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Essays

A Reminder or Two as Your Reproductive Rights are Stripped Away

My fellow witches,

I want you to know I stand by you in solidarity and anger about the draft decision repealing Roe v Wade. I also shake with anger at the latest bit of hypocrisy about the protections for Supreme Court Justices and NOT for abortion clinic workers. I had to share a bit of laughter at the current Senate’s attempt to codify abortion protections into law — who did they think was on board with that? The DINO from West Virginia? The snake from Maine? Maybe they thought it was the thought that counted, that if they showed an attempt at giving a shit at the last minute most of them would have a shot at re-election when their term was up.

And just like other things we witches don’t want, don’t expect to make it another term, y’guys.

(Sorry, that was crass.)

What I am not is surprised. Before Justices Serena Joy, Beer Keg, and Voldemort were installed into the Supreme Court, I knew this would be the outcome for Roe. I’ve known most of my life. My mother warned me about this when I was a teenager. ”Roe is a decision, not a law,” she said. ”It can be overturned at anytime. Don’t be shocked when it is.” My mom, who straddled the line between social justice and conservative family values, didn’t realize she was nudging me in the direction I needed to go. Anytime someone around me said, ”abortion is a right!” I wryly corrected them, ”Uh, no — it’s not, actually. ”

Boy, do I hate being right all the time.

My fellow witches of the matriarchy: I know this is no consolation but don’t take this act of bitter misogyny personally. It’s not about us.

It’s not about state rights. If it were, there wouldn’t be a threat of Federal ban against abortion.

It’s not about religion. If it were, anyone who didn’t want to have or perform an abortion would not have or perform an abortion and leave those of us who wanted an abortion alone and this would be a non-issue. No one gets this goddamn worked up about mixing fabrics, eating shellfish, or circumcision.

It’s also not about whether or not abortion is murder. The vast majority of abortions are performed on or before 13 weeks; Pew research shows that most Americans say that abortions should be legal in all or most cases. The idea that “abortion equals murder” has NOT been a popular rallying cry for a while.

So if it’s not about state rights, religion, or murder — what’s this all about?

The answer makes no one happy. It’s about fear.

When women have the ability to choose if and when to give birth, they have time to do other things: work, vote, get an education, take birth control, not have sex with men, protest, not get married, not get pregnant, grow a rose garden, adopt a pet, dance naked in the swamp with other women, read a lot of books, smoke weed everyday, or do anything that takes their focus off of being traditional birth-giving machines for men. That frightens people — mostly men, but also people like Justice Serena Joy who probably never considered a life outside of birth-giving and telling other women they should be giving birth, too. Thus, people like her get together to make sure that can’t happen by making it incredibly difficult or fucking impossible to make a choice. They don’t for a second consider:

  • How the lack of access to safe and legal abortions would disproportionately affect people of color and other marginalized groups (people they don’t seem to like or care about anyway), or
  • How access to safe and legal abortions keeps people safe and therefore puts the life in pro-life.

While this is a political-right way of thinking, it’s not something I’ve seen in just right-leaning people. I’ve known self-described Democrats, liberals, and even democratic socialists to argue with me about the right to abortion access. And conversely, I’ve known one or two right-leaning folks to go, “Well, I don’t like it, it makes me uncomfortable, I would never get one, but I don’t care what other people do. They can answer to God later.”

A friend asked me how I felt the other day now that I didn’t have to worry about abortions or birth control. In truth, it’s hard to feel good. I can’t enjoy freedom when everyone else is held captive. First it’s abortions, then it’s birth control. Then it’s same sex marriage — and that can affect me.

But again. This isn’t about me. This is about fear.

And I’m terrified.

Author & Bi-Feminist-Killjoy. Occasionally has something interesting to say. The importance is debatable. Your mileage may vary. Books: "Icarus" and "A Bitter Spring"