This summer came with a shocking ruling being handed down by SCOTUS in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Any person who can become pregnant and currently lives in a state where abortion has been outlawed is now faced with an increasingly cruel reality where their bodily autonomy has been stolen from them by the government.
I do not wish to argue that abortion should not be framed as a womens rights issue as women are the group whose members are most likely to become pregnant, and thus end up needing access to abortions. Furthermore, there is no denying that structural sexism and misogyny are major components motivating anti-abortion groups.
I have never seen anti-abortion groups actually push for policies that are reliably shown to reduce abortion like increased sex education, better access to contraceptives and reproductive healthcare. Instead, I often witness anti-abortion groups being fundamentally opposed to those kinds of policies.
Thus, I do not have a problem with pointing out the gross sexism and misogyny being the primary motivators of the anti-abortion movement. While there are perhaps anti-choice individuals who do genuinely care about the unborn, I have never seen the larger anti-abortion movement embrace an actual pro-life, pro-child agenda.
The reason I say that, is that to me a pro-life, pro-child agenda would include fighting for universal healthcare, more funding for schools and education and free childcare for working parents. To this day, I have not met that many anti-choicers who enthusiastically embrace such policies.
With that said, it is important to note that abortion access is an issue that is not solely the provence of feminism and womens’ rights movement. While many men cannot get pregnant, there are, in fact, men and non-binary individuals who can get pregnant and many who even want to do so.
Abortion access is thus, an important LGBTQ issue as people across the LGBTQ spectrum are fully capable of becoming pregnant.
Furthermore, there is also the issue of corrective rape and how it can place LGBTQ individuals at risk of an unwanted pregnancy. Corrective rape is a hate crime in which LGBTQ individuals are raped because of their sexuality or gender identity, in an attempt to cure or correct our (perceived) gender or sexual transgressions. Corrective rape can be used against any gender or sexual minority, but those most frequently targeted for corrective rape are lesbians, bisexual women, transgender men and non-binary individuals.
Between of corrective rape, sexual assault and pregnancies that come from a consensual sexual encounter, there are plenty of ways LGBTQ individuals can experience unwanted pregnancies.
Pregnancies can be incredibly life changing in ways that are both good and bad. Many people want to become pregnant and when they do so, talk about it in joyous, rapturous terms. All the more power to them, I say.
But for many people, pregnancy can be an unending nightmare. Either because of dangerous medical complications or because the pregnancy itself is a painful reminder of a violent sexual assault.
These situations are a reality too, along with a wide variety of experiences that exist in between joyous rapture and unending nightmare.
Thus, we should allow those who wish to do so, to terminate pregnancies for any reason.
As it stands, bodily autonomy is an important requirement that is needed before any other liberation can take place. Therefore, maintaining legal abortion access is an important LGBTQ rights issue.
Ultimately, it is important for us to fight for the rights of all minorities because our group is itself composed of all other minorities. The LGBTQ community includes those who are disabled, women, people of color and the young and the elderly. To achieve true LGBTQ liberation, we must fight for all of us.
Write to Jeremy Redlien at firstname.lastname@example.org