There’s a lot of misinformation coming out of quite a few US States right now surrounding a particular topic started in Texas recently. I’m not here to start arguments, or fights, I just want to clarify a couple of points for people who might not know better.
First, let’s throw out a few thoughts about periods.
- Suggesting that a woman has a period once per month is a generalized statistic. Birth control pills are structured to give a woman a period once per month. If you’re not on birth control, the natural function of your body could give you a period once every 20 days, or it could even give you a period once every 40 days or 50 days. When it comes to biology it really depends on the woman and how her body works. It is definitely not the case that every female gets a period once per month.
- If you are not on birth control, it is extremely hard to predict when your period will come. If you’re stressed, your diet changes, you’re taking some sort of medication, you’re sick, etc…, it can all play an impact in your period being late. Females around the world can probably all agree that it’s not uncommon for a period to be late.
- If you are on some form of birth control pill, it’s still not an exact science to predict when your period will start. Some women have periods that last 5-7 days. Some women have periods that last two days. If you finish your progresterone/estrogen combo after 21 days and your period is only two days, that can come at any point in the next seven days.
- If you have an implant, it might be possible that you don’t have a period at all.
Okay, now lets talk about this “You have 6 weeks to make a decision from the time you have sex”.
Talking about another generalized statistic here, a woman has only a certain window in the month in which she actually can get pregnant. It’s not possible to get pregnant when your body is not ovulating.
- It is EXTREMELY difficult to track when your body is ovulating. For women who are actively trying to get pregnant, it takes a lot of work to track the ovulation cycle. And, for women who aren’t trying to get pregnant, I can’t speak for all women, but I have a hunch the majority of us just don’t pay attention.
- Pregnancy occurs in the days leading up to ovulation, and the day of ovulation. If you’re not tracking that, then… you have no idea. Why would you? You’re not trying to get pregnant.
- Now, let’s use the generalized statistic that a woman’s period comes once every 30 days. Technically, an estimation would be that she is ovulating anywhere in the period of 10-16 days before her next period. So if she’s guessing that her period is coming October 1st, the ovulation cycle could be anywhere between the 15th and 20th of the month September
- Let’s say, for example, that a woman had sex on the 15th of September. If there was a possibility of getting pregnant from the sex had (her partner finished inside of her), it’s not immediate. Implantation needs to happen. That can take a whole week. That can take a day, that can take three days. It all depends on the woman.
- So, let’s say, for example’s sake, a woman had sex on the 15th, and implantation occurred the following week. She’s now at three weeks post period. It can take another full week before a woman has enough HCG in her body for an at-home pregnancy test to tell her she’s pregnant. HCG has to build up in the body for a pregnancy to be detected. At this point in time, a woman is a full four weeks past her previous period. Her next period could be coming any day, or if she’s stressed it could be coming in another two weeks. There’s no way to know for certain because the body doesn’t work on a calendar cycle.
- If she waits two weeks for her next period to show up, which is a very reasonable window, women can attest, then she’s already reached a point in which the Texas law declares her at ‘6 weeks’ and terminating the pregnancy is no longer allowed. But she, in fact, hasn’t even learned she’s pregnant yet.
- Now let’s say she’s worried about the sex that was had two weeks prior. Let’s say, for many of the women that this happens to, the sex was unwanted, and she’s scared. She could take a pregnancy test when her period doesn’t show up on the October 1st. If the test does show that she’s pregnant, she needs to get to a doctor to get it confirmed. I don’t know about you, but here in the part of the world that I live, there is zero circumstances in which someone could call a doctor and get an appointment on that day. In many parts of the world it’s 3 days – 1 week before you can get an appointment. In many parts of the world, it could be longer than a week before you can get to a clinic to get your pregnancy confirmed by a doctor. For example’s sake, let’s say it takes a week. By Texas law standard, a woman is now ‘5 weeks along’.
- If the doctor is able to confirm the pregnancy at 5 weeks along, and a woman is wishing to terminate her pregnancy they don’t just let you go and do it that day. In a lot of cases, in a lot of parts of the world, if you’re going to terminate a pregnancy, you have to take part in a counselling session, you have to get a referral to book an appointment have arrangements made with the clinic that can help you with termination. Can this come together in the next 5 days? Maybe? It could be hella hard, though.
- Under the best, most optimal circumstances for the woman I’ve explained here, there is a very unlikely chance she can get the clinic to squeeze her in during the next five days. At which point, if they cannot, under Texas law, a woman is then considered ‘6 weeks along’ and you are not allowed to terminate past six weeks.
- Now, imagine this is someone who’s underage. Let’s say it’s a 16 year old girl. These barriers to getting medical treatments are harder. She might not drive, she might need a ride to the doctor to get the pregnancy confirmed to get a referral to the clinic for termination. That could take more time, pushing her past the six week window.
- Now, imagine a woman is in an abusive relationship and she doesn’t get a lot of opportunity to get away from her partner very often. This could be almost impossible for her to get to a clinic before the six week window has passed.
There are a lot of factors at play here that have to perfectly align, for lack of better terminology, for a woman to be able to terminate a pregnancy prior to 6 weeks, by Texas standard.
If other states start implementing laws similar to Texas, it’s going to be harder and harder for women to get the medical treatments they need.
In Texas specifically, in 2014 only 43 percent of women lived in a county in which clinics that provide pregnancy termination were accessible to them, and that’s only gotten even harder to find since that time. So women who are needing to terminate a pregnancy (for any reason, because it’s really not our fucking business) in Texas are having to travel hundreds of miles to get to a clinic where they can get the medication/procedure.
