911 SMALL LIGHTS

EMERGENCY SMALL LIGHTS

It’s Small Lights Friday, everyone. And yes, we had Small Lights last week, but this is an emergency, and I need to use every outlet I have. Unfortunately, I cannot wish you a happy Small Lights, as this is one of the most serious posts I will likely ever make on my website. We all need to be BIG lights, every single day, from now on until women’s rights are no longer under such intense attack. 

We cannot be small on this day. We need to be high beams, tactical construction lights, fireworks, the bright light at the end of the tunnel. This is a critical moment in our country. We need to be very angry. The past few days have brought upon us the very difficult realization that women’s rights are not safe, and tough choices just got a whole lot tougher.

Today, we are going to be talking about everything we can do to help our sisters in Texas who are now living a very dangerous life. Soon, other states will follow. I stand in solidarity with all who identify as a woman, who all watched in shock and horror as SCOTUS refused to strike down Texas Senate Bill 8. 

WHAT’S IN THE BILL

I will do my best to keep this brief. I make no promises. I have been very angry since 1 AM Wednesday night. 

  • Abortion is fully banned at 6 weeks. This is weeks before most women even know they are pregnant. 
  • There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
  • It puts the power of enforcement in the people. This means anyone – anyone – can bring a suit to any person they believe got an abortion, helped provide an abortion, assisted a woman in getting to a clinic, and on and on. Even more egregious is the fact that this also applies to citizens who suspect someone is planning on terminating a pregnancy. 
  • The snitch can receive a bounty of up to $10,000 for a successful suit. This, and the bullet point above, will almost certainly be used against clinics currently open in Texas. They will likely be sued into non-existence. 

So, let’s look at some scenarios: A woman who desperately wants a child but finds out mid or late stage in her pregnancy that the child has a lethal birth defect. She will be forced to bear a doomed child, or even a baby she knows is already dead. Or, maybe, it’s a 14 year old girl, raped by a family member. She will be forced to carry this fetus to term. Why should her fetus be more important than she, a child already in this world?

Miscarriages can now be considered highly suspicious, especially when you realize how little the public discusses it, how often it happens, and how little men seem to know about it. Imagine, you want to get pregnant, you want the baby, you miscarry, and then you get served a lawsuit. You’re already heartbroken beyond words, and now you’ve got Karen from Pilates accusing you of murder. These are not hypotheticals anymore. For Texas women, this is their reality.  

WHAT WE CAN DO

Not much, but not nothing. We can demand the expansion of the United States Supreme Court. It’s currently so right leaning I’m surprised any of them are standing up straight. The fascist we recently evicted from the White House had 3 SCOTUS appointments, and all 3 were part of the 5-4 decision to choose not to strike down Texas Senate Bill 8. 

We can also pressure our representatives to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, federal legislation that would “protect the right to access abortion care throughout the United States by creating a safeguard against bans and medically unnecessary restrictions.”

This piece of legislation, championed by our own Congresswoman Aryanna Pressley (Massachusetts shout out!) and California’s Congresswoman Judy Chu, is essential to women’s rights and must be passed. If passed, WHPA will establish “a statutory right for healthcare professionals to provide abortion care and the right for their patients to receive care.”

You can find your house representatives and their contact information here. You can find your senators here.  I’ll even provide a basic template for your message to help you reach out if it’s something you have not done before or are uncomfortable doing. We must do everything we can, even when it’s uncomfortable. See below:

“Good afternoon, 

I hope this email finds you well. As your constituent, I am writing to voice my grave concern regarding the reproductive rights and health of women. With the recently passed Texas legislation banning all abortions at 6 weeks, it is imperitive we take action to combat the assault on women’s rights. I urge you to expand the Supreme Court. I urge you to work towards passing the Women’s Health Protection Act. Swift action is required if we are to maintain women’s constitutional right to choose. 

Sincerely, 

Your name (if you’re going to straight up copy and paste this please remember to change this to your actual name, lest we all look silly)

There. I’ve made it so easy for everyone. You don’t even have to think about it. Call your representatives. Call them every day. I have called and written my representatives as well as Speaker Pelosi every day since Wednesday, and I will continue to do so. 

Both of these options would be extraordinarily helpful, but these things take time, and Texas women are in trouble now. 

WHAT WE CAN DO RIGHT NOW, IMMEDIATELY

You can donate to organizations that are actively fighting to strike this unconstitutional law down.

The ACLU currently has a suit against Governor Abbott. You can donate here.

Planned Parenthood has also filed a suit. Donate to them here.

Donate to teafund.org. They are an organization based in Texas that helps low income women get access to abortion services.

You can also talk about this. You can talk about this all the time. All day, every day, to everyone, regardless if they want to listen. Tell your friends and loved ones to contact their representatives. Encourage them to donate, and donate what you can yourself. Since writing this article, I have donated the precious little excess funds I have (hello, rent week) to this cause. I will continue to donate whatever I can, whenever I can.

I leave this Small Lights post with a quote from a separate article I had written in response to this abhorrent assault on our rights: 

“I end this piece angry, unprofessional, and without any semblance of a conclusion. We have not concluded yet. I refuse, I refuse to accept the fate of my dear sisters in Texas and the states that are likely to follow. I will not let this happen to you. We will fight, we will persist, we will win. There is no other option. We have reached a turning point; let us fight to ensure it turns in the right direction.”

Now is the time. We must meet this moment. Be bold. Step out of your comfort zone. Fight for your mother, your sister, your daughter, your friend, and the strangers you will never meet. Fight for them simply because it is the right thing to do. To be silent is to be complicit. I will say this again.

TO BE SILENT IS TO BE COMPLICIT

Now get out there and do some good. It’s mandatory.

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