I have been quiet, and in hibernation, for so many years, waiting for the perfect moment to open my mouth and make my voice heard yet again. I have been waiting for the muse, the impetus, the cause, the push … for something I couldn’t identify.
This is the something.
In my downtime, I prefer to revisit old movies or tv shows. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Moonstruck. I know every nuance of the Inn on Newhart. I sing along to the Love Boat opening theme.
Recently I added the original Dallas tv series to my repertoire. I watched it a bit as a kid, but was never that into it, thank goodness, as I am now learning it was pretty risqué! Revisiting it now though is a wonderful strangely comforting guilty pleasure. The scenery, the clothes, the scandal, the drama! Pamela (Victoria Principal) is like a St Joan of Arc fighting the corruption of the Ewing family from the inside out, in of course the most charming and ladylike of ways.
Her brother Cliff is billed as the left wing radical. As a kid growing up in the South, I thought he was a bad guy. Now I find him incredibly relatable. However, let me say I am only in Season One, so it is entirely possible my take on the characters will change over time.
Last night I put on an episode called “Election”, which turned out to be about abortion. And I thought to myself ‘how strange … how timely’. In this episode Cliff is running for office against a Ewing backed candidate, and in an effort to ruin Cliff’s chances, JR digs up a secret from Cliff’s past which effectively blows the election. It turns out many years previously, Cliff had a girlfriend that had an abortion and died due to not receiving proper medical attention. This was in the world pre Roe v. Wade, before abortion was legal. Cliff loses the election because the public finds it reprehensible that he was involved in such a horrible, illegal practice. Cliff shares in a touching monologue, why he helped his girlfriend obtain the abortion.
Dallas is currently free to view on Amazon, scroll down to Episode 13 to watch this interesting, and frankly, historic episode.
So, that was last night.
Today is Friday. TGIF and all of that. I went to work. It was mostly a good morning. I had a challenging meeting, but nothing too horrible, and the moment my meeting ended (and my brain was a little scrambled) I received a text:
“Have you seen the news?”
No. I had not.
So I googled.
That was my reply to her … Oh. And a few minutes later … Wow.
Because I didn’t really have the words to describe what I was feeling.
Even as I write this, and I have come to this part, I don’t know how to continue.
I am sitting at my kitchen table, eating a late dinner, chewing, staring blankly at my laptop.
Let me say that I have never had an abortion. But let me also say that there were times in my life when I may have considered it. I can’t say for certain because it wasn’t a choice I ever had to make. But … it was a choice.
I never sustained a pregnancy until I was in my 40’s and I very much wanted that child, my child, that is very loved today.
But what if I had gotten pregnant when I was young? When I was unmarried. When I was irresponsible. When I didn’t take care of my body in any way shape or form and made very unwise and unhealthy choices.
I know so many women that have had abortions. People I went to high school with, whose parents secretly flew them away for clandestine surgeries. People I went to college with. Whose abortions were paid by collecting money from other girls in the dorm. People who had abortions young, and then went on to marry and have children later in life. People who probably have never told their husbands of their past. These husbands who are virulently against choice, clueless to the fact their wives would probably not be their wives today if abortion had not been an option for them when they were young.
Abortion is not going to end. Legal abortion may end for some. For young girls, who can’t travel, who don’t have the money, the connections, the resources. Abortion will continue for others. The wealthy, the privileged. Having children will be their choice.
But the poor, the marginalized, the abused, they will be forced to bring children into that world. Into poverty, into uncertainty, into fear.
And will the anti choice movement love these children? The ones that were forced onto mothers unprepared and unwilling?
Who will love these children? Who will prepare their way in life? Who will protect them?