Apart from a brief mention in a 2013 article I wrote for the Stranger about male birth control, I have never spoken publicly about abortion. I understand why people who base their ethical principles on religious ideals and scripture oppose abortion, and I respect their freedom to voice their opposition and to handle their reproductive health in ways that fall in concert with their values. I also believe, with every fiber of my birth control-practicing, abortion-having, child-bearing body that women have the absolute freedom to decide what to do with their own bodies. Any restriction on abortion access, whether legal, financial, or social, is a violation of human rights.
I listened to Jose Antonio Vargas speak last night. Vargas, a Pulizter Prize-winning journalist and fierce advocate of human rights, taught me two things: One, that human rights are not granted by laws. You're human? You have rights. Two, that shielding ourselves from people who have different beliefs about what these rights mean is destructive. Without engagement, we cannot progress toward equality and peace in this country. With this week's announcement of Ohio's potentially devastating ban on abortion access, my fear of talking about my experience of having an abortion is overshadowed by my fear that we are about to have our basic human rights to determine our reproductive health destroyed. So I'm going to fight. And I'm going to write. And I'm going to discuss. If you agree with me, awesome. If you don't, let's talk about it.