Posted in Art, Art journal, Change, Earth, Fire, In these strange times, My POV, Nature, Quotes, Soapbox, Spring

A story

A peace mandala.

I cannot understand anti-abortion arguments that centre on the sanctity of life. As a species we’ve fairly comprehensively demonstrated that we don’t believe in the sanctity of life. The shrugging acceptance of war, famine, epidemic, pain and life-long poverty shows us that, whatever we tell ourselves, we’ve made only the most feeble of efforts to really treat human life as sacred.

~ Caitlin Moran, How to be a Woman

Your religion should help you make the decision if you find yourself in that situation, but the policy should exist for you to have the right to make it in the first place.

When you say you can’t do something because your religion forbids it, that’s a good thing. When you say I can’t do something because YOUR religion forbids it, that’s a problem.

~ Jodi Picoult, A Spark of Light

A prayer mandala.

I’m going to jump right into the fray.  I realize I will not change anyone’s beliefs.  I realize that I might lose followers.  That’s okay.  We shouldn’t have to live in a world where our beliefs are imposed on one another.  Unfortunately, that is the world that a small yet loud minority are aiming for.  The way the wind is blowing, it’s quite obvious that it will not stop with abortion.  Gay marriage, contraception, mixed race marriage, and the question of what else can a woman be forced to do are all on the line because what that leaked draft (you know the one I’m talking about) implies is that there is no line of privacy around family matters.  The government can intervene all it wants.

When I was in my early 20’s, something went out of sync with my cycle.  It wasn’t a matter of missing a period or being late.  It was a matter of bleeding for too long.  M was in graduate school at the time and we already had one child.  I was working, doing most of the heavy lifting (monetarily speaking) when it came to supporting our family.  I was fortunate in that graduate school was a med school where the teaching was done at a hospital.  I was fortunate in that we were able to get health care through that hospital and the affiliated doctors as part of the grad school package.

I got in to see a doctor, quite easily compared to how difficult it is now (we usually have to wait months, even up to a year to get in to see someone now).  Of course the doc I saw was an ob/gyn guy.  He was young and up to date on the latest tests and procedures.  I mention this because even though he didn’t think I might be pregnant, he decided to do a new blood test that could determine if that was the case.  One possibility was a miscarriage and this test might help to diagnose that.  The advantage of this new blood test is that it would detect pregnancy earlier than the usual kill-the-rabbit kind of thing.

The first peace mandala I made.

Before I continue my story, you should know that just a few years ago (2019), some nitwits in Ohio introduced a bill to ban abortions that required doctors to “reimplant” ectopic pregnancies or face an abortion murder charge.  There is no such procedure.  It isn’t possible. In early March of this year, Missouri had a bill that would criminalize the removal of an ectopic pregnancy.  Georgia had one, too, a few years ago.  The bills were changed after it was pointed out that carrying an ectopic pregnancy to term is almost impossible and that it would likely kill both the mother and the fetus.

That was a bit of foreshadowing.  You can see where I’m going with this.  To make a long story somewhat shorter, I was eventually diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy.  Surgery was done, one fallopian tube and one embryo/fetus removed.  I spent a week in the hospital and went home with a hip-to-hip scar to show for it.

One of the dioxazine purple paintings I did, practicing faces.

While I was waking up from the anesthesia and the surgery, I thought I heard a baby crying.  In my drug-induced confusion, I thought it was my child, the one that ended up in the wrong place and would never grow into much more than a clump of cells.  I do, in fact, grieve the loss of this child even though we couldn’t have afforded to have a child at that time.  I’m not sure what I would have done if it had been a normal pregnancy, but I was not given a choice in the matter.  Nature decided.

I am not pro-abortion.  What I am — emphatically, decisively, unequivocally — is pro-choice.  I know women who have exercised that choice and what I know — emphatically, decisively, unequivocally know — is that the decision to terminate a pregnancy is, most of the time, an extremely difficult, heart wrenching, agonizing choice.  I don’t know any woman who makes that decision lightly.  And even if she did, she should still have the right to decide what happens or doesn’t happen within her own body.  Because if you go down this road, where do you stop?  Do we go back to a time when a man — a husband or father — decides what kind of medical treatment a woman will get?  Do we go back to the days when women weren’t even told about their medical diagnosis unless her husband approved?  What about organ transplants?  Will the state or a relative be able to take a kidney if a man needs one?  We have two, after all, and you can live well enough with just one.  Extreme example?  Maybe.  You never know how low a slippery slope will take people.

It’s beginning to seem like guns have more rights than women do.  Those that defend the violence of guns are usually the same people who claim to be pro-life and yet don’t care one wit about all the people who are killed with guns because their rights are more important to them than lives.  (A side note:  Today is the anniversary of the Kent State Massacre.  At 12:24 PM on this day 52 years ago — 1970 — National Guardsmen fired 67 rounds of live ammunition into a crowd of students who were protesting the war.  Nine were wounded and four died.)  And let’s talk about the anti-mask and anti-vaccine people out there screaming “MY BODY, MY CHOICE!!”  Every damn one of them should be out there protesting the overturning of Roe v Wade.  Every single one.  Because if it IS your body, your choice, then that should apply to everything, even pregnancy.

Circles within circles.

I’m turning off the comments on this post.  If you feel you have something that must be said, feel free to comment on the next post (which should be coming soon).

If you want to do something other than vote, here are some ideas to get you started (and as the op-ed states, if reproductive rights aren’t your thing, find the issue that calls to you and jump in because there surely are plenty of them to choose from).

I’m waiting for the first lawsuit. I’m waiting, you know, for the lawsuit in which the family of the dead woman sues the state… And I’m also waiting for a lawsuit that says if you force me to have children I cannot afford, you should pay for the whole process. They should pay for my prenatal care. They should pay for my, otherwise, very expensive delivery. You should pay for my health insurance. You should pay for the upkeep of this child after it is born. That’s where the concern seems to cut off with these people. Once you take your first breath, it’s out the window with you. And, it is really a form of slavery to force women to have children that they cannot afford and then to say that they have to raise them… People have to decide what kind of world they want to live in. Are we in favor of forced childbirth? Because that’s the world that we are going to get if we shut down reproductive rights. Right to life is one way of putting it. Forced childbirth is another way.

~ Margaret Atwood

The latest litter haul. Picking up and taking out the trash.


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.