We aren’t going back to the 1950s; it looks like we might be heading to the 17th Century…

I write about ghosts, but sometimes I write about witches.

While historians once claimed the estimated death toll for people (mostly women) convicted and executed for the charge of witchcraft over the centuries was in the millions, recent studies have brought those numbers down to about 60,000 with 80% being women. While not in the millions, it’s still chilling.

One of those infamous Witch Judges—the one whose ruling set the foundation for the Salem Witch trials—was Sir Matthew Hale, a 17th century jurist. As a judge he had two innocent women executed after he charged them with witchcraft. How do I know they were innocent? Because there are no such things as witches.

While people today may claim to be witches, the witches Matthew Hale went after were the ones he believed were in league with the devil, cast spells, and could visit people in their dreams. (Or as Danielle of Haunting Danielle calls it, dream hop.)

How did Hale help set the foundation for the horrifying Salem witch trials? They used his legal opinion which recommended allowing spectral evidence. That’s basically when the witness says they had a “dream” about the accused cursing them. 

I suspect if one looks up misogynist in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Hale. He condoned marital rape, basically claimed the husband owned his wife’s body. Hale also encouraged husbands to beat their wives. He said they needed it.

Why am I bringing up Sir Matthew Hale? It’s because our SCOTUS seems to think his legal opinion has value. 

The “eminent common-law” authorities cited in the SCOTUS recent draft to overturn Roe VS Wade includes Hale. They are using the opinions of some 17th Century misogynist who participated in witch trials to help justify their ruling. Seriously? Is this where our supreme court is headed?

The fact Hale openly based his legal opinions on his religious beliefs should be enough for our SCOTUS to toss out anything Hale had to say. After all, isn’t our First Amendment supposed to keep the church out of our government?  I guess not. Not with this court.

Those two women Hale had executed—during the trial he reminded the jurors that witches existed—the Bible told him so. It’s also his interpretation of the Bible that led him to condone marital rape and encourage beating of wives.

I find it appalling that when justifying their ruling, the SCOTUS majority believed it acceptable invoking the opinions of someone who not only based his legal opinions on his religious beliefs, but someone who clearly hated women.

Oh, I forgot to mention, and this has nothing to do with witches. But the draft had another disturbing passage that jumped out at me. 

“…the domestic supply of infants relinquished at birth or within the first month of life and available to be adopted had become virtually nonexistent.”

My first response, WTF?  Are newborn infants now a commodity? And do they seriously expect women who don’t want a baby to act as brood mare and supply the shortage? Sounds a little like human trafficking to me. I don’t know why they included that bit of information in the report unless they do believe vulnerable women, such as those brutalized, traumatized, and pregnant from rape, can now be forced to fill this shortage. Like I said, sounds like human trafficking to me.

Considering we have over 400,000 children currently in foster care, shouldn’t we be getting them adopted? 

Rather than looking for who leaked this chilling brief, I think we need to have a closer look at what our justices are basing their rulings on. From this brief, it seems they find it appropriate to use someone who clearly loathed women and who was willing to execute a woman because her neighbor had a bad dream about her.

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.   

What if Roe VS Wade was no more?

I asked that question ten years ago when I wrote the short story, American Bondage, and released it in eBook format.

Four years ago, I rereleased the story and added the following forward. . .

I originally released American Bondage under the pen name, Sallie Holt. Sallie Holt was the name of my paternal grandfather’s mother. After several miscarriages and four live births, Great-Grandma Sallie died in 1912. She was just 25 years old. 

I later added my pen name Anna J. McIntyre as a co-author to American Bondage. With the current political climate of our country and recent talks of a new Supreme Court reversing Roe VS Wade I decided to release the short story under my own name.

Now, four years later, my story seems timelier than ever. If you are interested, you can download the eBook at Amazon for just 99 cents. Click here to find it.

Or, if you just want to read the book’s description, here it is!

Vice President Alan Browning keeps his party’s election promise. Reversing Roe v. Wade is just the beginning. In America, abortion is no longer legal under any circumstance, even rape.

Rape victim, Hope Archer must give up her hard-earned scholarship and carry the rapist’s baby to term. After she and the baby die during childbirth, her mother vows revenge on the conservative vice president.

Brilliant scientist, Margaret Archer, finds the ultimate revenge for Alan Browning. Just as he is preparing to make his bid for the presidency, she finds a way to reverse the roles.

A short story. Approximately 5,580 words.