TW: Abortion story
I just had the quite bizarre experience of getting pregnant. Bizarre because for the last two and a half years, I’ve had the Paraguard IUD - as effective as tying your tubes, they tell me. Then one day my period doesn’t come. My breasts are swollen, my back aches, and I have the crazy thought that this feels like pregnancy. Something is definitely wrong, at least. So I head to CVS to get a home pregnancy test, just to rule it out. We have plans for brunch with friends, so I slip into the bathroom to get the test out of the way while my boyfriend puts away groceries. And then I stare at it. For a really long time. Because that is most definitely a plus sign.
Hmm. That’s odd. Of course I’d only bought one test, so after a moment of staring, we hurry down the street for more. Another, and then another, and this time the digital ones that say “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” clear as day. Every one has the same confusing answer. “Pregnant.”
On the drive to the urgent care center, I remember all the mornings in the past month I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, staring at my protruding stomach and half-heartedly thinking: It’s like I’m pregnant. How did I know? My boyfriend drives, one hand resting firmly and supportively on my knee. We joke nervously to distract us from the shock.
In the exam room, the nurse is young and friendly. She admits she’s nervous for me, clearly shaken by the news that IUDs are not a guarantee. I laugh with her to try to make her more comfortable, that makes two of us. We wait and wait for confirmation that our lives are, in fact, upside-down, while a Nickelodeon sitcom plays in the background. Finally an old male doctor comes in and tells me the same thing as the CVS family planning aisle. I’m pregnant.
1,100 Total number of reproductive rights-related laws introduced by state lawmakers in 2011.
604 Number of abortion and reproductive rights-related provisions introduced at the state level as of June 1.
8.2% The US unemployment rate.
0 Number of jobs created by wasting time debating hundreds of reproductive rights-restricting laws.
408,425 Number of children who were in the US foster care system at the end of 2010.
96,772 Number of those children with caseworkers who said they were waiting to be adopted.
4,230 Number of adoptable foster children who would not have stadium seats if you tried to put all of them into the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
25 United States’ ranking on Save the Children’s list of best countries for mothers.
0 Number of podium pounding speeches given by “pro-life” Congressional leaders on how embarrassing it is that the US has the fourth highest maternal mortality rate of any industrialized nation.
Between $2 and $6 Amount of taxpayer money saved for every $1 spent on birth control.
$11 billion Cost of unplanned pregnancies to the US taxpayer — per year.
$11.2 billion Amount Broadway musicals contribute to New York City’s economy per year.
$3.71 billion Facebook’s net revenues in 2011.
12 zillion (Est.) Number of extremely irritating, almost Broadway musical-level overwrought debates Americans have gotten into about contraception on Facebook.
$270,000 Estimated cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 in the US.
$10,784 Average amount of additional income an American woman would earn annually if she were a man.
$431,360 Amount of money an American woman can expect to be stiffed out of during the duration of her working career.
$16,704 Amount a woman can expect to spend on birth control pills that cost $48 per month, if she takes them for the duration of her fertile years.
99% Percentage of sexually active American women who will use birth control in their lifetimes.
Between $5,000 and $20,000 Average cost of childbirth in the US.
142 Number of advertisers who fled Rush Limbaugh’s radio show after he called activist Sandra Fluke a “slut” and sarcastically suggested she perform in internet porn videos in exchange for taxpayer subsidized birth control.
142 Number of seconds a non-masochist can listen to Rush Limbaugh talk in that voice of his before they want to hire a man with meaty forearms to temporarily disable their sense of hearing.
72 Number of hours the state of South Dakota proposes women wait between receiving an ultrasound and having a legal medical procedure. That’s 3 days.
72 Approximate number of hours that Christians believe elapsed between when Jesus was buried and when he rose from the dead.
0 Number of things Jesus said about abortion or zygotes.
47 Number of Senators who voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act.
0 Number of Republicans who voted in favor of the Paycheck Fairness Act
445 Number of elected legislators currently serving in the House or Senate who are men, out of 538 total.
55% Proportion of immigrants to the US who are female.
3.5 Times more likely a Native American woman is to be victimized by domestic violence than a white woman.
221 Number of House Republicans who voted in favor of a version of the Violence Against Women Act that stripped protections for undocumented immigrant, Native, and LGBT women.
0 Difference in human-ness between an undocumented immigrant, a Native American woman, an LGBT woman and a straight white American woman with a passport.
Obviously this article/analysis uses gendered language. However, these numbers and these actions impact everyone, regardless of how you identify. This is not just a war on women. This is a war on the health and well being of every person.