Metro Weekly

Schuyler Bailar: Abortion rights are a women’s issue and also an LGBTQ one

History-making transgender athlete and activist highlighted LGBTQ abortion rights at the Women’s March

Schuyler Bailar, trans, athlete, swimmer
Schuyler Bailar — Photo: Bailar / Twitter

Transgender activist and athlete Schuyler Bailar highlighted at last week’s Women’s March that the right to an abortion is not only a woman’s issue but also an LGBTQ one.

Hundreds gathered in D.C. on Saturday for the march, the first since President Joe Biden took office, and falling a month after the Supreme Court allowed Texas’ six-week abortion ban to take effect.

“I am a transgender man, which means that although I am a man, I was assigned female at birth, which means that I have a uterus — which means that I could get pregnant, which means that I could need an abortion,” he said.

“I am here to remind you to make it absolutely clear that people of all genders can have abortions, and people of all genders should have safe and legal access to abortions,” Bailar added.

“This is a women’s issue, and it is also a transgender man’s issue. It is also a nonbinary person’s issue. It is also a genderqueer, genderfluid, transmasculine person’s issue. This is about all of us.”

Bailar, who in 2015 became the first-ever transgender athlete to compete on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team, emphasized on Saturday that abortion rights impact everyone, CBS News reports.

“You should not have to have a uterus to care about abortion rights. You should not have to have a uterus to care about autonomy,” he said.

“I have spent my life fighting for my right to choose what I do with my body — my right to get top surgery, my right to take gender-affirming hormones, my right to have access to gender-affirming, life-saving health care. We should all have access to life-saving health care. We deserve the right to choose.”

LGBTQ issues were at the forefront of this year’s Women’s March, thanks to the efforts of the National LGBTQ Task Force.

Kierra Johnson, the Task Force’s executive director, wrote in LGBTQ Nation that it is “dangerous” to believe that only cisgender, heterosexual women are affected by restrictive abortion measures.

“The ‘overlap’ of reproductive rights and queer rights is as real as the women who are denied bodily autonomy for either — or both — identities they hold,” Johnson wrote. “It is real for our trans and non-binary siblings who often can only find culturally competent healthcare in the very same places being attacked for providing health services to women seeking an abortion or birth control.”

She added: “The right to decide if, when, and with who to have sex, if, when, and how to become pregnant, and if, when, and how to parent is core to our freedom and agency. These are LGBTQ issues.”

Since graduating from Harvard in 2019, Bailar has spoken out against legislation that would prevent transgender athletes from participating in sports.

“I’m hoping, praying and fighting that the work I do is no longer necessary because that will mean that we [the transgender community] are just people as opposed to a political debate,” he told CBS News in June.

On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a Mississippi case that tests the constitutionality of states’ abortion bans.

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