Twenty Million Women

To have or not to have is the question here. All women everywhere for all time have made the choice to have a baby or not to have a baby whether the social norms or laws worked against her wishes or supported them. We must not assume that abortion was not always an option. It remains an option for some twenty million women a year who get illegal and/or unsafe abortions worldwide. Yes, 20,000,000 women are subject to–or is it subjugated by–unsafe induced miscarriages.

As I have said before in other essays on women’s rights and human rights and the humane right to choose, there have always been ways to induce miscarriage in every society for all time. There have always been things to do or teas to drink. Herbs and herbology have managed health and induced miscarriage for millennia. Medical advances may have ensured greater safety, may have is the key. The “industrial” world, or the technologically advanced world we live in, may have made an abortion one of the safest medical procedures, yet more women die of medical malpractice every year than they do of breast cancer. And this reference to how many women die of medical malpractice is for here in the United States. We really do not want to know what the realities elsewhere are, either the stats that point to better conditions socially and medically or worse. The only time we focus on situations that are worse in the world is when we want to feel better about ourselves. But we really should not. How easily lesser doctors from places in the world where it is questionable if medicine is practiced become doctors in New York City is criminal enough. Cost considerations that allow for lesser educated and trained nurses to fill the roles in our hospitals here in New York City make this city’s health care a lot less than stellar, almost subterranean.

It is in our contemporary society where traditional herbs or teas have been forgotten. Every midwife in every village in every country is or was also the abortion lady. Abortion has always been an option, and homeopathically, probably a lot safer than in cities in industrial advanced societies. Do we imagine that an abortion for a black teenaged girl in backwoods rural 1930s Mississippi, the daughter of a sharecropper, was more dangerous than an abortion for a black girl in 1950s Detroit? How much has abortion really improved when there are still too many places where a girl’s anonymity can only be ensured where the abortion is not a medical procedure. 

Women in our society do not always have within their reach homeopathic remedies for an unwanted pregnancy; women in traditional cultures still do.  In traditional cultures, an induced miscarriage can be blurred with accidental miscarriages. Women have always been able to manage liberty within oppression, which is not an argument in favor of maintaining oppression. We in inorganic America have medical vacuum cleaners instead. Yes, we suck out the embryo from the womb. It is tidier this way, we must assume. I keep hearing the voices of mothers who said Roe versus Wade was better than the curtain rod. Interestingly, before Roe versus Wade, curtain rods that could conceivably be shoved up a girl’s vagina were everywhere to be found. Cunt-insertable curtain rods have become less available, at least to my eye, since Roe versus Wade. I do not see them in IKEA. I do see them in hardware stores in poor neighborhoods.

Inorganic here is despite the proliferation of what we think is green consciousness, or the persistence of organic food in our marketplaces . . . advertising is a poor teacher. It only trains us in our responses. We are very inorganic about sex. I do not imagine we could be otherwise about pregnancy or abortion. I still do not understand how no girl has ever tried to use a Hoover to rid herself of the embryo growing inside her. I mean, girls once used curtain rods and coat hangers. I imagine they might still do. And the proliferation of uniform plastic hangers that cannot be unwound would not be as widely available unless we had laws to protect a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Plastic coat hangers do not need the extra utility of being cunt-insertable because we have abortion clinics for girls to attend. Could a vacuum cleaner be made with suction strong enough to suck an embryo out of the uterus through the cervix; I imagine there are industrial strength vacuum cleaners could be used–any girl so inclined to use one would have to have an appropriate nozzle to insert in the vagina.

Would a 16 year old girl not need her mother’s or father’s insurance to get an abortion? What is the question here? What is the payment arrangement at these abortion clinics. If a girl would use her parents insurance, either the mother or father or both wold find out, I am sure. Wouldn’t the insurance company notify in statements of the medical procedure even if the girl could get the insurance card or number and be able to get the procedure without first notifying either parents? We must not imagine a world or a society where every girl can go to her parents with the news. A daughter of mine could, I am fairly sure, but then I was raised to believe that sex was noraml, that sex was beautiful, and that having sex was no something like others say, doing the nasty, or getting dirty, or some such other residually Puritanical nonsense. How can an uptight society not be uptight about sex; how can a people uptight about sex not be extremely uptight about every other thing, action, word in their lives.

There are states where it would be impossible for a girl to get the procedure in anonymity. I am repeating myself, i know, but I have to say again that I would never shove anything up my ass the way many girls have shoved things up their cunts. A curtain rod? A man has to imagine a curtain rod up his ass to come close to what a girl experiences when she shoves one of those things up her cunt–where would she have had to imagine she could first and then actually performing the act. We had them in the kitchen, the kind of curtain rods that could be shoved up the cunt, when I was a boy. I do not have them today in my kitchen. Girls used to joke about them. I saw a girl take one in her hand in a kitchen we were in–the curtains were in the wash–and say, If I get pregnant. She turned it in her hand as if it were a baton. She laughed; everyone laughed; we were sixteen. I think I laughed–I was uncomfortable. We might have been fifteen, I cannot recollect, remembering is vague. But it did get laughs. 

What I would like to know now is how have we changed? Have we? We are both liberally flippant as we are conservatively so–neither side of the issue actually getting to the simple separate singular girl who has to go through with an abortion–has to come to a point where the rock and the hard place can no longer figure and picking one, whether to have the abortion or go through with the pregnancy, is done. We have gotten increasingly more and more conservative, socially, since Roe versus Wade. It might seem inconceivable that only forty years later, we are thinking of over-turning the Supreme Court decision, but liberty needs constant vigilence, and with the way we educate in our public schools, the way we systematically under educate at every turn including at the undergraduate level–the fact that literacy has been undervalued, confused with what we have instead, alphabetics, not literacy–with our ever increasing myopia in the matters of historical awareness, consciousness–what do we expect but to have this issue achieve the bi-polar virulence it has. State legislatures enacting laws meant to interfere with a woman’s legally sanctioned right to choose–because it is not actually the Law that gives a woman her right to choose. The law only recognizes what providence gives her. Yes, Providence.

In our attitudes about behavior and the law’s role in our lives, we have become ever more conservative. This virtually monolithic move to the right has given greater and greater valency and validity to the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, making them feel as if they can come out of their closets to cause havoc socially.  Democrats who would have been moderate Republicans in the 70s are the only viable candidates from that party, and we imagine we are able to maintain a liberal society–the only kind of society that can manage liberty sanely. We have become our own grotesques, each of us playing our part in a political Grand Guignol–it is a metaphor, so, in our semi-literate-challenged reading ability, let us try to avoid making a one to one correspondence for the image. But we have to be able to hold onto liberty and democracy, yet only if we read more deeply than we do, more highly than we can at present with the way it has been managed by our pedagogy. Systematic under education cannot manage the demands of a complex, often complicated, society. It meets the needs of a power elite seking to become more monied and [powerful just as it meets the needs of a m on ied elite seeking more power and even more money.


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