Image Source: Planned Parenthood Action Fund
This year has been full of alarming restrictions on abortion access. During the 2022 legislative session in Florida, the 15-week ban was passed and eventually signed. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. In the past week, GOP introduced a federal abortion ban of 15 weeks – after saying it should be up to the individual states.
Simply put, we are living in scary times. The midterm elections feel like a ticking time bomb.
So how do we deal with the current reproductive landscape?
When looking at the issue of reproductive issues, it is key to be inclusive. The fight for reproductive rights has been constructed to be an issue solely pertaining to women; however, anyone who has a uterus is impacted by access to reproductive rights.
The people most impacted by the inaccessibility of abortions are non-cis-gender women. As they may be refused services or have other significant barriers stemming from their gender identity.
Using pronouns like “she” or “her” can create an exclusionary narrative. When it comes to fighting for reproductive rights, nobody should be left behind.
Using words like “our,” “us,” “their,” “they,” “them” and “we” unites instead of divides the movement as a whole. Language should seek to unite us.
So instead, use inclusive words.
First-wave feminism was a movement composed of primarily privileged white women. This evolved.
Second-wave feminism included more women of color in the narrative while focusing on equality in the workforce. This evolved.
Third-wave feminism was influenced by the post-modern movement and focused on redefining. This evolved.
Some questions have emerged about the existence of the fourth wave of feminism. Those who believe in its existence say it is influenced by the internet and characterized by political activism. The political activism could be noted by the increase in women running for office.
In a similar nature, the narrative around reproductive justice needs to evolve.
I believe we are among the new wave of feminism. This wave needs to focus on inclusivity beyond cis-gendered women. After all, gender inequality is only one facet of gender inequality as a whole.
Intersectionality must be at the forefront of the battle over our bodies. Feminism without intersectionality is fatally flawed.
Using different languages is an easy adjustment that can make a tremendous impact. Reproductive justice is intersectional.
So don’t say bans off her body. Say bans off our bodies. This fight is ours.