Oh TEXAS. I once wanted to go to you. I watched Dallas and Dynasty of an evening as a child. Those shoulder pads? Those Stetsons? Ammaright?
But Texas, you’ve gone and done a bad, bad thing. No, not you guys, but the desperately over-privileged white male legislature of yours. And also the occasional asshole women. Also over-privileged.
In case you’ve not heard/seen/or been interested (in which case, really? What, were you watching Wimbledon or the cricket? Jesus) Texas legislature has moved, through sneaky rewritings of due process and general dumbfuckery, to pass a bill meaning all but about five of the state’s abortion clinics will effectively be shut down.
It’s an offensive, demeaning, dangerous and prejudicial bill headed for the upper house, based on bad science, perpetrated by bigots and self-aggrandising idiots with religious and bigoted agendas.
Who will this bill hit hardest? Women. Poor women. Women of colour. But it’s also an affront to people. The world has been watching, Texas law-makers. We stood with senator Wendy Davis when she had to stand for 11 hours attempting to filibuster the bill the first time, by standing and speaking basically non-stop for 11 hours, without eating, going to the toilet, sitting down or receiving any aid whatsoever and “staying on point”. Can you imagine that? She did it, by the way. Only to have yet another rule change and covert introduction of the bill through “special sessions”.
Texas women are standing up and we all should support them. According to Texas lawmakers, I am a child-murdering heathen with a dangerous vagina. Hooray! Not something I aspired to as a teen but let’s forget my professional career, taxes paid and charity work for now. Abortion is much more serious because I’m a lady-person and I’m guilty of murder. Clearly.
We’ve already seen the case in Ireland where a woman, who was losing her baby and her life was in jeopardy was denied a life-saving very late term abortion (and yes, she wanted the child) and she died. She died because abortion is wrong in those their parts. She could have lived and had heaps of kids. But she did not.
According to the Texas legislature, it doesn’t matter if you are too young, a victim of rape, at risk of losing your own life or killing yourself or even, god forbid, accidentally get pregnant (contraception fail, having the runs whilst on the pill, whatever) and decide bringing a child into the world is just the worst thing for both of you. You must have this baby. Because people who don’t know you or anything about your life (or care) say so.
While Ireland has never had its own Roe v Wade, Texas used to and is now going the fuck backwards. Why should this concern you? You don’t live in Texas, I don’t live in Texas. It should concern you because women are going to die. Young women, old women, victims of rape, mentally ill women, women who are forced to continue an unwanted pregnancy, poor women, those who are so desperate they go for backstreet abortions. What is this? The 1950s?
And so, as a privileged white woman who had no access to abortion, I would have bought drugs off the internet, gone to see a backstreet abortionist or even tried the old “gin, hot bath and coat hanger” trick or thrown myself down the stairs repeatedly. Luckily I didn’t have to. Something that was already very traumatic was rendered less so by decent medical care (albeit with a lack of empathy and a production-line mentality)
Aaanyway, here’s the wonderful, amazing Sarah Slamen (even her name kicks ass). She stood for thousands of Texas women who’d like the state legislature to get the hell out of their vaginas and reproductive bits and do more about chronic unemployment, crime, socio-economic inequality and global warming and shit. And then she got forcibly removed for speaking her mind.
So she tried to have her (legal) say at the hearing and was basically talked over and dragged out by security guards. Denied her democratic right, if you will. She is amazing and insanely eloquent, especially when she points out no one should take gynecological advice (as the Republicans have) from an Ophthalmologist.
“Excuse me, Ma’am. This is my Government and I will judge you”.
But it’s ok. She gets to complete her eloquent, amazeballs and fucking awesome points here.
It’s not enough that worldwide 1 in 3 women will be the victim of sexual or physical assault. It’s not enough that there is a massive gender pay gap. It’s not enough that in some countries female babies are left to die or selectively reproduced (I’m looking at you, India) It’s not enough that we are discriminated against because of our lady-bits. You have to go and invade and take away the rights to our own bodies. Well fuck you.
Yup, Slamen is your new hero. Perhaps she is uncomfortable with being thrust in the spotlight, but she will go on to great things. Let’s get her and Wendy to talk. And talk more with this Lawrence “last word” chap. And if you think you can’t do anything, then sit down and have a wee fucking word with yourself. Man, woman, person, we can all stamp out this shit. Misogyny should have no place here, no matter what ribbon-tied box it comes in.