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How the Reversal of Roe v. Wade Is Impacting Me as a Sexual Abuse Survivor With Anorexia

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Editor's Note

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

I’m a sexual abuse survivor. I also have an eating disorder — anorexia, binge/purge type.

My abuse started at age 4 and lasted until I was 21 years old. During each episode of abuse, I felt helpless, afraid, trapped, and powerless. While I can’t say I was lucky to experience abuse, I can say I was lucky I didn’t have my menstrual cycle yet. I was training my body too hard and starving my body too much to have a period, and therefore I didn’t get pregnant. I can’t imagine raising a child who has DNA from one of my abusers. It would be incredibly hard to have a reminder that I’m responsible to love.

Now I have an implanted birth control, so I feel fairly safe (for now…), but what happens in three years when I need to change the implant out? Will I still have my right to birth control? Or will that be gone too?

The feelings that flooded me when Roe was overturned were the same feelings I felt when I was abused — helpless, afraid, trapped, and powerless.

I am privileged to live in Maine, where we haven’t yet lost our rights to safe abortions. But knowing that women’s rights are being stripped away makes me very scared for my future. It’s not that I don’t love and want babies either. I have a genetic condition that I don’t want to pass on to my offspring.

Once I’m healthy enough to raise kids, I will absolutely adopt. I don’t want to create another sick kid when there are sick kids who already exist and need good parents. I want to be a good parent to a kid who needs love. That is my human right. And if I get pregnant unplanned, suddenly that is no longer my right as a woman, and that makes me want to scream and rip off all of my skin. Because it wasn’t my choice to be held down against my will and raped again and again throughout childhood. That wasn’t my choice, and this would not be my choice either.

I identify as asexual. I could be asexual because of trauma, but it doesn’t really matter what caused it, it is what it is. That doesn’t mean I won’t get sexually abused again. Honestly, this ruling makes me want to get a hysterectomy and remove my uterus even though I don’t have sexual intercourse! And I have no reason to have a hysterectomy.

It is really triggering to my anorexia too, because, despite having a birth control implant, I still do not want my menstrual cycle. Being able to make choices about my body is incredibly important to me and my recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Roe being overturned is a trigger to restrict my calories because it’s the only thing I feel I have control over. It makes me want to give up on life. What’s the point of sticking around if the world is so fucked up?

Restricting my calories and losing weight is all I feel I have control over these days. I don’t want to get sucked back into my anorexic patterns. I want to be healthy and free to be the driver of my own life, my own body, my own uterus, and my own feelings and actions.

We cannot go back to 1973 when abortion was illegal. My whole body is shaking with rage because my gender and uterus status shouldn’t determine my legal rights.

Originally published: June 29, 2022
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