In the wake of the Red State "Barefoot & Pregnant Week" many of us are not sure what our next move should be. Do we grab our pistols, burn our eggs on the White House Lawn, or pack up our passports with a ticket to Anywhere-But-Here ?
I've considered all three.
Our remedies are not obvious. For one, we have lousy representation.
Of the two-party system, neither unilaterally support evolution, self-determination, or privacy.
They're sponsoring letter-writing campaigns to various politicians. But what if it only jams the their paper-shredder? I could break a glass on my floor and get the same effect. Send a brick, I think to myself.
They encourage you to send an emergency donation. I don't doubt for a minute that they are in dire straits. But it's not enough, is it?
The traditional pro-choice organizations are overwhelmed and moribund. They wait for elections and hope that some slightly nicer Psychopath-in-Chief gets elected.
I need other kinds of action.
Do you know how many "pro-life" women have had abortions themselves— without a change of heart? Read their stories.
It's an eye-opener, but as I've talked to clinic workers, I've realized that everyone in women's healthcare already knows. Why is this a secret?
The private sorrows and rationalizations of the Kool-Aid Krowd need to be known and understood.
Can you imagine... if every woman who had had an abortion in her lifetime, told her friends, workmates and family? It would break the spell of make-believe.
If women told their family histories, it would reveal the facts of life: that fertility and the female body are not to be trifled with. It's not going to fit in the "abstinence primer" view of the world.
Women bleed. We produce eggs every month and then our body expels them. We get pregnant, we miscarry, we abort, we fuck, (in love, in pleasure, in resignation, in doubt) we have stillbirths and live births, we die in birth, we struggle to get pregnant— and to avoid pregnancy. We raise children and we lose children. This is the life of the XY superhuman. This is our thread.
There is not one of us who does not have a womb with a story.
My maternal line, (who came from the Dakotas), is an endless family tree of Irish Catholic women who had baby after baby after baby until they died, often young. My grandmother died shortly after her fifth child in six years, at the age of 32.
My own mother struggled to get pregnant, and had uterine surgery to try to improve her chances. She was so happy when she finally became pregnant the first time.
I've been pregnant three times. I've had two abortions. All took place in my 30s. My one birth was high risk, and we almost lost her at the end— which makes me want to crumple just thinking about it. My daughter— my cherished angel, the best thing I ever did— is just the kind of girl who needs to be defended from jackboots.
My abortions? Both birth control failures, a common feature of the contraception follies. I'm lucky.. I've had friends who got knocked up on every method available.
You know how I felt after my abortions? Relieved. Determined. The first time, I was also very happy that I knew that I could get pregnant, that I could have a baby and be a devoted mother, a mommy tigress.
I think about the anti-abortion busybodies whose families arranged for abortions when they needed them, because they were a special exception. God said, "OK, just this once!" I picture their relief... and try to figure out the denial they then employ. How do you come out of that?
I'm one of the hearts and minds types. I can't fight something I don't understand. I long for unique groups with our vested interest to organize, each with our special knowledge to bear.
I went to see my gynecologist this morning. I asked her, "What are you doing about this?"
I'm not picking on her; I'm asking everyone I know the same question. But she's in health-care, so I wonder what the mood is.
She said she works with Planned Parenthood, to perform abortions, every week.
She said, "It's difficult...you know."
I asked if she means being a target, and she nodded.
"I never show up in scrubs."
I wonder why doctors don't organize more deliberately. They've been the targets of the most maniacal campaign in American vigilantism— the hunting of abortion providers to gun them down and blow up their clinics. And the Supreme Court just gave it all a wink and a nod.
Can you think of a SINGLE other political position in this country that courts personal assassination?
You can hate this war, condemn our president, rail against corporate plundering, shame polluters and exploiters in the tracks... all without an political network of people who respond by coordinating your death sentence.
Sex, on the other hand, courts murderous righteousness. If you support abortion rights for women, or privacy rights for sodomites, then there's a really nasty group of men out there who've decided you have to die, with God on their side.
I had another errand to run after the doctor visit. I went to my local pharmacist to get some Plan B. You don't need a script for it in California.
I live in Santa Cruz, the supposed communist hippie republic. Yet my local Longs Drugs wouldn't fill a Plan B request from me, because the pharmacist on duty said, "I'm not trained to dispense this."
Oh really, honey? You just dispense everything from Viagra to morphine all day, but you don't know how to hand someone Plan B with the instruction flyer?
MAYBE YOU BETTER PUT ON THE BIG GIRL PANTIES AND FIND OUT!
It's been a long day. I'm not a doctor, a scientist, a pharmacist, a lobbyist. I'm a writer. I'm going to write like all the ball gags in the world couldn't stop me. I'd love to be in a writers/bloggers' organization devoted to this issue like a mother.
Is it too much to hope for? I don't want to be told by a well-meaning group that I'm too sexual, too radical, too feminist, too much. I don't want to be asked to write a check and fill out a form.
We could use a little Too Much right about now.
I'm all ears. What is your family womb herstory? What are YOU and your friends doing? What can we do next? Let's get a little hysterical.
Womb, by DaVinci