5.07.2022

all this, just in time for Mother's Day

Last night at dinner Tolliver asked if we had a regular lighter. Like, not a zippo, just a small plastic one. So when I fill the lawn sprayer to make a flame thrower...

This morning the boys were out with friends, pockets full of one dollar bills, browsing the neighborhood yard sale. Probably for Nerf guns but possibly for a very special flower vase or a half bottle of perfume or something beautiful to wrap in tissue paper. I'm hoping one of them might've found a small jar of preserved constitutional rights.

It's a regular weekend here, pyrotechnic agendas and last minute gifts, kitchen counter crafts and way too many kids on the trampoline. But I can't stop thinking about the Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn the half century old, federally guaranteed right to an abortion.

*****
Your body belongs to you.

There is a whole world in that sentence. I do not want to shift focus from how this argument should really be framed. Abortion does not have to be motivated by anything. She got pregnant. She didn’t want to be pregnant. She had a medical procedure to remedy the situation. There is not a single detail that should impact the validity of her healthcare decision. Hers.

A life is not saved just by letting it be born.

Celia spent the last few years of her life, the majority of her whole time here, suffering. While technically alive, I am not a parent who would choose that kind of purgatorial coda for my child, a fate worse than death. The idea of a prenatal diagnosis with the option of giving a very sick baby only one of two precious gifts, peace or life, sounds like an impossible binary. But it's also an actual scenario. 

It is not a choice if there is no other choice.

Why is what women do with our bodies up for endless debate? When you say you can’t do something because your religion forbids it, that's fine. When you say I can’t do something because your religion forbids it, that’s a problem. When you use God to make other people feel bad, you are using God.  
I wonder about folks so enamored of blastocysts. I can almost follow the soft pretzel of logic, but I cannot understand a "love" that looks right past the person in front of you. 

History is a teacher not a blueprint.

In 1748 Ben Franklin published The Instructor, a version of George Fisher's math textbook with John Tennent's The Poor Planter's Physician as an appendix.* Distribution of this book among the colonists meant that anyone learning to read or write or calculate would also have access to a recipe for abortion.
If that's not "deeply rooted" I don't know what is. And no matter what the law says next week, women will continue to seek abortions. Such a tragedy, to spend all these years trying to shut a door rather than change the path that leads to it.

^ I should probably ask Hank to borrow this Guatemalan worry doll to put under my pillow.

*Ben Franklin put an abortion recipe in his math textbook

4 comments:

Poppy John said...


Betz boys,
treat your mom like a "queen" today!
She loves you so much!

Juliet Carey said...

My amazing warrior friend! Thank you for writing this personal painful post and stating the import truth for all women. I love you so much! Happy Mothers Day!!

rht said...

Jenni, your courage and ways with words are such gifts -- outshined only by your fierce and tender love for your family. By my children I am taught... Love, m ; )m

Susan Kadlac said...

Thank you, Jenni, for sharing your feelings and thoughts on how our bodies belong to us and a life is not saved just by letting it be born. You are such a fabulous writer, intelligent thinker, and amazing mother. I pray that our right to choose will be guaranteed and we won't need worry dolls in the future. I hope you had a very Happy Mother's Day!