So many things swirling right now. That tightfaced idiot of a Susan Collins who voted in that monster Kavanaugh because he and Trump had “learned their lessons” and Roe was “safe”. The many images of women who could not bear the child they had been impregnated with – for SO many reasons – stumbling ashen-faced and shuddering from paint-peeling doors in back alleys and rooms with dirty kitchen tables and filthy utensils which were thrust into their tenderest parts leaving fear and fever behind, clutching their coats tight around their middles against the pain. The blood. The senseless dying. The trade of the lives of the women who were in the midst of living theirs for the mere existence of what is often no more than a clump of insentient cells which could not have survived outside the host from whom their derived their sustenance and very existence – but who somehow had more of a “soul” than was vouchsafed for the women whose wombs they clung to, whose body and whose blood they needed absolutely if they weren’t to stop existing at all.
Please understand this. There was never a time when pregnancy terminations DID NOT EXIST.A woman who wanted a pregnancy to end will find a way even if it mean her own death. Roe vs Wade did not invent abortion; it merely gave back bodily autonomy to the entity who already existed as opposed to something that (at the time of most abortions) is no more sentient than a handful of cells from your liver. Roe vs Wade is not a morality play. It does not dictate moral rectitude or repeal it. It did not begin a rash or an epidemic of abortions. It did not make every pregnant woman rush to a clinic to terminate. Abortion is a deeply personal and frequently utterly tragic decision and is never EVER arrived at lightly (unless it happens to a mistress of a powerful man who would find himself inconvenienced by an out of wedlock child in which case it’s arrived at very lightly, by the man, and an abortion is miraculously bestowed on the woman who finds herself pregnant…) Abortions neither began nor ended when Roe vs Wade came on the scene. Only – and please understand this viscerally – UNSAFE abortions did. The wire coathanger kind in back alleys. Now women had a chance to survive, to live, and perhaps to bear children again further down the line when life changed for them and such things became possible.
A leaked SCOTUS decision implies strongly that America is about to slide straight back into the dark ages, the ages of blood in back alleys and of wire coathanger hooks.
I have said it before and I am saying it again now – Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid Tale” was not meant as a blueprint. It was meant as a warning. And yet – here we are, on the threshhold of dystopia. Welcome to Gilead – and if you are a woman who is still in possession of a functional uterus you should probably be very scared right now.
And this is the first step on a slippery slope. ALL that has been gained in the last century is slipping away. If women are relegated to being broodmares again, what foul thing comes lurching round the bend for the the people whose humanity has only barely been restored by the civil rights movement? What of other people who have only just begun to be rendered as human – the LGBTQ+ community, in all its rainbow complexity? Is America really backsliding into the land where only landed white males hold the vote, and the rest of us are held hostage to their whims of self-interest and selfish desires? Do we all become servants? Do we all become slaves? Does a white male have an inalienable right to the body of every woman he might feel a flicker of “i want” for – and then has the absolute law-supported ability to cast her aside, after, and leave her to the mercies of a pregnancy which she does not want and has never consented to or the bite of a wire coathanger in the dark?
WAKE UP AMERICA. We have already sleepwalked into disaster. For all of those morons waving flags the size of a queen bed and screaming “FREEDOM” at the top of their lungs – is it only freedom if YOU get to do whatever YOU want? To whomever you want to do it to? Do the people you are doing it to have no freedom at all? WHY NOT?
I am scared. I am old and my own womb no longer resides at its original address. But there is a generation of young women in America who are going to have to fight for their rights all over again, it seems.
Welcome to Gilead.