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Is female fertility fair game?

Han WorsleyWritten by Hannah Worsley – Country To Canberra Teen Blogger

I just can’t win.

This statement could be applied to a lot of things, especially any kind of sports, given my expertise at getting concussions and my lack in terms of actual skills.

However, I’ve recently discovered that I can’t win in terms of what to do about children. In fact, 52% of our society are unwilling losers in this area, who can’t seem to catch a break.

Women of childbearing age, whether they be child-free, trying to conceive, pregnant, or already mothers, would generally be the only people I’d seek to consult about their own personal reproductive/fertility issues and opinions.  Lately though, I’ve spotted a few things that seem to indicate that there are a whole lot of stakeholders I appear to have forgotten. I’m talking about your great grandma who aggressively questions your non-pregnant self, your mates who dismiss your wish to not have children, the mummy bloggers who attack mothers who don’t parent in their chosen way, the politicians who wish to outlaw our access to abortions, the doctors who refuse to assist same sex couples in their endeavours to have children, and the pharmacists who require you to fill out a survey before collecting the morning after pill.

In my eyes, all of these instances are an example of an outsider trying to take away an element of choice for women and it makes women the losers.

Women who want to live a child-free life are selfish and emotionally barren.

Women who can’t go through with a pregnancy, for whatever reason, are murderers.

Women who ask their partners to pick up the morning after pill for them are denied, and women who go to pick it up themselves are questioned about why they need it, beyond the obvious.

It goes beyond women being the clear losers in these specific situations. Females are also reminded of our supposed ‘primary function’ (producing, carrying, and parenting children) in every stage of life.

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Our new NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, was questioned about her childfree status within fifteen minutes of actually taking on the role.  The issue wasn’t just raised- it was suggested that she may not be ‘qualified’ to be a voice on family issues.  It seems that a female political figure has to have personally experienced every issue she may have to legislate on. Want to overhaul the pension? Got to be a pensioner. Want to introduce a set of guidelines for healthy food in school canteens? You need to be a carrot. Want to regulate the car insurance industry? You really ought to be a car.

A new law was just passed in Arkansas (USA) that allows rapists to sue victims who want an abortion and block their access. It also allows parents of minors to do the same if their pregnant child seeks an abortion, and husbands to do the same if their wife follows that path.  A reminder – these people who seek to make the option of abortion obsolete are not, in fact, anti-choice, but rather pro-life (just not of the mother, only of the embryo, which at the point of fertilisation is no more human than a blood cell). It would also appear that they are pro-rapist, pro-misogyny, pro-domestic abuse, pro-health risk, and even pro-death.

Model Chrissy Teigan has been the target of online trolls who believe that her conception of her children through IVF treatment makes her an inferior mother. These are people who are disgusted at this modern technology that takes away the real ‘fair dinkum’ way of conception. People who express that disgust, often do so over the internet, which by the way, happens to be modern technology. Maybe they should take up writing letters rather than tweets, to be more in line with their beliefs.

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Donald Trump (a man) signed an executive order (surrounded by more men) preventing, among other things, the subsidising or funding of abortion (for women) in any way by private healthcare. These patients work hard to pay for an organisation entirely separate to the government and the broken public healthcare system, to provide them with a satisfactory level of care, yet the Trump administration has just taken that away. At least Trump is so committed to consistency that he’s taken action to ban private healthcare from subsidising vasectomies. Oh, wait…….

What I’m trying to highlight, is that outsiders see females and our fertility, as fair game for discussion and derision.

For some reason, it’s fertility, and exclusively female fertility, that is constantly up for debate, often in a room with barely enough women to poke a stick at, if any.

As exciting and miraculous the process of ovulation, fertilisation, and pregnancy is, I’d rather they took their awful reporting, heartbreaking laws, trolling mindsets, and baffling executive orders, right out of my uterus.