Your Rights Are Not Your Rights Anymore
If you've followed me on any form of social media for a while, it's fair to say I'm not shy about my opinions. I've often kept my professional author website and blog clear of these opinions because they're not hard to find. And if you've read my books, it's not hard to see the allegory for racism, fascism, and other unacceptable isms represented by the villains within. But today I feel compelled to use this platform to say a few things that have been boiling over in my mind for a very long time. And to say them plainly and clearly, without the more palatable cloak of fiction covering them.
I believe January 6th, 2021 was an insurrection aimed at overthrowing our government. The evidence has been there from the beginning that this was an attempted coup by the sitting President of the United States, unwilling to accept the will of the people. I believe Donald Trump was one of the most corrupt people to hold public office in the history of this country. None of this is based on a left or right leaning view. Had he run as a Democrat I would say exactly the same thing. He's always been a conman throughout his life as a businessman, and sadly a lot of people have fallen for the con based around a politics of hate, division, and blame. And I believe he's still a threat to our form of democracy, as are his cronies that still hold power in our government.
Which brings us to today's Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs Wade, and with it, the guaranteed right to privacy upon which so many of the landmark court decisions have been based. For instance, I believe we each have the right to love whomever we wish to love. We have the right to marry the people we love, regardless of gender or racial background. And we each have the right to decide what we can or should do with our own bodies.
With the fall of Roe vs Wade, the last right on that list is gone. Without the right to privacy, the others are all also in doubt. Justice Thomas has already made it clear in his concurring opinion today that gay marriage and contraception rights are next. This coming from a man whose wife was a vocal advocate of Donald Trump trying to overturn the election. And while Clarence Thomas has been on the Supreme Court for decades now, three of his contemporaries were chosen by a President with no regard for our Constitution or our Democracy. And it's not a stretch to say that each of them perjured themselves during their confirmation hearings when they all said under oath that Roe was settled law and that they would respect prescient. And if we learned nothing else in the 90's, it's that perjury is a valid reason to impeach a sitting president. I'm fairly certain the same standard applies when it comes to jurists on the highest court in the land (and no, I'm not talking about the basketball court on the 5th floor of the Supreme Court building).
Today's Supreme Court ruling isn't surprising. We've known it was coming for a while now. And even with the shadow of this decision looming over us, our elected officials have done nothing to stop it. In fact, numerous states have already been preparing for this decision by making abortion illegal again with no provisions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother being taken into account. Missouri didn't even wait for the ink on the decision to dry today, passing their own ban just minutes after the ruling was published. If a womb goes septic, an abortion is required to save the live of the woman. If a fertilized egg get stuck in the fallopian tubes, the only option is an abortion. And if a woman has been raped or otherwise abused, demanding her to carry a pregnancy to term is demanding her to relive her trauma every day.
Never mind the fact that it's just not anyone else's business what she does with her body. Or it shouldn't be. They can't even harvest your organs from your body after you die to save other lives unless you are a registered donor. They require your consent, even after your death. But now in the United States of America, your zip code will determine whether or not a woman will have more bodily autonomy rights than a corpse.
Meanwhile, Republicans will claim that they believe in a right to life. Yet they refused to act in anyway for the last twenty years to stop school shootings. They believe in the death penalty. The consistently vote to cut funding for food stamps, head start, and other daycare programs. They even voted against $28 Million for the current shortage of baby formula. The sick irony of that last item is summed up perfectly in this tweet I saw today:
On any given day in the United States, there are over 400,000 kids in the foster system. It's fair to say we have an epidemic of kids without homes as it is. And each one of these kids is thrown out of the system at the age of eighteen. Without a support system, many of them will end up on the streets. And this is what our overburdened system looks like in a world where women can legally and safely get an abortion. If this was really about saving the lives of children, we would do more for these kids who are already breathing. But we don't. Not nearly enough.
Additionally, the United States has a much higher infant mortality rate than many other developed nations. You can see data from as recently as 2019 here. Bringing more unwanted children into the world won't help those statistics.
When I was writing my most recent novel The Miranda Project, I knew it was going to have a dystopian bent to it. The Centralized World Government in the story is quite clearly an allegory for fascism. But I set it nearly two hundred and fifty years into the future. Yet it's sad to say that every day that passes, we get closer and closer to living in an actual dystopia.
That's not to say that we don't have any recourse. We can vote in overwhelming numbers to put people in power who can change this. People can't sit out our elections any longer. If you are eligible to vote and don't believe in the future this extreme wing of our country wants to take us in, you have to act. You have to vote.
Does that mean occasionally holding your nose and voting for someone who doesn't share all of your ideals? Yes. But considering my Congressman is Andy Biggs, who is actively under investigation by the January 6th Select Committee for his role in the insurrection at the capital, there is no candidate running against him from the opposing political party that I will not vote for. These people need to be held accountable, and it starts with us throwing them out of office. And if they were involved in the attempted coup, they need to end up in prison.
The march of history is ever forward. Occasionally it takes a step backwards, but it corrects itself. It realigns itself to the values of the next generation. Humanity has survived dark times before, we'll survive this. But we won't survive it by hiding our heads in the sand and accepting it. Acceptance is off the table. Not when it comes to basic human rights like bodily autonomy. Edit: The banner that I made for this blog is now available on items in my merch shop. Every penny of profit from those sales will go directly to Planned Parenthood. Women deserve access to full and proper health care in this country, and abortion is health care. And we all have to do more than just scream into the void that is the internet right now. So this is me, doing something.