As conservatives continue pushing anti-abortion legislation, one Ohio state lawmaker has had just about enough with the campaign to limit women's reproductive choices. The revelation that Democratic state Representative Teresa Fedor, was raped and had an abortion, came amid the frustrating debate in the Ohio House on a proposed bill that would ban abortion procedures after six weeks of pregnancy as soon as a fetus' heartbeat was detectable.
Angered by the debate, Fedor disclosed to the House that she became pregnant after a rape while in the military and subsequently underwent an abortion, The Toledo Blade reported. Fedor then chastised her colleagues for their efforts aimed at controlling women's rights to their body:
You don’t respect my reason, my rape, my abortion, and I guarantee you there are other women who should stand up with me and be courageous enough to speak that voice. ... What you’re doing is so fundamentally inhuman, unconstitutional, and I’ve sat here too long.
Perfectly exemplifying conservatives' limited government, individual freedom hypocrisy — with the oft-used line that the government tries to get too involved in people's personal lives and then going ahead and legislating women's bodies and choices — a fiery Fedor said:
I dare you to walk in my shoes... This debate is purely political. I understand your story, but you don’t understand mine. I’m grateful for that freedom. It is a personal decision, and how dare government get into my business.
The legislation, House Bill 69, makes exceptions for abortions when the mother’s life is in danger or when she is at risk of considerable and irreversible impairment, the local paper reported — though its supporters refuse to make exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
In response to the infuriating conservative movement to limit access to abortion, a growing number of female lawmakers have divulged their personal experiences with sexual assault and their reproductive choices, the most prominent of them being Texas Democrat Wendy Davis — whose famous 13-hour filibuster successfully denied the passage of an anti-abortion bill in the state — and the disclosing of her two abortions.
Earlier this month, Arizona State Rep. Victoria Steele, arguing in the House that abortion is health care, revealed that she was sexually assaulted by a male relative (whom she later found had harmed other victims). Before the Michigan Legislature voted on a bill restricting insurance coverage for abortion, state Minority Leader Rep. Gretchen Whitmer, in an effort to give a voice to those from whom her colleagues refused to hear, took to the Senate floor to reveal that she was a rape victim. A number of other female lawmakers have similarly shared their painful experiences in their fight to push back against such legislation.
Though their revelations indicate that abortion is becoming a less taboo topic in society, it bears pointing out the gravitas of the situation that female lawmakers feel they have to divulge such deeply personal information about their lives in their attempts to convince their colleagues to respect women's freedoms.
Images: Teresa Fedor (1); Getty Images (2)