Last night as I sat anticipating the downfall of women’s reproductive rights in a nail biting tension filled filibuster with Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tx) the tables were turned when at approximately 11:45 p.m. Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-Tx), who was stalling, and about to be hand-to-the-faced, said, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?” At that point, the clapping started and didn’t stop until after midnight. The noise grew, shouts were heard. The voice of the people stopped the vote! At one point a woman screamed out a few times, (paraphrasing), “LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE!”
The men (and a few women) on the other side of the political table had the power, but they were stopped by the screaming and chanting of what I’m sure was overwhelmingly majority of women’s voices. Clapping and cheering, called an “unruly mob” by the media, the people won!
The crowd stopped the vote! I didn’t know it for sure until I awoke this morning and went directly to my Facebook feed and a friend had posted it in my comments from a post last night. The day was not as dark as I thought it would be when I first awoke! In fact, it only got brighter!
As I sat in my darkened living room last night watching and listening to the crowd chant and clap, hope filled my chest and I began clapping, softly, with the crowd. Just my own small feeling of joining in with the crowd, not able to be there as a single mom with a small child.
You see, I am just one of the people who needs this bill to die for good. While there are many, in many different walks of life, I represent the characteristics of the women in our state and country who need to be supported. A woman of (barely) childbearing years. A mother. A single mother. A mother to a child. A mother to a girl child. Someone who has no real voice in government. Because as it stands, our current state government overwhelming favors men and people who support an outdated and ridiculous religious construct that favors judgment and power over human life. People who are “pro family” but be damned if your family doesn’t have a boy and girl at the head of the table serenely holding hands and forcing all their children into bowed-head submission.
For all their grandstanding and values, they are anti-life. They do not represent the majority of Americans.
Yep I said it. Those fuckers don’t believe in life. I will no longer call them pro-lifers. Only call them anti-choice and anti-life. They are anti-life because they don’t support human life. They support power and control. They support judgment. They believe in squelching the innocent who make mistakes. They believe in dangling lies in order to achieve a chauvinistic agenda.
And it’s time they are stopped.
Because the truth is, this is a crime against ALL women. I grew up in small town Texas. And when I was in my very early child bearing years, there was very little in the way of reproductive support. There was no where in my hometown to get an abortion. You had to drive four hours to the nearest clinic. These are the kinds of things sexually active females know about when they are young. We all knew where to get pills and how to get an abortion if needed. But the only way we knew was through each other. It was whispered in secretive girl meetings and never in front of parents or mentors. There was also a sense of shame and fear surrounding the act in a conservative town. Women were shamed for having sex. There was a lot of slut shaming amongst peer groups, even by the women who were sexually active. The joke on my campus when I was a student at Abilene Christian University was that there was a stream of Christian girls headed to Fort Worth every weekend. Yup, you guessed it, the closest abortion clinic in my hometown with a church on every corner and home to three Christian universities.
Abortions are not restricted to one-size fits all kind of women. Abortion and reproductive rights are important in every walk of life.
Abortion is a common experience: At current rates, about one in three American women will have had an abortion by the time she reaches age 45. Moreover, a broad cross section of U.S. women have abortions. 58% of women having abortions are in their 20s; 61% have one or more children; 85% are unmarried; 69% are economically disadvantaged; and 73% report a religious affiliation. No racial or ethnic group makes up a majority: 36% of women obtaining abortions are white non-Hispanic, 30% are black non-Hispanic, 25% are Hispanic and 9% are of other racial backgrounds.
Since the oppressive regime of GW Bush our country has been in a tailspin. It’s out of control. Too much conservative and religious meddling in our country’s laws.
But I see a light. I see many people around me caring enough to stop the power. For the first time in decades, Texas is moving back toward blue and we need to keep it going.
Let’s all get involved. This is just one of many fights to come. Last night we won a small victory in a huge war. It isn’t over. Not by a long shot. They will regroup and come back stronger. We need to come back stronger too.
Years ago, when Bush took power and began ravaging the rest of the world, I knew with all my heart that this day would come. Our government had gone too far. It has gone too far. The power hungry mongrels are ready to be put down. And it’s only going to happen with the people’s support and letting our voices be heard, just like they did last night. Let’s keep screaming and chanting y’all.