Editorial: Going, going, gone

Abortion rights protesters gather outside the Supreme Court following the Court’s decision reversing Roe v Wade. Similar demonstrations were held in many cities across the country.

Column By Dexter K. Oliver

It’s official now, that women, who make up a little more than 50% of the population of the United States, have been demoted from second class to third class citizens. The question is: did they bring it upon themselves? Elected “leaders” only get into their positions of power by those who voted for them and by the apathetic non-voter who didn’t cast a ballot against them. So, it may be argued that we deserve exactly what we get. No room for complaints.

When entrenched pro-life members of Congress like Jim Jordan (R-OH), who has routinely been re-elected since 2008, claims a 10-year-old girl couldn’t possibly be pregnant as a result of a rape, he shows his incredible ignorance. The youngest rape sufferer on record who not only became pregnant but had to deliver a baby via caesarian section was a 6-year-old Peruvian girl named Lina Marcela Medina de Jurado. Twelve-year-old mothers are common in some parts of the world.

Any female human who has begun ovulation can become pregnant. In the United States, this often occurs around age 11-12 but may be much earlier or later. Any child getting pregnant at that stage of life will have been a casualty of incest or rape. Luckily for women and girls in Texas, the Republican governor Greg Abbott has proclaimed them safe because he was going “to eliminate rape” (he didn’t mention incest, a felony in his state and one of the least reported crimes of sexual misconduct of all). Cue the dueling guitar and banjo from the movie “Deliverance”.

With the overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the Republican justices-for-life on the Supreme Court, our country once again sank back into a form of slavery not seen for almost half a century. Predominantly white, male, (good) Christian, “Conservative” power brokers from the realms of politics and Evangelical religion are employing their sway over something that affects every aspect of a woman’s life. “Father knows best”, remember? And they do so while waving the flag of patriotism, perhaps forgetting that not all Americans are willfully ignorant, wearing blinders, or lacking in knowledge of history.

Short-sighted politicians, and those who put them in office, don’t know, and wouldn’t care anyway (until it happens in their families), about incomplete miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and other common complications women may face. The fact that murky state laws and possible prison sentences are having gynecological doctors running for the hills when they are needed most is a matter of no consequence to the true believers.

Jim Jordan types are fully aware that abortions will continue in the United States but many will now be in illegal, dangerous settings. Completely unlike what will still be available to women like his own daughters who can hop a plane to Sweden, have a two-step pharmaceutical, vacuum, or D&C procedure, and fly back a little less pregnant than they were before.

The women I have known who underwent abortions were mentally astute, independent, brave, strong members of our society who did not take the step lightly but were glad they had that basic biological right.

In British slang, a “silly cow” describes a woman who is stupid or lazy. In a Rolling Stones’ song, “Salt of the Earth”, one line goes: “Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter, empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows”. Hopefully, American women will stand up for their own rights and show that they fit neither description during this voting season and the one in 2024.

Dexter K. Oliver is a freelance writer and observer of the human condition from Duncan, Arizona.

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.