Well… do we?!
For the last five years, I’ve been active in SheDecides — a movement that is also a battlecry. And also a no-brainer. Why should she not decide what happens to her own body and her own life?!
But the reality is that we live in a world where — most of the time — she does not get to decide. All around the world, when I say “he decides,” people say “yes, that is the way it is.” But when I say “she decides,” I am presented with a long list of objections on why that is just.not.possible.
But, it is possible. It has to be.
March 2 marks five years of SheDecides, five years of commitment, action, and progress for bodily autonomy. Five years of fighting for her right to decide about her body and life.
The story of SheDecides is important. Especially because, five years later, she still doesn’t get to decide.
This SheDecides Day is a moment of celebration of all we have achieved — individually and collectively — to push for progress on bodily autonomy. And, it’s a commitment to work together to tackle the challenges ahead.
But… (why is there always a “but”?!) conservative tides are gaining momentum, further restricting rights and rolling back hard-won progress on sexual and reproductive rights. And, the pandemic’s gendered impact and reallocation of vital funding have drastically changed the landscape for activism and political action for bodily autonomy.
First, let’s talk about some good stuff. On February 21, Colombia decriminalized abortion. That makes it the third Latin American country to do so. Mexico was won in September of 2021, and Argentina legalized the procedure in late 2020.
Abortion rights groups in Colombia are known as the Green Wave — the color of their pro-choice movement. I still have my green scarf, given to me by Colombian feminists.
In Latin America, the influence of the Catholic church is strong, further fueling hostility to abortion. But Argentina, Mexico, and now Colombia are giving the region new hope. Yes, perhaps there, she will decide.
Meanwhile, in the US, January 2022 marked the forty-ninth anniversary of Roe v. Wade — and, likely, the last year that its protections will remain standing. Here’s a refresher: In 1973, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Norma McCorvey — aka “Jane Roe” — in her right to choose to have an abortion.
Today, the climate in the US is increasingly hostile to women’s rights — especially in her right to choose…
For the full rant, go here: https://linaabirafeh.medium.com/do-we-have-rights-to-our-own-bodies-yet-5ecb3c2edc1f
And here we come upon another SheDecides Day on March 2. But she decides EVERY day. Yes, we have some stuff to celebrate, but also much more to do. Those who exercise their right to decide now say they are the “lucky ones”. Because they got to choose.
This cannot be about opinions. Or about “luck”. It is about rights. And rights are not up for debate.
Abortion is healthcare. And, who gets to decide about my health? ME. That’s who. And that’s all.