Happy Anniversary to Roe v Wade. (One that some experts warn could be the last.)
I wonder if shouting that is an exercise in despair? Despair hidden as denials, guesses about how bad SCOTUS’s decision will be, despair that the current law in Texas allows no abortion even in cases of rape or incest?
How did this happen? Is this really the end of this valuable, mostly simple procedure?
We live in a world where birth control effects some bodies and not others—often, women’s, and not men’s. Unless the condom gets stuck in a guy’s underwear, but that’s not the same as taking hormones to prevent pregnancy. Hormones can do some unexpected things to a body. Never mind, some birth control is better than none. Especially if Roe is about to get a total hysterectomy in the upcoming ruling (that’s a metaphor).
When I was younger, before Roe was law, I went with a friend to a then-illegal abortion in Manhattan. I will not disgust us all with details, I will just say that the doctor had no pain killer for my friend, and the procedure is not much fun. Also, I’m not sure the last time he had washed his hands: the general sense in the filthy little room was not one of cleanliness or care. But she got her abortion. And then I grabbed the cash and paid the “doctor” then I woke up my friend’s Baby Daddy who had slept on my lap during her ordeal.
When Roe became law, the relief was fantastic. I ended up taking a different friend for a legal abortion at a nice clinic on the east side of Manhattan. It was smooth, it was clean, she was treated like a person. It was like we had jumped forward 5 centuries into Modern Times. This friend didn’t want the Baby Daddy with us, so nobody napped on me during her abortion.
I am sad about all this. Sad is such a beige word. I am devastated to have to enter this fight again. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one. But leave other women to make their own decisions. Kind of like voting—which I wish I had not mentioned, because these days it brings up images of a country torn into shreds and trying to sew itself back together with one knitting needle and some dental floss.
We deserve better than this. Voting rights have been fought and died for, our whole presentation in the world is that we promote democracy. How the hell do you do that with all these restrictions? Why don’t they just say: “Only white men can vote.” With abortion and Voting both under attack, it’s clear that’s the goal!
Abortion rights and voting rights are part of the same fabric. They share a central reality that is essential to a free society—choice, power, agency. And there is a lack of subtlety on the part of the ghouls tearing up hundreds of years of work to create this country. The Governor of Texas promotes a law that doesn’t allow abortion even in cases of rape or incest. “Rape is a crime,” he bloviated proudly. “So we’ll put a stop to it.”
What great friggin’ news. Texas is going to outlaw rape and then nobody will do it anymore! Sometimes I wish I was that smart.
At the end of The Road Not Taken, my first book, the protagonist is asked this major question: “Is the planet earth worth saving?” I will not allow a fictional character, even one that I wrote, to outspeak me on this question.
When I look at the Former POTUS on a screen, my answer is sometimes “NO!” Look at him, grabbing pussies and threatening elected officials. It’s hard to even want to save a species that not only produced this Swamp Thing, but some millions of whom think he is a Messiah.
But I think he is a Call to Action. So is the frustration and rage we feel now re-litigating the battles we already won. I have fought all my life for social justice, world peace, an end to poverty and brutality. I have seen We the People win many important issues.
I know that it’s time to stand up, dust off the toxins and as human beings make the next Leap Forward, landing where All People Are Created Equal.
In spite of the darkest, worst efforts at destroying our culture, we are still mostly a fine society, and unlike Humpty Dumpty, we can be put it back together again.
So, Happy Anniversary, Roe. We’ll meet again. Somehow. No matter what.