Transcription below the fold!
Hey there, Internet! I’m Luxander and today I want to talk about abortion.
Let me clarify that I am pro-choice and I consider abortion to be a human right. This is not a video where we’re discussing the ethics of abortion. If my commenters want to have a discussion about that, we can do a different video and have that debate on a separate forum. That’s not what this is for.
As you may be aware, there was a shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado very recently. Three people died and several others were injured. This has reignited the American political flame war about abortion. Many pro-choice people have said that this reoccurring series of terrorist attacks on Planned Parenthood and on abortion clinics constitutes a war on women’s reproductive rights.
While I do agree that this constitutes a war on reproductive rights, I absolutely have to denounce the idea that this is a war on women’s rights. Why, you might ask?
First of all, not all women are capable of getting pregnant. Trans women can’t get pregnant, and a lot of cis women can’t get pregnant because of various health reasons. But they’re still women. Second of all, many non-women can get pregnant, such as trans men, non-binary people, and some intersex people. (Some of whom may or may not identify themselves as women.)
For example, I am a transmasculine person who was capable of getting pregnant before I started hormone therapy. If I were to stop taking T at this point, I would be able to get pregnant again. I would be a trans person who might need access to abortion. My rights would be under attack just as much as those of cis women who are capable of getting pregnant.
Centering our pro-abortion rhetoric around women is inherently erasing of the existence and needs of trans individuals.
What’s interesting is that in certain trans-aware spaces, using gender-neutral terminology to talk about this can result in backlash. (For those of you watching [reading] this on Freethought Blogs, I apologize, it’s a little bit redundant because you probably already know what’s going on.)
Abortion provider Dr. Leah Torres posted some tweets back in September discussing the importance of bodily autonomy in relation to access to abortion. She used neutral phrases like “people who can get pregnant,” which is ideal when you’re discussing who may need abortion access. “People who can get pregnant.”
Former FTB blogger Ophelia Benson called out Dr. Torres on Twitter saying that she was erasing women (read: cis women) from the topic of discussion. There’s a storify of this exchange which I’ll put in the link below which basically shows Ophelia aggressively “correcting” Dr. Torres’ tweets by repeatedly saying “women” and “the word you’re looking for is ‘woman’.”
What Benson failed to understand is that the entire discussion around abortion is already centered on women. It’s only in really small spaces that trans people are even acknowledged in this.
In this particular discussion, cis women have the privilege. They’re the ones whose rights are being discussed and talked about, and it’s not their existence that’s being glossed over and swept under the rug.
Using gender-neutral terminology the way that Dr. Torres does is actually the most accurate and correct way to talk about who needs access to abortion. “People who can get pregnant.” Because not all women can get pregnant, and a lot of people who aren’t women can get pregnant.
I cannot repeat this enough: Centering the pro-abortion rhetoric around the rights of women is inherently erasing of the existence and needs of transgender individuals. Using gender-neutral terminology in no way hurts cis women and is actually a step in the right direction.
I ask you to please like and share this video because this is a topic that needs to be addressed. Trans erasure is an issue, it’s very important, and it needs to stop.
If you enjoyed this rant, feel free to subscribe for more content like this and you can check out my older videos about gender and all the wondrous things that I’ve had to say about it.
So, thank you all so much for watching, and have a day!