Medical Terminology and Abortion
There are people in this world that I try to pretend don’t exist. It’s a personal form of cognitive dissonance that I need to address because it makes me less prepared when I find someone that actually believes that way.
Case in point: Yesterday an acquaintance on Facebook posted a meme/analogy comparing the drive to get people vaccinated to the current outrage over the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade. The meme co-opted the phrase “My Body, My Choice” just as anti-vaxxers had done, accusing liberals of being hypocritical for demanding vaccines and still promoting abortion rights.
I made the mistake of trying to explain in tiny little words the difference. My choice to have or not have an abortion does not risk the health and well-being of every other person I encounter. The long-term health effects of the vaccine are known to be reduced fatality from COVID-19. The long-term health effects of pregnancy can vary from death to bodily changes to osteoporosis but women are expected to just deal with long pregnancy health changes.
And then a relative of the acquaintance jumped in with the type of anti-logic I truly thought was imaginary. I mean, I knew that some people in the abstract thought that any ending of a pregnancy was problematic, but I had no idea these people were loose in the wild.
First she argued that no one would be loosing reproductive rights if Roe v. Wade were overturned. And then she argued that the right to choose was always there — just don’t get pregnant.
Recognizing that I was never going to be able to talk to her about an actual adult woman’s bodily autonomy and right to self-determination, I went for the low hanging fruit. I pointed out that “Just Say No” doesn’t work in cases of rape, incest and abuse.
She claimed I was “panicking” and that we wouldn’t be going back to abortions with coat hangers. Playing on all the distraction tactics she could come up with, she threw out the lie that people are concerned about women using abortion as birth control. And that the left wants mandatory abortions.
Her explanation? “You know, when a mom would give up her life to bring her newborn child into the world. I can see the left wanting to take it out of her and her husband’s hands. And don’t say it can’t happen. People died from covid because they/their families couldn’t choose their treatment.”
I was just starting to realize how brainwashed she was.
The concept of the left telling a pregnant woman she had to have an abortion because her life was at risk is just asinine. Would a medical professional concerned about their patient recommend it? Yes, in places where they are allowed, they would certainly mention it as an option. But few white women have ever been forced to have an abortion.
I can‘t say few women in general because the sterilization and other forms of abuse against Black women and other women of color, such as what occurred in Puerto Rico, is well-documented. But I’m pretty sure the people forcing white women to get abortions are the married men who impregnated them.
And here’s where I need to address my own optimistic belief that people in general are better than they are. If I had more realistic belief that some people are truly awful, I wouldn’t have been distracted when she started throwing out every whataboutism under the sun.
Over the next few hours, in addition to her believing that some mythical other medical treatment would have saved lives from COVID , I found that she thinks the idea of there being more domestic children available for adoption, as discussed in the leaked draft overturning Roe v. Wade, that she believes her miscarriage is the same as an abortion and that trans women in sports are unfair to people born with a uterus.
All of that was disgusting, but none of it was so terrifying as when she argued with my friend who pointed out how heart-breaking her own abortion was. My friend had been trying to get pregnant, desperately wanted a second child, and was puking blood early in her pregnancy. The pregnancy was literally killing her. As a leukemia survivor, she says she has never experience pain like that pregnancy.
But she and her husband were still devastated to end it.
The woman who had been touting her extreme anti-abortion opinion finally explains that “her abortion” was what most of us call a miscarriage, but she clung to the medical terminology of “spontaneous abortion.” And that is truly terrifying.
I’ll admit, I thought the people who were claiming women would be prosecuted under many of the new abortion laws were hyperbole and slippery slope arguments. Surely no one in the modern world is conflating miscarriages and abortions, right?
This woman blamed herself for not wanting to be pregnant and claimed God heard her and that’s why she had a miscarriage. The internalized guilt for not wanting the pregnancy to go to term was deep. She insisted on calling it an abortion, even pointing out that was the technical medical term.
The idea that a woman could be the one promoting the idea that a miscarriage was an abortion was terrifying. She didn’t even seem phased by the idea that women could be prosecuted and go to jail for medical conditions. She did want to talk about LGBTQ rights though and how I was completely wrong that the right was coming after those next.
Of course, she then went off on her anti-trans rants about trans women in sports and it was clear that she had no interest in protecting other people’s rights. “They” have the same rights as anyone else, she insisted, while talking about “men in women’s sports.”
Not one of her “arguments” made a lick of sense or convinced me of anything, but the entire conversation made it clear that when I was thinking most people were inherently not evil or even good, I was wrong. I should have learned that in the 2016 election, but apparently I needed an in my face reminder.