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Posts Tagged ‘teens’

I woke this morning to sun, and the promise of new beginnings. Then I remembered.

SCOTUS’ opinion yesterday, to allow states to criminalize a woman’s right to choose, settled like a veil around me. How could we let this happen? It turns out there’s an easy answer.

We’ve allowed an illegitimate Supreme Court to bring their extreme religious/originalist interpretation of constitutional law to light. We’ve allowed a Majority Leader to ignore a Presidential pick, namely Merrick Garland. In short, our laws are beginning to reflect the minority of fundamentalist Christians in this country.

“They cling to their guns and their religion.” Maybe the mic was supposed to be off, but presidential candidate Obama was right on.

My reaction has surprised me. I am buried, I am burdened by grief; it’s as if a family member has died. Maybe it’s a part of me that was killed yesterday. That part of me that felt like I was an equal partner in my world, in this democracy. Did my country just divorce me? I know first hand what the consequences will be now in this red state. My daughter was interviewed for the local paper last week.

“What will the consequences be for an ER doctor if Roe is overturned?”

She was working in her ER yesterday when the 6-3 decision broke and texted me – I was doing a Zoom Pilates and not watching or listening to the news. I was practicing self-care, starting the day with exercise instead of watering the garden after breakfast. After rolling up the yoga mat, I picked up the chiming phone and sank into the couch.

She had told me the decision would probably come down on Monday…we all knew it was coming because of the leak. Still, I thought just maybe SCOTUS would see the light.

Here’s a sampling of what the Bride will likely see in her Catholic hospital’s ER.

Teenagers with belly pains who are pregnant.

Women and girls in septic shock from a botched illegal abortion.

Ectopic pregnancies.

Rape and incest victims.

Homeless women who are pregnant.

When a woman walks into the Bride’s ER, in the middle of the night, experiencing a miscarriage (whether self-induced or natural, it’s hard to tell), will my daughter think twice before helping her end the pregnancy? And if she does save the life of this miscarrying woman, could my daughter be arrested?

Will her hospital insist that she save the life of a fetus above all else? Above the life of a woman? Will our local Planned Parenthood clinic even exist? Will there be an ‘underground railroad’ to ferry girls back and forth to Illinois? These are fair questions.

Back in the 60s, girls from certain families flew away for weekend “vacations.” Some flew to Mexico. And before that, women who found themselves in ‘the family way’ hopped on down to Florida and sailed to Cuba. Afterwards, those privileged, upper class girls were sent off to a fancy young women’s boarding school. Their indiscretion was never spoke of again.

Then you had the middle-class girls who were sent off immediately, to some quasi-religious, unwed mother’s home. These teens got to carry their pregnancies to term in secret, in a dorm-like environment of their peers. Shame was served with every meal. After they gave birth and signed the baby away to foster parents, they could be re-integrated with their families and back into their communities. Maybe they were visiting an elderly aunt for six months.

What were the poor, the disenfranchised women left to do in the 60s? – the married Catholic woman who already had six children and couldn’t possibly handle another – the single mother who was living on welfare and on the edge of addiction – the teenager who couldn’t possibly tell her religious parents she was pregnant – that girl might try to hide her condition, and carry the fetus to term only to deliver in the public bathroom at her Senior Prom.

But today, or I should say before yesterday, teens account for less than 9% of abortions in this country. Surprised?

The other women living below the poverty line, women with children, had to seek out illegal, back alley abortions before Roe. What was the statistical probability that these women would not develop an infection? How many died, or were made infertile by a hack butcher? These will be the real life consequences of a conservative court.

We are going back there, rolling back 50 years of precedent. We are treating a woman’s body like a commodity again, to be regulated. We must codify Roe, for our grandchildren.

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