By Jo Early
This morning, about 50% of the population discovered we were no longer full citizens of the United States of America. We do not have the ability to make our own medical decisions. We do not have the right bodily autonomy. We are being taxed without representation, as the people who made this decision for us do not represent us.
Our constitutional right to abortion – that has been around for 50 years – has been struck down by the Supreme Court, just a day after they abolished a gun safety law in New York. And in Texas, a state still mourning the murder of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde a month ago, a trigger law will go into effect in 30 days. In one month, abortion will be illegal in Texas unless the pregnancy is determined to be life-threatening. For the first time since the founding of the country, children will have less rights than their parents.
A teenage white supremacist can purchase an AR-15 but I cannot make decisions about what happens in my own body. What about these decisions can be called “pro-life”?
I am so angry beyond words. I’m devastated. And I am incredibly sorry. I’m sorry to the women who will die. I’m sorry to the children who were so vehemently advocated for while they were still in the womb and promptly disregarded by the same people the moment their lives actually began. I’m sorry to the children who will be forced to become mothers.
According to NPR, black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to not survive a pregnancy compared to white women. Women of color are already disproportionally affected by healthcare discrimination, and once abortion is illegal, they are the ones most likely to be arrested, even for unintentional miscarriages. Lizelle Herrera was arrested in April of this year, charged with murder for allegedly inducing a miscarriage. Doctors can’t reliably tell the difference between a spontaneous miscarriage and a miscarriage induced by an abortion pill; if Herrera’s case is any indication, any of us can be charged with murder if we are hurt, shot, tripped or bending over while pregnant.
This is a war against women, against people of color, against gender non-conforming individuals and trans people. Anybody with a uterus must incubate and damn you after.
Abortion being illegal has never and will not stop abortions from happening. People will bleed out from desperately sought and unsafe abortions. They will die of sepsis from being forced to carry unviable fetuses inside of their bodies, whether they wanted a child or not. Doctors will not dare risk their own livelihood by saving a woman over a fetus and so both will die. Children will be born into poverty, into abusive households and many of those children will die.
“Pro-life” people will dance on their graves and still declare victory.
If you’re as frustrated and enraged as I am, please make sure you’re involving yourself politically. Vote. Find the candidates who will protect you and vote out the ones who won’t.
And if you declare yourself pro-life, please fight for those living. Fight for the children in the foster care system, fight for unhoused people, fight for healthcare reform and access to mental health services. Add your passion to advocate for life, true life.
What, constitutionally, is the difference between Gun Rights and Abortion Rights? Well, the former is specifically outlined in the *second* amendment of the document and the latter was vaguely applied to the fourteenth amendment 105 years after the fact.
Anyway, with all the talk about race and identity, wait until you find out gun control started as an effort to disarm POC. Early abolitionist efforts were stunted because slave owners didn’t want their former slaves to be afforded second amendment rights. Black Panthers Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, and Bobby Seale were unequivocally pro gun ownership and pro open carry. Being simultaneously pro-BLM and anti-gun requires mind bending mental gymnastics.
And what exactly makes either of them different? You don’t think the Founding Fathers worded the Constitution as they did to ensure that future generations of people can make adjustments to the document as needed. Times change and people change. We are all human in the grand scope of things. Male, female, non-conforming. Black, White, Brown. There is only one race, the HUMAN race.
What happened today is a slap in the face. What women decide to do with their bodies in a private discussion of their doctor should remain private. Women literally DIED before Roe. Not everybody is financially able to have a child. A teenage girl that is coerced into sex, raped, or sexually assaulted by a family member is entitled to be able to have the legal right to end the pregnancy if she chooses to do so. Do you think she’s going to have the ability or the money to cross over into another state to seek an abortion? If you think the GOP is going to stop here, be warned. They took HER rights today, they’re going after my right to love and get married next. Do you think they’ll stop there?
At the end of the day, this decision was made by a group of men forcing their religious beliefs on the populace. They’ve never had to face medical adversity. They’re not the single mother with 3 kids, 2 jobs, in the Food Stamp line trying to feed the 3 kids she has not realizing she’s gotten pregnant with a 4th child. They’re not the Minority woman who gave birth in a hospital and learned that she’d never be able to have children again. They’re not the young girl who was taken advantage of by a relative and is now a child carrying another child. Everybody cares about the sanctity of an unborn child, until they’re born and exhausting resources in a shelter, or in an abusive household, or having no one, or get mowed down by a crazed shooter in the classroom. This decision was motivated by a need to increase the declining population of the Majority and nothing else. No concern will be given to Minorities by this decision. They’re pro-forced-birth because there is a need to replace a declining workforce due to the retirement of the Baby Boomers, the largest generation in history. And the Pandemic, which caused over a million deaths and is still costing us lives.