The question of who gets to decide when and if a woman gets pregnant has always been one that's fraught with controversy. Whether we're talking about abortion, birth control, or the right of women to say no to their husbands, historically pregnancy has been something women are expected to do rather than allowed to do.
Unfortunately for many women today, the right to choose pregnancy or not is still not guaranteed. Even beyond the fight over abortion, many doctors refuse to provide women with permanent birth control...sometimes at the cost of their health.
But don't take it from me. Take it from someone who's been there. Twitter user Salome Strangelove went completely viral when she shared a story that made it 100% clear why women need to be in control of their own bodies, and if you make it to the end without tearing up a little then you're basically heartless.
It's no secret that personal stories can be the most powerful form of persuasion.Especially when it comes to pregnancy, the stories of what can go wrong are often intimate and heartbreaking.
These stories are not often the ones we hear.It's easy to assume that people pushing for birth control, abortion, and other pregnancy-related rights are irresponsible or could have made better choices.
But the stories of actual people seeking these procedures tell a different story.Which is why it's so important to listen to the struggles people go through. You have no idea what someone's circumstance is.
That's why Salome Strangelove decided it was time to start a conversation.
Let’s talk about what having body autonomy can mean to a woman’s life. I want to share something my mom didn’t tell… https://t.co/nUjUBlx9it— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536261099.0
This is the story of Salome's mother.
My mom was 20 when she had me. She wasn’t an assertive young woman. Unlike me, she mostly deferred to authority, especially her own doctors.— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536261165.0
Oh hey, fun fact: unplanned pregnancies are often not because a woman is irresponsible.
She hadn’t planned to get pregnant with me. She didn’t plan any of her pregnancies, in fact, but she was unaware th… https://t.co/2TNpwEy7FE— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536261291.0
Pregnancy can be incredibly dangerous.
Her pregnancy with me was utterly miserable. She actually lost weight while pregnant. The delivery was problematic… https://t.co/YhWLFi3Deo— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536261417.0
It turns out that sometimes pregnancy is so awful you don't want to do it again.
Afterward, my mother was convinced she didn’t ever want to go through that again. She was exhausted, depressed, and… https://t.co/hlegU3Bgls— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536261528.0
Ah yes, the "what would your husband think" argument.
Her doctor yelled at her for her selfishness at wanting to deny my father future children — especially a son — and… https://t.co/G4prpCUlnZ— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536261658.0
Ah yes, women should just stop working.
He also added that her pregnancy might not have been so stressful if she’d stopped working entirely.— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536261736.0
If you get nothing else from this story, understand how hard it is for women to convince doctors to respect their reproductive choices.
My mother was so ashamed by how her doctor made her feel that she didn’t tell my father or my grandmother or her be… https://t.co/5MYySV0kQQ— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536261843.0
Reminder: pregnancy can be dangerous.
Over the next five years my mother was pregnant three more times. Two were horrific miscarriages that caused her a… https://t.co/NZphouv5if— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536261941.0
The Good NewsYounger doctors are generally growing more sympathetic and understanding of the idea that women should have control over their own reproductive choices.
What a brave woman.
Following my brother’s birth, she mustered the courage to ask him about having a tubal ligation again. She did so i… https://t.co/6LeW3SpnzN— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536262192.0
There are too many issues to explore fully here.
Thankfully, the new doctor was not just appalled at how her concerns had been regarded, but also recognized she nee… https://t.co/ayKAYjhcpa— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536262261.0
It's deeply inhumane to expect a person to put their own life and health at risk because YOU expect them to produce a child.
It was only at this point — after two children, two miscarriages, and five years of life-threatening trauma, terror… https://t.co/6cXTQuBqlm— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536262374.0
Oh, and if you think that it's pro-family to force people to give birth?
Her first doctor used his authority to put her life in danger, to weaken the bonds she formed with me, to make her… https://t.co/6DCsY6FZCB— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536262573.0
Doctors wield a lot of power over their clients.
How this one man’s arrogance and indifference to my mother’s body autonomy influenced my entire primary family unit… https://t.co/6pHNBDVRDB— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536262770.0
These kinds of stories can change the conversation.
So when old white men disguise their pathetic misogyny as concern for unborn children, I think of my mother at 20,… https://t.co/YxjC93KzUM— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536262964.0
Sure, we'd love it if every person had the time and energy to fight for their rights.
And when I hear smug right wing women spew their toxic bile about how it “infantilizes women” to recognize not ever… https://t.co/Jo20JlbmwW— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536263316.0
Oh, and by the way, the lack of information that doctors share about birth control?
But here’s the most horrific footnote. Before my mother was deemed healthy enough to have her tubal litigation surg… https://t.co/4HuRcpTHHo— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536263581.0
THIS is why abortion is a health issue.
Mercifully, my father and grandmother, aware of what was happening with her at this point, fully supported her term… https://t.co/8qTPxKRgae— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536263843.0
These pregnancies changed a woman's life.
I like being alive. Love my family and friends. Love my brother. And I believe my mother had every right to never h… https://t.co/KLG3o8pnjc— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536263952.0
This story might sound horrific but it just scratches the surface.
Too many women live through her kind of shame and terror. Too many more have it worse. Still others have to deal wi… https://t.co/Ma3JKbWcyJ— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536264074.0
While this story might not cover everything...
In closing, fuck every arrogant forced birth pontificator that walks the earth and thinks they get to rule over som… https://t.co/SdFbyFOQmT— Salome Strangelove (@Salome Strangelove)1536264213.0