By Jameson — Volunteer at Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida
When you first look at me, you might not see an abortion rights advocate. My bald head, my beard, the tattoos on my arms, my Johnny Cash t-shirt — all of that might make you think this isn’t my fight. But I know better than most people just how much we have to lose from the Supreme Court’s decision to take away the constitutional right to abortion.
I’m a trans man who had an abortion. When I was 17, I became pregnant. I knew immediately that I needed to get an abortion. While I’ve known who I was since I could form thoughts, at 17 I was still struggling with what that identity meant, and I definitely wasn’t ready for what it would mean to carry a pregnancy, much less become a parent. I went to Planned Parenthood for an abortion a couple weeks after I found out I was pregnant, and I have not regretted it for a single moment.
My abortion was about controlling my own body and making my own decisions — and so was transitioning. As an adolescent, I discovered that my knowledge of who I was didn’t mean I could just identify as male when my body screamed to everyone else that I was female. It was the 80s, so I couldn’t just ask for puberty-blocking hormones. In fact, it took me 30 more years to start hormone therapy. I started my transtion in Asheville, but when I moved to South Florida, I couldn’t find a doctor. Again, it was Planned Parenthood that got me the care I needed. And when I needed help to get out of the COVID pandemic funk so many of us are in, I found a Planned Parenthood therapist I love.
My existence is proof: This is a fight we need to undertake together. We are not separate groups of people fighting separate fights. The right to access abortion and the right to access gender-affirming health care — they are built on the same foundation. By tearing down our right to decide whether and when to have children, the Supreme Court is clearing the way to topple so many other rights.
When the Supreme Court handed down their decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, Justice Clarence Thomas concurred, saying that according to the rationale used in deciding Dobbs, other cases should also be examined and possibly overturned — naming, for instance, those that legalized gay marriage, decriminalized consensual sex between people of the same sex, and protected the right to contraception for married people. And it’s not a hypothetical future: many of the same states banning abortion in the wake of Dobbs are also working to ban gender-affirming care for trans people, especially young people.
We cannot afford to alienate or exclude each other. Abortion rights are important for women AND trans and nonbinary people. The fight to restore those rights will be the work of a generation or more, and it needs every person willing to speak up and act.
I am grateful to have been born in a female body — I wouldn’t change a thing. I feel like I’m a spy: I know things that the vast majority of men have no knowledge of. Including how essential the right to control our bodies is to our humanity.