allowed to continue holding signs depicting huge, blown up pictures of aborted fetuses and those of us holding signs that said “Support women!” and “Choice Rocks” were arrested.
Yeah, it felt wrong then, too.
I have never lived in a time when abortion was not legal – by the time I was born abortion had been legal in the US for over 15 years. By the time I .knew. what abortion .was. I had been indoctrinated by the church that it was a Very Bad Thing that only Very Bad Women got. As time went on I began volunteering with Planned Parenthood, forming my own thoughts and opinions and sexual ethics.
A few years ago I was asked why I, as a queer identified woman (at the time) who only slept with women (at the time), I fought so hard for services that I thought I would likely never need*. I had a hard time articulating it, and brought it to a friend, asking if she thought it was weird. “No,” she said, and we talked about bodily autonomy, and reproductive ethics and how, in many ways, the two movements (right to choice, and LGBT rights) had followed the same trajectory for a lot of the same reasons.
This movement isn’t about me, or you, or any individual. It is about trusting people to make decisions about their body. I know my body better than anybody else. You know your body better than anybody else. Nobody should be able to make decisions about our bodies; not friends or parents (after a certain age) or lovers and certainly not a bunch of politicians in DC.
Let’s not forget those who fought, long and hard and tirelessly, for our right to choose and let’s honor them by living up to the standard that the pioneers set. Let’s trust people with their own bodies.
Please consider donating to an organization that protects the right to choose today. More information on the blogathon can be found at Amplify.
*As my friend Daunasia pointed out, LGB youth are actually more likely to get pregnant or get somebody pregnant than their peers.