I’ve said it all before, but this morning I am moved to reiterate some pro-choice outrage after reading about a new regulation in Thailand allowing insane women, and women carrying genetically messed-up fetuses, to get abortions. The regulation represents a loosening of restrictions, which sort of loosening I generally applaud, but no news blurb on abortion ever fails to get stuck somewhere the Twisty craw. This time it’s the obligatory disclaimer from the Thai health minister, who said that “the regulation was not meant to make abortion easy.”
In other words, “you bitches gotta suffer.”
Punishing women for getting pregnant is bloodsport in Dudeville. If you’re a teenager you get kicked out of school. If you’re working you get laid off. If you were raped your brothers kill you. If you’re a drug addict you get thrown in jail. If your kid has low birth weight you’re charged with neglect. If you get murdered your fetus gets more column inches than you do. Even if you’re a properly married Jesus-American lady, you get the stink-eye when you have a glass of Chardonnay at dinner, and you’re forced to wear unbelievably ugly clothes with bows on’em.
But if you quite reasonably wish not to endure the grueling condition of pregnancy, because after all you’re a bright young thing who should be out hoisting cups of wassail and writing edgy first novels, lookout. I mean, look the fuck out.
“We might let you have an abortion, but only if you admit how sorry you are that you so irresponsibly had sex, and only if you agree to have a nervous breakdown afterward because you feel so guilty about murdering your baby. OK? Now, swim the backstroke across this river of shit while singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” and watch this film strip about the joys of adoption, and get a permission slip from your poor mother, whose heart you have broken with your slutty ways.”
It is incomprehensible that politicians—some of the most narcissistic, perfidious, and least enlightened asshole white dudes on the planet—and judges—who maybe don’t say “in regards to” as often, but who are nevertheless just as white and dudely, and who are sworn to further the inviolate objectives of patriarchy no matter how oppressive— have the slightest say in the manner in which a private citizen decides to dispatch clumps of cells infesting her own personal bodily tissues. Yet there they are, puffing their lips in and out, basking in the golden glow of their entitlement, pretending to care about babies when it’s fetuses they’re really pretending care about, and they’re only pretending to care about fetuses because it gives them ownership of uteruses, without which ownership the whole sacred system of penis-placement crashes. “Fetal rights” is a smokescreen. Its real purpose is to breathe new life into good old American misogynist legislation, which, let’s face it, really took a hit when chicks got the vote.
When some pious, pink-faced old gasbag, particularly since an accident of birth has conferred upon him immunity from the oppressive aftermath of his narrowminded pronouncements, inserts even one little punitive iota of an obstacle between a human being and her personal sovereignty, it’s a human rights violation.