As A Uterus Haver and Front Hole Bleeder
my thoughts on the news that Roe vs Wade is likely to be overturned
When the news broke on Monday night that Roe vs Wade was likely to be overturned, I sat down to clarify my thoughts. The best way to do that, always, is to write. This is a multi-faceted issue that affects many things at once, so I’ve organized my commentary accordingly, in bold headings.
My thoughts are, like the issue itself, nuanced, complex, and influenced by many considerations. I fully expect to lose a significant (to me) amount of money when paid subscribers cancel in fury—because I’m about to piss off everyone.
If I have any paid subscribers left tomorrow, I’ll be impressed. (I’ll also report how many unsubs I experience from the left side of this issue vs the right one, if anyone’s interested—maybe in a future post, maybe when I return to Twitter.)
I’m on a Twitter break until May 27 so you’ll have to yell at me in email. hollymathnerd at gmail dot com.
Also, if you find this worth consideration, you’ll need to spread the link on Twitter yourself—thanks in advance!
TLDR: I’ll Take It If I Have To.
Sending this issue to the states is far less than ideal, but if my ideals on this issue have to be sacrificed to prevent the Woke from destroying literally everything else in the West, I’ll take it. I’ll write checks, mail Plan B to red state friends, and do whatever else I have to. This issue matters a lot, but it doesn’t outweigh literally everything else that’s on the line.
Now, on to a detailed look at the many, many other considerations.
What Does it Actually Mean, Pragmatically?
If Roe vs Wade is overturned, which now looks likely, abortion would go into the hands of the individual states, to be legislated on the state and local level. It would not mean that abortion is wholly illegal overnight in the whole country. It would mean that it becomes wholly illegal overnight in 13 states.
This means that America is likely to become a land of extremes on this issue. Some states will pass legislation allowing abortion at any time for any reason. Other states will pass equally extreme legislation outlawing abortion at any time for any reason. The extreme blue states will have the horror of late term abortions, some of which will be for tragic reasons of severe fetal deformities and some of which won’t. Women with a new fetal diagnosis of Tay-Sachs will get late term abortions, but so will despondent women whose boyfriends just broke up with them who know they can’t possibly support a(nother) child on their own. The extreme red states will have the horror of women showing up in ERs having miscarriages whose bodies will have to be treated as crime scenes until an investigation shows that it was a natural occurrence and not a legally defined murder.
Some of you think that the latter is hyperbole. I assure you that it is not. When a human being passes away outside of a hospital, police presence is standard. Often it’s perfunctory — they take a cursory glance and see a dead, elderly woman in what is obviously her bedroom, peaceful and with no signs of foul play, and nod to the coroner that it’s fine to take the body away. When death is unexpected, a baby that might’ve had SIDS but also might’ve been smothered or shaken by the parents, for example, investigation occurs.
If it isn’t an obvious case of natural death, police must secure the scene and investigate.
When a fertilized egg has the same legal standing as any born human being and death occurs, there is no limiting principle to prevent the necessity of a death investigation. This might look perfunctory, a doctor nodding to a cop. Or it might look like four-point restraints keeping a woman in the ER bed while doctors examine her body for signs that she tried to commit murder.
Here is the relevant portion of Vermont state law. Vermont will not legislate fetuses into meeting the legal definition of “person” here, but many other states will (some of the 13 states in the linked article mentioned above already have) and the officials in those states are unlikely to have a choice about investigating miscarriages (unless future legislation carves this out as an exception).
If you have read the above and still think that women having miscarriages being investigated in the ER sounds extreme enough to never happen, I invite you to consider whether Americans live in a country with extremely polarized politics and people prone to act without basic decency when it comes to their politics. Personally, I think we do.
Yes, I Looked at Twitter. Yes, the Hypocrisy is Ridiculous.
Thank you to the many people who sent me links to Twitter insanity. I saw much of it on my own—when I’m not actively posting on twitter I read the feeds of a few good friends and keep up with the news, from a separate account that I use for reading only. The hypocrisy was stomach-churning. People who tie themselves in knots to signal their deep belief that “woman” is an undefinable essence, claimable by anyone at any time on mere self-identification, are suddenly very up in arms over the coming reversal in women’s rights.
They know precisely what a woman is, now. (Because they’re lying the rest of the time.)
Being more than 18 hours old, I am old enough to remember when it was “transwomen are women; women are menstruating uterus-havers, some of whom choose to become birthing persons and chestfeed their children.”
Not even the words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg were deemed important enough to escape posthumous Woke-ification.
The same crew that can’t define “woman” looks absolutely ridiculous lamenting the loss of women’s rights.
