May 5, 2022

Body Sovereignty: My Body, My Choice.

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“To damage the sovereignty of the individual is to replace a community inspired by love, benevolence, and beauty by another based solely on power.” ~ Anwar Sadat

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The recent leaked Supreme Court draft to overturn Roe v. Wade has set the world abuzz—as it should.

The absurd thought of banning or having draconian rules around abortions in 2022 is not only unfathomable to most humanistic, free-thinking people, it is also the descent into dangerous territory.

As humans, we are raised to take care of ourselves. Get educated. Get a job and earn a living. We pay for our lifestyles and our health. We make choices every day for ourselves and our family. We can choose to eat well, exercise, and look after our well-being. Or we can choose to perhaps not take as good care of ourselves—but it’s our choice, and we will live with those choices and whatever consequences may arise.

If we go to the doctor, he or she may advise us that we need medication, and again, we can choose whether we take that or not.

Because it is our body and it should always be our choice—what medical treatments we choose. Whether we have children or not. Whether we keep fit. Have lots of sex or no sex. Drink or take drugs. And whether or not we choose to have an abortion.

The lines have become so blurred when it comes to politicians and courts that we have forgotten that they are there to serve the people. To uphold laws to protect all people.

We now have an abhorrent situation where it’s not about the people. It’s about control. It’s about the beliefs of those in power at the detriment to the rest of us. It’s about religion, regardless of the fact that we are supposed to be living in a free world. It’s about bloody mindedness and privilege. It’s about making decisions on things that do not affect the individuals making the decisions. It’s about believing you are right and your beliefs are more important than anyone else’s.

How did we end up here?

We’ve allowed it, and we keep allowing it. We allow ignorance to muddy the waters by not speaking up. We allow the misogynistic attitudes of these men in power by believing there is nothing we can do about it. We tolerate these beliefs and rules that women are not allowed to decide what they do with their own bodies.

And let’s not stop there because we are sliding down the rabbit hole of repression. Are we willing to go back? Back to inequality for same sex couples? Will we start discriminating against race, ethnicity, and gender again?

(Has it really ever gone away?)

If we don’t have sovereignty over our own bodies, what do we have? We cannot have governments telling us what we can and cannot do with our own bodies.

This past year has taught me that if we allow these people in power to dictate what we do with our bodies, we are allowing them more power. More control over us. How long is a piece of string?

In Australia, many lost their jobs because of the vaccine mandate—even people working from home were being mandated by their companies, underhandedly dictated by our government. I mention this because this has been an incredible overreach of power and a complete lack of responsibility when people suffered.

With abortion, it’s the same thing, an incredible overreach of power and little responsibility when things go wrong, and the people suffer at the hands of these people in power.

How much are we going to tolerate? How much of ourselves and our right to choose are we going to give up?

As humans, we are taught to balance risk and benefits. We do this every day of our lives. Whenever it comes to our own bodies, there must be choice. There is no place for the beliefs of others when it comes to our bodies. There is nobody better equipped to make decisions about our bodies, our own health, and well-being.

We need to stop allowing this. We need to stop being silent. We need to stop thinking that if it doesn’t personally affect us, we don’t need to worry about it. We need to stop being complicit. We need to stop believing that politicians, judges, and wealthy businessmen have our best interests at heart. We need to stop being critical of others and actually start critically thinking. We need to stop accepting religion as the basis for making laws that discriminate, and we need to start demanding equality for all. Demanding body sovereignty and demanding better.

If unwanted pregnancy was an issue for the privileged, power-hungry, white male, would we even be having this discussion?

I respect your beliefs. I respect your choices. Your body, your choice.

Respect my beliefs, and respect my choices because: my body, my choice.

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