A viral thread perfectly explains the serious, heartbreaking effects of restricting reproductive rights
Roe v. Wade currently hangs in the balance as senators deliberate over appointing Brett Kavanaugh, a judge with a seemingly anti-abortion track record, to Supreme Court. This is a seriously scary prospect, and one women’s viral Twitter thread perfectly breaks down all of the awful consequences that come with restricting reproductive rights.
Twitter user Salome Strangelove decided to share her mother’s story with the world. It was story that was kept private for many, many years, and had only been shared with Strangelove right before she turned 40. The heartbreaking tale began when her mom got unexpectedly pregnant and gave birth when she was 20 years old.
“She hadn’t planned to get pregnant with me,” Strangelove wrote. “She didn’t plan any of her pregnancies, in fact, but she was unaware that her birth control was frequently being rendered ineffective by medication she was prescribed for a chronic problem at that phase of her life.”
She hadn’t planned to get pregnant with me. She didn’t plan any of her pregnancies, in fact, but she was unaware that her birth control was frequently being rendered ineffective by medication she was prescribed for a chronic problem at that phase of her life.
The pregnancy was “utterly miserable” and there were complications when she gave birth. She was tired and depressed and didn’t want to go through that experience again. She asked her white, Catholic doctor for tubal ligation. He yelled at her, called her selfish, and made her feel ashamed. He suggested that the reason that she had such a bad pregnancy was because she was working during that time. She became even more depressed after that visit and decided not to tell her husband what happened.
Her doctor yelled at her for her selfishness at wanting to deny my father future children — especially a son — and shamed her for even thinking about not wanting more children when she should be “embracing her new role in life as a mother.”
My mother was so ashamed by how her doctor made her feel that she didn’t tell my father or my grandmother or her best friend about any of it. This complicated her depression.
I’m not going to get into how this affected her support relationships or parental bonding. But it did.
She got pregnant three more times after that over the course of five years. Two were miscarriages. After she gave birth to Strangelove’s brother, she asked another doctor for tubal ligation and, this time, he thankfully treated her kindly and thoughtfully. “It was only at this point — after two children, two miscarriages, and five years of life-threatening trauma, terror, and shame, that she was able to have her choice over her own body respected,” Strangelove wrote.
Strangelove slammed the people who try to take away a woman’s agency over her body.
And when I hear smug right wing women spew their toxic bile about how it “infantilizes women” to recognize not every young woman can say no to male authority, all I hear is that they’d be okay with my mother facing a death sentence for acquiescing to the authority of her doctor.
She emphasized giving birth should always, always be a woman’s choice. “I like being alive,” Strangelove wrote. “Love my family and friends. Love my brother. And I believe my mother had every right to never have me and should never have had that choice made for her.”
Strangelove’s thread has since been retweeted more than 25,000 times and liked nearly 58,000 times. Hundreds of comments poured in from women who related on a deep, personal level to her mother’s story.
Thank you for posting this. At 35, after a tubal pregnancy, my FEMALE OB/GYN refused to give me a ligation on the other one, because I “might still change my mind and want children.” I have MS. Luckily, found a GYN who was appalled, and also did an ablation.
My 2nd delivery almost killed me. I asked 4 a hysterectomy & I was told I should want to try and have a boy. I was told that my uterus was so damaged it would likely rupture but they’d do a csection at 28 week & I probably wouldn’t die. I wish women were trusted w our own bodies.
It’s beyond maddening that women are still dealing with the fear of losing their reproductive rights. To that, I’ll let Strangelove deliver a closing statement on reproductive rights. “Fuck every arrogant forced birth pontificator that walks the earth and thinks they get to rule over someone else’s body autonomy.”