We Told You So

We told you this would happen.

In 2016, Black women in my life and all over my social media feeds begged and pleaded for people to vote for Hillary Clinton. We knew the GOP was playing a long game of disenfranchisement that would end badly for anyone who wasn’t rich, white and male.

Forced birth is legal but there’s a nationwide formula shortage, no universal health care coverage or paid parental leave, daycare costs as much or more than housing, the U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed nation, and hundreds of thousands of kids never get adopted and are raised by foster care. So I have to have a baby with no guarantee of pre- or postnatal care, no guarantee of employment, and whether or not I even survive delivery is coin toss of “how racist are my doctor and nurses?”

I haven’t even gotten into the fact that the “normal” side effects of a pregnancy, even when it is planned and wanted, can be a horror show. Rearranged organs, constant vomiting, heartburn that keeps you up and night, getting ripped open from the rooter to the tooter during labor. Come to find out, pregnancy for most women is absolutely miserable! And all of these things are considered “normal”! So what you’re telling me is that actual pregnancy complications are just the things that can immediately kill you. But for half the country, when those life threatening complications arise, doctors will either be forced to stand by and watch mothers die or hesitate to take the appropriate action for fear of litigation. Here in Texas there’s an exception to save the life of the mother or prevent “substantial impairment of major bodily function”. But then again, civilians can sue abortion providers if they think the doctor has violated the law and collect a $10k bounty if successful. So now it’s up to women to sleuth around and find a doctor who would be willing to act if the need arises.

It’s just really scary to contemplate getting pregnant under these circumstances. Lawyer that I am, I did read the actual abortion statute, and the lifesaving/emergency exceptions are actual exceptions. As in, under those circumstances it’s not considered an abortion. But the pro-life bounty hunter aspect of it all means that someone can still bring a suit, however frivolous, and a doctor will have to spend time and money defending against it and that will undoubtedly impact the speed and type of care pregnant women receive. It’s all so stupid and hateful because if you don’t believe in abortion, you don’t have to have one.

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