I swear there’s, like, a famous poem about this. It’s on the tip of my tongue. It’ll come to me, just a minute-

I didn’t want to do another comic about abortion rights but, alas, the hits keep coming and they refuse to stop coming. I’ve said it before: no one should carry a pregnancy to term if it’s not their complete desire to do so.

But there’s something else going on. At the same time as reproductive access is being restricted, access to gender-affirming care is also being restricted, or even criminalized in some places. The rights of trans people are under attack, and in many places we are losing those battles. And when you have someone on the US Supreme Court making noises about reconsidering legal protections for gay marriage, sexual privacy, and birth control…

(Not forgetting, of course, that other groups have already faced violence at the hands of the state: immigrants, water defenders, people of color…)

What I’m saying is, these are connected. Those who deem themselves without flaw, who are morally pure, will always seek and destroy others in order to reinforce that feeling of power. There is always an enemy other, and when one is exhausted, there will be another. No matter how devoutly you perform purity, how earnestly you ally yourselves with the moral power, you will never be truly safe, as there will always be something about you that can be deemed impure.

In addition to being evil and cruel to trans people, the anti-trans movement also ultimately hurts cis women who inadequately perform their gender – those that cut their hair too short, wear the wrong clothes, or act too ‘mannish’. As it reduces womanhood to someone’s uterus, it therefore loads the gun of moral outrage to one day fire on them for refusing to utilize that uterus correctly.

Coming in from the other side in a pincer attack, anti-abortion laws hurt AFAB people, full-stop. They kill those for whom abortion is a life-saving procedure. They keep people in poverty, struggling to support themselves and their children. They tie victims to their rapists. They punish anyone who fails to perform up to their – frankly impossible – vision of perfect, selfless, domesticated motherhood.

The end result of both is the complete subjugation of everyone they deem A Woman. Just as police kettle protesters to keep them under control, the point is to force women into smaller and smaller boxes of respectability. Cis-seeming. White. Appropriately religious. Chaste. Sober. Humble. Into the home, into a marriage, into motherhood. Literally no one lives up to the vision of womanhood they want, and all women will suffer from it, even the ones who think they’re ‘doing it right’.

We must fight every battle like our own depends on it, because it does.

(PS: I remembered the poem; it was this one. Short and sweet, isn’t it? If there’s another one about progressively more restrictive laws hurting those who previously thought they were safe, I don’t know it.)