Roe v. Wade Today

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Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that gave women the right to an abortion. More specifically, and importantly, they found the right to an abortion under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that we all have a fundamental “right to privacy”. Any laws that prohibited an abortion would be subject to strict scrutiny by the Courts.

Much has been made of the plaintiff, Roe expressing her regrets for her abortion. She had gone back and forth on this issue, and honestly I feel that she was taken advantage of by both sides. She was paid by the right to recant her wish for an abortion, and stated in the 2020 documentary, AKA Jane Roe that she hadn’t ever supported the antiabortion movement.

Roe’s holding was reaffirmed in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in 1992 while at the same time overruling the trimester framework established in the Roe decision and moved from “strict scrutiny” to “undue burden”.

In 2022, the Supreme Court overruled Roe with their ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the right to an abortion was not “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history or tradition.”

This is false, and it is simply Justice Alito (and his cohorts) grasping at straws and making law whole cloth from their beliefs which violate the Constitution as well as basic human rights of women to their own bodily autonomy. In the ruling, they also included questioning rights now recognized as to contraception, interracial marriage, and marriage equality (same-sex marriage). Some on the right are suggesting we take another look at those rights already enshrined in law (and common sense, to be quite honest).

Abortions have been happening for as long as there’s been pregnancy. The real value of legal abortion is safety. When abortions are illegal, women are less safe. In addition, many, if not all of the proponents of eliminating legal abortion have no idea how pregnancy and birth works. They throw out terms that they don’t understand, pass laws, and criminalize medical care for women under the guise of stopping abortion.

Since Dobbs, women have died from miscarriages that weren’t treated; ectopic pregnancies that were left to fester. Women have lost the ability to have more children because of doctors waiting for the last minute to help women, afraid that anything they do to save the woman will create a liability for themselves and their facilities.

The right set up pregnancy centers who lie to women and scare them and do not give them all of their options as far as family planning and abortion. If their way is the right way, why do they need to lie?

This is horrifying, and it needs to end.

Women need to be able to make informed decisions on their family planning, their pregnancies, their terminating or continuing of pregnancies. My daughter has less rights than her grandmother had.

In addition to our activism and raising our voices, we need to contact our Congresspeople and especially Leader Jeffries, and have them bring a bill to the floor and pass it to make the Supreme Court more modern. The last time the Supreme Court was changed with respect to number of justices was with the Judiciary Act of 1869 during the Grant Administration. We currently have nine justices and thirteen circuit courts. We should have 13 justices to correspond to the circuits. For those saying that this is packing the Court, it is unpacking the Court that Mitch McConnell gave us by blocking President Obama’s duly chosen nominee in 2019 and then reversing his “logic” and pushing through Amy Coney Barrett while we were in the middle of an election. Literally while voting was happening.

We can’t stop speaking out.

The only way we can solve this disparity and reproductive health crisis is by reinstating Roe, expanding it, and codifying it into law.

Election Connection – Year End Wrap

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What a Year from Vote Save America

Let’s look at the list of the races we were following here for the 2022 Election, and see how we fared:

  • Senate Races
  • AZ – Mark Kelly
  • CO – Michael Bennet
  • CT – Richard Blumenthal
  • FL – Val Demmings
  • GA – Rev. Raphael Warnock
  • HI – Brian Schatz
  • NH – Maggie Hassan
  • NV – Catherine Cortez-Masto
  • NY – Chuck Schumer
  • OH – Tim Ryan
  • PA – John Fetterman
  • WA – Patty Murray
  • WI – Mandela Barnes
  • Also, keep an eye on Iowa and Kentucky
  • House of Representatives
  • AK – Mary Peltola
  • MI – Elissa Slotkin
  • NY – Matt Castelli
  • NY – Sean Maloney
  • VA – Abigail Spanberger
  • Governors
  • CA – Gavin Newsom
  • CO – Jared Polis
  • FL – Charlie Crist
  • GA – Stacey Abrams
  • MI – Gretchen Whitmer
  • NY – Kathy Hochul
  • PA – Josh Shapiro
  • TX – Beto O’Rourke
  • Mayor
  • Los Angeles – Karen Bass

Looks like the majority of them won their races. Beto and Tim Ryan were close. We need to keep pushing in Ohio and Texas. In that endeavor, follow Olivia Julianna on Twitter (while there’s still a twitter). She is a Gen Z political activist, doesn’t back down, and speaks her mind.

