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May 17, 2019

Alabama’s Abortion Ban: the 33 Words that made me feel something other than Anger.

 

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Author’s note: some well-deserved strong language ahead!

 

There are a million things I could say and want to say about Alabama’s abortion ban and the recent bans that have been passed or proposed in Ohio, Indiana, and Georgia.

All of those things include the words fuck or shit or goddamn or assholes, along with many unkind thoughts about old white men, misogyny, racism, classism, and the utter hate for women that is so blatant in this country.

And then there are the heartbroken, desperate words I have about rape and incest and bodily autonomy and motherhood and freedom of choice.

I’ve spent the past few days in a rage. How the actual fuck are we still debating this issue? If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t get one. Simple. If you’re so worried about life, step up and care for the children who are in foster care, forced to live in poverty, without access to proper health care or education—the ones who are alive and barely surviving right now.

And why do men assume they have any right to politicize and regulate women’s bodies? If you will never have to face the prospect of deciding whether you should have an abortion—for any reason—you need to take a seat in the back, close your mouth, and open your ears. You might learn something.

I’ve seen these same sentiments echoed in articles and on Instagram and Facebook. Women are sharing their abortion stories and once again, as we usually do, baring our souls in the hopes that we’ll finally prove our humanity to folks who seem intent on wanting to ignore it, or outright deny it. And while I’m comforted to know that there are people who get it and who are fighting the good fight, I couldn’t shake my anger.

Then a poem by Nayyirah Waheed from her 2013 book, Salt, came up in my endless scrolling.

It took my anger and pushed it one inch to the left to make room for an emotion I wasn’t expecting: a tiny bit of compassion.

 

~

My anger serves a purpose: it motivates me to keep fighting, to keep speaking out, to keep donating and supporting and believing that all our hard work will pay off.

But my compassion does something even better. It keeps me from turning into the type of person who treats others as less than human. It keeps me from becoming like the 25 men who voted to punish women for simply being women.

~

Bonus post:

 

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These are the 25 men who just voted for the most restrictive abortion ban in America, notice anything? ? More at the link in bio.

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