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Because so many aspects of our culture normalize rape on a subconscious level.
Because Kansas and Arizona pass bills that allows the beliefs of a doctor or pharmacist to trump the health of a person. And because fetuses are becoming increasingly more important than the person carrying them.
Because a state representative can compare a person giving birth to livestock.
Because legislature that criminalizes pregnancy and abortion are being forced into discussion again and again.
Because the rest of the world wants to know why Americans aren’t angrier.
Because of bills that limit the time frame of my choices.
Because for some reason, religion is a legitimate reason to interfere in my uterus.
Because the Protect Life Act even exists.
Because people who miscarry or lose their babies are being charged with murder.
Because a woman who tried to commit suicide while pregnant was jailed and charged with feticide.
Because ectogenesis technology could further remove birthing rights from a mother.
Because programs like this even have to exist.
Because birth control is suddenly a religious issue. Because women can be fired for using birth control as a contraceptive. Because the benefits of no-cost or inexpensive birth control are overlooked. Because ignorance necessitates posts like this.
Because again and again, organizations like the Medicaid Woman’s Health Program are seen as unnecessary. Because even the Susan G. Komen Foundation tried to stop funding Planned Parenthood. And if you think we’re past that, think again.
Because America ranks among a very small number of countries that don’t have paid, mandatory pregnancy leave. In fact, people routinely get forced out of their jobs for being pregnant.
Because public discourse from men like Rush Limbaugh is insulting and misogynistic and goes mostly unpunished.
Because the U.S. Military has some of the highest rape rates and most reprehensible policies for dealing with them.
Because we are bitches for saying no and sluts for saying yes. Because we are valued by how many or few sexual encounters we have had.
Because this is normal.
Because I don’t know a single woman who has not been harassed, derided, assaulted. Because I know many women and girls who have been raped. Because I’ve seen the long term, life long repercussions of sexual abuse.
Don’t tell me there isn’t a war on women. And don’t tell me the economy is more important than this. This barely scratches the surface.
Repeat after Soraya Chemaly: I am a woman and I have these human rights. The right to life. The right to privacy. The right to freedom. The right to bodily integrity. The right to decide when and how I reproduce.