I Am More Than A Vessel: The Dystopia of Alabama

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 These guys need to be gone, all of 'em.
 
If you're not yet filled with murderous rage at the hubris of the 25 white men in Alabama who with a covert swipe of their ignorant, entitled hands just voted to effectively ban abortion and criminalize what women in often agonizing situations choose to do with their bodies, how's this: The cretins who argue that "every life is precious" and "every life is a gift from God" only believe that till those precious littles take their first breath, after which they're on their own. They will be born into a state that ranks 1st or 2nd in infant mortality, depending on who you ask, and second in gun deaths, including many children. Where almost a third of kids live below the poverty line, the 5th highest rank in the country - and almost a quarter live with "food insecurity" - ie: they're hungry. Where only half of 67 counties have an obstetrician, child care costs are exorbitant, public education ranks 50th in the nation. And where men have declared "it's ok for a 14-year-old girl raped by her father be forced to deliver a child that will remind her of that trauma every day of her life," thus creating the most dangerous state in the country for women of reproductive age, who are welcome to "pick up their bonnets and red dresses at one of the 144 Walmart stores in Alabama, where the average hourly wage (is) $13.89."
 
If you're not yet clear to whom Alabama's state motto, "We Dare Defend Our Rights" does and doesn't apply to, consider this: right-wing male lawmakers just decided what "the sanctity of life" means in a state where women comprise 51% of the population but make up just 15% of the legislature, one of the worst gender ratios in the country. "Alabama politicians will forever live in infamy for this vote," said Staci Fox, head of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, "and we will make sure that every woman knows who to hold accountable." Voting them out is one key step; there are many others. Abortion will remain legal in Alabama for at least six more months, depending on legal challenges, and advocates urge  supporters to donate to the Yellowhammer Fund, which will continue to provide funding for anyone seeking care at one of Alabama's three abortion clinics as part of the National Network of Abortion Funds. With Roe v. Wade likely to land at the Supreme Court and the toxic Alabama effect already spreading, support local, state or national candidates fighting for abortion rights - Kamala Harris is now fundraising for that as much as her campaign - and Planned Parenthood. And read and share your and other stories about the harrowing realities at stake. Here's one about an Alabama woman who needed but couldn't get an abortion, and the short brutal life of the child she bore.
"I would invite you to sit across from me and listen to me tell this story with my own voice, every excruciating detail, and tell me to my face how I should feel or what I should have done. Tell me you know my grief better than I do...Listen to me when I am talking to you. I am a human being, and I am more than a vessel, and I speak for my daughter whom I never heard cry. I speak for that 17-year-old girl bent across a kitchen counter....And I speak to all of the women like me, the ones who came before, and after, who have been or will be in the same position. These are our bodies and our lives, and so rarely do we ask for the circumstances that command the weight of these critical decisions, but these choices are ours. We should not have to beg for permission to decide what is best for ourselves and our children."

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Alabama women protest barbarity. Photo by Mickey Welsh AP

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