by | May 31, 2024 | Editorials and Opinions, Newsletters

When we talk about our US Constitution’s Bill of Rights, nothing is more personal to each of us than our own right to control over our own bodies.

When legislation is passed that limits any persons’ rights over their own body, those same laws can be turned around and used in any number of ways to take away the bodily autonomy rights of everyone else, regardless of gender.

Bodily autonomy is a right that goes to the very nature of being human; each person having personal control to make decisions about their own body. The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude … shall exist within the United States”.  Forcing a person to carry a pregnancy is involuntary servitude of that person and their body.

Government denial of your bodily autonomy is government decision-making and control of your body.  Laws that enforce pregnancies on any human, can then be used to impose any number of restrictions and control over all other humans’ bodies, becoming two sides of the same issue.

Your body belongs to you. There is shameful precedent in United States history, demonstrating the irreparable and life-long damage to men and women caused by laws denying individuals their rights to bodily autonomy;  such as forced sterilizations of Native Americans beginning in the 1800’s, Hispanic Americans from the 1920’s to the 1950’s, and Black Americans from the 1920’s to the 1970’s.

Bodily autonomy is every American’s individual right, guaranteed under the 13th Amendment.

June Parsons

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