The first conversation with myself that I actually want to put in writing.
“So, Miss Mac, what do you think of this Roe v. Wade thing?”
Suddenly, I’m transported back to 1993 and a debate over abortion in my Senior Seminar class at a Catholic University. I didn’t answer their questions well that day, at least in their opinion. It was supposed to be a debate right? I’d been assigned the “pro-choice” side. I’m still not sure what I was supposed to say, and I still don’t care.
Next, I imagine myself standing at the front of the classroom, my mouth open just a bit as I ponder it. Meanwhile, 15 kids stare at me, while the one who asked smirks a bit.
I’m the type of teacher who gets these questions, you know. I must have something written on my forehead, as my mother would say. I welcome these types of questions, but am not wild about this one. Therefore, I have to prepare myself, or I’m going to say something unintelligent.
Teachers aren’t supposed to say unintelligent things. We do anyway, but try our hardest not to.
After stumbling through several responses, I finally came up with something.
“I have one question for both sides. Now that Roe v. Wade is no longer, what’s the plan?” Before the student can answer, I admit there isn’t just one question.
“My next question is why haven’t both sides planned for this? Ever since Roe v. Wade was decided, it has been contested. So, why haven’t they been preparing for the day the Court would overturn it? Yes, it took forty years to overturn it, but everyone knew this would happen eventually.
“How will we help those who find themselves without this option now? Is this a matter of ‘pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps’? Well, that’s not going to work.
“Now wait… you asked me and I’m answering, so no interruptions. Why, I ask both sides of this issue, has no one come up with a plan to help women so they wouldn’t even have to take that option in the first place? Why have we not addressed the social and economic disparities in this country that made this so important?
“Why have we not found resources for those who don’t want to take this option beyond, say, adoption?
“Why do we not support families? Why do we not have universal child care, so women can return to school or work and raise the child without having to work specifically for child care? Why do we still not have equal pay for equal work, so that women who face this situation can support themselves?
“Why do we not have a more rigorous system to hold the men accountable? So many women are left on their own to raise a child. It’s easy for the men to walk away. They should not be allowed to just walk away. Where’s the plan for that?
Both sides wasted all those years, and now it is the women who will pay for such incompetence.
I am not celebrating this Independence Day. My country has let us down… again.
Thank you for reading.