Each time a new bathroom bill is introduced, requiring people to use the bathroom for their assigned gender, I think back nearly six years to when I had my abortion.
I spotted the pregnancy early and made an appointment with Planned Parenthood right away. I went in the next week for my appointment. I was too early in pregnancy for a surgical abortion, so I opted for the abortion pill. The pill works more slowly, letting everything come out naturally in time. My abortion lasted about a week, like an exceptionally heavy period.
I had theater tickets to see Wicked as a birthday gift. I wasn’t going to let something like a terminating pregnancy keep me from seeing it. “Defying Gravity” has long been a song I loved, but as I sat there taking control over my body for the first time in my life, the words meant more than ever. “If this is love, it comes at much too high a cost.”
I was enraptured. When intermission came I didn’t even want to leave my seat, but I realized I needed to change my pad. I walked out to the lobby to find the line to the women’s bathroom wrapping around the walls of the lobby. There was no line at all to the men’s room. Calculating the number of women waiting and the short intermission, I realized I wouldn’t have time to wait for the lady’s.
In my fancy dress, I ducked into the men’s room. I found a stall and started changing my pad. That’s when I discovered that men’s bathroom stalls don’t always come with sanitary napkin trash containers in the stalls. There wasn’t even a large can for paper towels by the sink. Wrapping it up in toilet paper, I had to carry my abortion pad out to the lobby to throw it away.
I had an abortion in the men’s room and no one stopped me. It wasn’t my first time deciding I’d rather pee quickly than pee with my gender. As a cis woman I was confident that at worst I’d be scolded and told to go elsewhere.
Trans women (the real target of bathroom bills) aren’t being nearly so scandalous. They aren’t having abortions in the bathroom. They aren’t trying to go to the wrong bathroom for haste or speed. They’re trying to go to the right bathroom, to pee. If anyone should be punished for using the restroom in unanticipated ways, it should be me. But I’m cis so no one cares.