I Cannot Function Properly in the Wake of the Roe v. Wade Overturn

Carolyn Light

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I knew this decision was coming.

Honestly, we all did. We all saw the leaked draft from the Supreme Court. We knew their intentions when Trump deliberately placed them in this intense position of power. He’s stacking the court to overturn Roe v. Wade, we all cried to one another.

Still, I’m stunned by their decision to actually do so. I was sitting on a Zoom call when the news broke across my screen. I instantly lost focus and stared blankly at my screen. They did it? I thought to myself. They really did this?

I snapped back into focus. “We need to figure out what we’re going to do with the students on academic probation,” someone in the meeting was saying. “We treat them differently across different majors at the university and…”

I’m sorry, I typed into the Zoom chat. They just overturned Roe/Wade. I can’t pretend I care about this right now and am signing out. Have a good weekend.

I logged out.

That was a couple of hours ago now, and I’m still sitting in my desk chair. I’ve alternated between texting with friends, crying as I read news articles, and staring into space.

Now I’m going to try writing.

Ironically, I wouldn’t even choose an abortion. If I found out I was pregnant right now, I’d have the baby. I don’t want a child, but I’d have the baby. I know this in my bones. This is my choice. My choice for myself, my body, and my life.

How can a governing body determine that I’m not human enough to have that choice? It actually hurts my feelings.

I’m not here to pretend that the abortion debate isn’t a fraught topic. And I’m also not here to pick or provoke anyone who is happy with today’s ruling. You have your feelings, and I have mine. I’m not available for debate on whether or not this choice was the right one.

I’m just here, processing my feelings. My scared feelings.

I’m terrified now. What’s going to happen next? Are they going to outlaw same-sex marriages? Are they going to make condoms illegal? Are they going to corral all the women and force us to wear hooded red robes and chant “Under his eye” to each other?

The Supreme Court can’t pretend they didn’t know that the vast majority of Americans support abortion access. Just like they can’t pretend they didn’t know that the vast majority of American support stricter gun laws — which of course, they ruled against yesterday.

They’re not even trying to pretend to be the unbiased, non-bigoted group of legal interpreters that they’re supposed to be. They had an agenda at the start, and they saw it through.

I’m lucky to live in a blue state, in a place that instantly sprung to action the minute this decision was announced. My governor signed an executive order immediately protecting women’s rights and stating that our state would not assist in any witch hunts brought out by other states trying to prosecute those seeking health care in my state.

I’m grateful for this. But I’m still scared.

I’m scared for all women — but particularly those who live in oppressive states. I’m scared for their health, and the horrifying decisions that some women will now be forced to make. I’m scared for low-income women and women of color. I’m scared for rape victims, and women facing ectopic pregnancies. I’m scared about the inevitable increase in coat-hanger abortions we’re likely to see now, a method we needed to leave in the past.

I’m scared, because I know it doesn’t end here. I know that other human and civil rights are now at stake. The Supreme Court said as much today. They stated that there are other cases that “deserve another look.” This isn’t about fetuses. This is about control. The control of women, the control of people of color, the control of any of those deemed “lesser” by the white male majority in elected positions.

I don’t know what to do now. I know that after I publish this piece, I will shut down my computer and try to do something productive. The day is slipping away from me; time is moving quickly — and I’ve not moved from this position.

What I will do, though, is check in on the other women in my life. My friends, my cousins, my colleagues. I’ll do my best to remind them that we matter; that this fight is not over; and that one way or another, we’ll get through this.

We are people. We deserve the governing rights over our own bodies. We’ll get through this, one way or another. There’s no other choice.

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We're all just out here, doing our best. Pondering: Mental Health | Feminism | Relationships & Dating | Social Climate

Chicago, IL
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