Why abortion bans are getting worse | Riley J. Dennis

This month, Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri
all passed massive anti-abortion laws, following in the footsteps of Kentucky, Mississippi,
and Ohio. Ever since Roe V. Wade set the federal standard
for abortion rights in 1973, many States have been trying to undo those rights, piece by
piece. 43 States currently have some type of limit
on abortion rights, and recently we’re seeing the passage of some of the strictest anti-abortion
laws in the country. Georgia’s bill is what anti-choice groups
are calling a “heartbeat bill”, which makes abortion illegal after 6 weeks. At a glance, 6 weeks might seem like a decent
window of time to get an abortion if you need one, but that 6 week number is misleading. You’re not given 6 weeks from the time that
you find out you’re pregnant; you’re given 6 weeks from the date of your last period,
regardless of when you actually got pregnant. So for many people — due to several factors
including the irregularity of their period, not having immediate access to a pregnancy
test, or thinking that the symptoms are related to something else — they might not even find
out they’re pregnant until right around that 6 week mark. Meaning they could miss the window entirely
or have only have a few days to find an abortion provider, schedule an appointment, raise the
necessary funds, and have the procedure. 6-week bans like this are very nearly a total
ban on abortion. They’re dressed in rhetoric that tries to
make them sound like they’re not that bad, but they absolutely are. Alabama’s law is even more extreme. It’s an outright ban on abortion. No 6-week window. No exceptions for rape. The only exception is for “where the mother’s
life is at risk, or if the unborn baby is found to have a ‘lethal anomaly.’” Doctors who perform abortions could go to
jail for a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 99 years. The good news is that even though Alabama’s
governor signed the law, it won’t take effect for another six months, and will probably
be blocked by the courts before then. Likewise, Georgia’s law isn’t set to take
effect until 2020 and will also probably be blocked by the courts before then. That means that abortion is currently legal
in Georgia and Alabama, which is important to note. You don’t want to be scaring people out
of getting abortions in those states right now while it is still legal. But, if these laws clearly violate Roe V.
Wade and are going to be so intensely challenged in the courts, why are they getting passed? Well, there are a few factors. But a big one is the new, more conservative
Supreme Court that we have under Trump. Since Roe V. Wade, the Supreme Court has generally
leaned in favor of abortion rights, but with the new additions of Neil Gorsuch and Brett
Kavanagh, both appointed by Trump, the court is leaning a lot more to the right. And that means that even if these bills are
blocked at the lower levels, they can eventually fight those decisions all the way up to the
Supreme Court. And their hope is that this new conservative
Supreme Court will rule in their favor, overturn Roe V. Wade, and allow their laws to be enacted. And the scary thing is, that seems possible
right now. So even though these laws in Alabama and Georgia
are not currently in effect, we need to be fighting them with everything we have because
they could lead to federal abortion rights being overturned. If that happens, we would be going back to
an extremely dark time before Roe V. Wade, where people either get abortions that are
dangerous and put their lives at risk, or don’t get abortions and are forced to raise
children that they’re not ready for and can’t take care of. People who are sexually assaulted could be
forced to raise the child of the person who raped them. And even if they were able to give them up
for adoption, they could still have serious health complications from being pregnant,
or even die from it. The abortion debate really comes down to being
about bodily autonomy. Do you believe the government should be able
to tell you what you can or can’t do with your body? Do you believe the government should be able
to force you to be pregnant and give birth? I don’t. I think people should have control over their
own bodies. I think they should be able to make their
own decisions about their health. Access to safe, legal abortions has saved
the lives of countless people since 1973. And if you’re wondering why I keep talking
about “people” instead of “women”, that’s because there are plenty of people
who aren’t women who can get pregnant and who are directly affected by these anti-abortion
laws. Some trans men and some non-binary people
have the ability to get pregnant, and some women don’t have the ability to get pregnant,
like those who have had their ovaries removed, gone through menopause, have certain medical
conditions, or are trans. Women are not the only group of people who
get pregnant and not even all women can get pregnant, so I don’t think it makes sense
to only refer to abortion rights as being “for women”. When we discuss abortion rights and proponents
say things like “We need to protect women’s rights to abortion” or “This is an attack
on women” — imagine how that sounds to trans men or non-binary people who can get
pregnant. They’re not only having their rights attacked
as well but most of the abortion rights proponents (who should be on their side) are forgetting
them entirely. Imagine seeing this nationwide discussion
about abortion rights while everyone forgets that you and people like you can get pregnant
too. I’ve even seen some abortion rights activists
use this language and then later tack on a little asterisks at the end that’s like
“including trans men, nonbinary people, etc.” but that’s not enough. I don’t think trans people should be an
afterthought, and I think it’s very easy to talk about abortion rights inclusively. For instance, when you’re saying “men
shouldn’t make laws about abortion”, I get what you’re trying to say, but you could
just add a three-letter word in front: cis. “Cis men shouldn’t make laws about abortion.” It’s three letters. You don’t even need to include a whole asterisks
and explainer sentence afterwards. Just three letters at the beginning of your
sentence, and you’re making your language inclusive of trans people. Abortion rights are extremely important, and
they do largely affect cis women, but that’s not the only group of people they affect. So please, when advocating for abortion rights,
be mindful of your language and try to remember that trans people exist too. It’s so easy to say “abortion rights”
or “reproductive rights” instead of “women’s rights”. And lastly, I want to talk about how we can
fight these laws. I think the biggest part is swaying public
opinion in favor of abortions. Normalize them by talking about how abortion
has helped you in your life, if you’re comfortable doing that. Talk to your friends and family about it. Vote for pro-choice politicians. And crucially, vote in local elections. These laws are passing at the state level
because these states are controlled by anti-choice Republicans. Local laws matter and can eventually have
an impact at the federal level. One thing that I don’t think will work is….
this. I actually laughed out loud when I read this,
I thought it had to be a joke. There’s so many angles here, but let’s
start with the obvious one: Did Alyssa Milano forget that queer women exist? Am I, a pro-choice lesbian, supposed to stop
have sex with my pro-choice girlfriend because a bunch of shitty politicians in Alabama and
Georgia passed a trash law? I cannot see how that could possibly help. In fact, I imagine those super conservative
politicians would probably be happy if there was less gay sex happening in the world. And, okay, even if we completely ignore queer
women, which, is pretty shitty, this is still a terrible idea. The whole point of these laws is to control
women’s bodies and tell them to not have sex. When conservative politicians work to ban
comprehensive sex ed, birth control, and abortion, their answer to how not to get pregnant is
always “don’t have sex.” So this “sex strike” gives them exactly
what they want. It’s just crappy abstinence sex ed but with
#resist branding. I could get maybe saying like, if you have
sex with men, don’t have sex with anti-choice men, sure. That could maybe make sense. But just an entire “no sex” policy seems
like feeding right into what the anti-choice side wants. Not to mention that it portrays sex as something that only men want and that women begrudgingly provide. Women enjoy sex too, and so this “sex strike”
has the effect of punishing women by telling them not to do something that they enjoy. Fuck that. Have sex if you want to have sex. We’re fighting for bodily autonomy, and
that means the right to do what you want with your body. So in terms of fighting for abortion rights,
I do not think a “sex strike” is a good idea. Instead, I would recommend supporting organizations
like Planned Parenthood, getting involved in your local politics, and talking to the
people in your life about the importance of safe, legal access to abortion for everyone. Anyway, that’s all I had for you today. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next

