A Eulogy for Roe v. Wade

Pro-abortion rights rally at the SCOTUS (June 13, 2022) 227” by Frypie is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

I got the lead in my senior play in 1966. I was a virgin then—I hadn’t crossed the narrows of Sexual Waters yet. On the night of my play, I hadn’t a care in the world. (Okay, that’s a lie: I hated my wig. But Tough Shit as we say.)

Act I went off without a hitch. I was in heaven. But at Intermission I was shocked to see my mother backstage very upset. My sister had called from her rural hell with her rural ass-cramp husband and their sweet, newly minted, but unwanted pregnancy. It’s inconvenient as you sign divorce papers to find yourself pregnant. An immediate abortion was imminent.

My parents took the train to be with my sister, and we cancelled the second night of the show.

In the years to come, I would follow their lead: Before Roe was law, I went with a friend to a then-illegal abortion in Manhattan, in a dirty room and from a doctor who had no painkillers to provide her. After Roe, I did the same for another friend—in a nice clinic on the east side of Manhattan. And she was treated like a person.

In the decades to come, I watched the abortion fight unfold from a different lens: As a feminist writing documentaries about ongoing threats to Roe, violence against abortion providers, and other issues of reproductive justice. 

Abortion has always been in my sights. And now we find it back on the front page this year,—when Roe should be 50 and abortion should be seen as a fundamental right, as basic Health Care—in spite of the overwhelming popularity of access to one’s repro organs. All because the right-wing (which actually can drive straight across the earth, because, as they know, the World is Flat) has made abortion a new way to avoid fixing peoples’ lives.

Focus on the Family, the folks who ushered in the beginning of the worst Right Wing War on Women’s Rights in a long time, weren’t popular enough to beat the Dems. What do the Righters do when they can’t get something they want? Whine? Threaten? Bribe?

In the case of Roe v Wade they had made the longest Bad Faith fight against a SCOTUS decision I can think of. They got rid of Roe.

And we need to get rid of them.

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