The Coffee Table


Legal Confusion

I’m confused. Not very long ago, our legislature passed a law disallowing me from making decisions about my own body in the event that I am pregnant. Doesn’t matter if I was raped, if my contraceptives failed me, or if my pregnancy is simply a disaster and not a delight. Doesn’t matter that terminating the pregnancy affects nobody other than me and the fetus within my womb. 

Shortly thereafter, our concerned legislators turned their need to control bodies toward transgender youth— banning them from sports and then barring them from getting the care they require from the physicians they choose. Our governor opposed that one—stating that it was an overreach of the government to prohibit this medical care. But the legislature didn’t pay him any mind. So, even though we can’t “catch” transgenderism, the legislators did what they felt was best for society, and outlawed medical assistance for trans kids.

I am glad to report that lawsuits have put the new laws on hold, for now, but that is beside the point today. 

What I seek now is an understanding of why the legislature wants to protect my embryo from me, and protect trans teens from themselves and their doctors, but won’t take the step to protect society as a whole from people who refuse to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

I’m not being facetious. Top medical professionals are telling us how to stop Covid from spreading. We had a taste of freedom when people did start getting vaccinated, until the hordes who refuse the vaccines provided a breeding ground for Covid variants that threaten all of us all over again.  

Women cannot fully own their own bodies. Trans youth, likewise. But “anti-vaxxers” bear no responsibility for endangering the rest of us. I am not saying people opposed to vaccination have no argument. Really. Truly. I understand the fear and anger associated with legislative powers mandating what I can and can’t do with my body. I could argue, at length, about why a woman should be allowed an abortion. I just don’t understand how the legislature, in good conscience, can select these bodies to control and let those other ones go unfettered.

I am aware of medical workers who are exhausted and, frankly, losing their ability to feel empathy for sick people who are now crammed into makeshift Covid units in overflowing hospitals. They are upset because this explosion of the delta variant was avoidable. What happens if all these frustrated savers of life quit their jobs in protest?  Where will we go if we are having a heart attack or a stroke? Who will see us through the usually reparable ailments?

Nobody. I have already heard of non-covid patients finding “no room at the inn” when seeking emergency medical assistance. It’s happening. Here and now.

Our lawmakers have missed the mark entirely. They legislate control of bodies that frighten or offend them, but don’t take a stand on the ones that can, literally, kill us all. If they really want to control bodies for the betterment of society at large, here is the biggest opportunity ever. Mandate covid vaccinations. Or mandate proof of vaccination before taking part in any public gathering. Or at the very least, allow businesses, schools, libraries, and all other places where people congregate, to decide for themselves whether or not to force their patrons to wear a mask upon entering.

And if that is just unthinkable—how about giving back the control the lawmakers stole from women and transgender youth, in the name of consistency?

Leave a Comment