Even though we’re Canadian, it’s difficult not to look to the south and worry about the sea change that’s coming. The recent bills imposing heavy restrictions on abortion are only one of many things that’ve been causing me some anxiety, but it’s one I feel relatively prepared to talk about, as someone with no few opinions on pregnancy and childbirth.

Abortion is an essential healthcare service, and access to it is fundamentally part of the struggle for gender equality. Women — well, people capable of becoming pregnant in general, though these laws are clearly an attempt to control women — unfairly bear the physical, social, emotional, mental, and professional burdens of childbirth. Without control over what happens to our own bodies, without trust in our ability to choose what is right for us and our families, without respect from the highest levels of government on this basic, biological truth, we will never be equal.

Having been through the upheaval of having a child myself, I can absolutely confirm my stance: no one should be forced to undergo it unless they have chosen to. Furthermore, it is wickedness to impose being born on someone who is not wanted, whole-heartedly, by people who are prepared to make those sacrifices. Children should be a blessing, not a punishment.

Sorry for the soapbox, and sorry if you disagree. Stronger people than I will be happy to argue with you about it, if you do. In the meantime: