I cried on three different work calls yesterday. I didn’t cry Friday - Friday was dedicated to working with clients on internal messaging about health benefits, monitoring for corporate statements, checking in with teammates to make sure they were ok. And this weekend was Pride, so I turned off my notifications, put a rainbow bandana on Orca, and walked through the Castro Saturday morning so she could get all the skritches and I could get as many kind smiles as I could from the legions of brightly-dressed volunteers putting up balloon arches and DJ booths. In the Family Pride section, unicorns reined supreme, with two painted signs featuring dabbing mythical creatures welcoming neighbors, and a young man deliberately (and, honestly, hilariously) placing a glitter horn on a non-plussed llama at the petting zoo. The atmosphere was kind and festive, a much-needed salve for and distraction from Friday’s ruling. I was so grateful to live in San Francisco, where Pride flair sat atop “Bans Off Our Bodies” shirts.
At home, I texted with friends from across the country in various states of mourning and anger. Some shared stories of the procedures they had in their 20s, others reminded me how an abortion saved their lives after an ectopic pregnancy of a much-wanted child nearly killed them, while some plainly stated their terror of this being only the beginning, wondering if they should swap out their IUD for a new one if only to provide seven more years of birth control, lest that reproductive health tool be banned as well.
Long-simmering rage from 2016 had to be cooled down, as I remembered the feeling I had at the Safeway on Piedmont before Florida was called for Trump, purchasing water for our volunteers at Oakland for Hillary next door, a scream threatening to erupt from my throat at the shoppers who went about their business, unaware of the impending calamity.
I tried to keep it together this weekend. And then yesterday hearing a colleague’s voice catch as she discussed the ruling on a team call destroyed that carefully-constructed emotional wall.
Abortion is now banned in eight states. There are 10 states where it will likely be banned soon, and 12 more where it’s under great threat. In some states, there is the potential for prosecution (or civil action) against mothers who elect to end a pregnancy - and anyone who helps them to do so. A Virgina GOP house candidate suggested that “a woman’s body prevents pregnancies from rape”. Meanwhile, The #1 Period Tracker on the App Store Will Hand Over Data Without a Warrant.
It’s surreal. And fucking scary.
I’ve told these stories before. We’ve told these stories a million times. And yet…
I want to end on a hopeful note, I really do. But I don’t know what to be hopeful about. So instead, let’s donate (if we can) to local and national abortion funds. This morning, I donated to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP).
Be kind to each other.