counter on blogger

Pickle Me This

January 20, 2013

A bad year to be a woman with a reproductive system.

I want to take a few moments to delineate the many ways in which 2012 was a spectacularly depressing year to be a pregnant woman. We’re only a few weeks into 2013 so it’s still too soon to say, but so far I haven’t had to listen to that jangly Rick Santorum song with the lyrics, “We’ll have justice for the unborn/Factories back on our shores…” one single time, and that is progress. Neither have I noted once that a panel of old men (too many of whom with more children than fingers on one hand) have been provided a international platform from which to debate just how much American women’s access to contraception should be curtailed.

And speaking of “debate”, so far in 2013 I have not once had to endure the insult of 91 members of Parliament (including the Status of Women Minister) voting for a say as to the contents of my uterus. I was five-weeks pregnant at the time, and I was absolutely horrified, as well as confused as to why I had not been brought in to provide expert consultation. Surely some  expertise might have been necessary. Did you know that there are actually 233 members of Parliament who have not a single uterus among them? The input of a living, thinking pregnant woman into this conversation might have provided some much-needed perspective.

So far, 2013 has been an improvement. It’s been at least a few weeks since a group of Ontario MPPs (not a uterus among them either, note) staged a press-conference supporting a move to stop public-funding of abortion in this province. And while I am sure that several women worldwide actually have died this year because they’ve lacked access to abortion and other maternal health procedures, there has not been a story with the level of tragedy of Savita Halappanavar‘s, who died in Ireland after miscarrying at 17 weeks pregnant when a fading fetal heartbeat was privileged over an actual human life.

2012 was a bad year to be a woman with a reproductive system. I’m talking Handmaid’s Tale territory. When I got pregnant, it was immediately apparent to me that my body had become a national concern, that my womb was now somebody’s territory for staging a shouty “debate”.  A woman who was pregnant in 2012 owned herself  just a little less, and it was total madness. I really can’t believe we put up with it. My resolution for 2013 is that we not do that anymore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *

Lately:

The M Word
The M Word Cover

Now available where good books are sold!

"Helter Skelter" (short story) in TNQ 130
TNQ130

"Rereading Fear of Flying" (personal essay) in The Toronto Review of Books
TNQ130



The M Word Events

Toronto: June 19 at Parent Books, 7pm


The Doors