I’ve been thinking all day about why I stopped doing clinic defense almost twenty years ago. The clinic I’d devoted two years to defending was firebombed and I gave a speech standing next to the charred ruins. For me, something had changed. Domestic terrorists, well-known to the government, were allowed to carry out their threats. It didn’t have to happen, but it did. This wasn’t in Kansas or Texas, where you might expect women’s medical care to be imperiled. No. This was New Jersey. Everyone knew Operation Rescue had it in for us, and in George H. W. Bush’s America, everyone left us twisting in the wind.
Shortly thereafter, my grandmother died, I left the Fabulous Ex-Husband(tm) and launched my illustrious and all-consuming art career. The lessons I had learned were that my vigilance accomplished nothing; that we were each on our own and that law enforcement didn’t give a shit about women. On that last point, I have never been disappointed. Instead of clinic defense, I drove women for abortions because I am not afraid to punch rabid PTA moms in the face while cooing gently to a distressed patient. That is not actually good escort behavior, by the way. Eventually, I couldn’t stand even talking to pro-choice relatives who insisted Roe would never be overturned while they voted Republican. I went home. I admit this: I do not have the strength to argue anymore, and for myself, I don’t have to because after the hysterectomy, I do not have to worry about getting pregnant. Believe it or not, this is not all about me.
I’m long done with candlelight vigils and patience. My standing ankle-deep in slushy mud holding a sign so I can be counted for women’s organizations that care more about donations than resisting Samuel Alito’s Supreme Court nomination is not gonna happen because fuck that noise. I’m done listening to men talk about icky abortion because do I fucking talk about my feelings about prostate treatments? I do not because there’s no reason for me to have feelings about fucking prostates. I DON’T FUCKING HAVE ONE. My opinion is not needed. Perhaps 95% of men have no standing to discuss abortion, and this –
Is it wrong to murder an abortionist?
– is so far beyond the pale that saying Fuck this fucking guy isn’t fucking enough. But singling out Saletan for a verbal beating accomplishes nothing. I’m done with that, I’m done with all that. I’m done with one more thing: shame, because we can no longer afford it. I have had an abortion. The circumstances are not important. Your sympathy doesn’t interest me. What is important is that I chose to have that kind of medical care, and I do not regret it. In theory, it shouldn’t be any more important than if I’d had wisdom teeth removed. Further, people who think they don’t know anyone who’s had an abortion are fucking kidding themselves.
It’s time for old ladies to stand up. No one is going to come to my house and put a bullet in me for exercising my right to chose, thus it is my obligation to defend that right I no longer need for young women who do. What I’m done with, that’s behind me. I do not know what I will do, but I’m starting here.