It’s taken me some time to process the implications of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Likely, I’m not done processing. But today, July 4, 2022, I feel I have to say something.
First, I speak for myself.
I grieve that our nation has prioritized partisan politics in arenas like the Supreme Court where they are not supposed to reign. I grieve that our democracy seems to be crumbling before my eyes, that our legislative branch is gridlocked by partisanship, that our citizens can no longer have a conversation with one another without “deleting” one another on social media platforms. What have we become? I grieve that this decision seems to be a symptom of societal collapse and the decay of personal rights.
But more than that, I grieve for those whose lives it impacts and harms directly. A dear friend and congregation member told me, with tears in her eyes, that she told her daughter “This is not the world I wanted to leave you.” I, personally, am past my childbearing years and I do not have a daughter, so why should I care? I care because of the pain and suffering I know this fork down a dark path will cause. I say it is dark not just because “my team lost.” I don’t care about that and I think caring about that is part of the crisis. I say it is dark because it pushes desperate people into dark alleys and it births more children who will not be cared for because they were not wanted, and our partisan agendas care more for the unborn than they do for the lost living. They are easier to love, I suppose. But I care. I see those who have been harmed. I see the discarded living in prisons for crimes that harmed no one. I see those struggling to make a living because we cannot supply a living wage, and yet we need more people and more mouths for those struggling people to feed? I see people who cannot afford to pay for their medicines and housing even though they make a decent wage. People who love and have sex and for whom birth control fails (if we even continue to have access to birth control…) are not to be punished for loving by burdening them with children they cannot care for and whom society will not help them care for.
I speak now for my church, and I think I am safe in doing so.
I have seen their tears too, for the daughters who inherit a world we hoped would be better. I have seen their tears for this patriarchal society which has reduced them to incubators, in their minds. I have seen their anger at the hypocrisy of pretending that lives matter, of calling oneself “pro life” when that policy does not extend past the womb.
So I state, for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cookeville, that we reject and abhor this partisan decision by a corrupt Supreme Court of the United States, and I vow that as a congregation we will work to help those most harmed by this decision. We protest. We resist. We will not go backward. We stand for the rights of those who breathe and live and work and die.