Street Sense vendors and staff on the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning Roe vs. Wade
The Supreme Court is Taking America Backward
By Aida Peery
The Supreme Court now seems likely to “overturn” a woman’s right to choose not to have a baby. When a woman gets raped and decides to keep her baby anyway, that’s her right. But if she chooses to abort the child, that is her right as well!
What some people are missing is the power of the word “overturn.” For decades, white supremacists have been hollering to bring back the good old 1950s and 60s. Ah! That’s not what they mean. They want to bring Jim Crow laws back, to stop interracial marriages, and for all Black and brown foreigners to cower while living in America. They want to stop bussing Black and brown children to be educated with their white children. Everybody from politicians to the Department of Education botched it up so totally that all parents who could afford private schools ended up sending their children to those schools instead!
Sure, the Supreme Court has technically overturned previous decisions that upheld Jim Crow laws, which Southern states used to discourage Black and brown people from voting, or tell them who to vote for, or be lynched. (Of course, Jim Crow is effective in the north as well as in the south.)
But many states have enacted laws with similar effects, even if they weren’t explicitly based on race.
For some white citizens, it’s still ok to kill a Black person because they looked suspicious, like they thought Ahmaud Arbery did while jogging. Police have been exercising brutality against Black folks before I was born in the 1950s, and got away with murdering people because of their skin color. But today, Black folks are tired of police brutality and white citizens killing our children throughout America, sick and tired of the justice system and the courts.
“Overturning” a national legal precedent like Roe vs. Wade will allow states to pass their own laws regarding abortion. If the Supreme Court does overturn the right to obtain an abortion, states that ban it should not get one penny of taxpayers hard-earned money, and the filibuster shouldn’t get in the way! Some legislators have the need to be cruel and heartless towards another person because of their skin color, and now they want to deprive women of their right to choose what they do with their bodies.
Nobody questions a man who decides to do a vasectomy. It’s still a man’s right to have this procedure done and it’s still an abortion.
Aida Peery is a vendor program associate at Street Sense Media.
To Give or Take a Life
By Jacqueline Turner
If life starts when sperm meets egg, then it’s more of a spiritual thing, because it takes at least three weeks to be more than just two cells. After a month, it’s a blood clot. Only then does it take a vaguely human form. By six weeks, some spots appear that could be called eyes and a top that might be called a head. But it’s still a blood clot. After six weeks, some doctors will not perform an abortion. After two months it’s clearly forming. Three months and you are getting into danger because it is too attached to the walls to be sucked out like they do when you are six weeks along.
In my opinion, this is when it becomes taking a life, because after two months maybe you could think about some other alternative. There are times when, for some medical reason, you can get abortion up to six months. I don’t know about those circumstances, perhaps if the child is dead inside the mother or something. At six weeks or under, you can tell the mother it’s a blood clot, therefore not really killing a child.
A lot of women make those decisions because time went by too fast and they wound up with a lot of problems. These days, there is the morning after pill if you accidentally got pregnant. There’s also birth control, but so many bad things are associated with this subject, like putting 12 year olds on the pill. I started taking birth control pills when I was 19 until I was 25, when the doctor said I should consider changing to something else, because I could become unable to have a baby later if I continued.
Humans were made to reproduce, and no one wants to kill or give away their child, but the choice is yours. Cases of incest or rape add a whole other layer of complication. So, what if you have an unwanted pregnancy? Please talk to someone — God, or a friend. If you feel that it was a mistake and want to fix it, go out and protest to make sure that the law stays on your side. God don’t make mistakes. Humans do.
Jacqueline Turner is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.
Banning Abortion is Like a Return to Slavery
By Angie Whitehurst
Rethinking Roe vs. Wade and justice seems like a regression to rethinking slavery. The Supreme Court’s deference to the power of the states as it stood before the Civil War feels unsavory — it reeks.
How ridiculous it sounds when said aloud: I control every part of my body except for the womb. Outrageous to human nature and to myself, in my own brain. If I do not control one part of my human body and the government does, how is that different from the chains of slavery? That is not an overreach.
To be clear to all women on all sides, from pro-choice to right-to-life, understand that no matter your stance, when the government controls a woman’s body, that is slavery. The issue is not about abortion. It is about freedom from control and ownership.
Perhaps one possible defense for women is to eliminate the situations that create unchosen, unwanted pregnancies. Or, take a page from the nonviolent protest by the women of Liberia in 2003. They called for a sex strike, dressed in white and threatened to disrobe in public in the name of peace.
Angie Whitehurst is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.