Freedom of Reproductive Choices

People who want to be parents are the ones who should be having children. What to do with their reproductive organs and life in general should be each person’s individual choice. Unfortunately, some bigots disagree with these, in my opinion, obvious ideas.

Recently I found out that an ICE detention center is performing mass hysterectomies on immigrants:

The whistleblower, Dawn Wooten, worked at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) — which is operated by LaSalle Corrections — where she allegedly witnessed the company’s refusal to test detainees for COVID-19 as well as spoke to several people who each had their uterus removed as part of an unwarranted hysterectomy procedure. According to the official complaint lodged with the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security, Wooten said that the facility was performing hysterectomies on people who reported having heavy menstrual cycles or other more serious pain, but that “everybody’s uterus cannot be that bad.”

Heavy periods and pain during menstruation are indeed medical problems. There are various potential interventions: hysterectomy, endometrial ablation, hormonal birth control pills, or pain killers & iron supplements. Picking the best treatment depends on whether the patient wants to conceive, wants to remain childrfree, or wants to maybe have children someday in the future.

When I was searching for a surgeon who’d agree to remove my uterus, I was informed that pain and a history of anemia are not significant medical problems to warrant a hysterectomy. Doctors tried to instead push on me hormonal birth control pills even though, as a trans person, I enjoy my naturally elevated testosterone level and do not want any additional estrogen in my body. Granted, they also tried to push on me estrogen, because they insisted that it’s wrong for an AFAB person to have infrequent periods and facial/chest hair (personally, I dislike menstruation and love being hairy).

I was denied a hysterectomy by multiple doctors in a row for the same bigoted (racist, nationalistic) reasons why refugees were forced to get these procedures against their will, namely, some bigots believe that certain people ought to have no children while others ought to be forced to have as many children as possible regardless of what each person wants.

In Latvia, the birth rate is currently below 2 kids per woman (during the last two decades it has fluctuated between 1.3 and 1.7), hence nationalists are worried that Latvians could die out. Many of them believe that all AFAB people who were born in Latvia and meet a list of bigoted criteria have a duty to have children. Of course, these sexist, xenophobic, and racist bigots will tailor their language to make their ideas more palatable to those AFAB people whom they are patronizing: “Having children is women’s sacred mission and the greatest purpose and fulfillment in life.” Sacred mission my ass! I hate being treated like a walking uterus whose only value as a human being lies in the babies they squeeze out of their body. Basically, the main ideas is that AMAB people are the ones who have fulfilled lives and who matter on their own, while AFAB people only exist to ensure a continuous supply of human babies on this planet.

Of course, the problem goes way beyond just nationalism. For example, one (female) surgeon told me that I could be a beautiful woman if only I fixed my appearance (plucked my eyebrows, used make-up, and wore prettier and feminine clothing). Let’s put aside for a moment the sexist double standard, which requires AFAB people to do certain beauty routines (that AMAB people aren’t required to do) or else they will be considered unkempt. Basically, this doctor implied that people who qualify as “beautiful” according to some arbitrary standard ought to have kids. Of course, I have also heard other eugenics-inspired ideas about how people who are “intelligent,” well-educated, successful, rich, etc. criteria should have more kids in order to improve the human gene pool. This idea goes hand in hand with believing that people who are poor, “ugly,” lacked access to education, have some illnesses or disabilities, are LGBTQ+, etc. shouldn’t have children.

Or believing that people who have the wrong ethnicity or race shouldn’t have children.

So yeah, even though I dislike interacting with children and perceive typical children’s behaviors as immensely irritating, multiple doctors refused me the surgery I requested after taking a single glance at my body. Meanwhile, other people who want to raise children and could be loving parents are discouraged from doing so because of some stupid and bigoted arbitrary criteria.

Of course, nationalists who live in Western Europe might instead believe that I shouldn’t have children, because all those kids born in Eastern Europe will only grow up to become immigrants who will compete for jobs against the locals. Nor would I qualify as the best Aryan stock. Hitler wouldn’t have approved of my genes as being particularly valuable, because I am neither blond nor blue eyed (brown hair, grey eyes). Then again, maybe white supremacists are more worried about people who are prone to getting sunburns dying out, and they don’t care about white people’s hair and eye color that much anymore. Times could be changing. Two hundred years ago Latvians were treated as inherently inferior compared to, well, whoever was making up this bullshit racist classification, but nowadays Latvians might as well qualify as “white,” at least according to some bigots.

All this bigotry is so infuriating, because children need loving parents. Somebody who wants to be a parent is more likely to do a good job at raising their children. Children don’t need parents who have the right ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, “beautiful” body, or no illnesses and disabilities.

Oh yeah, and then there’s also a thing called “human rights.” Bodily autonomy is among those. Nobody should be either denied or forced to undergo procedures like sterilization or abortion. Humanity ought to have understood already many decades ago that eugenics and genocides were terrible ideas.

And all this bigotry is just so stupid.

Firstly, worrying about white people dying out is akin to worrying about Sun dying in five billion years. After all, currently white people have amassed the most financial and other resources and probably they will be the last ones to starve to death once the global warming destroys humanity’s food supplies. Secondly, even if light skinned people were to die out and got replaced by people who have brown skin, so what? There is no rational reason why melanin should be oh so important.

Of course, having an occasional conversation with a bigoted nationalist who considers me a walking uterus is nowhere near as terrible as getting locked up in cages in inhumane conditions. So I’m certainly not implying that my problems are the same as those of refugees in American concentration camps. But there is a certain similarity. Forcefully sterilizing some people while denying access to permanent birth control to other people are two sides of the same ugly and bigoted coin; both behaviors stem from the same racist and nationalist mindset; both are being done by the same kind of bigots.

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