top of page
  • Human Rights Research Center

The Attack on American Women: My Body, My Choice

March 14, 2024


As a woman in the United States, I am witnessing the breakdown and reversal of women’s rights that have stood for decades. Sexual harassment, gender-based violence, and attacks on bodily autonomy and reproductive rights are only but a few of the complex issues women are facing here. The longstanding decision of Roe v. Wade was overturned nearly two years ago, and now reproductive rights have gone under the microscope, literally. Did you know, the state of Alabama actually refers to frozen embryos as living human children, and their destruction is considered murder? Crazy, right? I mean, how can an embryo, frozen in a deep freeze in some facility, have more rights than I do?

 

The fact is, the U.S. government is failing its people in SO many ways. Women’s rights are one of the critical issues at the top of the chopping block, along with LGBTQ+ rights, refugee rights, immigration, and other equally important human rights and social justice issues in the country. (Let’s not forget the ongoing genocide in Gaza! But I digress and continue with the attack on women.)

 

Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, we’re seeing more state governments take away a woman’s right to choose, with several states implementing complete abortion bans. Further, since the federal government failed to protect women’s bodily autonomy, states like Texas and Tennessee decided to be equally outrageous and punish those who have an abortion with criminal charges and imprisonment. Just have a traumatic event like an abortion? Well, off to jail with you! Seems ridiculous, right?

 

In addition, women are facing extremely difficult challenges when seeking appropriate healthcare for ectopic pregnancies and incomplete miscarriages. Occurring in 1 out of 50 pregnancies, ectopic pregnancies can be fatal to the mother. Further, 30 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, but women cannot be treated for this in many states due to current laws. Why is that? Because the methods of managing both ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages are the same as for abortion, thus making it nearly impossible for women to obtain the appropriate treatment. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the regular level of care for ectopic pregnancies, incomplete miscarriages, and other common complications has been delayed and even denied to patients based on new state laws. Women are dying because 14 states have a total abortion ban, with another 16 states banning abortion between 6-25 weeks into pregnancy.



Another fact: the U.S. is one of four countries that have rolled back the legality of abortion in 30 years, while more than 60 others have liberalized abortion rights. Can we even say that we’re a nation committed to liberties and freedoms anymore? Abortions are a health issue, and health care is a human right. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, there are at least 39,000 deaths per year due to unsafe abortions. Why does this happen? When you have draconian laws in place that take away a woman’s choice for her body, well, that causes people to become desperate and seek help elsewhere, and not always in the safest way. Needless to say, the federal and (many) state governments have taken fundamental human rights away from its women, who make up 51.1 percent of the entire country’s population, and put them at risk of death.

 

Even the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) weighed in on the developments, urging the United States “to adhere to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in order to respect, protect, fulfill and promote the human rights of women and girls.” Did you also know that the U.S. is one of seven countries in the world that doesn’t follow the international convention? The U.S. is hanging out with Iran, Somalia, Sudan, and others regarding protecting women. Thanks everyone!

 

Jesting aside, we are facing dark times in the U.S. It is especially challenging to face such topics when you’re one of the targets of these archaic laws. With countries like Mexico decriminalizing abortion and France enshrining abortion access into its constitution, it’s hard to believe my nation is going backwards. Like many here, I refuse to accept that the government has more say about my body than I do. We must stand up to fight these oppressive policies.

 

Bans off our bodies.


 

Helpful Resources

 

Are you or someone you know in need of an abortion in the United States? Below are some useful resources in accessing the medical care you require and learning abortion laws.



 

Glossary


  • Archaic: Of, relating to, or characteristic of an earlier or more primitive time. [Merriam-Webster Dictionary online]

  • Bodily autonomy: In this context, the power of women to make choices about their own bodies without facing coercion or violence. [World Economic Forum]

  • Draconian: Unnecessarily strict or severe laws. [Merriam-Webster Dictionary online]

  • Ectopic pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the uterus. [American Pregnancy Association]

  • Embryo: The early developmental stage of an animal while it is in the egg or within the uterus of the mother. [Britannica]

  • Enshrine: To preserve or cherish as sacred. [Merriam-Webster Dictionary online]

  • Gender-based violence: Violence directed against a person because of that person's gender or violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately. [European Commission]

  • Genocide: An internationally recognized crime where acts are committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. [Source: US Holocaust Memorial Museum]

  • Miscarriage: The sudden loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week. About 10% to 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, although the actual number is likely higher as many miscarriages happen early on, before people realize they're pregnant. [Mayo Clinic]

Comentários


bottom of page