All aboard the back alley coat hanger express
Throughout US history whenever the religious zealots step in everything goes to shit. Just look at Prohibition.
The religious zealotry had a Constitutional Amendment passed to outlaw alcohol. Now, this was great for organized crime, really lit a fire under their ass to get organized and make some serious money. You can see this reflected today with the War on Drugs. Those cartels are damned busy.
The other fight with the religious nutters in one corner is the fight over abortion rights. Now, I will tell you exactly what will happen when Roe v. Wade is overturned. A group, or groups, of very enterprising people will get together to offer charter busses and flights, going from Biloxi to Urbana-Champaign. From Nashville to Buffalo. From Fort Worth to LA. For a small fee you, the pregnant woman who wishes not to carry this bundle of cells growing inside to term, can board one of these two fine vehicles and within a few hours, or a couple of days, find yourself in a State that still values women as autonomous, equal members of our Great Society (and whose lawmakers still listen to doctors and scientists). Adults of sound mind and judgement who can make the monumental decision, the hard decision, to abort an unwanted pregnancy. Members of Society who deserve not to have the State reach into their uterus and tell them what to do with it. Or, like Cyrano, or an authoritarian regime, whisper words into the ear of their doctor to dissuade the poor woman of her choice.
Now, the legality of such an operation (the trips, I mean) is dubious, I’m sure. Throw in some under 18 girls, and well, you have a problem. But, the enterprising folks behind this organization will be sure to smooth over any rough areas, for the right price. It will be a glorious network of illegality, gray areas and shady dealings the likes of which America hasn’t seen since Al Capone picked up a baseball bat.
Now, what about the women and girls who can’t afford such a service? For them I say, welcome back to the Back Alley Coat Hanger Express, where you’re just as likely to die as the fetus you don’t want. Welcome to the indignity and horror of raising an unwanted child. Of sacrificing your future, one which may have included a higher education (starting, continuing or finishing), or a fast track career. Kiss it goodbye, for let’s be honest, those who are anti-abortion fall into a shortlist of buckets. Racist, classist, misogynist. They’re also more likely to be in favor of the death penalty than not, in favor of cutting social safety net programs (such as SNAP/food stamps, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, disability, the ACA), anti-gun control and don’t want the minimum wage raised. Essentially anything that could help lift young, vulnerable women out of poverty, all the while proclaiming how Christian they are and how abhorrent Jesus would find abortion. I believe there’s a word for that kind of person, and if I’m not mistaken it starts with “h” and ends with “te”.
For poor women, be they women of color or white, American born or immigrant, the anti-choicer doesn’t care in which circumstance the pregnancy happened. Love, desire, want, mistake, rape, incest, abuse, abandonment, none of that matters to them. What matters is that that woman acts as nothing more than an incubation chamber all while flying on their own.
Folks, these women are you mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, friends. The preachers daughter. The poor girl next door who’s always eager to lend a helping hand. The little girl who would look up to you with love and wonder in her eyes, cuddle into you because she knows you’ll always keep her safe. Women and girls with dreams and visions for a better tomorrow.
This is the world we are just inches away from. Mere millimeters; the world that imminent. A hard push backward into a time when women were firmly ensconced below men in the hierarchy. Chattel. Cattle. Cows.
I’ll end with this, a reminder of what the Religious Right and Republican Party really thinks, something Maynard James Keenan says in the aptly titled track “The Doomed” off A Perfect Circle’s latest album, Eat the Elephant: “Fuck the doomed, you’re on your own”.