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Abortion bills in Georgia, Alabama and Missouri are also an LGBTI problem

Abortion bills in Georgia, Alabama and Missouri are also an LGBTI problem

The Handmaid's Tale has become an icon in pro-choice abortion protests

Abortion bills in Georgia, Alabama and Missouri won’t just impact straight women, it’ll impact every LGBTI person in those states.

These states are not alone either.

Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio have also passed ‘heartbeat bills’, severely limiting the right to choose.

Alabama is one state which has now voted to ban abortions in nearly all cases, including rape and incest.

Activists fear this will ultimately lead to a Supreme Court challenge to Roe v Wade. But until then, women have the constitutional right to choose. And with the Trump administration backing these anti-choice bills, the future looks frightening.

All women, including non-binary people and trans men with uteruses can get pregnant.

This means they have the right to access safe procedures to abort without facing stigma. And the whole LGBTI community needs to learn how to be an ally to them.

‘The recent passage of Alabama’s and Georgia’s aggressive anti-choice legislation is an attack on basic human rights, including LGBTQ rights. Limiting access to abortion is not just a women’s issue — it is an issue that affects us all,’ said Clare Kenny, Director of Youth Engagement for GLAAD.

‘The right for a person to choose what is best for their body is a human right.

‘We all must join in the fight to keep abortion accessible, safe, and legal.’

Anti-abortion bills will impact LGBTI Americans

Norma McCorvey (left) wins Roe v Wade case legalizing nation-wide abortion | Photo: France For Hillary/Twitter
Norma McCorvey (left) wins Roe v Wade case legalizing nation-wide abortion | Photo: France For Hillary/Twitter

There are many ways the anti-abortion bills could impact LGBTI people in America.

Pregnancies are more common among lesbian, gay and bisexual youths than among their straight counterparts, research has found.

Around 14% of women who only had male sexual partners had been pregnant, in a study. About 23% of lesbian or bisexual women got pregnant, in comparison, and about 20% of girls who had male and female sexual partners.

About 10% of straight men and those who only had female sexual partners experienced a pregnancy. In contrast, a pregnancy happened to 29% of gay or bisexual males and about 38% of males with female and male partners.

A more recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard University, the City University of New York and San Diego State suggests ‘young women who are sexual minorities may try to avoid or cope with the stigma related to their sexual orientation’ by having sex with men. This then puts themselves at risk for pregnancy.

Stigma and mental health

Factors for why lesbian and bisexual women experience this stigma can come from disapproving family members or bullying.

Gay women may also feel pressured to ‘prove’ they’re straight, in order to avoid this stigma.

The study said: ‘Victims and perpetrators [of bullying] are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and low self-regard, which may elevate their teen pregnancy risk.’

Research suggests lesbians and bisexuals are especially likely to have sexual experiences earlier than straight women. They may also experience higher rates of sexual abuse at an earlier age.

Researchers also previously found sexual minority students lack support resources and fewer connections to family and school.

Other studies have found LGBTI Americans are more likely to be poor, and therefore rely on health clinics.

Trans men, intersex and gender-nonconforming people can also get pregnant and need access to health care services.

‘A friend raped me at 16’

A picture of a pensive girl in black and white.

Natasha McCracken is a young bisexual woman from South Oregon. She previously spoke to Gay Star News about her experiences with abortion.

She had two unwanted pregnancies throughout her life, one of which was the result of a sexual assault.

Her first abortion was one of the toughest experiences she has ever gone through. She was awake during the whole procedure.

After the surgery, she said: ‘[I] was bleeding so much I was pale and woozy. The doctor asked if I had “learned to be more careful”. I looked up at him with such hatred and said, “I was raped.”‘

When her pregnancy test was positive again at 20, Natasha immediately thought of that first procedure.

She opened up to a nurse at Planned Parenthood who was in shock hearing what she went through. The nurse assured her this time was going to be different.

‘I went in, they put me under, and I woke up to the nurse asking me if I was alright,’ she said.

She then added: ‘I went home, I slept, and I was sore for a couple of days. I wish I had found LoveJoy [a clinic in Portland] before, and I wish everyone had this experience. Sadly, I know that many of us have had experiences like my first one.

‘The access to abortion [in America] is definitely there, but the faux morality that people use to justify their objection is very prevalent,’ she said.

If you need support with an unplanned pregnancy, contact Planned Parenthood or call 1-800-230-PLAN in the US. If you’re in the UK, go to BPAS or call 0808 109 8421.

See also

Abortion is not just for straight women, bisexuals and lesbians have it too

RPDR queen Phi Phi O’Hara shares abortion story to challenge new bills

Five production companies will not film in Georgia over new abortion law