Let’s Get Deep: Why do we need permission to have a vagina?

When I was 19 I had a pregnancy scare. It was our first weekend alone together and on the first night the condom broke.

We stayed up all night talking about what we were going to do until 7 a.m. when our local Walgreens would open so we could buy Plan B.

I didn’t speak the entire way to Walgreens, but once we had reached the parking lot, reality had set in. I began to have a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe and black circles started to pop into my vision. My whole body was shaking and I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me.

It took my partner several minutes to snap me out of it before we headed into Walgreens. We purchased the Plan B and I took it when we got back to his place.

The next few weeks didn’t feel real. I didn’t feel real. I kept track of my body and waited weeks before taking a pregnancy test, which thankfully came back negative.

Weeks leading up to the negative pregnancy test I had considered all of my options. I was in my second year at SF State and I did not want a baby. If I was pregnant I was planning to get an abortion. There was no question about it. I had researched where I could get the procedure, how much it would cost and how long my own personal recovery would be.

I had sex with my now partner of five years and we took precautions, but shit happens. I researched all of my options, and I am glad I had the option to abort if necessary.

I am my own woman and I made my own decision about my body. But, lately the bills that have been presented to the Senate on abortion have been one ridiculous regulation after another.

Ohio proposed House Bill 69, later known as the “heartbeat bill,” in December of 2016 that prohibited abortion if there was a fetal heartbeat, which could occur within the first six weeks of conception.

This gave women a very small window to abort an unwanted pregnancy before a heartbeat developed.

It was passed from the House but was vetoed by Gov. John Kasich. But Gov. Kasich is no hero, after vetoing the heartbeat bill, he signed into law a measure that would prohibit abortions past 20 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest.

There is also the new law that was passed in January of this year in Arkansas, that would allow the father of the child to ‘block’ their wives abortion.

House Bill 1032, also known as Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act, allows a spouse to sue the doctor performing the abortion for civil damages thereby halting the procedure.

Just last week Oklahoma passed House Bill 1441, which  would require a woman to receive a signature from her sex partner before getting an abortion.

She would have to release the identity of her sex partner, and they in turn could challenge it and demand a paternity test.

Oklahoma wants  women to get permission before she decides what to do with her body from someone that will not have to carry a baby to term.

When my partner and I had our pregnancy scare, I was a damn mess.

I had my whole life ahead of me and although I look forward to having children in the future, a child at 19 would have derailed my entire life.

The option to have an abortion is not just for a woman who simply doesn’t want a child. Sometimes an abortion is needed in case the pregnancy is a life-threatening danger to the mother or child.

There is a stigma when it comes to abortions and the women who would consider having one.  Many women my age have experienced pregnancy scares.

Each woman has weighed their options and comes to their own decisions, whether it is to keep the baby, adopt it out, or abort.

And these restrictions forced onto our bodies against our consent makes me wonder, do I need permission to have a vagina? Is my body my own or is it owned by the state that I live in?

To the senators and Governors of Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas, etc. stay out of my vagina and out of my reproductive rights.