Have we learned anything from the last several years?

Continue reading

Blessed are the Peacemakers

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I was out this weekend for some breakfast and holiday shopping, and I saw a man wearing a dark hoodie with an American flag on it, although it was black and white with a blue stripe for the middle stripe. I recognize this as a call out in support of law enforcement. I don’t disagree with supporting law enforcement when it’s called for, however there is a lot to be done to improve their strategies, especially when it comes to working with people of color and the mentally ill and people not necessarily mentally ill but in crisis in the moment they meet up with LEOs.

I am certainly not going to solve this problem in one blog post.

On the back of this hoodie, above and below the black, white, and blue flag was the phrase:

Blessed are the peacemakers,

For they will be called the children of G-d.

Matthew 5:9

I was drawn to it in a negative way. It bothered me. It bothered me enough to start writing about it here. Part of that is some of the study I’ve been doing this Advent season through readings and a couple of faith enrichment and scripture classes throughout the month of December.

I recognized that phrase as from Scripture, although my initial thoughts were incorrect in assigning it to Isaiah (his readings are quite prominent during Advent) rather than where it actually comes from: Matthew 5:9; the Beatitudes.

The entirety of the Beatitudes is contained in Matthew 5:3-11

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

I won’t relay them here. You can google or open any Bible and read all of them. There is also an addition that Pope Francis expressed on an Ecumenical trip to Sweden in 2016 that can be read here.

Reading through this part of Chapter 5 of Matthew and getting to verse 9, it is clear to me that this Scripture is entirely misinterpreted by the people who created (and wear) that hoodie. The implication that law enforcement and military are the peacemakers is inconsistent and contradictory.

I also found it ironic that I saw this on the hoodie during Advent when we are reading the Book of Isaiah who prophesizes an unlikely peace among foes: the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid, calf and lion, cow and bear, children and snakes (reversing Adam and Eve’s punishment in the Garden of Eden). (Isaiah 11:6-8)

When I see these types of scriptures on hoodies that promote law enforcement and military soldiers as peacemakers it just fills me with exasperation and even a touch of anger. The misinterpretation that soldiers are peacemakers and not warriors first is simply wishful thinking. This isn’t to say that all soldiers are bad; I don’t believe that, and I understand the need for a military. I understand that when the UN sends its soldiers they are called peacekeepers, and I get that too. Peace is the goal. The UN tries to be neutral despite arguments of its futility and the presence of its flaws. I think that neutral isn’t the objective though as much as fairness and the desired overall good of society.

Are the peacemakers the ones with guns? Or are they the ones with food? With books? With pens and clothes and shelter? The pen is mightier than the sword is it not? That aphorism (as wella s many others) credited to author Edward Bulwer-Lytton has been known similarly as far back as before Biblical sources including an Assyrian sage in 7th century BCE and Greek playwright Euripides using different words in place of pen: word, tongue. Talmudic and Islamic sources also reference words, both oral and written, a means of knowledge and peace as being stronger than the strength of the sword, a means of war. The implication being that with the pen/word being mightier, peace is also mightier than war.

It’s important that we call out these misuses of words and reclaim our Scriptures that have been corrupted and used in opposition to what they actually say.

War is sometimes necessary, but it shouldn’t be considered inevitable, nor should it be considered the path to the kingdom of heaven and to the discipleship of G-d.

Blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are those who mourn; blessed are the meek; blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; the merciful; the pure in heart; those who are persecuted; those who are reviled and persecuted falsely on the account of Jesus.

And blessed are the peacemakers; those who make peace. They don’t force something they call peace on others; they create a lasting peace, an eternal peace.

Those are the peacemakers; they are the children of G-d.

Black Poetry Day

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I only just discovered that this was Black Poetry Day. I saw it on the calendar, and was excited to find that it falls during the week when my class is focusing on poetry. For a subject I consider my weakest, I’m learning quite a lot about poetry, including from my book club facilitator who is a poet and who I’ve included in my class notes.

