There is a political wave washing over the country right now, at least in Red states. It’s the prohibition against abortion once the fetal heartbeat is detected at anywhere from 6 – 12 weeks of pregnancy, some with no exemptions for instances of rape or incest. A couple of the bills do exempt in the case of danger to the life of the mother. (Let’s not talk, of course, about the psychiatric life of the mother when forced to bring a baby to term that has resulted from incest or rape.)
When I was about 8 years of age I was raped repeatedly by a member of my family (incest.) I’m male so I’ve heard some say “no harm; no foul.” Yeah, well, let me say this. I was unable to face this until I was in my mid-fifties! In fact, it was so horrendous that I was sure I was experiencing “false memories.” I was seeing a tremendous therapist at the time. She helped me to gain strength through the process of dealing with my rape/incest.
When I was ready, I emailed the perpetrator and confronted him thinking his response would be “What? No way!” His response was (and I quote):
“Oh my God, it is not your imagination. I have carried a lot of guilt for a long time about that. I have lost lots of sleep over this. If I could do anything to change it all I would. I have eaten my insides about this. I am so sorry.”
If any male legislator thinks this is only a female reproductive rights issue, then he needs to think again! It is about reproductive rights but it is also about so much more. Obviously, I was not going to become pregnant but I definitely identify with the #MeToo movement. For decades I was so traumatized that I could not recall the events themselves but what I did carry with me was an inordinate amount of guilt and shame.
I stand with the women in legislatures throughout America who are fighting this dark social wave that threatens to take the nation back to the days prior to Roe v Wade. The conservative wave is well thought out. They pass the bills at the state level. Law suits are brought against the bills. Through the appeals process they go. Up to the Supreme Court that is now prepared to take us backwards. It almost doesn’t matter what we think or pray for. Some one somewhere will get it up to SCOTUS.
Nevertheless, we must fight!