It’s an old pro-choice argument that any government which has the power to force you to have children also has the power to take your child-bearing rights away. Well, folks, it’s happening:
Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant “by means other than sexual intercourse.”
“Unauthorized reproduction” will now be a Class B misdemeanor. So the unmarried women who want children and either have trouble doing things the natural way or don’t want a male partner will be criminals (small-time criminals, true, but criminals nonetheless). This seems like a thinly-veiled attempt to harass single women, gays and lesbians — lesbians who use artificial insemination are penalized for not being married (I can think of an easy solution to that problem…), gay men who may have otherwise had a single woman carry their child are shit out of luck, and straight single women must rely on someone’s penis in order to be mothers.
Of course, the 13 percent of Indiana residents without insurance, the additional 13 percent who use Medicare, and the others whose insurance plans are limited, lack access to a whole lot of reproductive health — meaning, of course, that the Indiana state government seems to have few qualms about women getting pregnant when they don’t want to be, pregnant women lacking proper prenatal and well-baby care, women often being financially unable to terminate their pregnancies if they wanted to, and mothers lacking the resources with which to care for their children. As long as they can tell women, “You are legally barred from getting pregnant without a man’s permission” (either by him physically ejaculating in you and/or marrying you), everything is a-ok.
It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again. The “pro-life” movement is not about “life.” It’s about control over women and our bodies. This time, they’re going so far as to impose criminal sanctions on women who make choices independent of male permission.
Thanks to Thomas for the link. I too am channeling The Handmaid’s Tale.
- Grooms for Life by Jill June 30, 2006
- Just When I Thought We Could Agree on Something… by Jill June 22, 2006
- Letter to the Editor, And Other Things by Lauren January 26, 2005
- Ross Douthat, mad again that women don’t want to be walking wombs by Jill January 3, 2011
- What a Comprehensive Women’s Health Policy Looks Like by Jill February 17, 2006