Today, the Supreme Court is hearing what’s been called the most significant abortion example in more than two decades.
It’s a instance that will determine whether or not countries can legislate strict abortion laws aimed at shutting down clinics, and it’s a occurrence that have been able to far-reaching outcomes for the future of reproductive rights in America.
Ahead of the case, a number of women shared their narratives with both the court and with the world. Among them was actress Amy Brenneman.
During her junior year of college, Brenneman had an abortion. Until now, she’d never publicly shared the story but merely because it was so uneventful.
Here she writes for Cosmopolitan:
“My abortion story is utterly uneventful. It has left no scars. But in this current political climate, one in which a woman who stimulates the responsible option of not bringing an unwanted infant into this world is forced to drive 500 miles or is violently harassed on her way to the clinic doorway or is pushed to take matters into her own hands, this uneventful-ness seems downright miraculous. May it always be so uneventful. May abortion once again be accepted for what it always has been: a necessary component of responsible family planning.”
In a video recorded for the Center for Reproductive Rights, Brenneman tells her story, which begins during her junior year of college.
She had been doing everything the “right” way, she says. She and her boyfriend had been having safe sex, but as no sort of family planning is 100% effective, she became pregnant a pregnancy she wasn’t equipped to deal with.
She eventually went on to have two children of her own at a time in their own lives when she was ready and able to parent.
And that’s not at all odd. Many women who’ve had abortions either already have children( 61 %) or plan on having children at another point in “peoples lives”. In the circumstances in which a pregnancy is discontinued as the result of a fetus being non-viable or threatening to the life of the woman, many of those pregnancies are even schemed.
Still, in Brenneman’s case, this was an unplanned pregnancy, and she chose to terminate it for the sake of her own well-being and the well-being of her future family. And legally, this is her selection to attain. Whether somebody else would do the same thing in her situation is beside the point that’s why it’s called a selection .
The world we now live in, the world of laws like HB2, would have taken Brenneman’s uneventful experience and turned it into a nightmare.
Rather than that simple experience of observing a doctor in a phone book, undergoing a quick procedure, and being able to move on with her life, things could have been so different.
Since 2010, more than 231 new abortion regulations have been implemented by states across the country. HB2 simply happens to be one of the harshest.
Here are three things restrictive abortion laws like HB2 do to make things as inaccessible and uncomfortable as legally possible.
Recall how Brenneman called her abortion “uneventful”? Lawmakers are actively trying to make sure that’s absolutely no truth to the rumors anymore.
1. Regulation on clinics would have constructed procuring a doctor a whole lot tougher for Brenneman.
HB2 includes a host of provisions aimed at shutting down clinics. From involving doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals( often difficult to get and totally unnecessary) to regulating the size of hallways, signage, or even bathrooms, these provisions called targeted regulation of abortion provider( TRAP) statutes serve one intent: to make it harder for clinics to stay in business.
Lawmakers claim these regulations benefit women’s health, though it’s unclear how attaining sure a hallway can accommodate two rolling beds at the same time( something that you’d almost never need to do in an abortion clinic) accomplishes that. And it’s not as though there’s any data to back lawmakers up. The only data that seems to matter is the number of clinics that get shut down as a result.
2. With statutes like these on the books, Brenneman may have had to wait up to 72 hours after an appointment with her doctor before having a procedure .
Dozens of states have waiting periods for abortions, often ranging from 24 to 72 hours. The stated aim of these periods is to make sure the woman is comfortable with her decision( as though she wasn’t able to make up her mind on her own ), but the end impact is that it often necessitates the person or persons seeking the abortion to take off from work( a luxury many don’t have ), travel to one of only a few clinics in the state, stay in a hotel for multiple nights( which can be expensive) all before having this simple procedure. What Brenneman described as “uneventful” suddenly becomes a stressful, multi-day road trip for basic health care.
3. Brenneman would have been forced to wade through pilings of medically-dubious “counseling” designed to discourage her from going through with the procedure .
Six states require that the person or persons attempting the abortion be told that personhood “re starting” notion. Four countries make doctors tell women inaccurate information about their own future post-abortion fertility. Five states require that physicians tell a woman that there’s a is connected with abortion and breast cancer( there’s not ).
The goal here is to confuse and manipulate the woman. Officially, these are all presented as being in her best interest, but dedicated the inaccuracy of so many of the claims that need to be made, it’s hard to believe it’s for anybody’s good.
Today, as the Supreme Court hears debates in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, this is how we fight back by telling our tales.
We all know somebody who has had an abortion( though we may not know it ). In her opinion post at Cosmo, Brenneman recounts asking former NARAL president Nancy Keenan why it seems the matrimony equality motion has been able to make sure leaps forward in such a short sum of hour while reproductive rights seem to be going in the wrong direction. Her answer? “Stories.”
“The tide of marriage equality turned when same-gender couples began to tell their very specific narratives: not being allowed in the hospital room of their partner , not being able to adopt children together , not being seen as equal to their heterosexual peers, ” writes Brenneman.
She’s not wrong and this is exactly why we’ve lately find more women come forward to share their narratives, whether it be through the #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag, A is For’s “Abortion Tweets Theater ,” or even in the histories of Wendy Davis, whose famous 13 -hour filibuster of the bill that would eventually become HB2 stimulated her their own nationals hero to some women. Sharing narratives makes a difference.
And that’s what it’ll take to move the needle on reproductive rights, too: narratives. There’s a lot of shame and stigma attached to abortion, but people like Brenneman are speaking out, filing briefings with the court, and merely generally opposing back.
You can watch Amy Brenneman tell her tale in the video below.
Read more: www.upworthy.com