Some Questions About the Future of My Reproductive Health
I’m a 'child-bearing aged' woman of color living in Texas, and I just have a few things I want to ask about.
Excuse me? Can I ask you a few questions? A handful, really, but it’s more of a brief list. I’m a woman of “child-bearing age” living in Texas and I just have a few cursory thoughts in response to, well, you know — the end of legal abortion! — and I thought you might have a minute to hear them. Maybe you have a few answers! And if you don’t, that’s too bad, but I guess that means we’re in the same boat, as I don’t have answers to these questions either.
OK! First question: If I wanted to, say, donate to a local abortion fund — not that I currently donate to an abortion fund, that is absolutely not what I am saying! — but if I wanted to from this point forward, how could I do this while living in Texas? Would I get in legal trouble if I were found to be donating to a Texas abortion fund? What about a fund in a state where abortion is protected, like California or Illinois? Would it be “legally kosher” for someone living in California to donate to an abortion fund in Texas? What if I lived in Canada, and donated to an abortion fund in Texas? What if I wired money to someone who lives in Canada, like as a gift, and they chose to donate that money to an abortion fund in Texas? Is that technically money laundering, and if so, does it come with a lesser sentence compared to being found guilty of assisting someone getting an abortion in Texas?
Related question! These logistics aside, can I donate to a fund online or is this a cash-only operation from here on out? Like, are Venmo, PayPal, and Square going to shut down abortion fund accounts for fear of being sued for facilitating transactions? What if I disguise the transaction by including an emoji of a pizza in the memo?
Sorry, sorry, I know it’s a lot but I’m confused, too! OK, third question: If I wanted to say, get ahold of misoprostol, for no specific reason, how would I do that without being tracked online? Like, can I download Duck Duck Go and type out such an inquiry and call it a day, or do I need to get ahold of some deep web access? (Do I need to stop Googling all reproductive healthcare-related search terms altogether? How fast and loose can I be with this whole online surveillance thing??) Do I need to buy it with bitcoin? Is there somewhere I can physically go to buy it with cash? If I happen to be going to, say, Mexico in the near future, can I buy it there? Do I need to see a doctor and get a prescription or can I just get it at the pharmacy? Am I allowed to buy like, a lot, and then fly with it back to Texas just hold onto it — just because I like hoarding medication and no other reason! — or can I only buy a little? Do I have to know what misoprostol is? This is me admitting that I have no clue what misoprostol is. Absolutely no fucking clue, and if you just searched my Google history you would know I barely know how to spell it! No crimes committed here. No thoughts, just vibes!
Ugh, I know, so many questions! But thank you for bearing with me. Fourth question: Do you know what’s happening with maternal mortality. Are we going to see more funding funneled toward increasing maternal health outcomes? Because Texas’s maternal mortality is higher than the national average, and the figures are worse for women of color and Black women. Like, say I get pregnant and want to be. Because I am fat, I’m more likely to have complications during pregnancy. If I need to have an abortion or an induced miscarriage, what recourse do I have to not be jailed? Who will prevent me from being incarcerated? If I need an abortion or induced miscarriage to keep me alive, and my medical provider won’t provide me one out of fear of being found legally liable, who will prevent me from dying? If I’m dying, how much time will my husband have to get me to the closest state that will allow me to have an abortion or induced miscarriage before I die? If I die, is my husband entitled to compensation from the state? Sorry, sorry! I know these are some toughies, but a girl has just gotta know, you know?!
OK, one last question! Are the Democrats going to do anything to legalize abortion federally — or legalize gay marriage federally, for that matter — before November? Or are they doing to tell me again that it’s my responsibility to vote for them in November so that they’ll legalize abortion and gay marriage? And if I do vote for them, are they actually gonna have the ability to pass these things, or will it be too late by then? Are they wasting their time? Am I wasting my time by trying to survive in a country and state that’s actively trying to make abortion and childbearing as ridiculously difficult as possible, or getting in the way of making it less so? Am I wasting my time by trying to live in a country and state that wants nothing more than to kill me? Just curious!!!