Cheers and Anguish. Victory and Tragedy. Both are on full display now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. It's been a long time in the making. For fifty years, conservatives have been consistent and dogged in the plan to abolish abortions. They are the ones cheering in the streets. The anguish is on the progressive side. Weeping and gnashing of teeth happen when rights are stripped, and choice is lost.
I believe in the sanctity of all life. From cradle to grave, life is a precious gift. What I have trouble understanding is how a zygote has more rights to life than does a death row inmate? The same people who want fetal rights protected seem to be the ones who support execution for prisoners who have committed crimes serious enough to receive the death penalty. Many on death row are Black people. And many of them are innocents who have been wrongly convicted. The Innocence Commission hopefully will continue their work to find justice.
It also seems to be a conservative bent to prohibit sex education in public schools. Ignorance about sex does not change the hormonal drives of young people whose experiments with sex can result in pregnancy and STDs. We don't live under rocks, people. Why do we think parents are going to teach their children about sex? That puts the onus on a lot of parents who avoid "that talk."
Maybe it's good news that kids today can find anything they want to find about sex on the Internet. Who thinks Google is the best teacher?
On the other side, there was talk several years back by the far left, giving people the impression that full term abortion was OK. I don't believe a majority of liberals think that was what abortion care meant. I don't know how often full-term abortions actually happened. I do know that a baby carried for nine months should not be aborted. I think pre-natal science is adept enough to see if fetuses are viable and will thrive if carried to delivery.
Nine months is time enough for the government that has taken away rights on the front end, to take greater responsibility for the child on the back end. Surely somebody is at work right now making plans for the children whose mothers cannot take care of them. Foster care needs ramping up. Adoption agencies need to be fully funded and on high alert to have babies quickly adopted. We can't tell women they have to deliver babies they don't have capacity to care for on one hand, that they will have the complete responsibility of a lifetime of care for that child on the other hand. Shouldn't a woman have a choice in that?
The hypocrisy of taking away a privilege, then telling women they are responsible for every consequence of unwanted pregnancy seems glaring. Here is what I fear happening. Men who mistreat women will keep mistreating women. Men who rape will continue raping. Men who attack their daughters, nieces, athletes, and parishioners will keep doing it. And if pregnancy is the result, the woman will pay the price - physically, emotionally, educationally and socio-economically. A woman's life will be forever altered. And the perpetrator will go unpunished in a lot of instances. Where is the moral high ground here?
The people in my life whom I know to have had abortions did so with prayerful deliberation. Abortion is rarely entered into lightly or frivolously. I think the sad reality of this decision is that abortion will not end. I have said this before, overturning Roe v. Wade will not stop abortion. It will simply go underground, where medical procedures may be little more than a coat hanger. Let that sink in.
Conservatives are feeling very empowered by this act of over-turning Roe. There are other rights in their sights now. Reproductive rights, same sex marriage rights, and maybe even, as a bumper sticker I recently saw said, "repeal the 19th Amendment."
So don't tell me that's not on some people's minds. Civil rights and rights particular for women and minorities may also be over-turned.
This appears to be a regressive time in America. It is time to recognize that the biggest hammer we have to nail such injustice is to VOTE in numbers "too big to ignore."
This is no time for apathy, no time for ignorance at the ballot box. Register. VOTE. And let your voice be heard!
Lib Campbell is a retired Methodist pastor, retreat leader and hosts the website: avirtualchurch.com. She welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.