Nancy Gutierrez- Local Opinion: It’s not about life, it’s about control

The following is the opinion and analysis of the writer. Gutierrez is a candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 18:

We now know that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. This will negatively impact so many, and it will disproportionally affect women of color and poor women the most. It will also hurt people in our LGBTQIA+ communities.

I am fortunate. I never had to make the decision to have an abortion, actually it was the opposite. My husband and I struggled to become pregnant twice. These two young adult daughters of ours do not have the same choices and rights that I’ve had my entire life. The right to abortion is one that all people who become pregnant should have. It is not a decision that should be given to the government.

As a public high school teacher, I’ve had several students who have become pregnant during high school. There is no easy decision to be made. Some can talk to their families, but not all. Some became pregnant after consensual sex, but not all. Some have chosen to continue with their pregnancies, but not all. I will fight to ensure this right to abortion for my daughters, my students and for anyone who does not want to continue a pregnancy.

For all who call themselves “pro-life,” I have a few questions. Do you support more money for healthcare and childcare after the birth? Do you support tax money funding health pregnancy care? Do you support real sex education in schools so that we might lower the unwanted pregnancy rate in the first place? Do you support free birth control? Do you support condoms in school and vasectomies for men who don’t want to support children that they produce?

It’s so interesting to me that many “pro-life” supporters do not support any of these ideas. So, it seems that it isn’t really about life, but it is all about controlling pregnant people’s bodies.

It’s time that we demand that the term pro-life stop being used flippantly when it comes to reproductive freedom. Why do lawmakers insist that they have the right to dictate what we do with our bodies when it comes to pregnancy, but not vaccines or masks?

Because this isn’t about life, it’s about control.

As long as they can control our bodies, they control our lives. Let’s stop controlling bodies. Let’s stop controlling women. Let’s stop pretending that this is about life and not about control. Reproductive freedom is a human right and I will not stand by and watch it be taken away without a fight. This is one of the reasons that I chose to run for the Arizona State House. For my daughters, my students and all people who are pregnant, let’s stand together and fight!

Nancy Gutierrez is a teacher at Tucson High, a mother and a Democrat. She is running for a seat in the Arizona State House in LD18.

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