Some people get so mad when women have fun, consequence-free sex.

You see this with a lot of anti-abortion rhetoric. If you poke the surface of “but life” and “but God” for more than 10 seconds, the ugly misogyny pops out. Every factor that might lead a woman to seek an abortion is responded to with “well, she shouldn’t have had sex, then.”

Why else would so many anti-abortion people be OK with rape exceptions in abortion bans? If they really think a fetus is morally and spiritually the same thing as a born human baby, should it matter how the fetus got into the uterus in the first place? Or do rape survivors get a pass on the abortion thing because they didn’t consent to sex, but all the hussies who did consent to sex have to deal with nine months of pain, nausea and various swollen joints?

The best way to reduce the number of abortions in America – and of course it will never be zero, because accidents happen and assaults happen and medical emergencies happen – is free and easy access to effective contraceptives and thorough, fact-based sex ed. Do right wingers support these things? No! Of course not! Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Supreme Court should “revisit” Griswold v. Connecticut next, and unlike the endless Spider-Man reboots, I don’t think any of us will like this upcoming “revisitation.” Don’t you know that Eve caused all women to be cursed with the pain of pregnancy and birth, and since she’s not around to suffer anymore, the Bible-thumpers want to punish the rest of us in her stead?

Every time access to birth control or abortion is threatened, its defenders have to cite the medical reasons women might require access. And it’s true that many women do use birth control to regulate uneven or intense menstrual cycles, or to keep their hormonal levels on an even keel; but most people who use birth control are using it to have sex without making a person. And that is a perfectly valid reason to use birth control or have an abortion! Because sex is fun. Definitely the best cardio you can do, and without a gym membership to boot. Americans have got to chill out about that fact. If the idea of random women having a bunch of sex just for funsies bothers you, maybe sit with that feeling for awhile. Interrogate it.

You’ll notice nobody ever proposes punishing men who get their jollies. The worst that happens to them is child support. Which is inconvenient, sure, but it’s not a third degree perineal tear.

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Call me a pie-in-the-sky liberal if you want, but I think that pregnancy should be a sacred journey undertaken willingly and with one’s whole heart; not a punishment for having consensual sex. I’d say this Puritanical attitude is generational but I’ve read about 1967 and the Summer of Love. I know boomers were getting freaky too.

The birth control pill was invented in 1960. So it’s only been 62 years that women have had the ability to safely, effectively, and consistently avoid pregnancy. Sixty-two years that most women have been able to have sex the way most men have been able to do since the dawn of time. Sixty-two years of physiological equality is not enough to wipe away the effects of thousands of years of patriarchy. I was hoping we were making progress, though.

My grandmother had all her children before Roe v. Wade was decided. My sister and I, if we have children, will have them in a post-Roe America. There will always be the shadow of state coercion hovering in the back of our pregnancies, as there was for my grammy. But my mom? My mom had her children in that 49- year stretch of a constitutional right to an abortion at the federal level.

You want to talk about the sacred parent-child bond? The right to easily accessible birth control and abortion makes my relationship with my mom deeper and better. Because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my mom chose me. She had the option of termination and she still chose to go through the nausea and the swollen ankles and the various other pains of pregnancy and childbirth. I can rest easy in the knowledge that the state did not coerce her. She made the choice to make me out of her own, God-given free will. (My dad helped too.)

You know those ads that run before Christmas that say “a puppy is a lifelong commitment, not a present?” A baby is a person, not a “gotcha” for the local strumpets. Pregnancy should not be used as a punishment for sexual activity. It is far too sacred for that.

Victoria Hugo-Vidal is a Maine millennial. She can be contacted at:
[email protected]
Twitter: @mainemillennial


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