You know them. I know you think you don’t, but you do.
Every one of us knows someone who has kept this heart wrenching secret between themselves and their doctors because they heard the judgement. Perhaps they even participated in the judgment of others in front of you.
Perhaps it was you.
Maybe it was your great aunt that couldn’t have children because she had to move from herbs that left her violently ill, to a coat hanger on some grandmother’s table in the basement. Of course this wouldn’t be shared at family get-togethers, or at all for that matter. Likely no one knows what she went through in 1969.
It’s your best friend that got really quiet in college for a few weeks. She sat next to you all through Sunday School and helped place the tiny white crosses on the church's front lawn. She didn’t tell you because she watched you shout until your face was beat red at the women entering the clinic to discuss their options.
It’s my friend that was going through a hard time in her marriage and swallowed a Plan B to ensure she could provide for the children she already had.
It’s the sweet girl from Texas that walked out of the pharmacy with a prescription and a coke to give herself a chance to forget what her uncle did to her the weekend her mom was away.
It’s the woman whose baby was missing vital organs and was in pain with each passing day.
Women have been making this tough decision since the dawn of time. Medical advancements made them safer. These laws waiting to catapult the southern states into the 1950’s aren’t the answer to lower abortion rates. If anything it will drive people to desperation and women will once again die from infections, perforated uteruses, or incomplete detachment of placental tissue.
This is not saving babies, it’s endangering women.
It’s overburdening an already overburdened system.
There’s no abundance of empty homes just dying for a baby, any baby. You’re mistaken if that is the thought process. Adoption is not affordable or attainable for many of those empty homes, and believe it or not, there’s a ranking order for babies in America.
Don’t believe me, go check out how much it is to adopt a white baby, then go down from there. It’s a broken system that is not currently designed to handle the supposed influx of babies.
But let’s be honest with ourselves, many of these babies will end up in homes with their birth mother that did not want them or weren’t ready for them. These children won’t be in adoptive homes, so many of them will be traumatized by this parent and wind up in foster care, only to be re-traumatized repeatedly until a suitable placement is found or they age out of the system.
These aren’t things we like to think about when we think about saving the babies. We aren’t saving babies with these bills, we are saving fetuses and endangering women and babies. Call a spade a spade.
If states like Texas are insistent on saving the fetus and disregarding women’s needs, the least they can do is provide comprehensive sex education. ALL sex education, not just heteronormative, but all of it, because to no surprise the south has the highest rates of STI’s and HIV. If you plan to force people to have unwanted children, make sure they have the education and access to free birth control.
Make no mistakes about it. The politicians and rich folks in Texas and other states foaming at the mouth to follow suit, will still have access to abortions for their mistresses and knocked up teenage daughters. They’ll fly them to see their aunt in Wyoming and fly them home with no one the wiser. This law is not a law for the elite. It’s a law for the middle class and working poor.
Here’s the thing, they’re not the only ones who have aunts and long lost friends in other states. There’s a band of us sprinkled throughout the south that will help you get to your sweet aunt in New York. Private jets or plane tickets may not be in the cards, but GreyHound can carry you to the next stop on your destination where you can grab lunch with your friend you haven’t seen in years, and she can help you get your ticket to the next stop if funds are short. Your friends and relatives are out there if you put out a call.
One more thing for good measure, why don’t you take a moment to let Governor Abbot know how you feel about endangering women’s lives. Click on the link and and simply leave a note 1 in 4 with your purchase. You can send the gift right to the Governor's mansion at 1010 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701.
1 in 4 women have had an abortion, and they don’t need to reveal their stories for you to respect their choice. Just know if it wasn’t you, then it’s someone you care deeply about and that should be enough.
Texas, mind your own uterus, because the women of Texas will flip every seat in your chamber until their voices are heard.
To the women of Texas, you are not alone. We will fight with you. Your voices will be heard.
* Previously published on jacalynwetzel.com