It is not my intent in this blog to repeat myself or rehash subjects I have already discussed, and that have already been discussed so eloquently on blogs like Sappho’s Manifesto, Tennessee Guerilla Women, and Bitch, PhD. Yet I feel, in light of discussions I have had with my husband and the opinions of others on this matter, that perhaps I should make some things clear in regards to why I believe is not ok for the law to dictate that a woman must inform her husband that she is having an abortion.
My husband, and many others, tend to mock the decree of “our body, our choice”, and other such feminist claims. At least in the case of my husband, I don’t think he is being cruel, but he feels that where a baby is concerned, a husband, or even a boyfriend, should have some rights too. As I said before, I think it is immoral for a woman who is in a good marriage to have an abortion and keep it hidden from her husband. Yet there are cases where a woman has to make a choice to have an abortion for the protection of herself and her unborn child. The most obvious case is when the wife is abused -physically, mentally, or both – and these are the women we have to protect. Bitch, PhD does a really good job of covering the ground here, but in simple terms, Judge Alito felt that while some women are abused, most women are not. Thus, the law requiring a woman to inform her husband of her intent to have an abortion does not cause an “undue burden” for “most” women. Why does this upset me? Because of the danger and possible consequences to “some” women. Not to mention I’m afraid that if we really looked at the truth of the world, we’d find a hell of a lot more women are abused in some way by their husbands than statistics tell us.
My husband’s reply to this was “she should just get out”. Get and out and go where? Getting out of an abusive relationship isn’t easy when you have family and friends willing to help you, what about those women who have no one and nothing? Not to mention the strength of the vows that a woman has made for better or for worse, and the apologies that come, sometimes with presents. Do you really think it is easy for these women, when they find themselves pregnant, to make a decision to have an abortion? Do you think it is easy for them to hide it from their husbands? Do you think it pleases them in any way whatsoever? Would any caring, loving person want to force this woman to confide in her husband, and end up plagued by a life of abuse, possibly even sentencing the child to a lifetime of abuse? Is that really the better choice here? Because the reality is, once the child comes there is little chance the woman and the child will get out of the abusive home. And we all know that children who grow up witnessing abuse or being abused themselves often grow up to be abusers as well. So no, Mr. Alito, I don’t think your decision was moral OR right. It isn’t a balance between “some” and “most”. If it is even one, that one must be protected.
This is just one type of circumstance. There are many others that may or may not justify a woman keeping an abortion to herself. Either way, if a woman feels that it should be her decision, and her decision alone, she has to have that right. She can’t be told by law that she doesn’t. And the law doesn’t fully understand the consequences in any circumstance. The law doesn’t care about the consequences. The law would only care that you notify your husband. WE MUST PROTECT THESE WOMEN.
When it comes to women’s rights, I’m afraid we can’t give an inch, a millimeter, in our fight. It wasn’t until 85 years ago that women had the right to vote in
So yes, I suppose to some extent I am a feminist. I believe that women are smart, beautiful, and capable of whatever they want. I believe a woman’s choices are difficult, heartbreaking, but they must be their own. I believe we must protect women’s choices and women’s rights. And I swear, by my life and my love of it, I will not let that foot go down.