The Evasiveness of Equality

T.R. Mugler
7 min readJun 29, 2022
trmugler 2018

I have not had an abortion.

I have not had an abortion because I CHOSE not to.

A choice every woman and trans-man should have.

A choice no government should impede, nor dictate.

Pregnancy is a medical condition confined to women and trans-men. It is not contagious and can not threaten the life of anyone not afflicted. A condition which requires specific health care until it has resolved.

I had a choice whether to risk my health to remain pregnant, to risk giving birth and whether to start a family. I had a choice, and my daughters and granddaughters should have the same choice.

Your ‘god’ does not impregnate women, nor is your religion a legal basis for the creation of laws, according to the First Amendment. Regardless of what you proclaim, abortion is not about the sanctity of life. When you refuse to feed, clothe, or provide healthcare to living breathing human beings. It is not about life when you support the passage of legislation that creates and prolongs poverty. It is not about life when you refuse to support legislation that would prevent mass death by firearm.

During WWII the United States government set up and funded daycare centers for the thousands of women it was asking to go to work, to do their part to support our country. When the war was over, these daycare centers were shut down to then force these same women out of the very work force it insisted they join. It wanted women back home, the men back to work and the patriarchal balance returned.

Even with this precedented move, President Richard Nixon VETOED a bipartisan bill in 1971 that would have funded universal childcare. A measure that would have allowed every woman in America to work outside the home if they CHOSE too.

The 5th and 14th Amendments are now being called into question and weaponized to strip women of the right to choose their own healthcare. The recent SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe, referenced situations they claim are deeply rooted in this nation’s history and traditions. Calling upon statements made by jurist Matthew Hale in the 1700’s, (who also believed a man could not rape his wife) they seek to legally void a woman’s right to privacy, and healthcare choices.

In the decision, the Justice’s attempt to use outdated perceptions as reasoning to deny a woman’s right to autonomy. Going as far as to proclaim the minimal availability of newborns for adoption, as well as the progression of the public’s perception of single mothers were all good reasons to overturn Roe and strip women of sovereignty over their own bodies.

The overturning of Roe opened the door to legalize gender discrimination once again in this country. Men have zero restrictions on their right to reproduce and the banning of abortion does nothing to change that. Men aren’t responsible for the children they create, unless they want to be. Having laws in place to mandate financial support to the women bearing their children does little to balance the scale, as many child support requirements are not enforced.

A man’s body doesn’t become a health risk the minute he impregnates a woman, nor does his life become threatened when a pregnancy is brought to term. Childbirth in America results in the death of women at a higher rate than 49 other developed countries.

The United States Maternal Mortality Rate in In 2020, 861 American women died in childbirth, a steady increase from the 754 that died in 2019 and the 658 in 2018. The disproportionate effect on women of color is glaring. In 2020 alone, every 100,000 births resulted in the death of over 55 black women.[1] Forcing birth while the Maternal Mortality rate is on the rise, calls into question whether this has ever been about life.

While the Supreme Court quotes cases from 1602 and 1732, as being part of our country’s deep history and traditions, they fail to accept that these cases were in fact prior to the formation of America and its constitution, therefore not appropriate for determining current Constitutional Law.

Although the mere mention of 1619 will get a book banned from schools, the SCOTUS will use any means necessary to strip women of equality. The indictment in the 1602 case literally states ‘against the peace of our Lady the Queen, her crown and dignity.’ America recognizes no such ‘queen’ nor her crown as basis for law. Further reference to an 1803 Parliamentary case in England should have no bearing on the interpretation of the United States Constitution. Force feeding precedents from 1886 as a just reasoning for denying women equality under the law only enforces the history and traditions of this country’s oppression of women and their place in society. Perhaps that’s the point.

A legal opinions usage of [not enough supply of newborns to adopt] is not only outrageous but a clear indication that this court believes women are merely breeding stock for them to control. The 5th Amendment states ‘… nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.’ The only conclusion to be drawn from forcing women to give birth to fulfill a need for adoptable newborns, is that a woman’s body is not her own and belongs to the government.

The 14th Amendment tells us no state shall make or enforce any law which abridges the privileges or immunities of any citizen of the United States. It concludes that no person within its jurisdiction be denied equal protection of the law.

While the legal banning of abortion can certainly be seen as a violation of the 5th and 14th Amendments, we need only look to the 9th Amendment for clarity. It asserts the rights enshrined in the Constitution are not final and must not be interpreted in such a way as to deny, or disparage other rights retained by the people.

Banning and restricting abortion reduces a woman’s right to medical privacy, to make personal medical decisions with her doctor, to determine when they begin a family, what they will and won’t risk their body and health for, and how their body will be used. Yet, men have the autonomy to choose what they do and don’t do with their bodies, and what decisions they make with their healthcare providers. They remain free to have vasectomies on demand, free of the dangerous toll on their bodies to reproduce. Men continue to be allowed to refuse to participate in the rearing of the children they co-create, and ignore the financial obligations of pregnancy, and raising children.

Women must be equal citizens with all the same rights and privileges as men. However, the 19th Amendment of the United State’s Constitution is the only constitutional right specifically afforded to women. The addition of a new amendment would be needed to protect citizens equally regardless of sex.

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” The Equal Rights Amendment would enshrine the rights of women into the Constitution, unless of course Phyllis Schlafly had anything to say about it. Insistent the ERA would lead to women in combat, shared public bathrooms, homosexual marriage and end the guarantee of a man providing financial support, Schlafly rallied the masses with fear and for almost 50 years its echo reverberated through the land.

Although the House passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1971 with a bipartisan vote of 354–24, and the Senate followed with a vote of 84–8 in 1972, it has yet to become the 28th Amendment of the Constitution. Failing to reach the required 38 states to ratify by 1979 it was given an extension to 1982. Virginia would be the 38th state but not until 2020, leaving the ERA sitting idle in the dust filled legacy of patriarchy.

Schlafly’s fears came to light, and the ERA had little to do with it. The progression of society and the desire for equality across the great divide of ideals, eventually opened doors and minds. Women serving alongside men in the military, marriage equality and gender-neutral bathrooms are all now part of society.

Did women lose the guarantee of financial support if she were married to a man? Considering men didn’t and don’t always live up to that expectation, and more women than ever are self-supported, I doubt they think much about Schlafly’s warnings.

The overturning of Roe v Wade by the highest court in the land, has caused a ripple far and wide that must not be ignored. It sets a dangerous precedent to open the way for other rulings to now be tossed aside, claiming they were simply egregious overreach.

It is not just women that will suffer the devastating consequences of legalizing discrimination. The vast rights and liberties gained over the last 50 plus years are now on the chopping block of extremists and we must not let the voice of a few, rule over the many.

Pundits are now comparing the United States to a fictional Gilead, foreseeing a dark and dismal future, not so far way. The juxtaposition is not lost on women. Women must have autonomy under the law, it is the only assurance that we all remain free.

On this long and winding road, we must remain vigilant. We must insist equality matters and it must be delegated to all if we are to continue to find freedom outside our front doors.