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Friday, June 24, 2022

Roe vs Wade

 Dear Lilah and Everleigh,

Today is Friday, June 24, 2022. You're 9 and 6 1/2 years old. It's been a good and busy day. This morning, Everleigh, you got to go to the splash pad with your friend, Ellie, and play outside. Lilah, you joined your cousin, Landon for a fun outing to Barnes and Noble and frozen yogurt. After my pilates class and grocery shop, we hung out for a bit before doing our usual Friday night pizza and movie at home. 

What I didn't tell you today, was what was consuming my headspace. Today, after more than 50 years, the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade, which means abortion is no longer a federally protected right. It is now up to the states. Well, we live in Texas. 

Being 9 and 6 1/2, and not yet knowing about how babies are made exactly, and not being old enough to become pregnant, I thought it was best to just not mention what this means. The two of you are blissfully unaware. When I'm done purging my thoughts on this matter, I'll shower off this hellacious day and snuggle you both and feel much better.

I know you remember the night Ruth Bader Ginsberg passed away. It was September 18, 2020. 

Yall were 7 and 5, and while you had heard her name and colored her face in a few coloring books, you didn't know why I was so sad. I was crying in my bed, and yall (and your sweet dad) were so loving and tender toward me. I was crying then, because I knew what was coming today. And I knew what that meant for the two of you, and your future. And, what it means for people in far less fortunate circumstances than ours. And yet, the headline was still so chilling. "Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade"

Yall don't even know what "abortion" means. Abortion is a very loaded word. People who claim to be "Pro Life" truly believe, in their heart of hearts, that abortion means killing babies. People who claim to be "Pro Choice" truly believe, in their heart of hearts, that abortion is a health care decision about a woman's body and future. How can one word mean such drastically different things to so many people?

I hope to raise people who see the world in shades of grey, not black and white. Abortion is not as simple as a "murder," or a "health care procedure." A wise person once said "Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare." In a perfect world, all pregnancies would result in healthy + wanted babies. But the world isn't perfect, and everyone has unique stories. Ultimately, we believe it is a personal decision that a woman and her doctor should make, not some politician who doesn't know her story. Unfortunately, the new law of the land was actually made by a new Supreme Court, one of which is a stolen seat (Gorsuch should have been Merrick Garland, Obama's nominee), 2 of whom have been credibly accused of sexual assault (Kavanaugh and Thomas), and 3 of whom were put into power by a twice-impeached, one-term, president who lost the popular vote, and tried to overthrow a free and fair election.

Aunt Laura is pregnant right now, and we all love feeling Baby Boy kick, and we talk to him and love him. I want to be crystal clear. We would never want to hurt or harm her baby. We love him and are so excited for him to join our family. That is how we have felt about every baby in our family.

I remember the first time I learned about abortion, I immediately felt a repulsion toward it. I instantly felt it was wrong, and why would anybody want to kill a baby? I don't judge myself for feeling that way. I love the innocence in that notion. My opinion has evolved over the years, after hearing so many unique stories. I hope, regardless of your opinion on abortion, you always remain open to listening to other people's stories, and sharing your beautiful stories with trustworthy people.

Abortion means ending a pregnancy. Sometimes that is so early in the pregnancy, nobody even knows the woman is pregnant. Sometimes it naturally occurs, something happens and the baby or mom won't survive, so the doctors have to do a medical procedure to save the mom. Sometimes (rarely) it means a woman doesn't want to be pregnant anymore so she chooses to not be, with the help of her doctor, in a clinic. Sometimes it's as simple as taking a pill, right after a missed period, so the baby never attaches to the uterine lining, to grow and develop. Everyone has a story. Some are scary and tragic. Some are not that big of a deal. I hope to raise people who are brave enough to listen to those stories and offer comfort, not judgment.

I wish I could tell you why I've been staring off into space, or scrolling on my phone so much today. But on the other hand, I want to protect you from knowing how scary today has felt for women. I want you to continue feeling safe + happy as long as I can. I want you to feel safe, and I want you to be safe

To keep you both safe, we will make efforts to make sure you do not become pregnant until you are ready for a baby. I know, I know, you both tell me all the time, "I don't want to have a baby!" The thing is, if you don't want to, you shouldn't have to. However, the elected officials in our state feel differently. They believe if you become pregnant, no matter the health of the baby, no matter how the baby was created (consensually or not), no matter the health of your body, they believe you must be forced to birth the baby. We do not believe that is a "Pro Life" stance, we believe that to be a "Pro Forced Birth" stance. That belief is immoral, in our opinion, and we will continue to protect you from their beliefs being forced upon you.




