Brankin: My reproductive choices are none of your business

The government should not have the right to decide whether I have a child.

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Tara Brankin

Last fall, I wrote a column titled, “Let’s not forget about Planned Parenthood.” The piece discussed efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization that provides women with services like abortions and access to varying birth control methods and how these efforts would impact the lives of women across the country. Additionally, Planned Parenthood provides STD testing and breast exams, which I feel is not discussed enough when having conversations about Planned Parenthood. If defunded, it will become a lot more difficult for women to make the choice regarding whether they’d like to have children.

Over the past few months, efforts have been made to not only defund nonprofit organizations like Planned Parenthood, but to eliminate women’s choice to have an abortion. In May of this year, the Supreme Court announced that they will be reviewing a Mississippi law that would undermine Roe v. Wade, the ruling that guarantees women’s right to choose an abortion. The law, which would ban almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, is a grim reminder that there are individuals who are unwavering in their efforts to put a fetus ahead of women who would be the ones facing the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy.

During Trump’s presidency, he claimed that overturning Roe v. Wade was a priority and was a factor in the new Supreme Court justices he chose: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. These justices maintain conservative ideologies and have expressed anti-Roe rhetoric, further putting the choice to have an abortion in jeopardy.

I am getting really sick of people attempting to prevent women from choosing whether they have children. I am of the opinion that it is absolutely no one’s business what a woman wants to do with her body and that some people’s obsession with “protecting life” is just a clever guise to undermine women’s freedom. I am aware that this sentiment will upset some individuals, but frankly, I do not give a shit. Additionally, I am particularly disappointed with women who seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. If you don’t want to have an abortion, then don’t have an abortion, but don’t project your own ideologies onto other women.

In the same vein, I believe that individuals should not project their religious beliefs onto women who are in their legal right to make a decision regarding their own bodies. As someone who was raised Catholic (but is no longer practicing) and even attended Catholic school, I was exposed to many people who were vehemently opposed to Roe v. Wade and, more specifically, Planned Parenthood. It was implied with varying degrees of subtlety that Planned Parenthood was an evil, godless organization whose main purpose was to be “baby killers,” with no regard being given to women who did not want to become mothers.

Living in fear that my right to not have a child could be taken away from me is terrifying. I am hoping Roe will be upheld, but at this point, the fact that the Supreme Court is even reviewing Mississippi’s law could become a slippery slope from which more anti-abortion legislation could become a reality. It feels dystopian and wildly unfair.

If you are like me and are also scared of this happening, please consider donating to Planned Parenthood.