It's OK to be alarmist when the truth warrants it.
You may not follow politics, you may not trust government, you may not know who's your mayor, let alone who sits on the U.S. Supreme Court. You may be busy with a frenetic summer, stocked to the seams with summer camps and carpools, and worried about gas prices and groceries. I get it.
But it's time to snap out of it and find your fury. We are reverting to a shameful, ghastly period in our nation's history.
A lot of people smarter than me can more articulately explain how the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade is an affront to privacy, equality and bodily autonomy. What it means in practice is that safe, legal abortions will no longer be available or will be severely restricted in about half of the country. Minnesota will become a haven for patients from neighboring states seeking the procedure — provided they have the time and money to access this kind of care.
Anger is a completely rational reaction to where we are today. Banning abortion will endanger women's lives, not to mention narrowing the potential pathways for their future.
I couldn't shake a feeling of dread and sorrow while reading the personal stories of Minnesotans in their 60s and 70s who remember life before Roe. They didn't have to come forward, but bravely they did. Their chilling accounts, as told to my Star Tribune colleagues, were published online last Friday after the SCOTUS decision came down.
Please read about their experiences and listen to their voices. You'll hear from Judy Finn, who remembers as a kid cleaning up the blood gushing onto the bathroom floor from her mother, the result of an illegal abortion. And Martha Holton Dimick, who as a young Black woman had few choices after becoming pregnant in Wisconsin, where abortion was not legal. And Jerry Gale, whose wife received an abortion three years before they got married and started a family.
They never regretted their decision.
"There was this movement about 'Let's claim our abortion, let's talk about our abortion,' " Gale said. "Out of that there was a need for men to be involved in the conversation. That's a voice that is often missing."
A thousand times yes. If you don't have a uterus and you believe the other half of the population should also have the right to make decisions about their bodies and their future, please don't be silent, because this issue is about you, too. Share these abortion stories far and wide. Elements of this terrifying past are about to become our future.
Someone you know, maybe someone you love, has gotten an abortion. If you have young daughters, depending where they live, they'll have fewer rights than what was afforded to you, your sisters or your girlfriends.
I grew up attending a small Baptist church, so tiny that the running joke in our congregation was that every kid at some point got the Christmas pageant role of Joseph or Mary. It's not lost on me how some people of faith, though certainly not all, liken abortions to murder. Maybe there's no argument that can convince them otherwise.
But I'd ask you to listen to Laura Ellis, a self-described "pro-choice Christian" writer for the Baptist News Global, who argues that overturning Roe does not support life.
"It assumes that some life, some bodies, are worth more than others — that some bodies can and should be restricted, controlled and used at will," she wrote.
Making a girl carry her rapist's baby to term does not support life. Forcing a safe procedure to go underground, risking the lives of young women and people in poverty and in rural areas, does not support life. Requiring someone to go forward with a pregnancy in a country where day care costs more than college tuition and there is no paid parental leave, does not support life. The reversal of Roe v. Wade devalues the life of the woman, and disproportionately affects women of color.
This Supreme Court is proving to be radically out of step with the country. Believe Justice Clarence Thomas when he tells you that the high court should next revisit cases about contraception use, same-sex marriage and gay relationships.
Ironically the court issued its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade at a time when new patterns have emerged in public opinion about abortion. Gallup found that more people than ever identify as "pro-choice," and for the first time, a majority of Americans consider abortion morally acceptable. Polling last month from the Wall Street Journal shows two-thirds of Americans wanted to uphold Roe.
We're not alone in our rage.
Cry for your daughters and hold them tight. But fight like hell to give them the choices in life they deserve.