Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.Article 3. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
I already told my email subscribers this, but I think I need to make a public statement and to clarify a few things.
What is happening right now in the USA regarding the rights of women and other people with wombs is not political. It’s not moral or religious. It relates to fundamental human rights, regarding the right to life, liberty and security of person.
That, in practice, means that the state or anyone else may not force you or any other person to grow a child inside your body. This is an issue strictly relating to women and people with wombs and has been ongoing for centuries if not longer.
This doesn’t affect me directly. I’m lucky enough to live in the EU in a country that still has its priorities straight (in some instances, in others it’s a bit behind).
I come from a country rife with corruption, xenophobia and misogyny, ableism and racism. It is not pretty, yet I’ve survived and participated in civil movements for a number of years (and helped bring about some change too).
I started volunteering at 15 and haven’t stopped, really, since then. So that’s more than half of my life of experience in NGOs, politics, advocacy. I am not new to fighting for human rights or to at least advocating for them to be respected.
I am well informed in a host of issues, global and local to Europe, but always curious and open to learn more. I have so much more to learn about the history of the rest of the world, especially from the voices of those oppressed. Oppressors have had a voice for far too long, it is time to listen to those of us less privileged.
Having said all this, I cannot stand by idly when I see so many people in my community impacted by this change.
Yes, the crochet community is composed mostly of women and people with wombs (if you’re wondering why I keep on saying that, there are nonbinary and trans people out there that have wombs and are affected by this ruling), so this is an issue close to us.
What happened is a precedent that allows any amendment to the US Constitution to be overturned, such as rights for minorities, a right to vote for anyone, so much more. It is not at all about “letting the states decide for themselves” whether to ban abortions or not.
It is about chopping up the Constitution and letting those in power choose which bits they like and which they’d rather ignore, all at the expense of the regular people.
The USA needs a new and updated Constitution that guarantees the fundamental human rights to its citizens. I am willing to help people fight for that.
So I am volunteering my services as a copy writer, editor, graphic designer and illustrator to anyone who needs them to organize peaceful protests or lobby towards this change to happen. There will probably be a lot of state-level work to be done, but I’d really like to contribute to the big picture.
That way, maybe one day I’ll also be able to visit the USA and not fear for my life.
Trigger Warning for the next section — just skip the next five paragraphs if you have trauma related to this subject.
I’ve gotten a few angry or entitled messages back from my (former) subscribers who did not feel it was enough to unsubscribe when they realized that our values are not aligned. What made them think they are in the first place beats me, as I’m pretty vocal about being autistic and a scientist. While I tolerate people talking at me about their gods, I will never actively support anything relating to religion or religious beliefs.
They ranged in content from stuff like “abortion is murder” (philosophy is not the issue here) to “God is great” (might be, if they exist, not my place to comment on that), also “babies are being aborted at full term and used for body parts” (this one horrified me, who is the fool who would make up such lies and call them “reality”, here’s something for you if you believe that) and “crisis centers are being burned down” (which I did look up and apparently there are some pseudoclinics that offer pregnancy tests and ultrasounds to potential mothers that are considering abortions, but no actual medical services and a couple of them got vandalized by extremists who broke windows and wrote a message on the ground — not cool, but then again, extremists never are).
Oh, and I never even touched on the hypocrisy of the people who do not support abortions, but would like to develop tests to find out in womb if children are autistic so they can be aborted. It’s mind blowing (and that’s also eugenics).
I cannot tell you how much this stuff hurts when I read it. I imagine everything I read and hear, I can see all of those things that people talk about, it’s involuntary, so it is horrible to me when they send me such messages.
But what’s more horrible is the stuff that isn’t talked about nearly enough. All the people who die from complications from unsafe procedures. All the children being forced to birth children and raise them because they got assaulted by adults.
All the teens who never get to have a career or explore their interests and build something for themselves because they make a mistake and have to raise a child instead of raising themselves as responsible and resourceful adults. All the hurt, all the pain, all the trauma…
I also got messages from people who understand why this is such a big issue. I appreciate all of them.
They know that people who no longer have access to safe medical procedures will go back to unsafe “clinics” that respect no health and safety regulations, they will take desperate measures to get rid of unwanted pregnancies.
Making the world less safe will not make people less likely to have unwanted pregnancies.
Those babies that will be born to unwilling mothers will have harsh lives growing up, perpetuating trauma over the generations. Their mothers’ trauma will pass on and traumatize another generation. Not everyone has the access and information to use contraceptives correctly.
The access to information and contraceptives should be the priority of policy makers, instead of taking away rights to health and bodily autonomy.
The support of people who want to have children, paid leave before and after the birth, parental education, bringing the school system into the 21st century, these should be priorities.
Not forcing more people to have children they don’t want.
But all of these would require actual investments and planning over tens of years, understanding the results of research and applying them in practice. It would require someone to be interested in the well being and prosperity of their fellow humans. Which is, sadly, not the case at the moment.
I hope there is hope, that there is something I can do to help right this wrong. Let me know, I’m here if you need my skills.
And no, I do not support violence. I wrote a Medium story a while ago about staying safe in a peaceful protest and you can read it all here. Change is slow, but every little drop of sweat, every tear, every drop of blood counts.