Under the very best of circumstances for a woman, it’s exceptionally difficult to determine you’re pregnant and have appointments and clinics align for your termination to fall under the 6 week window that the governor says ‘GIVES LOTS OF TIME’ as though he knows anything a about a woman’s body.
Now, specific to the Texas law, there have been ZERO exceptions put into this law banning termination after 6 weeks. Not for rape, incest, lethal anomaly, age, or anything of the sort. So to clarify, if a thirteen year old is raped and gets pregnant, there is no exceptions, the state is expecting her to carry her rapist’s baby to term at 13 years old.
Well, if anyone thinks that sounds like an extreme case, it’s really not. Stuff like that happens a lot in our world. It might not be plastered online all of the time, but it happens, a lot.
Imagine if a 13 year old was raped by her father and got pregnant. Texas law is expecting her to carry her pregnancy to term, unless she can get the parental consent, from the man who raped her, to get her pregnancy terminated.
Now, remember that a lot of doctors don’t do ultrasounds until at least 8 weeks pregnant, many don’t even until 12. What if it a 12 weeks along, or 16 weeks alone, a doctor finds an issue with the baby that they know will result in the baby being a still-birth. Under Texas law right now, that woman is required to carry that baby for another 6-7 months, knowing that when it is born, it will die. Can you imagine the psychological impact of carrying a child for 6-7 months knowing it will die? There are a lot of reasons why this can happen, and though we don’t hear about them often, stillbirths happen in the USA every day. A woman’s mental health might never recover from that.
A man, or group of men, who seem to know nothing about female reproduction, drafted a law that suggests they understand female reproduction better then females. As a result, women no longer get a choice.
Now, let’s talk about the: “If you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have sex” argument.
Great, this argument is stupid.
Sex is good. People should be able to enjoy sex without wanting to make a child.
Beyond that, though, if you tell women that they shouldn’t have sex, then… what happens if all women just stop having sex with men. I mean, it sounds completely crazy, but so does banning abortions after six weeks. What if all women just stopped having sex with men? Would men be okay with that? I doubt it. Men like sex as much as women do.
You can get pregnant while using birth control.
You can get pregnant while using a condom.
You can get pregnant if you have sex.
The possibility of getting pregnant lessens if you take precautions, but it’s always there.
The “don’t have sex” argument is like saying “Don’t get in a car if you don’t want to get in a car accident”. Is everyone going to stop driving? No. You can minimize risk by taking precautions, but the risk will always remain, no matter how small.
Now let’s talk about birth control.
First off, if you’re underage, I believe in most places you have to have parental consent to get birth control. I know that I did.
Now, in places like Texas, and a lot of “red states” the federal government, under Donald Trump, made it so that companies are able to deny benefits/insurance that pay for birth control on religious grounds. Basically, if you work for a boss who is religious, he/she can say “No, we’re not allowing birth control to be covered in our health plan”. This puts the cost of birth control on women.
Birth control is not cheap. If you’re a stable income family, an adult with legal ability to purchase it, the purchase might be well worth it for you.
If you’re one of the millions upon millions upon millions of Americans who live below the poverty line, a recurring monthly cost for birth control, really adds up in a year, when you don’t have a lot of money to start with.
To those that say “Go to planned parenthood” – there are over 300 million people in the USA. How many of them have access to planned parenthood? Not 300 million.
So, not only are lawmakers making it BEYOND exceptionally difficult for a woman to terminate a pregnancy, they’re also making it as hard as possible for women to be able to prevent pregnancy to start with.
Thus, the only option left is to not have sex. Am I understanding this correctly? How would men feel if women just decided to withhold sex because of these laws? I bet you there would be a fucking uproar. I bet you it would be on television, on the internet, it would probably at the United Nations General assembly.
Imagine a world if women just stopped having sex with men.
Just imagine that.
What are the other options? Before you even have intercourse, men are dictating what birth control options you might have access to. If by chance you don’t have access, or your birth control fails, men who don’t understand female biology or how pregnancy works are dictating that you have to carry a child to term. After you carry a child to term, if it’s lucky enough to survive, the men who made the very laws that forced you to carry to term, aren’t providing you with resources to provide said child a stable home, an education, clean drinking water, access to proper medical treatments and so on and so forth.
There is no separation of church and state in the United States. People are using their religious convictions to control the lives of massive populations.
This is not a pro-life stance. A pro-life government wouldn’t be putting children in cages, or separating them from their parents when they’re seeking refuge in the USA. A pro-life government would understand the psychological impacts of forcing a woman to carry a baby to term that would be stillborn. A pro-life government would look at how many people each year are killed by guns and want to do something about that. A pro-life government would support people affected by the opioid crisis. A pro-life government would suggest that wearing masks is one of the simplest and easy ways people can protect themselves from an airborne virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.
It’s not pro-life, it’s pro-control, and it’s specifically pro-control over women.
I really hope that people see and understand that.
If someone doesn’t want an abortion, and their convictions say they should carry a pregnancy to term no matter the circumstance, then they should do that. They shouldn’t get to control millions of women’s choices based off their convictions, though. That’s not right. That’s not separation of church and state, that’s church controlling state.
That’s all for now.
I’ve been writing this for a while, so if I missed anything or said anything wrong, please let me know.