A friend asked how I was doing. Usually, we exchange a casual, familiar tune: I’m good, how are you? But this time I answered, “Angry and despairing.”
That got his attention.
“About the Supreme Court rulings.” Guns. Prayer. Abortion.
This is about abortion.
I can’t tell you how much I support a woman’s right to body autonomy, and how disgusted and worried I am about what our country is becoming. I’m seething over the naked politics and hypocrisy of the Supreme Court, the rising theocracy of a nation that allegedly separates church from state, and the powerful minority imposing its will on the majority.
I don’t know how to respond other than to continue to donate and vote—neither of which has seemed to help. I don’t know what to say or how to express what I’m feeling. Maybe it’s time for everyone who has an abortion story to share it. Maybe that could provide a measure of perspective and relief.
Men have abortion stories, too. There can be no equivalency between men’s stories and women’s stories, because men will never face the pregnancy consequences women do. We will never be held as accountable, though we are equally responsible. We will never suffer as much from an unwanted pregnancy. We won’t be raped and become pregnant. We won’t be the victim of incest and become pregnant. Our lives and our health will never be in danger due to pregnancy complications.
I will never carry the burden women do. But I have an abortion story, and I stand with all women who demand choice, privacy, and autonomy.
We were already broken up. Our relationship had been intense and emotional, but not conducive for the long haul. We had been in love. I think we still wanted to be in love, but we weren’t. It was hard to let go, to move on, and so there was some back and forth. We had doubts about ending things. One or both of us would have an incredibly lonely or needy day, and we’d end up together.
It was the failure of our birth control. Or it was forgetting about birth control during a vulnerable, irrational moment—one of those human moments. We all have them. You have them.
The result was a pregnancy. She was still in school, with ambitious career plans. I was a nascent writer searching for my way. In a fantasy world, we might have started a family, and magic would have made it work. In the real world, she would have ended up a single mother. I would have been financially and emotionally attached. The rest of our lives would be permanently altered and intertwined. We were in no way ready for this.
The decision was hers, of course, although we came to it together. Fortunately, she had options—it was inconceivable to think otherwise. We didn’t even imagine that anyone could tell her what she had a right to do or not do.
It was straightforward getting an appointment at the clinic. There were no medication abortions available back then. On the sunny, breezy morning we arrived, there were no protestors hurling insults at us outside the building. The staff was caring. I was allowed to hold her hand.
It was a difficult experience and I have no regrets and I don’t think she does either, but I don’t know that for sure. We haven’t spoken in decades. I’ve lived my life and she hers. That was our choice.
For anyone interested in the legal case, this Commonwealth Fund article succinctly and clearly summarizes the key points in the majority, concurring, and dissenting Dobbs opinions from the illegitimate Supreme Court, populated by unelected extremist liars.
It’s called lying under oath.