Our country is bleeding out in so many ways I don't know how we can stop it. Women are seen as simply vessels for other human beings. Those unborn matter more than the woman who has to carry them. I think what is hitting me today is this very fact. That the shame I have felt since the day I walked into a clinic at 16 and did what I knew I had to do to become a healthy, happy, emotionally stable human being is all because of a patriarchal society that did not value my life.
Those doctors and nurses did. I know my family did, but again, the shame of growing up in a culture who also shames sex especially for young women had them caught in their own traps of shame . . . it goes on & on since the beginning of religion.
I thought about sharing my abortion story a few months back when this Roe v Wade story began to unfold. But the truth is, it's not special, I'm not special for it. Most of the women I know have experienced an unwanted pregnancy and abortion. I have rewritten my story 10 times trying to tell it the way I want to but I kept coming back to this thought that there are so many other women who’ve had worse stories. I had a small support system, a safe & legal abortion, access to counseling. If men knew the pressure we are under to make birth control work and then have it fail and then have to go through with a horrible procedure . . .
I mean if they had to take that on, this wouldn't even be happening. That's the ugly truth. You and I both know it. And the crazy thing is that this will effect so many men. And perhaps this had to happen for them to wake up and see that reproductive rights effect Everyone. I know some men were out there marching & calling for change, but it would have to take a lot more to make it happen, the same way it has to take white people fighting and standing up for the rights of black people to make the powers that be listen.
This is such a dark day for America. I want any young woman who might read this who finds themselves in the scariest predicament as I did that day long ago to feel free to reach out to me. I will move mountains to try to get you the access you need to the freedom you seek, the bodily right you should be born with. This is the most personal decision one could make, it redirects everything in your life, therefore it should absolutely and always remain just that - a Personal Decision.
I don't think I'm wrong in thinking that this will divide our country into two pieces much like the North & South days. I am raising two young girls & am thinking every day about how I can protect their future lives. So if Texas remains as is I will be moving to a state that actually values the health of myself & my daughters. And I know that is my privilege, I think of all the women who have so little resources and will simply have to be stuck with the choice that their government dictated for them. If you think abortion is wrong, that’s your personal belief. It should not be my healthcare.
⏯ Zanna Ouise is a Texas musician.