*Warning: This post discusses abortion and other material NOT related to design. Click out of this post if that is offensive to you.
Today, I am unhinged. Truly and deeply exhausted, full of rage and despair.
First it was about the guns, the dead kids, the fear.
Now it’s about losing my own bodily autonomy. Together it’s almost unbearable. I don’t know what to do, where to start or how to move forward with focus.
It’s beyond my own comprehension that I find myself living in a country that prioritizes money, power, greed, retaliation, outdated documents written by slave owners who saw women as property and books written by men who thought the world was flat over modern day women as a gender. That now, as of Friday, there are states in this country in which a woman is deemed a vessel and has fewer rights than a gun. Fewer rights over what happens to their body than a corpse (Think about it- you can CHOOSE to let your organs rot in the ground instead of potentially save a life, since this is about “saving lives”, right?)
I am tired of fighting. I want to just focus on my work- the beauty of home, design and fashion- my children, my own life here in this state I am so grateful to live in given it’s status as a safe place for women with reproductive rights and slightly less insane gun laws (but still far too lenient). But what kind of person would I be if I just kicked back into my own privilege? It would be SO MUCH EASIER if I did. For me and for my family. But you know what, I can’t do that and feel good about my place in this world. Not this time. Not now. Because it’s not about me, it’s about all of us and it is a breaking point, ladies.
Truth be told- I am a white lady from New England who was raised and lives in privilege and I will always be able to get the care I want and need and so will my children. I’m done having children with no risk of getting pregnant again (snip, snip) and when Emma becomes old enough I plan to make sure she not only can comfortably come to me when she wants to become sexually active so we can take all the proper precautions to prevent pregnancy, but also feel she can come to me if she is in trouble. Makes a mistake. Is taken advantage of. Whatever it is. Because I have no idea what life holds for Emma- I certainly had no idea my virginity would be taken without my consent in high school (luckily I was already on the pill for medical reasons, so at least I had that going for me). The only thing I can guarantee her at this point is that she will have a mother who will fight to the death for her to be able to make choices about her own body, her life and if, when and where she has her own child. Because if I know only one thing for sure in this life, it’s that being a mother HAS to be a choice you make. It is one of the greatest, but hardest, things I’ve ever done. I cannot FATHOM being forced into being a mother. I especially cannot fathom it as someone who already is struggling to make ends meet, has no paid leave, no familial or financial support, mental health issues, physical illnesses…. a myriad of things that already make life challenging. I had every advantage in life, and it was still hard. IS still hard.
As you may already know, I fought tooth and nail to have these kids. I put my body through reproductive hell to have these two beautiful babies of mine that I look at in awe daily. 2 rounds of IUI, 3 rounds of IVF, 9 embryo transfers and 8 pregnancies. My first pregnancy was ectopic which we had to terminate to make sure it didn’t rupture, 2 were natural miscarriages, 2 were missed miscarriages followed by D&C’s and one was a termination at 10 weeks due to unviability. All those babies were DESPERATELY wanted. All of them mourned. All of them left a scar on my heart that I’m not sure I’ll ever heal from, even though I ended up with two perfect children, which is all I ever wanted. Abortion is not just an elective end to an unwanted pregnancy- it’s often a medical necessity, as it was for me. Abortions save women’s lives when a pregnancy threatens their life. Abortions end pregnancies in which the fetus will never survive outside the womb, or would only suffer great pain if it did (please, please read this account from a follower of mine who sent it to me last night). These woman are already suffering broken hearts and bodies, and now they are sentenced to suffer tenfold – or even in some cases, die themselves. And yet multiple women- all of them have been Bible quoting Christians- have messaged me daily telling me I’m a murderer for supporting a woman’s choice, that I’m a terrible mother for “wanting to kill babies”, a monster for allowing Emma to “murder my future grandchildren” that “I must be insane for supporting women choosing to ‘rip babies limb from limb’ as a ‘method of birth control’. ”
And this folks is is when I fucking lose it. Because it is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever heard.
To quote CDC DATA (yes, science based fact): “The vast majority of abortions – around nine-in-ten – occur during the first trimester of a pregnancy. In 2019, 93% of abortions occurred during the first trimester – that is, at or before 13 weeks of gestation, according to the CDC. An additional 6% occurred between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, and 1% were performed at 21 weeks or more of gestation. These CDC figures include data from 42 states and New York City (but not the rest of New York).” You can research what is involved in a termination in the first trimester in detail (I am not a doctor), but the short version is it’s either simply a PILL you take or its a tube and suction. The rhetoric around blades and ripping and horror movie imagery are all driven by fear mongering. The anti-choice people messaging me seem to think we are all here cheering on women getting elective abortions of healthy babies at 27 weeks- NO. That is not what this discussion, or law, is about and if you think it is, you need to do some research on the data above and reframe your statements based on the facts about when most abortions are performed, how and to whom.
Even harder to digest still are those states in which there are no exceptions for rape or incest- Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. In what WORLD should a woman be forced to carry her own rapist father’s baby? (Side note: Incest very often creates babies with genetic disorders and severe health issues- what about those lives? Are they not to be considered?) This is not about babies or the right to life, this is about CONTROL and POWER. When we give more rights to a rapist or incestuous monster than to a woman, we are committing violent atrocities not only to an entire gender but all of humanity. Other nations, once again, looks to us in complete disgust and horror. How is it the “greatest country in the world” allows people to repeatedly commit mass shootings AND forces women to carry the babies of violent, abhorrent criminals? And if you try to tell me “well those are very rare cases”– so are abortions past 20 weeks. Let’s not mince words and facts here.
If you really, truly want to save the lives of children and babies, vote for common sense gun laws. Vote for free contraception. Vote for paid family leave. Vote for maternal care. Vote for education. Vote for a woman’s right to choose. Vote for the things that ACTUALLY save the lives of children. Don’t scream about children’s right to life and then vote for candidates who refuse to regulate the guns that are the #1 reason children die and turn their backs on women who bear those children (did you know murder is the #1 killer of pregnant women as well?) If your stance against abortion isn’t about money, power, control and racial supremacy- if it is actually about saving lives- then PROVE IT. Prove it with your vote. Prove it when it comes to ALL aspects of human life, not just one issue.
I’m going to get back to posting what I know and do best, but right now I am struggling to care about those things. I am literally shaking with rage. But I will find a balance between activism and my career and personal life. It’ll just take time to process and figure out. For now, I’m going to rage. But then I want to find actionable ways to somehow help right this ship- because if anyone can do it, it’s pissed off mothers and women. So if you have any ideas, links or advice, please leave them in comments for us all to consider. In the meantime, you can donate to causes like The National Network of Abortion Funds, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and The National Women’s Law Center and make sure to ask your employers (and ask your spouses and partners to ask theirs) what their policies are for female employees traveling to or working in states that have criminalized abortion healthcare.
Stay safe, stay vigilant, STAY ANGRY.