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Opinion >  Letters

My body, whose choice?

It seems life could soon imitate art in America. It depends on the decision of the SCOTUS, six of whom are Catholic. That lens informs their bias, as does their extraordinary power privilege. Catholic Chief Justice Roberts stated that fetal viability “doesn’t have anything to do with choice.” How true that is! Choice — a legal, moral and ethical prerogative to exercise one’s own autonomy through self-determination — is the very essence of being human.

Women, as humans, must not have liberty of self-determination taken from them. When Catholic Justice Barrett wonders what’s so onerous about a woman being forced to “an infringement on bodily autonomy,” she dismissively equates forced pregnancy with mandatory vaccines. Barrett doesn’t think that “pregnancy and parenthood are all part of the same burden.” Interesting that Barrett said “burden” rather than blessing! After all, Barrett is a highly privileged woman of the dominant caste who has ample resources to lighten her burden.

The burdens of an unwanted pregnancy are multifold. Maternal health outcomes in Mississippi and other states which have systematically restricted women’s options are dismal. The burdens of unsupported childbearing and rearing are confirmed in infant and maternal mortality and poverty rates. These states usually vote against expanded health care, family leave policies, child care, early pre-K education and other supportive mechanisms for families struggling to raise children.

A woman, equally imbued with rights as a man, knows best what her personal economy can bear: financial, physical, mental, social and family – all enormously more burdensome than, say, the imposition of a vaccine. Abortion isn’t mandatory! The hypocrisy of comparing pregnancy and resultant years of child-rearing to a public health vaccine mandate during a global pandemic is galling. My body, my choice … really?

Blessed be the fruit, indeed. Control of the womb perpetuates the strange fruits of patriarchy, misogyny and power over female autonomy.

Marilyn Darilek

Spokane


 

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