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.
The religious right hates us both.Getty Images
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.
We’re longtime allies.Getty Images
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.
At least half of the people represented by our acronym soup can get pregnant.Getty Images
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.)
Overturning Roe v. Wade sets a bad precedent—literally.Getty Images
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.
The rise of “religious freedom” laws.Getty Images
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.
ObamacareMARK 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.
You have a right to your body.
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.”