In my career as a feminist so far, I’ve often found it hard to get past my own emotion about the issues I’m confronted with. It’s hard to take a step past that the visceral fear of seeing someone planning to take away my rights over my body, hard to move beyond the battling emotions that very physical sense of being threatened evokes. In other words, it’s hard to stop swearing a blue streak, and actually move into action.
When I sat down to read Fred Nile’s second reading speech introducing his proposed Zoe’s Law, which will be voted on in the NSW Parliament on Thursday – well, this tweet captures my initial response.
My response to Nile and those like him tends to be emotional, visceral, expletive.
But today, I did get over that first reaction, long enough to do some actual research and writing about it. The post, Personhood, Foetal Rights, and Fred Nile’s Sideswipe at Abortion is over at the F collective blog, go visit an have a read.
I read a lot of stuff for this post; I am in particular indebted to the awesome Rachael Watts, and her article “Foetal homicide laws set up a competing set of rights for women”, published on The Drum. In contrast to my steady stream of “fuck off”, “oh fuck off” while I was reading the anti-choicers, there’s this whole paragraph in her article, which instead made me go: “Fuck yeah!” This is what Watts writes:
“Assault on a woman is the result of someone else’s choice to be violent. Defining a foetus as a person does not address that choice. Women should not have to be deferential to society about the functions of their bodies. Women should know that should someone inflict violence upon her, pregnant or not, they will be dealt with seriously not because of a foetus within her, but because she has the same right as anyone else to live in peace and without fear.”
-Rachel Watts “Foetal homicide laws set up a competing set of rights for women”, 15 March 2012, The Drum