It is with a sense of absolute futility that I attempt to write this weekend post. The irony of the Roe v. Wade leak in the days leading up to Mother’s Day is not lost on me.
It feels surreal to live in a world where basic reproductive rights of women will likely be stripped away.
To be clear: the laws haven’t changed – yet. As of now, abortion is still a legal right. But there is zero doubt in my mind that this Supreme Court will, in fact, eventually overturn Roe v. Wade.
And when I strip away all of the noise – when life begins, who is eligible and when, whether or not you or I or that nice lady over there would or would not personally have an abortion – when I strip away this noise, it comes down to the fact that women will not have control over their own bodies.
It’s the body autonomy issue for me.
It’s the forcing of pregnancies upon people who do not want them. There is no male equivalent.
“The truth is women are not seen – not as adults capable of making decisions about their bodies and their lives – and people refuse to see what many of their choices actually are.”–Huffington Post
If you haven’t yet seen the Huffington Post’s article written by an abortion nurse, it’s a quick read that highlights just a few reasons women have sought out her abortion clinic. It starkly highlights the cruelty of banning reproductive care.
Make no mistake: rich people will still have access to abortions. Already, women in Texas are flying to Minneapolis for abortion care. The clinic is located near the airport.
It’s the poor and underserved who will pay this penalty.
I’m not a religious person – a right that is protected by our constitution – and I chafe at Christian-based laws forced upon me. Did you know that Judaism defines the beginning of life at birth? I’m not Jewish, either, but I found that fact interesting. Why do our laws so blatantly favor the Christian religion over the Jewish religion? And why am I being forced to follow religious doctrine at all?
The answer, over the years, has become perfectly clear: The abortion laws are not actually about protecting life. They’re about maintaining power.
Which is why Republicans in power ignore the data, gathered over decades, that show abortion rates go down when women have access to free birth control. (And we’ve known this since 2012.)
If the Republicans in power were, truly, the party of “life,” then why aren’t they also the party of free birth control? Paid maternity leave? Universal healthcare? Subsidized childcare? Free college tuition? Sensible gun laws?
If Republican lawmakers’ cult of Christianity demands that we recognize life as beginning in the womb…then I’m with law professor Carliss Chatman: shouldn’t child support also start at 6 weeks?
Shouldn’t we be able to insure a 6 week old fetus, then collect if we miscarry?
Shouldn’t we consider that 6-week-old fetus a US citizen, which means we can’t deport the mother?
Just trying to be consistent, friends. Trying to understand.
The problem, here, was so eloquently summarized by Pastor David Barnhart, in a Facebook post he made in 2018, in response to a change to Alabama’s constitution that recognizes the “unborn” as an actual person.
“The unborn” are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. It’s almost as if, by being born, they have died to you. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe.
Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.”– Pastor David Barnhart
Republicans lawmakers have been building up to this moment for years. There is zero doubt in my mind that Roe v. Wade will be overturned.
I wonder, though, if this is the beginning of the end of the Republican Party as we know it. They’ve reached a level of malice that most emotionally healthy people are uncomfortable with (at least the ones paying attention). From the Michigan Republican who resigned from the GOP citing “delusional lies” from “feckless, cowardly party leaders”, to the latest QAnon supporter poised to win a house seat in Ohio, to – no joke – the dude who won a GOP primary from jail, suspected of killing his wife (a cancer survivor who had the audacity to confront him about his extramarital affairs)…you’ve gotta wonder how long reasonable people will continue to vote for dangerous fools. (And yes – there are likely some good ones left. In fact, Republicans For Voting Rights provided a GOP accountability scorecard, which, frankly, is a pretty low bar, but still…it’s something.)
I am disappointed, too, in the Democrats. In their barely-coherent messaging. In their lack of clear vision. In their seeming inability to hold Republicans accountable.
Actually, I’m pissed.
But the bumbling and posturing of the Democrats is nothing compared to systematic, state-by-state dismantling of rights by the Republican Party.
So if there is ONE thing we can do, it’s vote.
And if you want something to do now, there is a tight congressional race in Texas. Jessica Cisneros is running against a Republican incumbent that, yup, voted to restrict abortions. Let’s get him out of there. Donate to Jessica’s campaign, here.
For other ways to support abortion rights, try The Cut’s article, How To Channel Your Anger About the Likely End of Roe.
Yup, that’s a middle finger. My friend Shannon just posted a photo of herself wearing this t-shirt. Seems appropriate.
A tale of two dresses. One absolutely beautiful blue summer dress (the same brand as that green dress I wore in Athens)…and one, uh, one…..One blue dress that I will simply refer to as Blue Dress With Vest. On the upside, both are on sale?
Hot tip. Linzi and I are both raving about Kork-Ease sandals right now. The Bethany style is my favorite – it actually looks really design-y and high-end on, but is, of course, a comfort shoe. (Oh – I made a reel featuring them.)
An elegant sweatsuit. Athleta’s Seasoft sweatshirt – one half of the sweatsuit I’ve been raving about (same one featured in the above reel, here’s a photo) – is on sale. Also, the matching pants, if you care. The whole thing is very refined and reads much more Real Clothes than atheleisure.
White now. These Frame shorts are, without a doubt, the best white denim shorts I’ve ever tried on. Super soft, not see-through, and the shape is interesting enough to make an outfit. They’re literally perfect. (And eased my annoyance that the dark wash sold out before I could order.)
Speaking of white denim…Amy tried on a pair of flowered white jeans as part of her H&M haul on YouTube. You guys…do NOT miss her FACE each time she tries on a new outfit. She literally beams like a gleeful kid, and that is the energy I need right now.
Spaaaaah. Luxury skincare brand Colleen Rothschild is offering a free Tahitian Monoi body butter with purchases of $150 or more this weekend. That’s the exact scent that transports me to a really high-end spa, and the body butter is deliciously whipped and moisturizing (I used it this morning, in fact.) Perfect timing, too, since I’m almost out of my oil-based cleansing balm (I’d call it a game changer if I hadn’t been using it for 7+ years already) and her eye cream.
Gold star, MikeD. Mike picked out – and executed – this delicious vegan bowl for dinner the other night. I was skeptical about the recipe, but Harissa is now my new favorite thing. (And we just used this one – nothing fancy.) It was a bowl combo I wouldn’t have guessed would be so good, but now I can’t stop thinking about it. (Pax wasn’t a fan, but Raines devoured it.)
Maybe don’t postpone that dinner. Jennifer Senior’s article in The Atlantic, It’s Your Friends Who Break Your Heart, is one of the best things I’ve read in a while. Beautifully written, and a fascinating discussion on friendships, especially into middle age. I literally devoured this one, breathless.
Hang in there, Gang. Happy Mother’s Day.