Burn It All Down.
Roe was overturned this morning.
It feels so quiet. It's not that there's not any noise. I can hear birds and cars and other general noises, but somehow it's still just so fucking quiet. It's very hard to not feel hopeless and hard not to wish horrible things on those who made this happen, to wish that they personally get fucked by this ruling in a thousand ways they had not previously considered, all because they were so busy getting excited about getting to force people they don't even know to give birth against their will like chattel. I am giving myself five minutes to consider these vindictive fantasies before I slap myself and remember that these horrible things will be happening to other people and that as furious as I am, I actually don't want people I despise to be forced to give birth against their will.
We knew it was coming. Not just because of the leak, we've known it's been coming for years. We've been warning about it. Screaming it from the rooftops. I've seen a thousand smug faces telling me that we're just overreacting, that this would never really happen because the Republicans need it to run on — as if they don't do perfectly well running on other kinds of hate.
"We are not a few steps from 'The Handmaid's Tale'," Brian Stelter tweeted in 2018, "I don't think this kind of fear-mongering helps anything."
This morning, people in the 13 states with "trigger laws" (to ban abortion as soon as the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade) were lined up outside of abortion clinics, waiting for their appointments, hoping to exercise their right (yes it is still a right) to control their reproductive futures, and the workers had to turn them away as soon as the ruling hit. The terror they must have felt is unimaginable.
The reason I am only giving myself five minutes of vindictiveness is because this means we have to work. We have to work to ensure those people in those lines are not forced to give birth. We have to work to get people out of these states. In the meantime, however — fuck Kavanaugh, fuck Barrett, fuck Alito, fuck Thomas, fuck Gorsuch, fuck Roberts, and especially fuck Susan Collins.
The assholes who wanted this have remained under the impression that the only people who are going to be affected by this are selfish bitches they don't know, who so rudely want more for themselves than a life of being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, who will be "cured" of this evil desire by being forced to give birth. They're going to find that they are very wrong.
An important thing to consider is that this is not just terrifying and dangerous for those seeking abortion care. They are not the only people who will be affected. The states that have these trigger laws, the states that will otherwise outlaw abortion? They're the states with the highest maternal mortality rates. They are the states with the biggest doctor shortages. It is already hard to get doctors to move to rural areas, in part because hospitals in those areas don't pay them enough to be able to pay off their exorbitant student loans. The vast majority of doctors are pro-choice, the majority of ob-gyns are pro-choice. It's going to be pretty fucking hard to get them to move to a place where they, their spouses, their children would have to forfeit their reproductive rights.
People are going to die as a result of this decision and that number will not be limited to those who need abortions.
There is nothing that can be done legislatively on a national level. As much as I would desperately love to pack the court, to establish a national right to abortion, that is not going to happen. At least not now. At least not with Manchin and Sinema hanging around gumming up the works.
This is something that, for now, will have to be handled with activism and civil disobedience, not electoral politics. Donate money to abortion funds, offer to let abortion patients from other states stay on your couch, work on figuring out how to get abortion medication to those in states where there is no access. That is what needs to be done now.
We can have five minutes of grieving, five minutes of vindictiveness, five minutes of whatever we need, but we have a lot of work ahead of us and we need to get started now.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse