In early May of 2022, I noticed a couple of protestors yelling at the downtown traffic on my drive home. Ironically, I believe I was on my way home from grabbing boba with some friends to commemorate the end of our junior year of college. I was unable to make out what their signs or chants depicted nor did I have much interest. It wasn’t until a few hours later when my father texted me a link to a news story covering what would be known as the beginning of worldwide heartbreak: the leaked draft of the Supreme Court majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022) that would explicitly overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
Fast forward a couple of weeks later, media coverage of the leaked draft was almost nonexistent and we had all moved on with our daily lives. I was sitting at home with my fiance on June 24th, 2022, when I got the Apple News notification on my phone: the Supreme Court’s decision was announced. It was true. Roe v. Wade (1973) would be overturned and the subject of abortion would be left to the states. I’ll never forget the feeling that followed. My heart dropped to my stomach and an invisible set of hands wrapped around my throat. I sat in silence, though my soul wanted to flee, cry, and scream all at once.
The following days were filled with somber numbness. Throughout days of protests, panic attacks, and tears, I soon learned that the pain of a broken heart would never truly leave me. It is now 4 months later and I am still hurting. I am hurt for myself, a 21-year-old who is unprepared financially and emotionally to have a baby. But more than that, I hurt for my fellow women. I am hurt for my sister who has struggled with reproductive issues, who must now face that her healthcare options will be limited and filled with interrogation should she have another miscarriage. I am hurt for my future sister-in-law who might be raped at 14 years old and the immense trauma of carrying her rapist’s child to full term she may now undergo. I am hurt for the women of color and the transwomen in my community, who will now face even more disparities in reproductive and healthcare treatment than previously experienced. I am hurt for the millions of women that will fall victim to the inevitable rise of maternal suicide and the rise of abuse or homicide carried out by romantic partners.
They say it is beautiful to be a woman, but to be a woman in this country is to be damned. I long for the day when I have the basic healthcare right of abortion. I long for a time when I won’t have to base where I live on the state’s legal rulings on reproductive matters. I long for the moment I will tell my future children about how I protested and fought for what I valued in order to initiate change. In the meantime, I will educate others on their current reproductive rights and possible alternative means. I will educate others on the importance of voting for legislative leaders that will fight with us women, rather than against us. Until that desired day arrives, we must educate when we can, provide resources to those in need, and most importantly, continue to lift each other up and hold ourselves strong in this likely long fight. For we will not be silent until abortion is safe, legal, and accessible to all.
“Women that believe in each other can survive anything. Women who believe in each other create armies that will win kingdoms and wars.” – Nikita Gill
- The Heartbreak in Hanger Sales – by Samantha Belcher - November 3, 2022