Black Poetry Day is official in New York State, thanks to adopted resolutions in the state Assembly and Senate and Governor Kathy Hochul. Now that these digressions are out of the way, let me tell you about the origins of Black Poetry Day.

It was created in 1985 as a commemoration to African-Americans and in celebration of their literary works and contribution Black poets hae made to our culture in America. The date of October 17 was chosen to honor to honor the birthday of Jupiter Hammon, considered to be the first published Black poet.

Jupiter Hammon was born on Long Island in New York on the Lloyd Manor. He was enslaved his whole life, serving several generations of the Lloyd family. However, unlike many enslaved peoples at that time, he was allowed to receive an education, and so he read and wrote. When he was fifty, he published his first poem, An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ with Penitential Cries.

He was a preacher and a clerk and as an evangelist, he wrote about slavery and the Gospel, eventually using his gifts to criticize slavery. He did this safely through layering his writings with metaphors and symbolism.

He was a great admirer of Phillis Wheatley, viewed to be the first female Black author. He wrote a poem to her in the hopes she would follow a Christian journey. It consists of twenty-one rhyming quatrains and included related Bible verses.

At 76, and still enslaved, he addressed the African Society in New York City with his Address to Negroes of the State of New York. This work has been reprinted by many abolitionist groups including the New York Quakers. In it he talks about keeping high moral standards, and since “being slaves on Earth had already secured their place in heaven.”

He is thought to be buried in an unmarked grave on the Lloyd family property.

On This Indigenous Peoples Weekend

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I would like to acknowledge the land where I live is the traditional and historic land of the Haudenosaunee, specifically the Mohican [Eng.] or Lenape and the Mohawk, known as Kanienʼkehá꞉ka in the Mohawk language.

The Haudenosaunee have been known in New York as the Iroquois and the Mohawk are the Keepers of the Eastern Door, traditionally guarding the Iroquois Confederation from eastern invasions.

In acknowledging the land I am on, it is an attempt to come to terms with the violent history of the European settlers and immigrants who did not understand the way the Native peoples viewed the land and in many cases simply did not care.

We, and they are the caretakers, not the owners of the land, and it is important to recognize that and move towards the future with respect and compassion while acknowledging our collective past.

I spent today praying at the St. Kateri Shrine. There was Catholic Mass and a celebration of miracles attributed to St. Kateri. This was also in recognition of Indigeneous Peoples Weekend as well as commemorating the tenth anniversary of the canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

Tomorrow, I will share some photos from that beautiful time. It was full of Mohawk tradition, language, music, and spirituality and grace. It left me in a better place.

Election Connection – 56 Days Out from the Mid-Terms

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We are 56 days out from the 2022 Mid-Term Elections.

On November 8, we are being called to save our democracy. This is not hyperbole. We saw what happened on January 6, 2021, and the insurrectionists are still fomenting dissent and looking towards autocrats to lead us. We cannot let that happen.

We need to hold the House and expand our majority in the Senate, and we cannot forget the down ballot races, especially those that guide and oversee our local elections.

In a world where a Congressman (Gohmert (R-TX)) just this week traveled to Miami to present a flag to an insurrectionist who served her time as she was released from custody, we need to ensure that the only people in government are the ones loyal to the US and the functioning of its government and not geared towards and cheering for its sabotage.

These are the races to follow in 2022 and if you live in those states, please vote for the Democratic candidate. Everyone else, if you are able please donate to their campaigns.

Senate
Arizona – Mark Kelly (re-election)
Nevada – Catherine Cortez-Masto (re-election)
Wisconsin – (ousting insurrectionist Ron Johnson)
Mandela Barnes
Florida – Val Demmings (former law enforcement, current Congressperson, so much better than Marco Rubio)
Georgia – Raphael Warnock (re-election)
New Hampshire – Maggie Hassan (re-election)
Pennsylvania – John Fetterman (Lt. Governor, former mayor of Braddock)

Governor
Florida – Charlie Crist (former Governor, already knows the job; not an autocrat)
Georgia – Stacey Abrams (she’s Stacey Abrams!)
Texas – Beto O’Rourke (for the people, gun control, 1000x better than Abbott)
Pennsylvania – Josh Shapiro (current Attorney General of PA)
New York – Kathy Hochul (re-election)

House – on a personal note, I would love to see Elise Stefanik unseated. She’s an inciter to riot and an insurrectionist. Vote for the Democrat, save Democracy. Vote Matt Castelli (former CIA Officer, served as Director for Counterterrorism at Pres. Obama’s National Security Council.)