32 Replies to “Why abortion bans are getting worse | Riley J. Dennis”

  1. Ay alguien matelo. El periodo no llega si estas embarazada por eso eres hombreeee. No mujer no digas cosas q no son si nunca en la vida te ha venido el periodo

  2. Fuck all of these male cishet trolls in the comments, you know exactly what you're talking about – if you weren't talking about this then they would be complaining about trans women not caring about reproductive rights. Thank you for talking about this ☀️💛

  3. Riddle me this: Aren't scientists trying to find ANY sighns of life in the Universe but here on EARTH a heartbeat doesn't count?

  4. Thank you for making this video, I wish all these pro-lifers would get a life and stay out of other people's business. ITS OUR BODY OUR CHOICE. <3

  5. I’m so sorry about all the hate you receive on your videos, if I were you I wouldn’t be able to pull through but I’m very glad you are and I’m very glad that you keep making informative content

  6. Thanks for talking about this from a trans perspective. Unfortunately conservatives are still so stuck at the most basic arguments, they can't even begin to grasp the systemic implications of their actions. A heartbeat without a fully-developed brain isn't life.

  7. Thank you for saying “people” instead of “women.” I’m agender and I can get pregnant, but I do not want to carry and birth a child. I do not want to reproduce. I want to someday adopt. I hate not being considered or accounted for.

  8. Thank you for the education on this! It's clear that you did your research and I really appreciate someone bringing light to these issues, especially since they're often ignored or misquoted. I really love your channel, Riley! It's a fantastic starting source of information and has helped me become more politically aware, and has also encouraged me to educate myself more. As an enby, I also really appreciate the intersectionality of your channel and especially issues like these, where trans/nb people are usually ignored. In conclusion, thank you!

  9. Riley any of your legitimate followers must have the IQ of an onion. I think you need to relearn much of the terminology you use.

  10. I'm a firm believer people should live in their own homes as they choose. Nevertheless, I am always amazed at people who film themselves in a filthy mess.

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