In the early stages of pregnancy, there are two lives in the balance, but one of them is a potential life; it can only become viable over time and at the expense of the other.
Only that mother knows what the cost to her will be and whether she can afford it or not.I defy anyone, male or female, to look my 17-year-old self in the eye and tell her that they feel personally entitled to deny her the right to regain control of her own body, that they will force her to endure an extension of that rape for the sake of their world view.
But that’s what it means to pass laws that frame the kinds of restrictions our legislature are discussing right now.— TW: I Was Raped When I Was 17. Where Were the Abortion Experts and Commentators? (via forthecatholicgirls)
Criminalized Pregnancies: When One Woman’s Suicide Attempt Becomes Murder
The following is an excerpt from chapter five of Crow After Roe: How “Separate But Equal” Is the New Standard in Women’s Health and How We Can Change That (Ig Publishing) by RH Reality Check‘s Robin Marty and Jessica Mason Pieklo.
Ultimately, Shuai’s case leaves pregnant women exposed to the subjective, scientifically unsound opinions of law enforcement and the state. It raises severe equal protection concerns as well, since prosecutors have effectively made suicide a crime that applies only to pregnant women. Furthermore, a state engages in gender discrimination when it places additional restrictions on women from which men are exempt, which is unconstitutional under both state and federal law. Shuai did not become pregnant by herself, and, in fact, the father of her child, who promised to care for her and their baby and instead abandoned them, was the catalyst of her emotional breakdown. Yet he was not prosecuted despite the fact that “a person who intentionally causes another human being, by force, duress, or deception, to commit suicide commits causing suicide,” a Class B felony in the state of Indiana. The inescapable conclusion of the Shuai case was that in Indiana, a pregnant woman now had a fundamentally different relationship to the criminal justice system than did the father of the child.
Why Can’t I Stop Being So Scared of Pregnancy?
I have a problem, and I’m ready to crack with the stress of it. I’ve been on birth control (Yaz) for a year, to help with my acne, though I don’t always take it at the same time every day. Sometimes I’ve missed pills or taken them over 12 hours late. That shouldn’t really matter, though, because I’m not sexually active. My boyfriend and I have decided to wait until we get married to have sex. We only ever make out. Still, I find myself worrying about pregnancy risks even though there are no apparent ways to get pregnant from what we do. Some small part of my mind will whisper things like, “What if he has pre-ejaculate that seeps through his clothes onto you? What if he had a nocturnal emission that night he stayed over?” Nobody else I know seems to have this constant paranoia. I don’t understand why I spend half my time worrying about a pregnancy that most people understand is impossible. I’m not sure what I’m asking here, other than, have you ever seen this before—a girl terrified of something happening when it isn’t even likely? Is there any way I can help myself and get peace of mind? Thanks.
Heather Corinna replies:
Not only have we seen this before, it’s something we see often. At our message boards, at least once or twice a week a user comes to us feeling exactly like you are. I promise, it’s not just you. Over the years, I’ve looked and looked for some kind of study on pervasive pregnancy worries when there’s not a likely risk, or when it’s been made clear someone is not pregnant, and when someone also really knows they’re not pregnant, but I’ve yet to find anything, beyond information on false or “hysterical pregnancy,” which isn’t what this is. So, I’m afraid I can’t offer you much of anything clinical, but I can certainly offer you my observations from seeing this over the years.
Some people do have a phobia specifically about pregnancy, birth, or parenting: tocophobia (sometimes spelled tokophobia or parturiphobia). In other words, just like some people have pervasive or seemingly illogical fears about heights or small spaces, some phobias are pregnancy-based, about becoming pregnant, being pregnant, and/or giving birth. This is more common than people think, especially in people who can actually become pregnant. Given what a huge deal and big life-changers pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting are, that’s not that surprising. This phobia, like any, is best addressed with a qualified therapist who treats phobias. If you feel this may be the case with you, it is something you’ll want to seek treatment for to feel better. That’s going to be particularly important if you ever do want to become pregnant, because even wanted pregnancy can be very emotionally difficult for someone with a pregnancy phobia.