When I learn a frightening truth that affects my family — the children I gave birth to, their families, and my grandchildren, I take it personally.
My first reaction to the “news” was what? How the hell did we get here? I knew how; however, my survival instincts directed me to ask what was at stake. Survivors can be resourceful detectives, diplomats, and warriors when threatened.
I search, read and educate myself, making choices about what aligns with what I am uncovering, and keep in mind truth is subjective, so I look for what is directly from the source and the underlying intent. Experience taught me anytime something is interpreted from another person’s bias or perspective, it’s at risk of being invalid.
Why I am triggered by the news?
I’m not in my childbearing years. Flashbacks were triggered, activating fight mode. Except this fight is to take back what thousands of men and women my age and older fought for: the right to choose. I’ve been in the terrifying space millions of men and women are in as I write this.
This is needless traumatization of millions and re-traumatization of women my age and older.
The news is true.
On Friday, June 24th, 2022, the Supreme Court of The United States overturned Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), the landmark ruling which established protection of the general constitutional right: women have a right to choose how they manage their reproductive health care.
Adding insult to injury, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas brought other landmark cases into the danger zone by citing high court rulings that established gay and contraception rights (including same-sex marriages) should be “reconsidered now that the federal right to abortion has been revoked.” Thomas wrote that those rulings “were demonstrably erroneous decisions.”
He did we get here?
It goes back before Roe v Wade; however, over the last 49 years, unscrupulous people whom Americans trusted, voted for, and called “leaders”, both in politics and religion, have been systematically weakening via interpretation of the intent (and foundation) of the verbiage in Roe v Wade. Those who had a foul hand in this unjust decision and action believe with Roe overturned all the “demonstrably erroneous” landmark rulings can be easily overturned with very little resistance.
The cases Justice Thomas cited are:
• Griswold vs. Connecticut, Supreme Court states married couples have the right to obtain contraceptives.
• Lawerence v. Texas, established the right to same-sex sexual activity.
• Obergefell v. Hodges, which states there is a right to same-sex marriage.
Why are we surprised?
I believe many are surprised and or shocked because it’s too preposterous to believe that the highest court in our land would strip half of the population of their choice in reproductive health care, effectively taking away the right to consent to bear children.
What’s at stake?
Besides the unraveling of the constitution as evidenced by the conquer and divide of this country…
• The Right to Choose. Overturning means a woman’s right to consent has been revoked, exchanging choice with uncertainty and fear for millions who were able to safely breathe just days ago. You can argue it’s not overturned, it’s been given back to the states to decide who has babies and who doesn’t. That was the foundation of Roe; no one has the right to determine when a woman does and does not bear a child.
• Overburdened Systems. More than 250,000 children are placed in foster care each year. Yet not many are willing to step up and take accountability to offer a quality of life to which they are entitled.
• Trust. We trusted them. We trusted our lawmakers. We trusted our leaders. We trusted our churches. How many of us have trusted someone in our personal lives and were traumatized by sexual violence and unwanted pregnancy? It’s taken me my entire life to try and make sense of the breach of trust I experienced in my childhood as well as my adult years. And now, the very people who we call the leaders of our country are the intrusive and untrustworthy people who have breached our trust.
It’s not only reproductive rights at stake. Overturning Roe v Wade places all rights for men AND women regarding their body, right to sexual privacy, choices about whom you can marry, and contraception AT RISK.
Let me state that again. Your right to privacy and choices are at risk. This means my daughter and her partner, my friends, and their spouses, interracial couples, same-sex couples, transgender, ANY, and ALL of us are at risk of being violated in traumatic ways we never would have imagined.
We’ve trusted political leadership for far too long.
It’s up to us to correct this.
I’m asking you. Please. Read the decision for yourself and then look into what the laws are in your state (Pre- Roe, and any Trigger laws). Protection HAS been overturned. There’s no other way to read this decision. States are already poised to ban abortions with trigger laws (laws set to take effect in the event Roe was overturned) in place. This isn’t going to take weeks or months. In 13 states, the action was immediate.
I’m sorry we’re here.
As a woman of childbearing years with the capacity to bear a child, you are no longer protected by Roe v Wade. I’m sorry your right to your body will now be determined by the state where you reside. I’m sorry there’s no guarantee relocation will help because the state you move to may very well determine to ban abortions and more.
An ominous warning.
“…take the Supreme Court as seriously as the Christian Right does. Because otherwise, the story of how we got here will end in a place we can’t recognize.” (Jay Michaelson, Rolling Stone, The Supreme Court Just Overturned Roe v. Wade. How The Fuck Did We Get Here?)
However, I believe if we use a relentless slow turning of the screw, strategy, wit, and think everything through to the end collectively, we just may be able to determine and control when and where this ends.