The river of bodies to come now that Roe vs Wade is dead
I once dreamt I was standing on the bank of a wide, smooth river, and fully formed babies floated and bobbed along the surface, all of them dead. It was a surreal, horrific, and startlingly vibrant experience, and I've never forgotten it.
For years I assumed the dream was related to abortion. I had two abortions in my teen years, and as an adult held jobs related to abortion-reduction efforts. It seemed logical to think the dream was a reflection of my emotion about the issue. But the mind has depths beneath reason, and those depths whispered that the small bodies in the water hadn't died by abortion.
The memory of the dream drifted back this morning, as I considered SCOTUS' overturning of the Roe vs. Wade decision. I imagined all the "pro-life" people across the land high fiving in jubilation, feeling extra good about having voted for Trump and his ilk who brought about the reversal.
Screaming about saving babies makes people feel good. Proclaiming abortion as murder and ranting on social media about women who can't keep their legs closed boosts endorphins and helps the ranters feel morally superior without having to actually DO anything. As long as you're fist-banging, there's no need to work toward real change, or sacrifice to support people in need, or help actual women in crisis. There's no pain at all; just a good old-fashioned adrenalin rush from spewing self-righteous rage. And when the screaming is done, they can wipe the spittle off their faces, pat each other on the back, and continue living their lives without disturbance. Simply enjoying their view of smooth water.
When I was in high school, another student hid a pregnancy, had the baby in secret, and deposited it in a garbage bag on her front porch. I never heard what circumstances drove her actions. I can only imagine fear, stigma, emotional turmoil, potential mental illness, and pain.
I can only imagine desperation.
I've long said that the term "pro-choice" is a misnomer. Most people who seek abortion feel like they have no other choice. Desperate people take desperate actions when lesser, better options aren't available.
Politicians on every position of the political spectrum love abortion. Their public stance gains votes or loses them, and the more they can whip their base into a frenzy of fear (on the left) or effortless moral indignation and supremacy (on the right) the happier they are. Actual babies aren't the point. Actual people in crisis pregnancy aren't the point. Votes are the point.
Meanwhile, actual babies will be born. Entitled people will continue to have access to abortion, and those who are marginalized, oppressed, and economically disadvantaged will not. There will be actual babies born to desperate souls in dire circumstances. There will be no assistance provided to help them, no new protections for pregnant people abused and murdered by the men who don't want to be fathers, no slut-shaming demands for men to keep their pants zipped.
The people cheering and crowing about the overturning of Roe vs. Wade don't know what it is that they have done. They don't realize they've created a machine for throwing babies into an endless, unforgiving river. Some of those babies will be in plastic garbage bags. Some will be disfigured with birth defects. Some will carry the scars of their mother's addiction. Some will be older; adolescent girls forced to give birth to the child of their sexual abuser, driven to suicide. Some will be adults who wish for a child with all their hearts, only to die of an untreated ectopic pregnancy. Millions of bodies driven to heartbreak and desperation, without hope, or help, or options. The so-called "pro-lifers" opened the floodgates for a river of souls, churning it's way across our nation, with vast quantities of unforeseen problems resulting from the accumulation of bodies along the shore.
My dream wasn't about aborted babies. It was about the failure of all of us to do more than use unwanted pregnancy as a political football.
We have to do better.
If you've struggled to talk to people whose view of abortion opposes yours, consider checking out this book. Engaging in actual conversation is the only way real change can take place.