This is a guest post by Tiffany Diane Moon. Tiffany holds degrees in Music and Linguistics from San Diego State University, where she taught Writing and Critical Thinking to non-native speakers of English. She is the CEO of Tiffany Moon Enterprises, encompassing the Institute of Arts and Letters and Moon Metaphysics in San Diego, as well as her private artistic and academic endeavors.
Trigger warning for sexual assault, child abuse and violence.
I am a survivor of childhood incest, rape and kidnapping. It is for this reason that I understand what too many arrogant lawmakers cannot: A woman’s freedom to decide what happens to her body (and mind), especially after it has been violated, is crucial to her physical, mental and emotional survival.
I grew up in an abusive, violent, drug-using, alcoholic home; I also grew up being sexually abused. My first experiences of digital penetration were during my second year of life, and my first experience of penile penetration occurred when I was seven. By the time I was eight, I had been raped by both my stepfather and a boarder who lived in our home. When I was nine, after my mother had moved me to California to escape the abuse we were both suffering, my stepfather kidnapped me and raped me again. This was the last time.
I was fortunate enough not to have reached puberty until after my abuse had ended; however, had I become pregnant while still a part of this family experience, I would likely either have been subjected to another form of violent abuse to end my pregnancy in order to prevent prosecution for my rapists, or I would have killed myself. I was also fortunate in another way: My experience caused me to despise sex; because of this, I did not act out sexually with others, a common reaction in sexually abused girls, and so, I did not become pregnant trying to act out or resolve my abuse in my adolescence. However, had I done so, the physical, mental and emotional abuse that continued in my extended family would also have resulted in my killing myself before having to explain that I was pregnant. Alternately, because of the damage caused by the early abuse, if I had been forced to carry a baby to term, all other social, emotional, financial and educational damage aside, I might have been in danger of dying while giving birth.
Despite my abuse, I was so much more fortunate than are millions of women who are raped and/or victims of sexual abuse and incest in this country: This includes one in every four girls who are victims of sexual abuse, and at least one victim of rape every two minutes, 44% of whom are under the age of 18. Those who become pregnant are not only forced to bear the many consequences of pregnancy after having been a victim, but are forced to bear a mental and emotional consequence that is inconceivable to those who have not lived the experience, and that, statistically, will be passed on to a child brought into this world by the most damaging violent act possible.
It is this undeniable fact that I understand, that rape and incest survivors understand, that certain arrogant lawmakers cannot, lawmakers who are attempting to rape every woman in this country by attempting to control their bodies by force of law. This is why I am pro-choice, because I understand, and I refuse to be raped again by anyone passing a law that tells me what I must or must not do with my body, mind and soul.
I am not pro-abortion. I believe in education, in abstinence, in responsible sex. I believe in population reduction by responsible, intelligent couples or single women who chose not to become pregnant. However, we live in an imperfect world, one in which violence is common, and in which sexual abuse and sexual violence against girls and women is prolific, and results in pregnancies that are life-sentences of damage to its victims, while allowing perpetrators of such violence a majority of a life of freedom, if they are ever incarcerated at all. Therefore, while I disapprove of abortion as irresponsible birth control, while I am not pro-abortion, I understand that what may appear irresponsible to someone who doesn’t know the woman choosing the procedure, may in fact be a necessity for someone whose abusive past has resulted in a situation that pregnancy would exacerbate. This is impossible for anyone to know or determine; for this reason I am pro-choice.
I am also pro-choice for another, very simple reason: I am not the sole cause of pregnancy, nor is any woman. Oddly, however, in the determination of US law regarding pregnancy, only woman are targeted, both regarding prevention and consequence. The same arrogant lawmakers who currently wish to outlaw abortion also want to outlaw female contraception. This is clearly sexist, but manages to continue. Therefore, I continue to propose to the US Congress, particularly the currently misogynistic House of Representatives a simple solution to its concern about abortion: Simply require that every male residing in or visiting the US have a vasectomy. This is a simple procedure, will reduce medical and insurance costs, and may ensure that abortion would rarely be necessary. Men who wish to procreate and are approved by respective consenting females may be screened by a government agency to determine their suitability (education, profession, criminal records, sexual habits, manner of dress) to have the procedure temporarily reversed, allowing any poor use of ejaculation, such as rape, to be more easily monitored and determined. Problem? If this solution seems somehow troubling or unreasonable, it might be time to wonder why, as it’s currently the manner of law-making being set upon women alone, and until sexism in procreation is removed from the law-making process, this is the reason I am pro-choice.