F!$k Forced Birthers (We're Calling You OUT, Alabama!)

E. Tempesta

This is a special, breaking-news edition of Fuck This! It’s summer, I’ve got my overalls on, and I’m fuckin ready.

Hey, fuck you, Alabama state government! Fuck you, Arkansas state government! Fuck Ohio, fuck Mississippi, big fuck you to Georgia over there too, I didn’t forget you, you scummy-ass modern-poll-taxing motherfuckers. Y’all ”””””elected officials”””””” are all a huge mess, and FUCK the people who voted for all of y’all. Y’all are just the ones that come to mind, too. In the last year and a half or so, many states have passed legislation intended to challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that affirmed a constitutional right to abortion care in the United States.

Some of these laws are what people are calling “total abortion bans,” where nearly everyone would be prohibited from terminating a pregnancy for any reason. Some of these laws criminalize providers, some criminalize pregnant people. Some shut down clinics, some promote the fake science of “abortion reversal” or “fetal pain,” some impose unrealistically strict gestational limits (six weeks, heartbeat—this is the worst Billy Joel song ever).

Now, let me just address something right now, something I keep seeing as a special source of outrage: “doesn’t include an exception for rape or incest.” You know what? I don’t even fucking care. That’s not the fucking point. It doesn’t matter what exceptions there are and aren’t to this fucked up piece of pseudo-law. It’s a direct attack on the lives and health of people who can get pregnant, and it would absolutely not be a better bill if it did include exceptions for rape or incest.

But if we must get into it: a) How many people who have been raped have been able to prove in court that they were raped? (Statistic) b) how many people who successfully prosecuted their rapist were able to do so within 20 weeks of the assault? Okay well. Let’s put our energy where it matters: drop kicking this whole disgusting mess into a volcano.

So, where are we at? What we’ve all been hearing is that the legality of these pieces of legislation will come before the Supreme Court. That’s definitely the goal of the folks who authored them, because they see Supreme Date Rapist Kavanaugh and his cohort as their best chance at reversing the 45 years of precedent set by Roe. We all like to think that that won’t happen, that these pieces of legislation will be tossed out by the highest court in the land—you know, the one that John Roberts likes to pretend has some quote-unquote non-partisan dignity and principle behind it.

We see Atwoodian Handmaids standing on the steps of courthouses on the front page of the paper. We reassure one another that the courts will have our backs. But what are you gonna do if they don’t? Not to be a huge buzzkill, but the courts are among the most arbitrary institutions we’ve got going. Everything depends on how literally nine random old folks rolled out of bed that day.

I don’t say that to be discouraging. I say that to remind you of your power. OUR power. Like, fuck waiting on the Supreme Court. Fuck legislators. Fuck the POTUS. We’ve all been sitting on our hands waiting for someone to save us as long as we march real good, and we gotta stop that and realize who we are. We are people with uteruses and our allies. We’ve been here and we’ve survived. The 40 years of Roe are a blip in our history. And the people living under these fucked up proto-laws are the people who know that best.

What the fuck did we do before that? Die, yeah, and I’m not trrying to romanticize it. Abortion should be legal, free, and on demand, y’all. But what else did we do? What was the best stuff we did? What are we doing now? I’ve been researching this shit for a long time and you know what? It’s kept my fucking spine straight through all this garbage. I know we have the power to take care of each other in spite of the truly hateful trash that lawmakers are perpetrating right now. So learn about us and our power, and heal yourself and your community. We deserve laws that protect us, but we are not helpless without them. Check out these resources, learn, and add your strength to your community.

Familiarize yourself with abortion procedures What’s the difference between medical and surgical abortion, and where nearby can you get each, and up to what age gestation? Call your nearest provider, explain you’re trying to help improve your community’s access to services, and ask these questions.

Watch Jane: An Abortion Service, a film about the pre-Roe network dedicated to providing safe underground abortion care.

Read about Pat McGinnis, a pre-Roe activist and baller

Read this fantastic story about a present-day Jane network

Watch Vessel, a documentary about a project to provide safe and legal abortions outside of restrictive jurisdictions

Abortion costs more and more, and is harder and harder to access. Abortion funds help people identify providers, afford care, and travel to clinics, especially in the 90% of US counties without a provider. The National Network of Abortion Funds helps organize and support these local efforts. If you don’t see anything local to you here, hit me up on instagram (@ozark.swamp.witch) and I’ll help you identify your best local resources. And hey, if no one is doing the work to improve access in your area, step up! You too can offer rides to the nearest provider. You too can raise money for procedures and hotel rooms.  

Medication abortion by mail is under additional scrutiny by the FDA right now, but it’s worth knowing about and is still accessible for some people.

And before I let you go, I want to say this: if you want to be in this family you gotta be there all the way. You gotta help whoever wants an abortion get an abortion, for whatever reason they give or don’t give you. But you also gotta help people who have children or want to have children, whoever they are and however many children they have and whatever resources they have. Because this is not just a matter of abstract rights, but of each of us deciding what the fuck WE want for their bodies and our families, and having each other’s backs through that decision and beyond. Read this whole damn thing but as SisterSong says, Reproductive Justice is: