Roe is No More

Protest art in St. Johns. It’s not hitting my feelings exactly (it doesn’t jibe with the UU first principle), but it does capture the zeitgeist.

The draft opinion of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization dropped right when I was smack in the middle of the longest period of my life. For 15 straight days I bled, a marker of my waning theoretical fertility.

I’d love to say that the decision took me by surprise, but it was more like my approaching menopause. I knew the end of Roe v. Wade was out there, but I didn’t know when it would happen. In my mind, the last wall fell when Ruth Bader Ginsberg died, but the chipping away has gone on for years. It was happening when I was in high school and Roe hadn’t yet turned 20.

I wept when Ginsberg died. When the official decision came down, I’d already done my mourning.

My fertility remains a theoretical thing because I’ve never been pregnant. I’ve never wanted to be, I’ve worked very hard not to be, and I’ve been lucky enough to have the means to suppress that egg from starting it’s monthly journey and lucky enough to live in a time when I was allowed to do that. I’ve also been lucky enough that my various forms of birth control (there have been many) have worked and I’ve never had to go through the steps to get an abortion. Steps that have been relatively easy in all the states I’ve lived in, at least at the time I lived in them.

Gen X follows the coming of legalized abortion. The youngest ones were prepubescent when Roe came down. We’ve hit menopause or are wrapping up our ability to conceive just as six people on the Supreme Court decided we aren’t the people who get to decide what to do with that fertility.

Because I’d never wanted children, the ability to have an abortion was paramount. I educated myself about birth control (Thanks, Our Bodies, Ourselves and Sassy Magazine!) got on regular birth control once I became sexually active, and was rigid about contraception. Still, I always made sure I had at least $600 in my checking account, and always knew where the nearest clinic was.

People have abortions for a variety of reasons. Some are selfish, some are logical, some are an act of mercy, some are well through through, some are not thought through at all. A lot of people have opinions about that particular medical procedure. But does that mean they get to say? It does not.

In high school, I wore a brass cuff engraved with Becky Bell’s name and her birth and death dates. When people would ask me what was the meaning of the bracelet, I would explain that Bell had died in 1988 from complications due to an illegal’s abortion she sought because of parental consent laws. I lived in the (very) slightly liberal city of Boise in a very conservative state, so a lot of time that information would be met with silence or a quick change of subject. But a lot of women, hearing about a young woman died from an illegal abortion, would tell me about how scary it was before abortion was legal and the friends they lost, or the stories of their friends who were grossly affected by illegal abortions. But I think I was the only one hearing those stories. To hear everyday women speak about abortion was never a thing. As with so many things, we don’t listen to women’s stories. We don’t even ask them what their stories are.

And that, for me, is what this comes down to. There are two pillars of my fundamental belief in a person’s right to choose abortion. The first: abortion is a medical procedure that should be decided on by the patient with input from the doctor treating the patient. The second: women and other pregnant people have always sought abortions, no matter what the law says. When they can’t access them legally, they find a way.

There shouldn’t have to be a way to be found. Just as every person in the United States should have access to healthcare, so should part of that healthcare include deciding for yourself, if a pregnancy should continue.

I’d like to think that this is the issue that causes an uproar across the nation and a blue tide in November. But I don’t think it will be. We will need to have another generation see what it’s like when a bunch of people get to make choices for other people and see the fallout before we can find a new path.

Whew! Barely Finished This Challenge!

As I had pledged to increase my yoga time in May, I signed up for the four-hour challenge, thinking it would be easily finished, probably in the first 10 days of the month. However, my pledge was mostly forgotten and I only remembered the challenge in the last 10 days of the month.

The four hours were broken into many sessions. It turns out that I lost all my yoga duration during the pandemic. But I finished all four hours and met the challenge!

My Watch Now Shows Me My Text Messages

I recently upgraded my Garmin activity tracker to a full-on Garmin 245. So now I have a watch that pushes my text messages to my phone. I don’t know how long I will want this feature. Other than that unknown, I’m really enjoying my watch.

Update from the future: Two months in, I’m still getting texts on my watch. I find it especially handy when websites text me a six-digit security code and my phone is in a different room.

(Nearly) a Year of Neighborhood 5Ks

Matt and I made a plan to do a neighborhood 5K on the fourth Saturday of every month in 2021. It didn’t end up like it started. The walk/run 5K gave way to a walking 5K probably around June. And Matt wasn’t always present. In July, my mom was in the hospital and it was right before the wedding, so I missed that one. But the 11 other months? I did that 5K.

In this case, I put on my hiking shoes, because we had some icy snow.

And that got me to my latest badge! I’m not doing this challenge again in 2022, because I’d like to branch out to other exercise, but this was a good motivator for 2021.

Lace for my Wedding Dress

This summer, I was rummaging around for something having to do with the wedding, when I found this stretch of lace. In college, I started tatting it with the idea that I would add it to my wedding dress (or even design and sew my wedding dress). At the time, I had no plans to marry, so you can see how enthusiastic I was to finish it. (Also, you can see that I wasn’t good at joining the segments.)

Having now married in a dress that I didn’t make and that didn’t work with this lace, I wrote a note about the genesis of the lace and put the lace and the note in a free box near me. Hopefully someone will do something fun with it.