Dear justices thomas, alito, gorsuch, kavanaugh, and bryant, and you too, roberts,
I’ll bet you thought I’d made a grammatical error with your names but I didn’t. Y’all are undeserving of the privilege to have your name or title capitalized. From now on, you will receive the same lower-case treatment that you have given women as you overturned Roe v. Wade. You have intentionally criminalized women for irresponsible ejaculations of men. Where is their responsibility??????
On Friday, June 24, 2022, the official announcement was made that women could no longer benefit under the federal protection of choice. Y’all have decided women aren’t capable of deciding what is best for them and “the state” should make the decision instead. How dare you.
My body has not been my own since before my ancestors were forced onto this land. Taken from their lands, they were at the mercy of men who could rape and pillage their bodies without fear because who would stop or protect them? Or, rather, who would join them?
After arriving on these United States shores, they were then sent to the highest bidder, enduring separation from allies and families. Immersed into a land of foreign words, customs, and people, hope was whipped, starved, and assaulted out of them.
Enslaved people were a cash crop: very little investment for a great return. Working from sun up to sun down, six days per week with little nourishment and housing and no healthcare. But how does one increase their crop? Through reproduction in the form of sexual assault and the Virginia Hereditary Slave Law of 1662 which states a child of an enslaved woman matched her status and was a slave for life.
Do you notice how the law conveniently gave men NO RESPONSIBILITY for the creation of that child? This is the beginning of men being given a legal “out” for the responsibility of pregnancy. After all, undesired pregnancies occur from irresponsible ejaculations! ALL OF THEM. Instead, the law squarely places the onus of the child’s existence on the mother. And as a reminder, my ancestor mothers could not vote or have political representation in the United State of America. They had no voice, no choice, could not say “no”, and no one cared what they thought.
So, for generations, men impregnated my ancestor mothers to benefit their bottom line and to enrich their “legal” family. They would deny their offspring, sell their offspring, assault their offspring because, legally, their offspring was only their “property” and not their children. It’s a man’s world, right?
You “justices” officially chose not to listen to the majority of Americans who believe women have a right to make individual choices concerning their reproductive health. You chose not to listen to us women because you don’t have to. We knew it was coming, thanks to the leak, but you sneaky sneaks dropped it on a Friday thinking we would only care over the weekend. You are wrong.
But, let’s get back to the history of giving men a pass when it comes to impregnating women. How about we take a look at the just two stories from the bible, the historical object you justices seem to base all of your decisions on. First, let’s talk about Abraham v. Hagar, Genesis 16: 1-16, 21: 8-21.
Abraham purchased Hagar (an enslaved woman who had no rights to her body) to take care of his wife Sarah. Once Sarah discovered she could not give birth (the only value a woman had then or apparently today), she gave Hagar to Abraham to became his concubine (Hagar could not say “no” to the coming sexual assault because she had no agency over her own body) and to birth children that Sarah would take and raise as her own. Hagar became pregnant, Sarah became jealous, and insisted Abraham kick Hagar out of their home and community. Abraham impregnated an unwilling woman then sent her away from the only support she had. No one held Abraham responsible for impregnating Hagar but Hagar had to bear the responsibility of the pregnancy and the child.
Now let’s look at David v. Bathsheba, 2 Samuel: 11. David, the King of Jerusalem, was taking a morning walk when he saw Bathsheba bathing on the rooftop and decided right then and there that he had to have sex with her. I once heard a sermon that said Bathsheba tempted David by bathing on the rooftop. My reply was two-fold. First, Bathsheba was the equivalent of a noble woman and received the best and most fresh water available which was captured on the roofs and saved for her. The water was then passed down to other women to bathe based on their ranking. Second, WHO CAN REFUSE THE KING???? And did I mention Bathsheba was married to Uriah, a soldier in David’s army.
Bathsheba (a woman who had no agency over her body) could not refuse the oncoming sexual assault and became pregnant. David tried to avoid responsibility by bringing Uriah home to sleep with his wife but Uriah refused out of a sacred duty to protect the Ark and stand in solidarity with his fellow soldiers who couldn’t go home to see their wives. So David had Uriah sent to the front lines to be killed then he quickly married Bathsheba to make it look like the baby was conceived during their marriage.
Who could have held King David accountable for impregnating a married woman? Uriah was a soldier and could not refuse the king so there was no way Bathsheba could refuse him. She was forced to marry her attacker and give birth to his child while she mourned the murder of her husband.
I could add more biblical stories like Judah v. Tamar, or documented historical events like Thomas Jefferson v. Sally Hemmings. I could add the history of war using Soviet Troops vs. Polish nuns or the history of peace using UN peacekeepers vs. Haition girls and women . And now you have chosen to remove my zone of privacy. This will not stand. I will not stand for it.
Women and men are mobilizing to fight this horrendous reversal of our rights. That fight should certainly have a legal component, but it must also have a financial component. America only listens when money is involved, so be aware that if women suffer, you will also. We will topple the businesses, states and politicians that support this barbarism and recall each of you justices from the bench. You may have started this battle, but we will finish and win it.
Dear justices, YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY.
“We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
President of the United States of America