AZ HB 2036 was introduced to the House last week after sailing through the Arizona State Senate, and I must say even in the world of anti-abortion law this shit is bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s.
The law stipulates that life begins not when the sperm meets the egg, but on the final day of the expectant mother’s last menstruation cycle. So the baby becomes a baby the day its mommy’s flow abates, not the day mommy’s self-esteem is low enough to let daddy touch her…meaning the fetus is conceived….before conception.
The Arizona State Senate (logical wizards that they are) got around this small detail by tweaking the language of the bill. By side-stepping the word conception and talking about the “pain-capable unborn child” in terms of its “gestation” they are able to make the claim that a child’s road to life begins the moment it starts its trek down the fallopian tube. Because that’s when it starts to gestate right?
Actually yes, according to the strict, scientific definition of the term “gestation”, but many scientists don’t like using gestational age because it is an extremely imprecise measure. It may be the most convenient way to determine a fetus or embryo’s age, but it is far from the most accurate. But hey, these people were never that into science anyway, so I’ll stop nitpicking in this arena. I’m just glad they showed up to the science party. I mean they missed the point, but at least they’re here, know what I’m saying?
So setting the science aside for a moment, let’s consider the legal implications of this bad boy. I mean, sure, it sets back the date at which a woman can get an abortion (the number goes from 20 weeks to 18, making it more difficult for the mother to have any kind of medical information about the fetus on which to base her decision), but I’m more concerned about the precedent this sets beyond abortion law.
If the baby becomes a baby before sperm ever enters the picture, could I (at some point in the future) be held responsible for every egg that passes through me unfertilized? According to this law they’re all alive, right? My eggs? They’re just waiting for a man (I’m guessing one who fears god and owns multiple guns is preferable) to bestow his great and generous Gift upon me? Well what if he doesn’t show up? Is he responsible for murdering Jordan Jr. or am I? (Hahahaha Good one, but let’s be real. The woman would be responsible. It’s like that old saying: You menstruate it, you bought it.)
Ok. So I think I’ve got it. From the age of 12-ish on all ladies should be constantly with child. Good. Great. We’ll start working on that.
But wait. Aren’t these anti-abortion advocates the same people that want me to be abstinent until I’m legally wed (to a man)? This is confusing. So I have to get married when I’m, like, 12 in Arizona? Ew. Boys are yucky. They have cooties and sometimes they try to fart on me at recess. But I mean I guess. If I have to. To stay out of baby-killer prison.
Luckily, in Arizona you can get married at 12 as long as you have parental consent and a court order which, thanks to the potentially incriminating tag team efforts of 2036 and my menstrual cycle, shouldn’t be difficult to compel. And thank god for that. I mean I may not be able to marry a same sex partner or learn Mexican-American History in Arizona, but at least civil rights have progressed far enough to let a 12 year old get married so she doesn’t get thrown in jail for getting her first period. They do things right in the Grand Canyon State. Rosa Clark knows what I’m talking about.
I had my first period when I was about 9. What are the rules for baby-killing 9 year olds in Arizona?
Honestly, I’m feeling worn down by all of this. I’m exhausted from being angry all the time because for some reason a whole lot of old white dudes care about what I do with my uterus. Why? Why do you care so much? Why do you care about what I do with my uterus? I’m the one who’s had it for 22ish years. I’m the one who chilled inside a uterus for 9.5 months (I was late) while cells divided to form my body. I don’t tell you what to do with your body. I don’t say “Well, you’re misusing your penis because I say so, so now I’m going to place restrictions on it.” I don’t try to pass legislation to restrict how you use your genitals. I don’t tell you that you’re immoral for doing something legal and consensual with your penis. So why the fuck do you care so fucking much about what I do with my uterus and my vagina? Keep your awful “morals” away from my body and I’ll keep my stilettos away from your balls.
ETA: I forgot to mention how much I adore you, Jordan. Because I really, really do.