Hypocrisy is A Bipartisan Value
The left acted with shameless hypocrisy in clamoring for vaccine mandates and passports after decades of asserting, "my body, my choice." The right, most of whom have spent much of the last two years asserting, "My body, my choice" about vaccines (including the right of parents to opt out of vaccines for their kids), looks equally ridiculous celebrating the possibility that women will be required by the state to use their bodies—not for the few seconds of an injection, but for the nine months of pregnancy—in ways mandated by the state, whether they like it or not, and regardless of the circumstances that caused the pregnancy.
Will Red State Women Be Able to Get Abortions?
The financially comfortable ones certainly will. "I'm going to go visit one of my Twitter friends in (blue state) for a long weekend" will become common.
The ones who lack the means to do so will need to rely on charities. There will likely grow organizations and networks. Blue state women with an extra bedroom who will play hostess. Constant fund-raising for these organizations.
I've seen a few people assert that this will affect where people choose to live, much as COVID restrictions caused an influx of new citizens to Florida and Texas. Maybe? Abortion usually only affects your life for a few days, whereas badly run city and state government presents ongoing issues. Possible, though.
This Issue Has Always Been About Money
Both political parties shamelessly use this issue to raise funds and get out the vote.
Republicans have repeatedly had opportunities to pass nationwide abortion bans. The period during which President George W. Bush had both houses of Congress, 7 of the 9 Supreme Court seats, and 35+ governorships, but nobody ever even tried seriously to pass a nationwide abortion ban, comes to mind.
Why didn't they? For the same reason the American Dental Association never lobbies to see sugar limits in food products marketed to children. Duh.
Democrats have repeatedly had opportunities to codify Roe vs Wade into law. They never did, because the supermajority of women's votes they enjoy would be threatened by actually getting that accomplished and not being able to run, and solicit campaign contributions, on the issue any longer.
Why A Leak? And Why Now?
My suspicion is that this was not organic. The Democrats see that they are headed for a world-class electoral shellacking in November, and they are desperate to try to stem the tide. I could be wrong, of course. If finding out the identity of the leaker becomes as important as, say, doxxing libsoftiktok, I suppose we'll find out.
One motivation, assuming anyone associated with the Democratic party has any insight at all, might be to draw back the voters they've lost to lockdowns, masking children, shuttering small businesses, and the rest of their recent insanity.
This leak may also be coordinated for another reason—it may portend an attempt to get left, center-left, center, and center-right voters upset enough to go along with an attempt to pack the court or pull some other shenanigans.
The Supreme Court's Legitimacy?
I saw a few twitter comments that amounted to, "This completely destroys the Supreme Court's legitimacy. It shows that all you have to do is stack it with enough people from your side, wait, and you can then ram things through without legislation." Ah, I see. We are pretending this wasn't already the case.
I'm old enough to remember Biden refusing, repeatedly, to promise not to try to pack the court. Whatever legitimacy the Supreme Court had was lost when Biden announced he would only consider potential justices of a certain skin color and an undefinable (to her) gender identity. That took the performative, virtue-signaling bullshit of the college mandatory diversity workshop and put it in the nation's highest court, enshrining it in a co-equal branch of government.
It was a stupid, unforced error. Biden could’ve just pretended he searched far and wide and the best candidate happened to be a black woman. Announcing in advance that he was limiting himself to searching only candidates with certain immutable characteristics diminished the court irreparably. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Second Order Consequences: How This is Like COVID
Those of us who didn’t view COVID one-dimensionally, seeking a bigger picture view, saw that while preventing death from COVID was important and a moral good, there were other important considerations. Permanently shuttering businesses matters. Children traumatized by years of no school and forced masking, matters. There is an arena in which this is similar (no, I didn't say identical).
We have good data asserting that the most common reason for abortion is financial: women have abortions for multiple reasons, but finances and the need to care for the children they already have play prominently.
If abortion ceases in many parts of the country, more children will be born into poverty. The trauma and difficulty that children experience from the chronic stress of poverty will become more commonplace, and this will have many second order consequences. Child Protective Services will need more resources, as will public education. The demographics that have the most abortions will grow in number, which means that those school districts will need more resources as the children grow. Public education, welfare programs, and the myriad other costs to society of more poor children will grow.
You can argue that none of this is a good enough reason to allow abortion, but you cannot pretend that these second order consequences, and the societal and cultural changes they will cause, don’t require consideration.
One Thing The Right Could Do Right Now
There is one thing the right could do right now, and should, if they are serious about wanting to be pro-mother and pro-child: draft legislation prohibiting discrimination of any kind (employment, housing, and everything else) against pregnant women. Give it teeth. If you want pregnancy to be state-enforced, then show you’re committed to the well-being of pregnant women by making landlords, employers, and others terrified of the consequences if they discriminate against women for being pregnant.
First, don’t say “rape and incest.” Incest is almost always a subset of rape.
Two things can be true at once: rape is a very small percentage of the reasons why pregnancies occur, AND rape happens a lot more often than most people think.
