On the soapbox again

The recent women’s rally to protect reproductive freedom was the first one in 12 years, but now, it seems like we need to have one every week until people quit attacking the women — especially, now, the young women — who make the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy.

A recent e-mail from the ACLU tells us now that it will become a federal crime if a non-parental/-custodial adult takes a minor across state lines for an abortion.

Clearly, if the youth cannot tell her parents about her predicament, chances are she herself wasn’t reared in an optimal home environment — certainly not one where she would willingly bring her own child into that living situation. But this proposed punishment for Grandma or Aunt Whomever — someone whom the youth trusts — for supposedly aiding and abetting a fugitive is just another shining example of how the fundies are trying to dig their claws into the quicksand of so-called morality that they claim to stand upon.

From personal experience, it helps to have your mom there with you (and I say this acknowledging that even at 27, when I made the decision for myself, I needed my mommy and was glad to have her there with me). But in lieu of a mom who comes with her unconditional love (as I was so lucky to have), it’s ridiculous to punish any other adult who has a vested interest in the youth’s well-being for simply driving them to the clinic.

I remember a girl I met the day I went. I don’t recall her name, but she had come to Pittsburgh all the way from Ohio to have her procedure done. And the thing was, she had originally gone to an Ohio clinic, but her parents and her whole extended family showed up at her local clinic, with signs and blown-up pictures of her as well as her full name, calling her a baby-killer and ridiculing her for her decision. She had gotten a ride to Pittsburgh with an older friend that morning, and they would be traveling back there together after the painful odyssey. God. What if her friend had been jailed for doing her what she viewed was the hugest favor ever? I always wondered what happened to her — I hope her life turned out the way she wanted it to. I mean, there I was 10 years older than her, and even I couldn’t have chosen another route at that point in my life, but at least I had college and some work experience and independence behind me — the very same things she wanted to be able to have.

In any event, just say no to President Shrub in the next elections, and write to your representatives! I’m going to do that as soon as I hit the “publish” button. 🙂

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