Women and girls are now disposable…

I’ve been thinking of a conversation I had with my mother when I was just a young girl. We were discussing her two pregnancies. I remember her telling me how her and Dad avoided going to a Catholic Hospital to have either baby. She told me that at a Catholic hospital, if she was delivering a baby and something went wrong during labor, and the doctor had to choose between the life of the mother or baby, the doctor at the Catholic hospital would choose to save the baby.

I was utterly horrified. Not that they would let the baby die in a non-Catholic hospital (and I could have been the baby in that scenario) I was horrified that a doctor would ever consider letting the mother die in the favor of the baby.

From my child’s perspective (even knowing allowing her baby to die in order to save my mother’s life meant my sister or I would not be born) I felt from the depths of my soul the mother’s life should take precedent. I’ve held to that conviction since first learning women birth babies. 

As a teenager the idea of pregnancy was frightening, yet not terrifying. When I was older and decided to start a family with my husband, I was no longer frightened.  Yet, if I was a young woman facing pregnancy and living in a Red State after the reversal of Roe V Wade, I would be terrified.

Already the horrors of the irresponsible abortion laws snapping into place after the SCOTUS reversed Roe have surfaced, from a ten-year-old rape victim being denied an abortion, and forced to suffer additional trauma to seek a legal abortion in another state, to the woman suffering from a life threatening ectopic pregnancy, also forced to go to another state (reported by the Washington Post) and a Wisconsin woman who bled for ten days from an incomplete miscarriage because the emergency room wouldn’t remove the fetal tissue.

And it’s not just pregnant women who have to fear—it is all women who need a medication, such as for cancer or lupus, who are already being denied the medication because it could cause miscarriage. These women are not even pregnant.

Think about that for a moment. A non-existent fetus takes precedent over an actual, living woman’s health and life.

Members of the GOP are voting against bills guaranteeing the right for birth control and abortion to save the life of the mother.

This is insanity. I am pissed. And I am terrified for my granddaughter and all the young women in our country—even those in Blue States, because the GOP is working to make their draconian abortion laws nationwide.

Photo: My mother with my sister and cousin.

The New Dividing Line…

Life is a constant string of contradictions.

On one hand we say, “Everyone should be entitled to his or her opinion, can’t we just get along and accept the opposing view? We don’t have to agree with it.”

And then we say, “If you support that opinion, I can no longer be your friend or buy your product.”

I say “we” because I think we all do it. This is not a right/left, conservative/liberal, republican/democrat trait—both sides do it.

Over the last few years, I’ve tried to steer clear of politics on my blog. The days of “can’t we still be friends and have different views or opinions” seem to be a thing of the past. Growing up, my mother (a lifelong Democrat) was best friends with a John Bircher Republican. Our family never attended church, while Mom’s friend regularly attended the First Christian Church. But those two women were the closest of friends, sharing laughter, vacations, and holidays over the years. 

A few days ago, I came out as pro-choice on my blog. Not surprising, one reader said she could no longer read my books, and another reader suggested she might stop reading them if I continue to express these types of opinions.

Was I annoyed at them? Did I regret making those posts? No on both counts.

I have always been a passionate proponent of free speech.  But the term free speech is a bit misleading. It is not free. I have the freedom in this country to express my views without government intervention. BUT that does not mean I can express those views on a private platform if the platform’s owner doesn’t want me there. It also doesn’t mean I can assume my readers will continue to read my works if I post something they find offensive.

I understood that. But we all must make choices. Sometimes we choose to take the easy path and say nothing, yet other times we must make a choice of our conscience that ends up offending others.

But I will confess to one thing, I am rather confused that the two negative comments I received regarding this subject were on my post about Sir Matthew Hale. That post wasn’t really about abortion, or about the pros and cons of overturning Roe Vs Wade. It was about one of the “experts” the SCOTUS majority used when making their case. 

I am still a little puzzled over that. I wonder what those two readers thought about Sir Matthew Hale. Didn’t they find anything odd about the SCOTUS using a blatant 17 Century misogynist and witch hunter to help make their case?

