Recent attempts by conservatives to remove the power of choice and the bodily autonomy inherent to a woman’s right to dignity and freedom have the country divided over who gets to control women’s bodies. On Friday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) broke down the motivations behind these efforts.
Arguments made in pushback only confirm the veracity of her statement. In a majority of instances where a conservative is pushed to debate on bodily autonomy and the many complex considerations a woman faces in determining whether or not to continue a pregnancy, the inevitable response is “close your legs,” “don’t have sex,” or, at the very least “don’t have irresponsible sex if you don’t want to get pregnant.”
Those responses prove that what’s at issue isn’t the lives of babies and children, but women’s sexuality. Not only should the government have the right to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term despite the risks and the many barriers to getting help that single mothers face, but conservatives also seem to believe that the government should have the right to force women to either be abstinent or take birth control. That isn’t bodily autonomy, it’s an invasive force.
Throw in with that idea the fact that conservatives are also determined to limit the choices women can make about birth control and it becomes even more clear: the problem isn’t with non-sentient fetuses and embryos that the right sees as living children with human rights (whom they don’t seem to care about when they’re poor, black, or immigrants), it’s about controlling when and under what circumstances a grown, adult woman should be having sex.
All of these points were raised by conserv