Six years ago, I wrote a post about Dr George Tiller, who was murdered by someone who called himself “pro-life.”
I’ll leave you a minute to savor the horrific ironies in that statement.
And now, six years later, it’s not only the body of a doctor that is on the line but all of Planned Parenthood, as the wackadoodles in the US Senate attempt to defund the entire organization.
Elizabeth Warren, bless her, gave a fiery speech on the Senate floor in which she asked the Republican Senators “Did you fall down, hit your head and think you woke up in the 1950s or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor?”
By this point, I have to say that those don’t seem like rhetorical questions. It seems as if yes, in fact, a large segment of this country is living–or would like to live– in some putative golden age when the only people in the United States with rights are white people who can’t get pregnant, ever.
Welcome to the age of Not Mattering. Non-white bodies don’t seem to matter that much; bodies of people who can get pregnant don’t seem to matter that much; bodies of anyone outside a very narrow demographic swath don’t seem to matter that much.
When my friends and I joined marches for reproductive rights decades ago–decades–we never imagined that now, well into middle age (dear god, how did we get to middle age?), we would be fighting the same fight, helping our (much wanted) sons and daughters fight the same fight, wondering why on earth people are still so afraid of women controlling their own reproductive choices.
The marvelous Katha Pollitt writes “the whole society benefits when motherhood is voluntary,” and she’s right.
Six years ago, watching the vigil for Dr Tiller, I thought “surely things can’t get any worse.” And while for the Tiller family, that’s probably the truth, I’m wondering how much worse things are going to get for the rest of us.