Lately, I have had quite a commute to the hospital in the morning. Fortunately, this gives me plenty of time to catch up on the real world. I, of course, listen to NPR and often find myself regretting ever complaining about any aspect of my life. People in other parts of the world have real problems-they are enduring an epic flood, have lost their house and home, and are fighting to survive. Meanwhile, I’m dealing with traffic.
And then there are the stories of women being persecuted because…well…they are women. The most recent headlines focus on a pregnant woman being executed for adultery. Except, we in the states wouldn’t really classify it as adultery since this woman’s former husband had died and now she was with another partner. And then there was the Time Magazine cover of the Afghan woman who had her nose and ears cut off from trying to leave her abusive husband.
These stories haunt me, as they should everyone. I sometimes imagine that I have super powers and can fly over to X city and do X, X, and X to these perpetrators. I feel so much anger towards men, in the states and around the world, who feel they can control and terrorize women.
And then I wonder. What if all women had reproductive freedom over their body? They were able to decide when and if they wanted to be pregnant. They had access to birth control and prenatal care. They were able to decide with whom they wanted to bring a child into this world with. Their bodies would not be used as weapons of war. They would not be forced into sex work through promises of a better life. Their partners would treat them as equals.
What a different world we would live in.
Reproductive freedom and equality for women is the key to every major issue around the world. I truly believe that. And I will continue to fight for that freedom, for all women. I hope you and others will join me.