by Terry Bellamak
After the Christchurch terrorist attacks, a lot of us are feeling vulnerable. Muslims, immigrants, people of colour, people with disabilities, nonbinary and gender diverse people, and women have all been shaken by the inescapable reality that hatred is alive and well, even in little old New Zealand.
The shooter’s far-right ideology takes aim at all marginalised groups. After all, the Venn diagram of white supremacists and male supremacists is pretty close to a circle. We need an even bigger circle of those who stand up to racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination.
It would be natural for reproductive rights advocates to back off for fear of becoming a target of the far-right. Law reform is on the table this year, and that creates many target-rich environments as people gather together to talk about reproductive rights and call for change.
Your chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are miniscule. So are your chances of getting pregnant while on contraception, or running across a certifying consultant who isn’t satisfied you meet the grounds in the Crimes Act.
But those things happen, and they matter quite a lot to the people they happen to.
So let’s work to prevent them, or at least minimise the damage they cause. We can stand up and call out injustice and bigotry when we see it. We can demand Parliament to stop treating women as though they were incompetent to make their own medical decisions. If not us, then who?
And so, we fight. We still might lose. But if we don’t fight, we have already lost.
Let’s double down instead.
Come to the panel discussion in at the Freeman’s Bay Community Centre in Auckland on Tuesday – I’ll see you there. Come to ALRANZ’s Meeting of the Minds on April 6 – I’ll see you there.
Reproductive rights are human rights. Somebody should fight for them. You are somebody.