I just finished re-reading what I wrote, and I realize that not writing those two posts would not have kept my pro-choice (not pro-abortion) stand from my readers. Ten years ago, I wrote a short story called American Bondage, written on the “what if” premise of Roe Vs Wade being overturned.

Initially I published that book under the name of my great-grandmother, Sally Holt. She died in childbirth after having four babies, and she was just 25 years old. But later, I put my name on as the author. You can download it at Amazon for 99cents, if you are interested.

I didn’t want to blog about this…but…

I’ve been having difficulty falling asleep at night since I learned the SCOTUS is preparing to toss out Roe vs Wade. Why should I care? I’ve never had an abortion, nor had to consider one. I’ve never had a miscarriage or a pregnancy that threatened my life. Our two children were both planned and received in love. 

My childbearing years are behind me.  But that doesn’t mean I lack empathy for all the girls and women adversely impacted by this proposed ruling.

This is where the pro-life people ask, “Don’t you have empathy for all the babies who are murdered?”

The thing is…calling them “babies” is disingenuous. 90% of abortions take place before 12 weeks. At 12 weeks the fetus weighs about ½ ounce and its brain is just developing. It won’t be until the last months of gestation that the cerebral cortex develops, which is responsible for things like thought and feelings. When life support is removed from an adult or child, it’s not the heartbeat, it’s the brain function that determines life. Late term abortions are typically for medical reasons, such as in saving the life of the mother. 

So stop with the hyperbole and exaggeration. Pro-choice is NOT about killing babies. It’s not even about pro-abortion. It’s about giving a girl or woman autonomy over her own body. And it’s not just her body you are controlling when you force a woman to grow that ½ ounce embryo (if under 11 weeks) or fetus (11+ weeks), you are controlling her entire life and finances. Who is paying for her extra medical bills? Loss of income? Possible job loss? Who will support her when she is too sick to go to work? (I was sick for months with my first pregnancy.)

I know some people see the answer as making the father pay for her expenses while pregnant. While I agree they should, I fear that will bring greater risk to the pregnant woman. 

According to an online article on Desert News, “A recent study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women and women who are six weeks postpartum. Indeed, homicide exceeds other leading causes of maternal mortality by more than twofold.” 

Pregnancies also come with medical risks. Our country has one of the highest mortality rates for pregnant women in a developed country. And the risk—threat of death—is even greater for young girls. 

To those people who claim to care so much about “babies” (which aren’t really babies yet) why don’t they care about the girls already born? Such as the ten year old girl who has been raped, and who will already be suffering emotionally from her trauma, but now is told she must carry the  ½ ounce bunch of cells until it grows into an actual baby, possibly risking her own life and health.

For those out there who say women should be using birth control if they don’t want to get pregnant, I ask, why are there people in the GOP trying to make laws that take away birth control? Plus, birth control certainly does not help a rape victim, or someone whose birth control failed. Not even a vasectomy is 100 percent.

As for late term abortions, a typical woman does not carry a fetus for seven months and just decide to abort it. Yes, there are some wackos out there who might do something horrendous, but that is a different issue. We are talking apples and oranges here.

Personally, I totally understand (and agree with some) reservations on late term abortions. Unless it is to save the life of the mother, or there is something severely wrong with the fetus, then I can’t imagine a reason. Once a fetus evolves to a point he or she could survive out of the womb—with a thinking brain—then I don’t find the term baby hyperbole. 

I will wrap this up by dragging religion into the discussion—since religion got us here in the first place.

I call myself a Webster Christian. That’s my own made-up term that simply means I am a Christian by one of the definitions Merriam-Webster gives: “One who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

In my personal religious belief, I believe our body is nothing more than the vessel that holds our spirit. Our spirit was there before the body—and will be there after the body dies.  The spirit’s life is not dependent on one specific woman growing a vessel in her body for it, because it already exists.

Now you can think my belief is silly, but it is my belief. And the last time I heard, freedom of religion was being upheld by the SCOTUS, even if Roe isn’t.