America has always had great pride in freedom as a founding principle, but more and more it is becoming increasingly apparent that the freedoms are conditional. I have never felt this more keenly than in our current day as an early 30s childfree woman, even as privileged as I am. We’re out of control and it may only be getting worse.
For those that are unaware, Roe v. Wade is the case in which the United States Supreme Court decreed that a woman has the right to choose to have an abortion without excessive restriction by the government, effectively striking down many state and federal abortion laws in 1973. Prior to this case, abortion laws were decided at a state level, 30 states outlawed abortion, the other 20 states allowed it in certain cases.
After this case, women finally had access to safe alternatives than a shady back alley, a wire hanger, and possible death, but ever since it’s inception, Roe v. Wade has been under attack at every turn, culminating recently with 9 states passing restrictive abortion laws that basically ban women getting abortions before they may even know they’re pregnant.
These laws and others up for debate are terrifying, as there are fewer and fewer ways to protect a woman’s right to choose in America, and in some states, any clinic or doctor that is suspected of providing abortion services is susceptible to harassment and death threats.
I have never been in the position to seek an abortion thankfully, but I’ve known since a young age that I do not want children. The reasons for my choice are varied, but for as long as I’ve been seeking gynecological care I’ve been asking to have a hysterectomy because I never wanted kids and found having a period every month to be painful and pointless.
I understand that it’s an elective procedure as I do not have any health issues that would warrant surgery, but every time I ask for permanent birth control of any kind, I’m met with a doctor trying to weasel out of providing it for me. I stopped asking in my mid-20s because I was tired of the ridiculous questions from doctors about my marital status, the number of children I had, how so many women regret it as they get older, shouldn’t I be thinking of my future husband’s wishes.
I was finally able to get the implant birth control Nexplanon, and I’m not looking forward to having it changed out and the ensuing conversation where I again ask for a more permanent fix. While I and many other women in America are struggling to get the care we deserve there are billboards advertising vasectomy services and no one seems to bat an eye, there are no protesters in front of those doctor’s offices.
In stark contrast, the local Planned Parenthood can’t even list their address online. I had to call and speak to someone to get directions and later found it in a nondescript office park with a lobby full of terrified looking men and women. They didn’t even offer abortion services at this particular clinic but were afraid of being targeted just for the name Planned Parenthood.
I do find that I’m more eager to search out permanent options with the direction America is heading so that I can be safe and never need to have an abortion denied to me. It’s sad that removing this choice from women is potentially pushing women to have children they don’t want or to take drastic steps to protect themselves from something that shouldn’t even be a threat.
I’ve also recently noticed a direct correlation to the disappearance of manners and the increase in parent-baby worship. It’s becoming more and more common for me to experience a culture where pregnancy and child-rearing is defined and people lose their sense of personal identity and become only “Mom” or “Dad.” And disagreeing with them or having any sort of opinion that doesn’t align with their baby-making life-script suddenly ranks you worse than the scum on their shoe. Children are a result, a by-product of sex that can easily wreck your life.
A child has a statistically higher chance of being a serial killer than a person who cures cancer or becomes an astronaut. You child is more likely to work at a convenience store and smoke off-brand cigarettes than run for office. So no, I don’t think being a parent is the hardest job in the world, children aren’t special, and I’m not going to change my mind if people disagree.
Parents (any supervising adult, really) shouldn’t bring children to adult spaces like bars or fancy restaurants or late-night movies. If a child is screaming, they should take them outside or take them home. But now nothing is sacred, kids are brought to bars and breweries, to rated-R movies at 11pm, and to restaurants where they are free to scream, run around, and generally be a nuisance. Sometimes there is no relief in a workspace either, parents are often late, leaving early, missing a lot of days, or putting their work off on others because of children.
I’ve been lucky to work with people-parents, folks who are themselves first and parents second, who understand life doesn’t revolve around theirs or anyone else’s progeny. Transitioning to online work has highlighted how difficult it can to be a female entrepreneur when people assume you are a stay-at-home mom or that this is just a “side hustle” or are a #mompreneur/#momboss.
It’s a shame that ours has become a culture which turns that thought blindly aside to prioritize reproduction in an already crowded world. Women can be women without children, without spouses, and without obligation.
In the end, America is becoming ever more hostile to free-thinking women who don’t follow the life-script pushed on them by popular culture and media led by predominantly corrupt old white men. I would urge women to explore their options now and have a plan in place should you need emergency contraception, difficult times are ahead.
Vote, run for office, and support other women in need, you can change the world.
Marissa Moore @virtuallymarissava