I wasn’t going to blog about this. There are some things that I consider personal, and frankly don’t think anyone’s interested in… a person’s ‘adventures in health’ tends to be one of those. I just don’t believe anyone else really wants to hear it (and if you’re anything like me you’ve got a line of people in your life who have turned ‘griping about my heath’ into an art form!). But I’ve learned a lot about courage recently, and I felt like sharing was something I needed to do. This is really about more than my recent health situation… it’s about how women are being treated these days. And it’s appalling.
Also, it’s not about magic… unless this white-hot flame of passion & indignation growing at the core of my spirit is my magic – and hell, it might just be exactly that!
A little backstory: a few months ago, I was having a chronic pain issue that wasn’t helped by medicine & was unusual for me. (I grew up as a dancer, I’m no stranger to pain – but this was something different.) After about a week, I went to see my doctor – fast forward to a diagnosis of “I have no clue… I’m sending you in for tests… right now!”, at which point I was told to drive straight over to the testing facility and set up for a CT scan & an Ultrasound.
It turned out I had an ovarian cyst – a rather large one – and after consultations & appointments with several other doctors, was scheduled for my surgery. But the surgery isn’t what this is about, either… it’s about what happened when I went in for my testing.
About the ultrasound.
You see, there’s been a lot of talk in the media lately about women’s rights when it comes to pregnancy termination. There are quite a few very loud individuals who don’t seem to care that it is, in fact, still legal for women to exercise their rights in determining what happens to their bodies… Well, at least for the moment. I’m not going to expound here about my personal beliefs regarding abortion – because it doesn’t matter. What I absolutely, fervently, passionately believe in is the right of every adult of sound mind to make THEIR choices & decisions about what they want to do with their own bodies.
I haven’t ever been pregnant (though I still want to very much), so I cannot even begin to conceive of the level of torturous emotion that so many women have to go through in determining what to do about a pregnancy with complications (whether physical or psychological).
Now when I went to get my testing, I wasn’t making decisions about anything. I was confused, scared, alone and in pain, but I was JUST going to find out what was hurting me. But wouldn’t you know it… it wasn’t an external ultrasound which was required – it was the much-discussed ‘transvaginal ultrasound’.
There are those who want to say it’s simply another medical procedure, no better or worse than any other. Don’t believe the hype. It was invasive. I am a generally private person, and in this time of pain, fear & uncertainty, I was subjected to a very uncomfortable & intrusive “test.” Am I glad that we have this technology, so that they were able to determine the best way to keep me healthy? Absolutely! I applaud whomever it was who engineered this rod, and thank them both for myself & for all the others whose lives have been saved through its use.
But it was awful. And as I said – I was just there for a test… I didn’t have the crushing weight of making decisions about a pregnancy with complications. But that’s what the current crop of ‘lawmakers’ want to (and in some states, already have) force on women. They want them to be required by law to have this procedure… and not only that, but force them to lay there: naked, exposed, violated, and helpless… and listen to a description of the fetus from the doctor (or technician) before they are then allowed to follow through with what could easily be the most difficult decision of their lives.
This is absolutely unconscionable.
The idea that a group of politicians have the power to legislate OUR bodies, OUR decisions… and that they do so without qualm, without a thought given to the lasting, permanent damage they are doing to women… it is so far beyond acceptable that we can no longer even see the shore of reason from this fast-sinking ship.
There is no need for me to list all the legislation that has been passed or is currently being voted on – that information is all over the internet. What I am imploring is that we; the rational, reasonable, logical masses; stand up. Speak out. Scream at the top of our voices!! We cannot allow this to happen. We cannot allow our rights as women to be stripped away piece by piece…
The ones who came before us – the mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers – they fought for us. They struggled and sacrificed so that we could lay claim to our own bodies, so that we wouldn’t be considered property or chattel – ‘lesser’ beings existing only by the grace of men.
And if we allow this wave of far-right conservative legislation to continue unchecked, we are telling them that their fight was in vain. That we don’t appreciate what they did – that they should have just shut up & stayed in the kitchen, popping out babies and waiting on their husbands to make all the decisions in their lives. If we stay quiet, it’s our fault. It is not possible to over-react about this.
Because it does matter. It is criminal. It is invasive. And they have no right. But we MUST tell them so.