Visit Vote Save America to learn how you can help in your region and across the country.

Election Connection – 85 Days and Counting

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Wednesday marks eight-five days until Election Day – the all important mid-term elections.

A few things happened today that I want you to be aware of as we head into these mid-term elections. (Unfortunately, I do not have links, but this are easy to google.)

First, thanks to a commited Democratic party, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which goes a long way to meet our climate goals as well as reducing the deficit whlie providing help to families.

Second, the FDA is making hearing aids available over the counter (probably by mid-October). This is crucial, and not just to people on Medicare. I have been using hearing aids since I was 52. It should have been longer than that but we weren’t able to afford it. To get them, I had to see my primary doctor, an ENT specialist, have an MRI, get signed off by the ENT, then go to a hearing aid place to be fitted with hearing aids. The aids themselves were over $5000 without the doctor’s visits and the MRI. We were “lucky” because that year my son was in the hospital and so we reached our deductible in March rather than at the end of December (like usual) and a close relative died.

Third, a 16 year old in Florida has been told in a ruling by a court that she cannot have an abortion. The reason? She is not mature enough to make that kind of life altering decision. But raising a baby, she’s mature enough for that? GTFOH.

Fourth, Liz Cheney lost her primary to a MAGA lunatic, and I’m being somewhat generous by using the term lunatic. Look her up. I’m not a Cheney fan, but at least she’s not part of the conspiracy theorists. She has been an admirable Vice-Chair for the Jan. 6 committee, and perhaps Chairman Benny Thompson can include her as part of the legal staff or committee spokesperson after she can no longer serve in January.

These four examples are only four of the very many reasons that everyone needs to vote in the Election on November 8th. Vote all the traitors, Q-anons, and corrupt Republicans out of office. Vote Blue.

We have the opportunity to turn things around. It will take time, more time than we’d like, but it will happen if everyone buckles up and does their part. Democracy is at stake. Our futures and the futures of our children are at stake.

Visit Vote Save America for ways to help your candidate and Democracy Docket.

Election Connection – Supreme Court Edition

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Click picture for Website.

I have been struggling as I know many people around the country are struggling, especially women, girls, and trans and non-binary people with uteruses. I can’t promise that my language will be consistently inclusive in this writing. I can promise to try. Not mentioning trans/NB people doesn’t mean that they are not part of the discussion or part of my thoughts and fears, but right now, I have two strong emotions at play: first, my daughter and millions like her and second, the Constitution.

For those of us who grew up with constitutional norms and the sentimentality as well as the reality of the rule of law, who grew up with William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and for the people following now in the turmoil and unease of an activist court and are looking towards Ketanji Brown Jackson for similar inspiration, the death knell of the Constitution is heart-wrenching. Not as heart-wrenching as the forced birth of pubescent children or the forced trauma of losing a wanted pregnancy as well as the derailment of dreams, but it is still something to be mourned. I’m not sure we can come back. My eternal USA-USA optimism has been shaken to its core these last several years and this term of the Supreme Court has been the nail in the ever lowering coffin.

I studied law for half my college career and that came after a hobby of reading everything law related available, studying in my own way the law, knowing legal precedents and bathing in the light of the dreams of freedom. Re-reading that sentence now, it is so clear that I am speaking from a place of extreme privilege, my whiteness showing starker than the background of the screen I type on. Everything else, my Jewishness, my womanhood, my economic status – all of that is hidden under the whiteness that wrote that beloved Constitution. When I graduated from college, I got rid of most of my textbooks, but I kept ALL of my law books. Why? Well, they were historical. They set precedent with opinions from the greats, both before and during my lifetime. These books would continued to be studied for generations and while they would be added to, they would still be the basis for many rulings to come.

Little did I know.

