i admit it: i vote, more than anything else, for reproductive rights and the Roe v. Wade Constitutional “right of privacy.” i am shamelessly and proudly “pro-choice” in that i believe that people should make decisions about their own bodies and what they do with their own bodies. i believe people have an absolute right to that freedom without exceptions or quibbles…as a woman who grew up in a state where the right to privacy was enforced by Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike, i can tell you something: reproductive rights and the right of privacy in reproductive decisions changes lives. i learned about how to not get pregnant and how to avoid STIs in high school; i know that when my friend got knocked up that her access to a legal, affordable abortion when she was 17 made all the difference in her life. i know that access to sexual health information and freedom of reproductive choice is so critical and important that, yes, it’s my “one issue.”
i’ve held my friends’ hands through enough pregnancy terminations that i am sure that some people believe i’m going to hell. friends, haters, lovers…i can tell you that none of those friends came to that decision lightly. i can tell you that even with “abortion on demand” there is a level of hemming and hawing that makes me grateful i’m sterile. i can tell you that even the best care for people seeking abortions still fails them; it still fails to remember that part of the freedom of choice is, well, choice. it fails to mind that accessible, affordable, safe abortion isn’t really that common. in 87% of US counties (and 97% of non-metropolitan counties) there is no “identifiable” abortion provider. the 3% of “non-metropolitan counties” are almost exclusively in New England and on the West Coast.
“but Erica,” you say, “you’re trans so why do you give a shit?” well, the war against abortion is primarily a war on women; most people, though obviously not all, who have uteruses are women. and, well, i want y’all to know something: if they take away abortion rights/access, the next thing is going to be whatever else hinges on the Constitutional “right of privacy”, you know, stuff like birth control, the right to impound birth records in states that have extended that right, the right to consensual sexual activity in your own home, the right to medical privacy generally…in other words, all things that matter to trans people. once upon a time, “sodomy” was a felony. most states considered everything from anal sex to fisting a form of “sodomy”, and until Lawrence v. Texas, a queer rights case that leaned directly on Roe v. Wade, almost everything i do in bed was a felony. hell, dilating was probably a felony…seriously, though, our freedom to consensually fuck as queers descends directly from the “privacy rights” enumerated in Eisenstadt v. Baird, Griswold v. Connecticut, and Roe v. Wade. that alone should matter on top of the reality that women’s liberation is impossible without safe, shameless, affordable, and legal access to all reproductive rights services, including abortion. in the United States, persons have been given the right of privacy via the Constitution to manage the affairs of their own person, so it means leaps forward under the law for women, people with disabilities, queers, and so many more protected classes whose lives benefit from a penumbra of privacy being extended to their medical and social affairs under law, from issues of parenting to issues of self-sufficiency.
so that’s why i care about privacy rights. that’s why i am derided as a “one-issue voter”…because abortion matters to me more than anything else, not just because i believe all persons have a right to safe, affordable, shameless, and legal abortion should they demand but also because so many other rights are conferred by that Constitutional right of privacy that Roe v. Wade and its hangers-on created and that that right of privacy extends so far it covers almost every gender and sexual minority.
call me a “one-issue voter.” it’s simplistic, but at the end of the day it’s true, because that one issue is the dignity of every person with a uterus and every gender/sexual minority. that one issue matters too much to let a bunch of politicians decide, and i am gratified to report to you that one of the sneakiest, most funded attacks on the basic Constitutional right to privacy, Florida Amendment 6, failed by what we call a “country mile” here where i come from. amidst the glory and joy of President Obama’s victory and the hilarity of four more years of VP Joe “i’m a shaaaaark” Biden and the victory of multiple measures and amendments, Amendment 6′s stellar failure was the highlight of my night. maybe it’s my “one issue” but it’s an issue that covers so much ground that any attack must be rapidly thwarted. the populace of Florida choosing to “nix Six” despite uterus policing types pouring millions into the measure indicates something beautiful beyond that Florida’s Medicaid/Medicare system keeps paying for reproductive health: the fact that even in the conservative South, the beauty of the implied right to privacy is obvious to almost 58% of the state and that my “one-issue voter” heart was really happy early in the evening.
my “one issue” isn’t just abortion…it’s basic respect and recognition of the humanity of people with uteruses and what that means for all women and GSMs. my “one issue” is dignity, freedom, reproductive fairness, and having the back of everyone to be smart enough to make their own choice. i thank you, Floridians, for believing in my “one issue” and i shall be proud to be a “one issue” voter until the dignity and basic respect of women and gender/sexual minorities is never put to a vote or reviewed by a court ever again, and i hope someday that shall be a reality so i won’t be a “one issue” voter anymore.