I have almost started crying multiple times while standing in the bathroom with my friends, and I never really expected to get here.
Sure, I care about politics. I’m basically studying that to try and make a living, but since someone decided to take away what little control I have over my life and my body as is, I guess that’s enough to push someone to want to cry in their bathroom on a random Tuesday afternoon. I want to scream. I want to yell.
I already walk through the world afraid of things that some of these people making decisions about my body will never comprehend. After one year of college, I have learned that it is tough to understand things unless you experience them, so why should I expect some men – and a few highly qualified but not necessarily focused women – to understand my day-to-day life and why my stomach drops with the news that my right to bodily autonomy has the chance of being ripped away from me ?. So, instead of ranting about how angry I am surrounding Roe v. Wade, I will share a few essential things that I believe will help anyone understand why I am so angry whenever the topic comes up.
First, let’s start small. Even if you do not want me to get an abortion, overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling can likely overturn other laws that will impact my access to contraception. I have been on birth control for over two years now, not as a form of contraception but as a way to make my menstruation more tolerable. My life falls apart once a month, birth control, I throw up, almost faint, have heat flashes, and ultimately end up missing things like classes or work. Overturning my access to this medicine does not make me any less likely to kill an unborn child; it just makes my life more hellish once every month. And all of this can be solved simply by letting me, a functioning adult, have control over my own actions and body.
Secondly, I envy those who go on runs at night or can go around and destress without the feeling that the world is watching them. But I can’t. I try not to walk alone at night. If I have to take the bus home after dark, my stomach drops if I am the only girl on the bus. I am not saying things go wrong all the time or even that I am traumatized on a weekly basis, but there is this looming fear rooted in the fact that the chances that something will go wrong are so high, especially since I have made it 19 years old without having been assaulted. Globally, 736 million women are estimated to have been the subject of physical and / or sexual violence. Also, the chance that as I go through my day-to-day life, I could be raped is 1 in 6, according to RAINN. I cannot actively do anything to change that number; I just have to embrace it. Then, my brain says that 54% of rape victims are ages 18 to 36. Ihave just started the long sixteen16-year journey to try not to be the one out of the six. It is even worse for my friends who are women of color. Don’t mind me spiraling into a pit of doom. I have been forced to accept the fact that my chances of being assaulted are immense, and I cannot even begin to process the chances for some of the women in my life that I love.
Finally, and this one is a kicker, if my rights to control what happens to my body are ripped away, the right to control my own future is also ripped away. If I become a statistic and become pregnant by rape, my entire future gets derailed. Sure, this is one of the worst-case scenarios, but that scenario isn’t that far out of the realm of possibilities in my day-to-day life. Please, take a moment, especially if you are small, to think about what I have to say and acknowledge that your actions have the possibility to impact my future. Whether you care about the lives of fetuses or not, please consider that I am not pro-death. I am pro having the ability to choose what to do with my body.
Priya Moran is a rising sophomore at George Washington University and an Asheville resident.