January 15, 2017

This is Why I March

I’m not sure who the opponents of abortions after 20 weeks think they’re stopping by passing “no exception” laws. Maybe these are people who have never spent any time around real human women and think that their weekends consist of sexy pillow fights and arm-in-arm trips to get late-term abortions. Or perhaps they’re after the cold, callous, yet severely flaky child-haters who accidentally got knocked up but just can’t remember to to make that darn abortion appointment! Whatever female tropes these supporters think they are targeting, they are wrong. The women who need access to abortions after 20 weeks are heartbreakingly the women who want a baby, but cannot have the one that they are gestating because of congenital defects.

So, Kentucky, you have passed a law that bans abortions after 20 weeks of gestation with no exceptions for medical misfortune. Let’s look at what exactly you have done. Imagine a woman, let’s call her Amy, and Amy and her husband are really excited because they are soon to have their first baby. A few days after Amy’s 20 week ultrasound and genetic testing, she gets a call from her doctor with tragic news: they have detected Bowen-Conradi syndrome. The fetus is developing with severe abnormalities and will likely die shortly after birth.

Now because Amy lives in Kentucky, she is unable to get an abortion even though the baby will have no chance of survival. When people comment and coo over her pregnancy, she has to smile and pretend that she isn’t continuously grieving. When people ask the gender, she has to smile and pretend that it matters. When people ask if she is ready, she has to smile and pretend that she hasn’t given up on converting that second bedroom into a nursery, that there isn’t a small pile of onesies on the windowsill and a little hat with ears that she bought especially for the trip home from the hospital that won’t see use any time soon. She has to smile and pretend that she hasn’t been made into an incubator so that Mr. Politician can get pats on the back from his buddies at church who congratulate him for “protecting life.”

Let’s pause for a second and analyze this concept that he is “protecting life” by asking the question “whose life?” It is not the life of the fetus - biology has doomed this life from ever truly living. It will suffer and die soon after its birth, and no government mandated birthright will change that. And it is certainly not Amy’s life, because if Mr. Politician had any respect for Amy and her life he would never force her to incubate a baby with a death sentence for 20 more weeks, suffer through delivery of that baby, and then watch as the baby struggles to live and ultimately dies because it was not able to develop into a healthy human being. It seems then, that Mr. Politician's actions have no consideration for life whatsoever, and he is simply voting in a particular way to make himself look like a hero.

Mr. Politician and his cohorts have no regard for the women that they are damning with laws like Kentucky’s SB 5, and they do not care to argue otherwise. They are so caught up in the idea that they are “protecting life” that they ignore the lives at stake. They are ignorant to medicine and even so feel it is their right to invade lives and bodies that are not their own, to make decisions that will not impact them, and to leave everyone else to deal with the torrential aftermath of their pen strokes. This is why I am standing up for women everywhere who need support. This is why I will not be silenced and sit idly while my sisters are attacked at the hand of the government that should be protecting us. And this is why I march.

In solidarity,

November 9, 2016

The Ugly Truth of America Now

I have been trying to keep my mood up all morning. I’ve been telling myself that life isn’t going to be that different with Trump as president, trying to bargain that at least I still have things to be thankful for - my boyfriend, my cats, Trader Joe’s yogurt. He isn’t going to build a wall. He isn’t going to ban Muslims from entering the US. What can he really do? The answer: he is going to ignite hate. The American people electing Trump as president sends a message that there are more people that care to be oppressors than there are trying to make change.

I’m not terrified that Trump was elected president and as a result he’ll have the nuclear codes or because Vladamir Putin shares the other half of his “BFF” necklace. I’m terrified because right at this moment, the government is still trying to take away land from Native American people. I’m terrified because there is an epidemic of murder against people of color by police forces across the US. I’m terrified because Muslim women are telling each other to take off their hijabs in fear for their lives. All this (and plenty more), and we just placed one of the biggest bigots on record into the most important job in the United States.

I have been living in a bubble that I have built around myself thinking that equality is within reach. I’m sad because that bubble burst today, and now I am faced with the disappointing notion that America is still a place full of hateful people. Kindness isn’t as valued as previously thought. It is apparently okay to target and hate a group of people simply because of their skin color, their religion, their gender, their sexuality, their ability, their identity. I want to hate them back, but I know that won’t accomplish anything. Change has to come from a better place.

My little sister texted me early this morning in tears of disbelief, anger, and concern for the future. I’ve heard tale of student bodies in colleges where people have come together simply to mourn. There are obviously people who care about social justice and who crave equal rights out there who are not happy with the stark reality of our social climate. Maybe progress slowed because we blanketed ourselves in the recent progressive victories, and from our cozy nests we couldn’t see all of the bigotry waiting down below.

No matter what, the election results have told us that now is the time to move. Now is the time to make the change that we so desperately want to see in this world. We need to stand in the face of hate and take away its power. We need to mobilize, because stagnancy will only lead to regression. Find your voice, and speak for what you believe in.

In solidarity,