Updated: Oct 28, 2021
When I was 16, I drove myself to Planned Parenthood to get on birth control pills preemptively. My mom had gotten pregnant when she was barely 15, and I wasn’t going to be caught unprepared. Though my parents stayed happily married all their lives, I grew up realizing that having a baby at such a young age knocked my mother for a loop. She went from being a popular young woman to an outcast who struggled with being a parent and never developed any confidence in herself.
She was judged. She was not helped by those who judged her, and no one gave a damn about what happened to her child.
That’s why I feel so strongly that a woman must have every right over her own body. This belief extends beyond being able to procure birth control and abortions.
A woman must have the same rights as any other crime victim when the perpetrator is a husband, boyfriend or date. There’s nothing “domestic” about violence or abuse – except in sexist eyes.
A woman must have the same right as any other person reporting a crime: the right to be believed.
A woman must have the right to medical treatments for her body that are equal to what’s available for men. This means research must include female subjects.
A woman must have the right to clothe her body in whatever manner she chooses without being accused of contributing to sexual violence against her or to the sexualization of women. (A high school yearbook that censors photos of girls but doesn’t censor the leave-nothing-to-the-imagination photos of a boys’ swim team is sexualizing and stigmatizing young women.) What makes one outfit acceptable and another not? Only the sexist eye of the beholder, which too often is a decision-making male.
It’s dangerous to be a woman in Texas, and not enough people care:
40% of Texas women experience physical violence, rape and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. (NCADV)
Though Texas prohibits possession of firearms by persons subject to domestic violence protective orders, Texas does not require removal of firearms and ammunition from such persons. (Disarm DV)
Abusers’ access to firearms increases the risk of female murders by intimate partners by about 1,000%. (NCADV)
This is why I vote Democratic and hope you will, too.