This statement discusses why abortion rights are trans rights:
Today, the National Day of Action to Stop the Bans on Abortion, FORGE, the national transgender anti-violence organization, affirms that every human being has the right to have control over their own body. We are committed to upholding this right in our communities and in our country.
Reproductive justice is deeply connected to our work. Transgender and non-binary individuals can become pregnant and may terminate pregnancies in many circumstances, including following sexual assault. Trans survivors are also taking political action today, engaged in work that may be both healing and challenging. We support them and their wellness in this time.
The connection between this day and our work is also more fundamental. The harm transgender survivors experience—sexual and intimate partner violence; transphobic violence; and racist, ableist, ageist, sexist, religion-based violence and more—is all based on the belief that our communities do not have the right to determine what happens to our own bodies.
The idea that only some people are entitled to bodily autonomy is profoundly dangerous. Sexual violence, which affects 25-66% of people of all genders, is one violation of bodily autonomy. But there are others. The recent bans on abortion in states like Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri remind us that a few select individuals determine who has legal rights and protections; who is “allowed” to access medical care (for hormones, for birth control, for abortion); and who is included in definitions of sexual assault or intimate partner violence. Like violence itself, these decisions take away our power over our own bodies, and have life and death consequences.
In our extensive work with trans and non-binary survivors, we have seen that as they heal from trauma, they dismantle, within themselves, the ideas underlying these laws, regaining a sense of control over what happens to their bodies. In order to collectively heal a culture that commits and enables sexual violence against vast numbers of marginalized people—in order to end sexual violence—we must end the belief system that creates laws like these.
Today, on the National Day of Action to Stop the Bans on Abortion, FORGE affirms that everyone should have a right to bodily autonomy and agency, and that we are committed to expanding this right.
FORGE is the nation’s leading transgender anti-violence organization, working to prevent and address the violence and trauma that lead to the many health disparities (including suicidality) that affect the trans/nonbinary population. FORGE was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. FORGE provides services and resources to both transgender survivors and to the service providers who serve them across the country. FORGE maintains an extensive archive of free, online trainings and publications at www.forgeforward.org and disseminates new products and policy developments through the social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
PRINTABLE PDF: 5.21.19 Abortion Day of Action statement