Well, this sucks.
Even when you know something terrible is coming, you’re never quite prepared for the moment it happens. And yet here we are: The United States Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. Pregnant people no longer have the right to an abortion. It’s up to individual states now.
Remember when marriage equality was like that? When you could be legally married in, say, California and then travel back to your home state of, say, Michigan, and no longer be legally married (like my wife and I)? That was awful. And that’s what people are going to have to grapple with during one of the most challenging times of their lives: pregnancy. For many, it will be a life or death situation. And they will die. Just like the good old days.
Oh, and that state by state marriage recognition thing? The conservative majority on the Supreme Court wants to go back to that, too. They said so in their decision to overturn Roe: that they want to go after the decisions that legalized birth control, decriminalized gay sex, and brought us marriage equality.
Justice Thomas wrote in his opinion, that we should reconsider Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell (birth control, gay sex, and marriage equality) in order to “correct the error” established by those cases. Note: As many legal experts have pointed out, that same interpretation of the 14th Amendment’s due process clause was behind decisions about interracial marriage and desegregating public schools, though Thomas failed to mention those cases.
What’s particularly galling about all of this is that two of the Supreme Court justices, Thomas and Kavanaugh, were credibly accused of either sexual harassment and sexual assault during their confirmation hearings. The women doing the accusing — Anita Hill, who said Thomas sexually harassed her, and Christine Blasey Ford, who said Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party in high school — were excoriated by the media and both of these men were rewarded with lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court. And they’ve used that power to take away the right of a pregnant person to control their own bodies and futures.
And as if that all isn’t bad enough, Kavanaugh was nominated by Donald Trump, a man repeatedly accused of rape who still managed to become the most powerful man in the world. And that man appointed two other conservative justices. And here we fucking are.
When I got the news about Roe v. Wade being overturned, I was sitting on the balcony of a rented apartment in Alicante, Spain, looking out over the Mediterranean Sea. That night my wife and I took our son to Festa de Sant Joan, a festival where beautiful things are literally set on fire, celebrating the tradition of burning “useless objects” as the summer solstice arrives. And as we watched this towering sculpture of, among other elements, a geisha playing a Japanese stringed instrument, dragons and an oni demon mask, burn, I could feel the heat even though we were a good distance away. And as the crowd cheered the destruction, I couldn’t help but think of how Christian extremists are burning down the United States, pushing us closer and closer toward fascism.
And the Republican Party loves it. The Jan. 6 hearings are yet another very clear example of the direction they’re pushing the country in. They don’t give a fuck about women or democracy or autonomy over one’s own body. They care about power. And fascism is an all-you-can-eat buffet of power free from the worry over pesky things like human and civil rights.
I joked to my wife that we should stay here in Spain instead of traveling back home at the end of our vacation. Both she and my son speak Spanish. I know enough Spanish to get by. But I would be sad to never see my dog again. Not to mention our family members and friends who live in the United States.
“God made the decision,” Trump told Fox News. “I think, in the end, this is something that will work out for everybody.”
And this is the man Republicans want to install as Ruler for Life. The man they are willing to scrap the country for. Because they wanted this. Overturning Roe has been the prize ever since it was decided. But it won’t be the end. Christian extremists are just getting started and feel more powerful than ever.
Both Republicans and Democrats feel like the Roe decision means good news for them in the midterms, depending on what pundit you’re listening to. But the fact is, the majority of Americans support abortion rights. Not to mention birth control, marriage equality and not arresting consenting adults for having sex.
It’s easy to be discouraged, but please vote.
Vote out every one of these Republican fascist creeps at every level of government. If Republicans are soundly defeated across the board, I think that is something that will work out for everybody.
D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.