Even though Clarence Thomas has made a public statement saying he wants to repeal the right to contraception next, for now, we still have access to birth control. Once you get your first period, we will get the birth control rod implanted in your arm that prevents you from having a baby. Is it without risk or perfect? Nope. But when weighing risks/benefits, I feel confident in this decision. I've used this myself, and had good luck with it. I would love to say we will put you on birth control pills, rather than an implant, but the thing is, if you miss a pill, you can still get pregnant. Abstinence is a great idea, and I hope you try it out! But sometimes, you can choose abstinence, and a boy chooses otherwise. And I'm not willing to let you be a victim in that situation. He would walk away with no consequences, and you would have a different fate based on your biology. Birth control levels the playing field.

The best thing that ever happened to me, was the birth of our family. Marrying your dad, becoming parents with Lilah, and completing our family with Everleigh. Yall are the source of my joy and my pride. I can't imagine how the millions of women will feel after today, having babies they don't want. I can't imagine the fear so many millions of women will feel after today, with the government forcing birth, which unfortunately doesn't always go as planned, and sometimes becomes an emergency (also know this from first hand experience). I also worry about the next generation of people, who grow up in a very different home than yall have, knowing they were not wanted, and just forced to be born.

I would feel differently if this country had an adequate formula supply (unfortunately, the Republicans voted against a bill to help with the recent formula shortage crisis), or health care for all (yall's birth was $12, 000 out of pocket, and that's with insurance!!!), or maternity leave (I had none), or universal preschool (yall's was $400-500/month, and only 3 hours/day 2 days/week), or childcare (when we had a nanny it usually cost more than our mortgage), or protection from school shootings, but the thing is, we don't. To bring a baby into this world, one must whole heartedly want to be parents (we did and still do). Being yall's parents is our North Star. We want this world to be better for you, and worry that it won't be. We want to raise decent, kind, helpful and useful people who know how to be good citizens, good friends, good teammates. I worry about the next generation of people who will grow up with resentful mothers who never wanted them.

Please know, above all, how deeply wanted you were. How perhaps you are among the last generation, as of today, who was born into a world where women had the choice to bring them in or not. We chose you. We wanted you. We love you. And God forbid, if you find yourself in a situation where you are pregnant and you don't want to be, let us know. We have your back. We will help you find the healthcare you need and get you there. We are in a fortunate situation where we can travel to where it is legal and take the time away from work to make sure you are healthy and nurtured. We acknowledge this is a privilege, and also feel an obligation to extend a hand out to those who aren't as lucky, and help to make sure nobody is left behind. 

Today changes the course of our nation. In our opinion, and the majority of the country's opinion, this was a tragic ruling with huge ramifications yet to be seen. As always, we do not believe thoughts and prayers are enough, but they do help within our home to keep a peaceful mind and spirit. So, in our home, we will think of those who are struggling today, we will pray for those born into terrible circumstances, and we also know we must do more. We will continue to engage in difficult conversations, showing our neighbors and co-workers that most issues aren't black and white. We will continue to encourage people to vote. We will continue to help those less fortunate by donating our clothes, money, sack lunches, and time. We will continue to help organizations doing the hard work for human rights. 

I am so deeply sorry for what our country has done today. I am so sorry for the people who voted for Trump, and got us this Supreme Court. I am so sorry for the people who didn't vote because they didn't believe it made a difference. I won't stop fighting for you. Your futures will be bright, and I will do everything in my power to make sure you get to live out your dreams, whether that means having a baby or not. Being born a girl doesn't mean you should have to have a baby. While my experience with pregnancy and motherhood as been blissful and the best part of my life, I know it's because I wanted it. I dreamed of it. I hoped for it. MY dreams came true by becoming your mom. I can't imagine having a baby because the government forced it. Most Americans complained about being forced to wear a mask. They wouldn't even consider the government forcing a vaccine-not an option. Too much government control. If only these people knew what an overstep was made today, forcing pregnancy, forcing birth, and forcing parenthood onto people not yet ready for that.

For now, I will shower, and we will watch Bewitched in bed, and snuggle. And I will feel both comfort and grief, in knowing I was among the last of women who has a family she both prayed for, and planned. 

All my love,

Mom



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