7 Reasons Abortion Rights Should Matter to Everyone in the LGBTQ Community

Sunday marks the 44th anniversary of "Roe v. Wade."

Today marks the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the historic Supreme Court ruling that gave American women the right to control when, and whether, they had children.

One day after the Women’s March on Washington, though, it’s apparent that women’s rights are still not secure.

A recent NARAL report reveals that access to abortion and birth control are threatened more now than at any time since Roe. At least 46 new anti-abortion measures have been introduced in state legislatures since the start of 2017 alone, and Trump’s cabinet picks are as opposed to reproductive rights as they are to LGBTQ equality.

There were lots of queers of every stripe marching in DC and in sister demonstrations worldwide. But if you still don’t think this is your fight, here are seven reasons you’re wrong.

  1. The religious right hates us both.

    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27: A same sex couple kisses in front of Westboro Baptist Church protesters, at the U.S. Supreme Court, on March 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. Today the high court is scheduled to hear arguments on whether Congress can withhold federal benefits from legally wed gay couples by defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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    When it comes to oppression, the right has long used shame and stigma to marginalize both women and gay people. Now, they’re using the same techniques to make trans people into boogeymen.

    They’re fighting so businesses can discriminate against anyone who “sins” by using birth control, having an abortion, or having gay sex. The more we can work together against our common enemy, the better.

  2. We’re longtime allies.

    A Gay Pride march in New York City, June 1983. (Photo by Barbara Alper/Getty Images)
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    Gay men have long counted on their straight female allies for friendship, advice and sometimes even a date. It was a straight woman, Jeanne Manford, who founded PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) in 1973.

    Women are our mothers, our sisters, our girlfriends, our wives.The least we can do is stand with them as they they fight to make their own choices about what they do with their bodies.

  3. At least half of the people represented by our acronym soup can get pregnant.

    UNSPECIFED - UNDATED: EXCLUSIVE. Collect picture of Thomas Beatie when he was pregnant. Pregnant man Thomas Beatie, 37, and his wife Nancy Beatie, 48, devoted everything to their desire to have a family. But less than a year after Thomas gave birth to his third child, the couple have been forced to file for bankruptcy. The couple had their home in Bend, Oregon, repossessed last year after a massive stock market crash in May saw $600,000 wiped off their savings in one day. They moved into their holiday home in Phoenix, Arizona, and are now struggling to maintain the mortgage payments and living on food stamps.Yet the couple, parents to Susan, two years and nine months, Austin, 20 months, and Jensen, seven months, are already planning to extend their family by having baby number four. The Beaties say they have all the baby clothes and furniture they need and now would be the ideal time to complete their family. (Photo by James Ambler / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
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    We’ve all heard the lines about “breeders,” but abortion rights are directly relevant to much, if not most, of the LGBTQ+ community. Lesbians have babies. Some trans men have babies, too. (Of the women who had an abortion last year, 4% identified as bisexual, 0.3% identified as lesbian and 1% identified as “something else.”)

    Lesbian young women are actually two to ten times more likely to become pregnant than heterosexual girls. And lesbian and bisexual women are more at risk of sexual assault, which may result in an unplanned pregnancy.

    And the right to reproductive care affects anyone who has, or may have, children. (Yes, sometimes gay people have straight kids. It happens.)

  4. Overturning Roe v. Wade sets a bad precedent—literally.

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 26: Same-sex marriage supporters wear just married shirts while celebrating the U.S Supreme Court ruling regarding same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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    Maybe you think, like Donald Trump, that marriage equality is “settled.” Well, the Texas Supreme Court is hearing a case that could start to unravel Obergefell v. Hodges. Just like there are activists in dozens of states fighting to peel away Roe’s protections.

    If they can undo one progressive Supreme Court ruling, we’ll never get rid of them.

  5. The rise of “religious freedom” laws.

    CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 30: Religious freedom supporters hold a rally to praise the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby, contraception coverage requirement case on June 30, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby, which operates a chain of arts-and-craft stores, challenged the provision and the high court ruled 5-4 that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act violated a federal law protecting religious freedom. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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    We have a lot to learn from the successes and failures of the reproductive rights movement: They’ve been fighting religious laws and exemptions for nearly 45 years. If we look to them, maybe we won’t have to spend the next 45 years fighting to preserve marriage equality.

  6. Obamacare

    Supporters listen to Nancy Pelosi who is the minority leader of the House of Representatives, speak at an event to protect the Affordable Care Act in Los Angeles, California on January 16, 2017. The Republican-led US Senate has launched their much-anticipated effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act by passing a budget blueprint which would allow them to begin rolling back the health care reforms. / AFP / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
    MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

    The abortion rate in this country is at an all-time low: In 2014, there were approximately 926,200 abortions, or 14.6 abortions for every 1,000 women of reproductive age, a drop of 14% from 2011.

    Experts believe improved access to contraception, aided by the ACA’s coverage of IUDs and implants, played a big role. If Trump and the Republicans in Congress dismantle Obamacare, that will likely change. As will access to coverage for pre-existing conditions like HIV.

    In December, a federal judge in Texas issued a court order barring the government from extending anti-discrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act to transgender health and abortion-related services.

  7. You have a right to your body.

    My Body My Choice message printed on apper hanging on clothesline.

    At the core of both groups’ struggles is the idea of autonomy: Historically, the bodies of both women and of queer people have been shunned and even criminalized—you don’t personally have to be at risk of becoming pregnant to understand that.

    Even recent Supreme Court decisions supporting LGBTQ rights have leaned heavily on prior victories for reproductive freedom.

    In it’s ruling on Lawrence v Texas, which overturned sodomy laws nationwide, the court borrowed a line from Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, which invalidated a law requiring married women to tell their husbands if they were getting an abortion.

    “Matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the [Constitution],” read the decision.

    “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State… It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.”

For more, visit Planned Parenthood and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

I believe that true, well-told stories have the power to change the world for good. I also love a good listicle.