A feminist is clearly the “it” thing to be now. Individuals openly identify as feminist and happily purchase cute swag and apparel to feed their hunger for empowerment, unity, and equality of the sexes. In contrast, being pro-choice is not the “it” thing in several states in the current political climate, including Ohio.
While pro-choice means pro-delivery, pro-adoption, or pro-abortion, our society has somehow morphed pro-choice to mean only pro-abortion and has created a culture of shame to surround it. What has been tremendously upsetting in the feminist movement is the overall lack of basic understanding on how abortion is directly linked to the concept of feminism.
You cannot be both feminist and anti-abortion rights.
Let us address pregnancy from the perspective of the woman. During pregnancy and the postpartum period, women may experience potentially fatal blood pressure spikes, life-threatening profuse bleeding after delivery, risk of infection, fatigue, hemorrhoids, constipation, breastfeeding issues, anxiety, stress, depression, sleep disorders, urinary incontinence, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Even without any complications, pregnancy and delivery will permanently change a woman’s body including changes in the vagina, bladder, breasts, abdominal muscles, skin, and sex drive — most of which negatively impact a woman’s well-being.
Society has widely recognized that it is a human right to consent to anything that affects one’s body. It is a violation of human rights if treatment, medicine, surgery, sexual intercourse, harmful food/water consumption, and even environmental and occupational risks occur without the consent of the individual. Additionally, a core principle in health care is patient autonomy — the ability of patients to make independent decisions that affect their own health and body. A woman deserves to consent to her own body becoming transformed with ever-lasting changes and to the wide array of short-term and chronic disorders that will most likely occur to her body, after evaluating her own risks.
At the heart of feminism is equality. But how can you even start to be equal if you don’t have rights and control over your own body? So, to all those overly zealous “feminists” out there who are silent or indecisive when it comes to abortion, you are missing a critical point: you cannot be both feminist and anti-abortion rights.
The writer is a medical student at the University of Toledo.
This article was culled from TOLADO BLADE