Rape is tragically underreported, particularly in families where the child loves the parent/sibling/uncle/cousin. My pedophilia essay has about 50,000 readers and has resulted in over thirty “I’ve never told anyone this before, ever…” emails from people, mostly women, who were raped by family members as children.
I was raped regularly from the ages of six to ten, and I got my period at age nine. It is pure luck that I wasn’t a pregnant nine or ten-year-old. I have asked many Christians, mostly twitter mutuals, what should have happened to me, if I had gotten pregnant at nine or ten.
Almost universally, they’ve insisted that giving birth would be the right thing. It wouldn’t be the baby’s fault! (As if it would’ve been mine.)
I understand that their hearts are in the right place. They think they’re being loving towards the fetus that’s the product of the rape, and some of them even think they’re being loving towards the 9-year-old. I’ve never been able to get any of them to see the cruelty in their knee-jerk response that a girl who a pedophile saw as an appropriate vehicle for sex should be required by law to become the vehicle for his child’s birth.
Any sane policy in a state that outlaws abortion would assert that pregnancy in any girl under the legal age of consent results in an immediate call to a court to have a guardian at litem assigned, stat, and a mental health professional, and the girl and her guardian and the mental health professional all decide together what to do—and if she wants an abortion, she gets one. (Leaving parents out of the equation for this one because parents are always either abusive or neglectful, at the very least, when a child too young to consent to sex is pregnant.)
I can write some of the email I’ll receive in advance. But adoption!!!!!!! Yes, adoption is a wonderful thing in many circumstances. No, it’s not nearly as simple as “just place the baby for adoption.” Adoption requires the time and sophistication to navigate a complex legal process. It requires the financial means and support system to go through a pregnancy and recovery and end up alone at the end, and the psychological health to live with one hell of an unknown — that your child will end up happy and loved with their adoptive parents — and it requires this from women who often have trauma histories. (Women for whom trusting anything at all is quite a lot to ask.)
Why I Support Abortion Rights
I know exactly what happens in the worst cases when people who don’t want to have a child and for whatever reason—social stigma, parental or extended family pressure, lack of ability to navigate the legal processes, or anything else—are not able to place the child for adoption, have a child.
Parental instincts kick in and cause parents to love their unwanted children much of the time. Some even grow to want their child over time.
But there are many times when this doesn’t happen. Cluster B personality disorders are a thing. Long-term and very serious child abuse, such as I experienced, is a thing.
What has it taken for me to become a semi-functional taxpayer (albeit one who still deals with C-PTSD, a sleep disorder, chronic pain, depression, OCD, panic attacks, emotional volatility, and many other problems)?
I was on welfare (Medicaid) getting therapy for years, and through sheer dumb luck found a therapist who is a genius, a master of his craft, a therapist of whom I doubt there are more than a dozen on earth in his league.
Incredibly kind people, several of whose names you know—that is how astonishingly fortunate I am, far beyond what I deserve—have helped me.
Perhaps most importantly, I am female. Males who are as angry, as teenagers, as I was? They don’t do what I did and start hurting themselves. Testosterone-fueled rage pointed outward lands most males with my level of trauma history in prison, often for violence.
Everything that could possibly go right for me to get help has gone right, and I am still deeply and profoundly screwed up.
The children who will be born to desperately poor people who don’t want them will be at extreme risk of similar experiences.
Is termination when they’re two inches in size, no brain capable of experiencing pain, and otherwise unaware of their existence really a moral evil compared to the lives they will experience?
That’s not a simple question.
I hope the Christians who have been working for this day will open their homes and start adopting. I hope they will vote for expanded funding for Child Protective Services. I hope they will become trauma-informed and work for ways to keep kids who grow up like I did out of prison.
I am not optimistic that they will. I would greatly enjoy being wrong.
Am I Saying I Shouldn’t Be Here?
Am I saying that it would have been better for me to be terminated when I was two inches in size and had no brain or ability to suffer?
Yes, that is what I am saying.
I may yet do enough with my life to make the suffering, and the extreme amount of public money and other people’s time, love, and attention that have been invested in me, worth it. That’s a very large “maybe” and even if I make it happen, it’s not a set of circumstances that will be commonplace.
Bottom Line: We Can All Keep Our Legs Closed
Yes, men too.
Women can and should look up exactly what drugs, pharmaceutical and otherwise, supplements, and other ordinary parts of life interfere with birth control efficacy. Women can and should get plan B, learn exactly who it works for and doesn’t (hint: getting your weight under control helps), and put some in the medicine cabinet for an emergency. Women can and should be extremely careful when imbibing alcohol or other drugs.
Men can and should use condoms, or even bank sperm and get vasectomies.
Failing any of the above, celibacy or waiting for a marriage/marriage-like long term relationship are all viable options.
Personal responsibility is a thing and Americans in some states are about to need to exercise more of it.
The image source was this blog post, found by searching google images for “what is a woman”.