The year I had jury duty was the year Justice William Brennan retired. I went to Brooklyn Federal Court, after driving over an hour and a half, parking underground, and walking across a public park to the courthouse, and I bought a Time magazine with his picture on the cover. I read it during my lunch before I was assigned to a case. I was excited. Until I listened to the case and discovered the weight of my civic duty. I was a hold-out for awhile, but we sorted it out and I was dismissed with the thanks of a grateful court. I couldn’t wait to do it again.

With one term, one swoop of Russian interference, Republican obstinance and recalcitrance, Senatorial and Presidential corruption, and let’s be honest, overt racism, and those books on my shelf have become obsolete.

Miranda – not required.

Engel v Vitale – coercive prayer

Roe v Wade – no bodily autonomy if you’re a woman, no privacy

MA v EPA – overturned – enjoy your brown air and water

Griswold, Casey, Oberfell – their futures in question

But Skokie? Skokie remains. Oh, unless you’re picketing the Supreme Court justices. In that case, no first amendment rights for you. Who cares about McCullen v Coakley?

This week in Akron, Ohio, a ten year old girl was forced to go to Indiana to obtain an abortion after her rape because a judge ruled that she was three days over the legal limit to get one in Ohio. Truly, the Lord’s work, amirite? During this same week and same town, a Black man (Jayland Walker) was shot in the back sixty times (ninety rounds fired) for running away from a traffic stop.

These two incidents, traumas on families and communities are only a microcosm of what is happening across this country.

It is only a matter of time before a rapist is granted joint custody with their victim for a forced birth baby. Who thinks that this is okay?

We (with SCOTUS leading the way) are dismantling the First Amendment. The most important amendment. So important it comes first, before anything else. I remind you that we are not a Christian nation. We are multicultural, interfaith, NO faith, multidimensional, and to stay free we must act free. All of us. Violating one person’s civil rights, their human rights is a stain for us all.

The First Amendment falls as fascism rises: little by little and then all at once. You are here in the timeline.

Yesterday morning, I attended my church online. I usually attend online. As the mass ended and the congregation was dismissed to relay the Good News, the priest and deacon processed from the altar to the music and singing of America the Beautiful. I can’t say what I would have done had I been there, but at home, online, I turned it off. I thought, and continue to think it’s inappropriate. I get that people want a patriotic song, and as far as patriotic songs go, this one isn’t bad, but as a recessional to mass?

No.

No. No. No.

The song on its own wasn’t the problem. Play it after the mass is actually over, while people are still congregating, but not as part of the closing.

I have two distinct memories of my father’s patriotism. We were at a professional baseball game (The Mets, of course), and I didn’t stand for the National Anthem. It wasn’t a protest. It was a lazy elementary school child. The look he gave me. The same for a school assembly when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. I had no problem with the Pledge, but my sitting wasn’t an option. This look was accompanied by a whispered admonition. And I remember those moments with my dad. He wasn’t a nationalist; he wasn’t our country can do no wrong, but he knew the importance of that respect and I do too. I don’t think he would appreciate how I feel today and how I don’t want to celebrate Independence Day. Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States took away what little freedom my daughter and I had, and I can’t celebrate that. I hear Black and brown people asking what we’re celebrating in the first place, and I hear them.

I have four books to recommend to everyone and then one more thing:

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story created by Nikole Hannah-Jones
Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy by Adam Jentleson
Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution by Elie Mystal, which I am currently reading.

About six or seven years ago, maybe a bit longer, I was driving in the car with my daughter and she suddenly said through a tight throat and tiny tears that she didn’t want to have a baby. She hadn’t even gotten her period yet. She was under ten or was ten, I don’t remember. What I do remember was trying not to cry because she was so appalled about the idea of having a baby, not the idea of being a mom even though that was kind of foreign to her, but physically being forced to have a baby when she didn’t want one. I said to that she didn’t need to worry about that. No one was going to force her to have a baby. She wanted to know how I knew that. I told her I knew that because I would never let that happen. Never.

And I never will.

Not my daughter, and not yours, and not trans men or non-binary folks. No one.

We won’t go back.

Election Connection – Press Freedom Day

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As much as my fury wants me to write about the White House Press Corps and their dereliction of duty over the past five plus years, I will refrain as the importance of freedom of the press is paramount as we look to on this day as remaining a democracy and seeing inside many authoritarian regimes.

