Friday, December 3

Anti-vaccines Using Pro-Choice Slogans Make Me So Angry | Life and Style

I I am not an angry person, instead I have headaches. The rage swallows like a meatball and spreads fat through my body, ensuring afternoons of biting irritation and throbbing temples. But when it does come, when I get access to my anger, the relief is impressive, and it happened this week when I deleted photos from my old phone.

Mine is a predictable photo album: a baby transforms through a camera roll from a limpid mole to Ian Hislop in leggings, kittens smile next to news screenshots, pastel pink, a very large plum. However, it was the juxtaposition of three images that documented April that infuriated me. A photo taken from our car of one of the anti-vaccine marches that closed London was next to a headline saying that pregnant people were finally being offered the coronavirus vaccine, and then a photo of the first birthday party of my son.

The photo of the march was of a young, blonde woman singing, holding a sign that read “My body is my choice.” I took the photo in shock and boredom; It was rare to be out and about in the city, but the novelty had faded for an hour in the forced bottleneck as the anti-vaccines lumbered for freedom. And then I saw her, in her fancy sportswear and ponytail, happily singing phrases borrowed from pro-abortion activism to protest Covid legislation.

As I looked at the photo correctly for the first time, the idiocy of its position was reflected in the quilt in front of me. “My body is my choice” means that no one should force us to have a pregnancy that we do not want, or indeed force us to have sex that we do not want. While Covid deniers are throwing these slogans about bodily autonomy in discussions of vaccine passports and face masks, they are still used to protest government regulation on abortion. In Texas, for example, a law has just been passed that allows Americans to sue anyone who helps a woman have an abortion. If a stranger hears you talking about your abortion, they can sue not only the clinic (for up to $ 10,000), but also the father who loaned you the money and the taxi driver who took you there. The phrase still has work to do. It is used in Covid marches with the grim plication that it is hypocritical to support the right to choose a medical procedure and also to support public health requirements, such as the use of face coverings. Except no. A person who does not want to get pregnant does not harm anyone by choosing an abortion. Making that choice does not result in her breathing abortions to six strangers. But by refusing a vaccine, one person puts others at risk. Then I got mad.

And what distilled this anger were the simultaneous realities of my recent pandemic pregnancy, illustrated by a photo of my baby, one year old and scared of balloons, and women’s anxiety about the safety of the Covid vaccine during pregnancy. . Last December, the government council declared that women who were pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not receive the vaccine. That changed in April, but data suggests that hundreds of thousands of pregnant women have decided do not get vaccinated As the number of people hospitalized for the virus continues to rise, one in seven has required intensive care. That early precaution (as is standard practice, pregnant women were excluded from the initial Covid-19 vaccine research) has led to confusion: 50% of the population said that I don’t know if it’s safe To get vaccinated when trying to get pregnant, 34% said they don’t know if the vaccine makes it difficult to have children. No wonder they are nervous. Campaign group Pregnant then fucked reported that nine out of 10 pregnant women felt “scared for their safety,” in part due to “negative messages” from health professionals. One midwife told a woman, “You probably don’t want to risk another thalidomide situation by getting vaccinated.” Eeesh.

Getting vaccinated is not just a decision we make for ourselves, we also make it to protect other people. So when a large proportion of a vulnerable group, such as pregnant people, hesitate to get vaccinated, it affects everyone. And this could have been avoided. Had pregnant women been included in vaccine trials, evidence-based information had been widely promoted, and if there had been a concerted public health campaign to address their concerns, 171 pregnant women would not have been admitted to hospital with Covid. in the three months since vaccines were approved for them, and fewer young people would cite fertility concerns as a reason to skip their own.

As the pandemic evolves, fear is no longer a siren but more a distant car alarm, vaccination becomes a clear axis of our rage. Seeing those protesters using borrowed rhetoric, exploiting pro-choice politics to defend the right to make their families sick, that anger rose in me, weird and familiar, and, for a second, my headache was gone. . I sat up, giddy and suddenly fabulous. I should try more often.

Email Eva at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @EvaWiseman

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