Put more than two humans in a room, ask them to make decisions, and without proper supervision or a moral compass, you get laws that repress, harm, or just plain don’t make sense. How else can anyone come up with the thought of allowing strangers to decide whether a pregnant woman goes into labor or not. Whether she will rear a child, or not. And overlook the fact that she’s not an asexual plant; the other person in the pregnant making is not mentioned in the law! Like humans, laws can be flawed.
I looked up our history of laws and found some doozies:
The Naturalization Act of 1790: Refused the granting of national citizenship to indentured servants, slaves, free Black people, and later Asians. This law was based on whether you had melanin in your skin.
The Indian Removal Act (1830): Legalized deportation of Native Americans to the West, a policy known as "Indian removal." This one is horrid and barbaric, as well.
The Page Act of 1875: Classified as "undesirable" anyone from China who came to the U.S. as a contract laborer, any Asian woman to engage in prostitution and all people considered to be convicts in their native country. Because God knows, America is pure and chaste…
Pace v. Alabama (1883): Upheld the constitutionality of anti-miscegenation laws that banned interracial sex and marriage. From 1913 to 1948, 30 of the then 48 states had laws against "miscegenation" preventing sexual contact and marriage between races. This precedent wasn't overturned until 1967 in Loving v. Virginia. Some of us wouldn’t be here now without miscegenation.
This next list should be called; who in the hell thought this up?
Here in California, bears and other animals must be told that they can’t have sex within 1500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship. How do you make the animals understand this? And what lucky fool had to enforce it . . . and measure the distance?
Stop that, Camel! In Nevada, you are not allowed to drive a camel on the highway. I could see where this could be disruptive if anyone drove camels.
The state of Kansas had a law on the books prohibiting the use of mules to hunt ducks. I have no words for this one.
How about West Virginia’s law making it illegal to whistle underwater?
Texans may not realize it, but it is or was illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing. Who counts?
And my favorite from New Mexico, idiots may not vote. But they can make laws.
And while these laws used to or still do exist are amusing, there is nothing funny about using law to overstep or deny civil and human rights. The thirst to control other peoples’ lives is a sick and perverted practice. I want us to stop pretending it is acceptable.
And in the conversations about a woman’s right to choose whether she will remain pregnant, let’s remember the 11-year-old girl who became pregnant, raped by a family member. The police had to pick him up from choir practice. The single woman who was abandoned when she shared her condition with the man. The married mother of four whose family cannot afford another mouth to feed, clothe, and educate. The young woman who never gets over giving a baby up for adoption because she couldn’t care for the child.
Give a moment of silence for the women who died during childbirth when birth control was outlawed, and double-digit births could mean a death sentence. It was commonplace to lose the mother or several babies during those times—many of them victimized by religion. The Catholic church, more specifically, the pope, is another man with no business telling women when to have sex, how, and whether they have children or not.
Our patriarchal history continues to haunt us today. In some minds women are still property and their most intimate decisions, up for public debate. That doesn’t mean it’s right. Again, why the obsession with controlling women?
Let’s Turn the Tables
Imagine a law that required men, (who can impregnant multiple women in the time it takes one woman to bring a child into the world), were held responsible for contraception. Imagine a federal law requiring vasectomies for men who fathered more than three children or impregnated more than one woman.
Also in the Vasectomy Law, doctors who refused to perform the procedure could be jailed. Men all over the country protest the Vasectomy Law shouting, my body, my choice.
Or better yet, how would the world look if men had babies?
The seahorse is the only species in which males become pregnant and give birth.
I’ve read that some experts in fertility have investigated surgical implantation of a uterine cavity into a male abdomen to achieve an ectopic pregnancy---outside of the uterine. They do cite extreme risk with this concept.
How many times have we joked that if men had to give birth, the world would be a lonely place? So, I guess those who can’t do, control? For all those men with either uterine-envy or the need to control who has a baby and who doesn’t, I’ll share some insight from my personal experience for your edification:
Your stomach which has outgrown your body, begins contractions. This feeling is like no other. The closest comparison is involuntary, violent constriction of your stomach like in some horror movie---it moves all on its own, and on a pain scale from 10 to 20. This can go on for hours---four for the lucky ones, 20+ hours for the rest of us.
Then you either have the baby surgically removed and learn to walk again, or it passes through your vagina. If you’ve had kidney stones, multiply that experience, and imagine pushing a cantaloupe out of your penis.
Don’t get me wrong, giving birth is an experience like no other. It is a privilege to bring a life into the world. But as marvelous as it is, the decision to bring a life into the world should be a woman’s choice and not a federal law sent down from a court of humans with lifetime jobs and questionable regard for the quality of their decisions.
There oughta be a law that states: In matters of personal health and wellbeing, intimate family decisions, you must mind your own business. Keep your opinions within your own household.