Back in the mid-1990s, when I was a much younger man, my then-girlfriend woke up one morning with some news that jolted me a lot harder than the cup of coffee she’d just handed me: she told me she was pregnant. We were both in our 20s, in school, and unprepared for anything like this. So my girlfriend made a decision, because life comes at you fast.
“I love you,” she said to me, “but I’m not ready to have your baby.” Luckily, we lived in Massachusetts, and we were able to very quickly make an appointment at a local clinic.
I remember the drive down like it was yesterday. Yes, it was liberal Western Mass, but we were both worried about what we might run into. Visions of protestors waving signs and harassing us ran through my mind on an endless loop, and my fists were clenched tight the whole way down. To say I was prepared for the worst would be putting it lightly—I was ready to shove a sign up someone’s ass sideways if they so much as looked cockeyed at my girl.
Thankfully, nothing like that was waiting for us. We were buzzed into the clinic where, in a drab, grey room, we waited to be called. I remember the clock ticking on the wall for what seemed like forever.
When the nurse attendant (or whatever that person is called) came up let us know it was time for the procedure, I got up along with my girlfriend. But the nurse said, “I’m sorry, you’ll have to wait out here.”
“Why?” I asked. Both of us were scared, and I wanted to be by her side to support her all the way. “I was going to hold her hand, to help get her through.”
“I’m sure you mean well,” the nurse replied. “But we have a policy. The fact is, too many men have come in that room, and berated or coerced their partner into keeping the pregnancy. Sometimes staff has been threatened—we just can’t allow it. I’m sorry, but that’s the case.” Life comes at you fast.
So, because a bunch of thugs decided to set shitty example after shitty example, decent supportive men weren’t allowed to accompany their partner through a physically invasive and emotionally wrenching procedure. There was nothing to do but wait til my girlfriend came back out, and then I comforted her all the way home and took care of her for the next week or so. It was a miserable day for both of us, although much more miserable for her. At one point she asked me if I was mad, or if I thought we’d done the wrong thing; I assured her that I was on board, 100%.
I’ve been reminded of this episode every single day since the Supreme Court decided to let Texas get away with revoking women’s reproductive rights, and siccing the population on them like the Stasi. I still get emotional over it. In fact, it makes me so mad, I could spit nails. I mean really—who the FUCK do these people think they are? Have they nothing better to do with their time?
It is nobody’s business whether a woman or a couple chooses to have an abortion. It is not Texas’s business, nor Tennessee’s, nor Alabama’s, nor Pennsylvania’s, nor any other state’s business. It’s certainly not your neighbor’s business—it’s the pregnant woman’s business, and hers alone.
The fact that Texas has essentially put a bounty on women and their doctors makes me wish another tree would fall on Governor Greg Abbott’s and finish the job—and maybe take those hacks Samuel Alito and Amy Coney Barrett with him (also, wishing all the worst of luck to THIS prick). The state of Texas and the Court’s far-right majority, for all their blathering about freedom and individual rights, have completely overstepped their bounds. This is why I completely support any effort to expand the Supreme Court. I’ve seen enough tyranny of the minority for one lifetime.
Life comes at you fast, and the partisan hacks and illegitimate “justices” that make up the corrupt conservative court cabal don’t have anyone’s best interests at heart.