I hope to live fear free in my womanhood


As a woman, watching our government debate whether or not women should have bodily autonomy scares me. The Supreme Court’s impending decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is horrific and feels too much for my heart to bear. 

There isn’t a single phrase or string of words that can adequately convey the mishmash of feelings I’m experiencing right now, yet I’m supposed to keep going. All of this should have come as no surprise to me — like writing on a wall.

I’ve been filled with anxiety and despair since hearing the news that Roe v. Wade is likely to be overturned. Why would our country’s position on women’s rights take such a drastic turn? 

I’m terrified of what will happen to not only our legal system, but also our society as a whole.

I’ve never had to get an abortion and am extremely thankful that I haven’t been in that position. However, it terrifies me knowing that if I end up in a situation where I get sexually assaulted and won’t have the choice to get one. I’d have to put my entire life on hold to have a child, which should be my choice, not the government’s. 

Access to birth control and contraceptives is the aspect that scares me the most. While the Supreme Court decision is not final and currently considered a leak, it still threatens the right to privacy. Access to birth control and other reproductive health care, according to experts, might be jeopardized. I use birth control for a variety of reasons, and I’m worried that I won’t be allowed to do so in the future. 

I recall monitoring my social media and emails from my various newspaper subscriptions with apprehension. “Good morning,” read a New York Times headline. “Roe v. Wade appears to be on the verge of being overturned.” l was left in disarray. 

This regress of abortion rights freedom will cause far more harm than benefit, as roughly 22,000 people around the world die from unsafe abortions each year

An outcome of this, a woman who is determined to stop her pregnancy will do so regardless of the procedure’s safety or legality. She will endanger her life by having an unsafe abortion if safe abortion treatment is not accessible. It’s an understatement to say that this is terrifying. 

On Tuesday, April 3, I gathered with my close friends and protested at Chico City Plaza which was organized by Chico State’s Gender and Sexuality Equity Coalition. We heard about the protest through social media and we decided to show up and fight for our rights as a collective.

Crowds of people and I yelled, “Stand up, fight back.” During the protest, many people were waving and applauding from across the street, as well as those in cars yelling and honking in support. There was a diverse group of people that joined, representing every ethnicity, age and background. One elderly woman shouted “I was protesting this 50 years ago,” and everyone cheered. 

“Stay the fuck out of my uterus,” one poster said. As I looked around, I saw all of these individuals, all of them equally angry and heartbroken.

I’ll never forget gathering around my peers and witnessing these people come together to express unity. Seeing so many people fighting for equality was a joyful and uplifting experience, one that many of us needed in this time of darkness.

Attending a protest with people who share your values feels like being part of an inner circle of trust. Knowing that we were all there and feeling the same emotions was such a profound experience. I saw this through the eyes of the older women protesting, they’ve been fighting for longer than I have.

I’m glad the protest remained peaceful. Despite the fact that a few guys booed us, the protest did not lead to violence. I didn’t anticipate it to happen but you always have to be cautious while attending these kinds of events. Nothing can be predicted at a protest. 

These protests reflect our collective strength, support and solidarity in the face of this likely change; this is a declaration that should already be ingrained in every culture and civilization, and it is merely the bare minimum. 

Nobody should have to put their health, livelihood or comfort at risk in order to complete a pregnancy. No man or woman should be able to control or dictate what another person wants to do with their body. Abortion is a human right.

Jolie Asuncion can be reached at [email protected].