Tuesday, June 24, 2008

dear lesbians,

this is why you should care about what's going on in the reproductive justice world.

because refusal clauses cover more than just those pills for those straight girls.

because Guadalupe Benitez represents more than just one wronged woman in California.

because people like Americans United For Life, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, and the American Civil Rights Union (the asshole counterpart to the ACLU) are organizations that all hate you, my fellow queer women, just as much as they hate women who've engaged in PIV intercourse and want to be able to exercise control over their bodies.

because these organizations and people aren't just going to stop with trying to control contraception and abortion, which applies more directly to het women than to my women-loving women friends. because you've got vaginas too, my dear lesbians. and the anti-choicers? they want to control your vaginas (and the rest of your reproductive systems), too.

yes, what happened in Benitez's case, when she was refused IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment because she was an unmarried lesbian, is different from the use of refusal clauses by pharmacists, hospitals, and doctors when women are denied EC or other contraception because these health care professionals have "moral, religious, personal, or ideological objections" to providing this kind of health care. of course they're different. the individual discrimination in Benitez's case isn't always involved in your everyday invocations of the "conscience clause." but they're fruit of the same fucked up tree.
make no mistake: these doctors were able to refuse to treat Benitez based on her sexuality exactly because of the groundwork laid by anti-choicers. this "conscience clause" that they've pushed so hard for has worked...on a much larger scale than we usually recognize.
it's worked on a level that directly affects us, as queer women.

now, my dear lesbians, i know that there are few of you that i need to speak to here. most of us already have what seems to be an odd, misplaced investment in the reproductive rights movement. from the outside, it seems weird that all of these women who aren't engaging in PIV intercourse and don't usually need ready access to contraception or abortion would care so deeply about repro rights.
i don't have sex with people who have organs that can get me pregnant. i don't really need to care about whether or not my pharmacist is going to be able to refuse my prescription for birth control. except...i do.
because i might want a kid someday. and i might want to use a fertility doctor to make that happen (for my partner - no baby is squeezing out of this vag). i don't want my doctor to be able to cite some bullshit piece of legislation that says he doesn't need to treat my lesbian partner, and i don't want to sit in that office, years from now, and think, "fuck, i guess i should've paid attention to that refusal clause shit."

this movement is something i need to be invested in.
this movement affects me, directly.
and, my dear fellow lesbians, this movement affects you, directly, too.

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