March for Freedom

Donald Trump is in the news every day and the stories are becoming increasingly absurd. Alec Baldwin recently said that Trump is the head writer at Saturday Night Live, as the man with orange skin spins comedy gold every time he opens his mouth. However, as his inauguration creeps nearer, the joke is less funny and more frightening. He’s now being sued for sexual assault, which hasn’t even made the headlines; we’ve already become desensitised to Trump’s shameful behaviour. If Hillary Clinton had been elected and she were being sued for sexual assault, days before her inauguration, the media would be whipped into a frenzy and talking of little else.

Trump has already set about dismembering the affordable care act, or Obamacare, without ensuring a viable replacement in its stead. Along with this is the proposed defunding of Planned Parenthood, denying women access to contraception, testing and treatment for STDs and abortions. Paul Ryan and Republican members of Congress have been lobbying to defund Planned Parenthood for many years. They insist abortion should not be funded by the state as so many Americans are against the practice.

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I am staunchly pro-choice and always have been. I thought my views might soften while carrying a baby, but my feelings about a woman’s right to choose have intensified since being pregnant. After experiencing 23 weeks of what women go through while making a baby, I believe we should have complete autonomy over the contents of our wombs. It’s yet another example of governments objectifying our bodies and sticking their beaks into the private lives of women. The irony is that anyone who’s concerned about abortions should support organisations which provide contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

You might ask why I’m writing about an issue that effects American women – there is a wave of conservative, authoritarian populism sweeping the world and it’s concerning to everyone. We’re sliding backwards into the dark ages, or perhaps I should say making our nations ‘great again’. This spurious bygone era which politicians are so keen to fetishise, when women didn’t have sex for their own pleasure. We were supposedly silent, decorative ornaments to be ‘grabbed by the pussy’ and were obliged to bear as many children as god gifted us.

We must protect our right to choose and our ability to access healthcare. British women have the advantage of the NHS, a service that many of us take for granted. However it’s future is uncertain and under great strain, and it needs our protection. No woman has an abortion with a spring her step, it’s always a tough decision made in challenging circumstances. If we’re not careful, we could easily go the same way as America and find ourselves governed by demagogic dinosaurs who undermine the fundamental rights of women. I’ll be joining the Women’s March on London on Saturday in solidarity with our American sisters.

Feature image from www.womensmarchlondon.com, second image from Pinterest.