The Legend of Uterine Gold

[CN: misogyny, war on agency, classism, reproductive coercion]

It seems there's a lot of misapprehension going around GOP circles (but not only GOP circles!) about what it means to have a uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina, etc. From Supreme Court Justice Antony Scalia musing about how very cheap an IUD is, to the US Appeals Court deciding that forcing Texas women to drive 150+ miles, multiple times, to get an abortion isn't an "undue burden," many people in positions of power seem confused on an important point.

So let me clear this up for you: my uterus didn't come with a super-special UTERUS TRUST FUND, dedicated to paying for my reproductive-related health care. Nor leprechaun gold. Nor the sunken treasure of the fabled City of Ys.

This may come as a shock. And not just to prominent Republicans, either. I can't tell you how many times I've had some variation on this conversation with a glibertarian dude:

Me: So you oppose funding for Planned Parenthood/the contraceptive mandate/public employees insurance coverage for abortions/etc? Isn't that an intrusion into other people's private health?

Glibertarian Dude: (with a pained expression, because I'm obviously stupid) Of course it isn't! I'm not trying to tell other people what to do; I just don't want to pay for it.

So, to everyone, everywhere, making this argument, I repeat: my uterus did not come with a trust fund.

That means I, and other uterus-havers, don't have a special bank account we dip into when our uterus/ovaries/fallopian tubes/etc. need health care. That health care could include lots of things, like birth control pills to try to control the crippling pain of endometriosis, or birth control pills to control the spacing of my children. Or birth control pills to do both things, at once! And as much as I might like to be able to say "YOU'RE RIGHT JUSTICE SCALIA! I will just go to the Bank of Ladybits and withdraw my Uterusbuxxxxxx!!! to pay for this healthcare!" I actually cannot do that.

Instead, I have to simply use whatever money I do have, however much or little it is, to try to care for the body I have. And since I DO have a uterus, I will be paying more than a non-uterus-haver, which means I may or may not be able to get needed healthcare at all. Or, I may be able to, but only with considerable financial hardship--hardship which will, in turn, put me at a considerable disadvantage when compared to people without uteruses. Which does not a level playing field make.

So let's be totally clear on this.

When someone says that they're not trying to interfere with the healthcare of uterus-havers, they ONLY expect them to pay extra to care for care of said uterus, then the speaker is being deeply dishonest.

That person is absolutely trying to impose their own beliefs on someone else, by force. That person is absolutely trying to tell other people what to do. That person is absolutely trying to manipulate, control, and meddle with other people's lives.

So maybe we could get a little more truth about what those persons are actually saying, and a lot less storytelling about the Legend of Uterine Gold.

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