What citizens will do with their sexed bodies

Guardian US columnist Moira Donegan tries to convince us that abortion rights and “trans rights” are much the same sort of thing (when in fact they’re antagonists).

Be it through forced pregnancy or prohibited transition, the state of Nebraska now claims the right to determine what its citizens will do with their sexed bodies – what those bodies will look like, how they will function and what they will mean. It is a part of the right’s ongoing project to roll back the victories of the feminist and gay rights movements…

Trans “rights” are mostly antagonistic to lesbian and gay rights too. Governments of course already do in some senses “claim the right to determine what its citizens will do with their sexed bodies.” We can’t use our bodies, “sexed” or otherwise, to murder or steal or kidnap or set fires – the list is long. We are our bodies, so laws that govern us govern our bodies. Trans people aren’t special in this way.

 Abortion bans have been proliferating wildly in the year since the US supreme court eliminated the right in their Dobbs decision, declaring that any state can compel women to remain pregnant, and creating different, lesser entitlements to bodily freedom and self-determination based on sex. But as the abortion bans have spread like an infection across the American south, midwest, and mountain west, they have been accompanied by a related political disease: laws seeking to prohibit minors and sometimes adults, from accessing medical treatments that facilitate gender transitions.

It’s not related though. Trying to change your sex via surgeries and hormones is not related to ending a pregnancy. The two are different, and it’s not cute to try to link women’s right to say no to a pregnancy to narcissists’ putative right to amputate healthy body parts in a doomed effort to mimic the opposite sex.

It is not a coincidence that the states which have the most punitive and draconian bans on abortion have also adopted the most aggressive targeting of transgender people and medical care. The bills are part of the same project by conservatives, who have been emboldened in their campaign of gender revanchism in the wake of Dobbs. Both abortion bans and transition care bans further the same goal: to transform the social category of gender into an enforceable legal status, linked to the sexed body at birth and to prescribe a narrow and claustrophobic view of what that gender status must mean.

No. It may sound plausible but it’s not really true. Abortion bans aren’t about enforcing gender rules on women, though they have that effect in some ways. Abortion bans are about forcing women to bear children against their will. The lawmakers don’t care if those women wear jeans and hiking boots, they care about forcing them to push out that baby just as God intended.

Abortion and trans rights activists have long insisted that both abortion and transition are healthcare. 

So what? People can insist things that aren’t true.

Abortion and trans rights activists have long insisted that both abortion and transition are healthcare. It’s an apt and worthy argument, considering that both involve the interventions of medical professionals, both facilitate the wellbeing and happiness of those who receive them, and both result in horrific health complications when denied, from the high rates of mental distress and horrific, needless pregnancy complications that have been ushered in by Dobbs, to the dramatic rates of suicidal ideation and mental health problems in trans people who are denied the ability to transition.

She forgot to mention the horrific health complications of transition. Botched surgeries, regrets, despair – they all happen.

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