Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Friday, July 27, 2012

Can you guys keep disability out of the abortion discussion?

Trigger Warning: Rape, Ableism, Abortion, and probably Eugenics

At a pro-choice rally of some sort, there was a woman holding a sign that said that an autistic woman who was raped should not be forced to give birth.
Why is autism brought into this?
Does that mean it would be OK to force a neurotypical woman who was raped to give birth?
What if she was neuroatypical, but still not autistic?

I don't think it's OK to force any woman to give birth, and I don't think restricting that statement to cases of rape is practical. I mean, how would you PROVE that you were raped? How would someone go about PROVING that you weren't? We live in a society that seems to like victim blaming and claiming that it wasn't really rape, so I don't want to go anywhere near that.

But that's not the point. They didn't make any of the arguments about how forcing a woman who was raped in general should not have to give birth. They didn't make arguments about bodily autonomy, about self-determination. They didn't talk about how illegal abortions is the result of banning abortion. They didn't talk about how fixing rape culture and giving actually useful sex ed would reduce the demand, so the same people who are demanding that abortion be outlawed are the same ones increasing the demand for it. They didn't talk about how fixing the adoption system would lead to people being more likely to consider it a viable option. They didn't talk about the difficulty involved in showing that an abortion might actually be medically necessary.

They talked about autism.
So, why specifically autism?
We know that autism is largely genetic. We know that people tend not to recognize that autistic people actually can and do understand what is and is not in their own best interest. We know that people tend not to realize that autism is not the end of the world, and that an autistic person can (gasp) consent to sex and choose to have a baby.

That means that my suspicions are not exactly favorable.
I think that autism was brought into this because:

  • They think the only way an autistic person could become pregnant is through rape.
  • They think that autistic people should not have children.
  • They think that autism is a tragedy and needs to be fixed.
  • They don't realize that they are, in fact, infantilizing autistics when they make this argument. 
And these are some problems I think it can cause:
  • People will assume that any pregnant autistic woman must have been raped. 
  • People will assume that allowing a pregnant autistic woman to have her baby is akin to forcing her to do so.
  • Then they will try all kinds of coercion to force autistic people to get abortions because of this.
  • They probably won't even realize it's coercion.  
  • People will continue assuming that autistic people can't make their own decisions.
  • People will therefore continue to not let autistic people even try making their own decisions.

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