TRIGGER WARNINGS: The following post deals with miscarriage, mental illness, the consequences of denying women the right to an abortion, racism, violence, and murder.
Kansas is an odd place. In many ways, it is very conservative, but it has some of the more liberal abortions laws in the country. Back in the early 1990s when Dr. George Tiller’s clinic was besieged by Operation Rescue protestors, my mother was one of the counter-protestors who stood to protect the clinic and its clients, even though the clinic had been bombed in 1986 and the threats of violence from people who called themselves pro-life were constant and real. In 1993, Dr. Tiller was shot in both arms, and in May 2009, he was murdered in his church while welcoming congregants to services.¹
The battle carried over to the op-ed pages of the Wichita Eagle. My mother showed up there, too, in this letter to the editor she wrote in response to a young woman making a case for adoption. One additional note: in her letter, my mother uses the racist term “mongoloid,” which was, for a time, the descriptor used for people with Down’s syndrome. I do not excuse her usage, but would like it noted that she quickly became aware of the hurtful nature of the word, and quit using it shortly after she wrote this letter.
Most women who have an abortion do so to save their lives, their sanity, their health, their jobs and finances, their family’s well-being. Vote for choice.
Senator Cory Gardner
1961 Stout Street, Suite #12-300
18 September, 2020
Tonight, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, we learned that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shuffled off this mortal coil and died, leaving our country an infinitely poorer place. She was a moral force for the United States, a beacon as bright as that of the Statue of Liberty: brilliant, measured, funny, fair, respectful of — indeed, friends with — those who disagreed with her. She was a gift to our nation and an exemplar for us all. We shall not look upon her like again.
Despite all she brought to court and country, despite her final request that her post not be filled until the next elected president could choose her successor, DESPITE THE FACT THAT HER FAMILY HAS NOT YET BEGUN TO SIT SHIVA, LET ALONE FINISHED THAT PERIOD OF MOURNING, the leader of your party, Senator McConnell, danced on her yet-to-be-dug-grave by announcing that a nominee will be swiftly brought to floor of the U.S. Senate.
McConnell’s decision to make that pronouncement was nothing but cruel and barbaric.
I have given up any hope or expectation of Senator McConnell’s having a sense of decency, honor, or shame. But I continue to hope that our decent Colorado sensibilities will infuse your decisions and give you the moral fortitude to speak against this cold-hearted depravity. Following McConnell’s lead will win you far fewer votes in our Centennial State than refusing to rush a nominee through will cost you.
Pay the phenomenal Justice Ginsburg the courtesy and tribute of honoring her final request. If you can’t do that, at least “honor” Senator McConnell’s stated conviction that Supreme Court judges should not be nominated nor approved during an election year.
Please write your senators, your congressional representatives, your secretaries of state, and your state attorneys general to urge them to keep voting safe and accessible and to stand up to everyone who is trying to undermine the postal service. Public pressure matters. Apply some daily.
Well, I’ve had a difficult two months, with my M.E. surging. Hot weather, whether I’m out in it or not, often makes it worse. We seem to be cooling off a bit now, despite the fires here in Colorado. I did finish up Rivka’s story; Meredith is thinking about rounding out Emma’s portion with a story of her own. So for anyone who is wondering how this tale concludes (spoiler: no one dies), read on: