From the July-August 2022 issue of News & Letters
by Terry Moon
The overturning of women’s right to abortion, that is, a woman’s right to control what happens to her own body, is a catastrophe. If possible—and it so horribly is—what happened on June 24, 2022, has made women’s lot worse than it was before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973.
MAKING ABORTION ILLEGAL DOESN’T STOP IT
Then, every year over 3,000 women died from illegal butcher abortions or trying to abort themselves, others from cancer and other health treatments postponed or denied, thousands more ended up with ruined bodies, millions more with forced births and unwanted children, or children they couldn’t afford, leading to more poverty and misery for whole families.
It’s worse now because the misogyny is worse. It’s worse because of the hatred of women for creating a movement that changed the world, that challenged men’s ownership of our bodies, lives and minds, and many are determined to get that power and control back no matter what the body count.
The glee that anti-abortion fanatics are expressing isn’t because there might be babies born who wouldn’t have been before. Rather, it’s the glee that bullies express when they’ve beaten up someone they hate because that person is smarter than them, or has been able to avoid the beating up to now. It’s the glee of I gotcha! Finally! And now I’m going to beat you to a bloody pulp and my excuse is that, “Oh, I love babies.”
Women’s crime isn’t abortion, it is the desire and the eons-long struggle to control our own bodies, minds and lives. Abortion is just the symbol for that, for freedom.
The dissenting justices were right when they wrote, “The majority’s refusal even to consider the life-altering consequences of reversing Roe and Casey is a stunning indictment of its decision.” They didn’t consider it because they don’t care, or worse, because they applaud those “life-altering consequences”—jobs and careers upended, plans for the future like high school or college trashed, more poverty, fewer choices, less freedom.
LIARS LIE AND WOMEN DIE
Everyone knows that the liar Brett Kavanaugh lied again when he proclaimed that the court “will no longer decide how to evaluate the interests of the pregnant woman and the interests in protecting fetal life throughout pregnancy.” As our editorial on this subject states: “anti-abortion fanatics and their enablers in Congress and the courts [will not] stop with anything short of a national ban on all abortions with no exceptions for rape, incest, fetal deformity, non-viability after birth, or the life of the woman or any gender diverse person who may want or need an abortion.
“In order to enforce such a draconian policy, women’s lives will be policed, miscarriages criminalized, pregnancy tracked from the moment of conception, birth control outlawed.”
When abortion was illegal before, no one was denying women the right to leave their state, or urging others to turn in not only the woman but all who help her and award their money to the snitches. In the name of stopping an abortion, women will lose our right to travel, and our privacy will no longer exist, including when we menstruate, what drugs we take, what we eat and drink, visits to doctors, and, evidently, our travel. With the stroke of six pens, women’s freedom has been gutted. We—our lives, the ones we wanted to lead, not babies’ lives—were always the target of the anti-abortion fanatics, evangelicals and the Catholic Church.
What they will learn to their cost is that this is not the end. When one faces such retrogression, the only way to stop it is to continue to move forward. The struggle, most assuredly, continues.