Journalists continue to be targeted despite the illegality under humanitarian law and viewed as a war crime. 1519 have been killed in the line of duty since 1993.

The two links that follow are relevant to today’s journalists and their freedom of access. The first is an interactive map of the 2021 Attacks on the Press. The second is a piece of writing about the press and getting the information out of Ukraine during their current war with Russia.

I would also highly recommend keeping up on the press and the journalists at home and abroad through the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Please also visit UNESCO’s site for information on yesterday’s World Press Freedom Day Global Conference.

Attacks on the Press in 2021 (CPJ)

On This World Press Freedom Day, Ukraine is Front of Mind

Mental Health Monday, Delayed

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First, a note about Press Freedom Day, which is today. Election Connection – Press Freedom Day will appear tomorrow. Mental Health Monday seemed to be more essential to post this morning.

Mental Health Awareness Month began on Sunday, a day that for most of us gives us some breathing room from the rest of the week. I am aware, however, of the many people who don’t get Sunday off and work in jobs that are so haphazard that they need second supplemental jobs and barely have time off from work. It’s important to recognize them and acknowledge and assist their mental health struggles.

I had intended to write something for publication yesterday, but after the shocking news of the Supreme Court leaked document, an Alito written draft overturning Roe v. Wade, I couldn’t sit down and write about mental health solutions when my mental health was on the verge of cracking.

All over my social media, I’ve seen women angry, upset, frightened. I won’t be getting pregnant again, and I feel the same way. I described it on Facebook as FURIOUS. I don’t have enough adjectives to describe the feelings and these feelings have been growing exponentially since November 8, 2016. It may sound melodramatic to say but that was a day of mourning in our house. We walked around with shadows across our faces, our eyes unfocused, muddling through the subsequent days; going through the motions. It felt very familiar, much like we acted during 9/11. We had also been mourning the sudden death of my mother in law, so that may have played a role in how deep our depression went.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade is a several faceted quandary. As I saw described on Twitter, the Republicans are the dog who caught the car. Now what will they run on? They’ve won the one thing they claimed they wanted. For Democrats, will this be demoralizing or will this energize us? Will we continue to be held hostage by apathy and the Manchin/Sinema power plays and/or the Collins/Murkowski concern Olympics complete with pearl-clutching and ‘oh mys’ with or without fainting spells?

And I know that some of you are wondering what this has to do with mental health?

A lot, in fact.

For women, this is a dark day. Some remember the days of back alley abortions. Are we merely chattel in a man’s world? Don’t we have the ability, the intelligence, the know-how to be able to know the best for our own bodies and mental health? The men passing the laws (and voting to overturn our constitutional rights) don’t even understand the biology of when a fetus is viable, when it is a new life, what a heart that holds a heartbeat is, or the difference between ectopic pregnancies, viable pregnancies, and high/low risk pregnancies.

They trust us to raise these children born, often alone and with no resources, but somehow we can’t be trusted to decide that the pregnancy should go forward as if our bodies are merely incubators.

No one suggests sterilizing men, who can create fetuses several by the day where as a woman can only bring one pregnancy to term a year.

I think we should have a general woman’s strike where all women stay home, and women who work at home or are homemakers or stay-at-home moms take the day off. Show the men that without women, things stop. I’d hazard to guess that everything stops.

Where does mental health fit in?

First, take care of yourself. If social media is too much with too many angry, dystopian posts, get off for a bit. Hours, or even days. You don’t have to be a part of that circus while it’s so raw for you.

Second, be aware of the amount of posting and news that will revolve around abortions, reproductive rights, the undermining of women’s rights and equality. Give yourself a trigger warning before you engage with social media and even some family members and friends.

Third, give yourself time to mourn. Spend quiet time. Have a cup of tea, knowing that the cup of tea will not cure this crisis, but it will give you some time to sit, relax, reflect, and simply do nothing for a little while.

Fourth, when you’re ready, plan how to combat this assault on our persons. We are the ones with heartbeats, and they will listen to us. We will make them listen.

Fifth, as part of doing something productive: if you have the money, some good places to donate are: