Tag Archives: abortion rights

VOTE

7 Nov

Artwork by Cecily Mireles

I woke up this morning feeling more anxious than usual. I couldn’t figure out what I was so worried about until I remembered that tomorrow is Election Day.

I’m terrified for our country right now.

The other day, I had a physical for the first time in about ten years. I know, I know—how dumb is that? Especially because I have insurance and access to exceptional healthcare in my community. I rarely get sick, so I sort of developed an “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy. But now that I’m sixty and fully entrenched in middle age, I decided it’s high time for me to be proactive about my health.

Well, guess what? It turns out I have a bit of high blood pressure. I’ve never had a problem with this before, so I feel confident blaming it on the level of stress that I’ve been carrying around over the past several years. And it’s not just from the pandemic. I believe it all began with the 2016 election.

It’s been very difficult for me to reconcile that people I’ve known and loved for years have promoted a political agenda that is so vastly different from mine. The fact that they support policies that want to take rights away from the people I love is so out of my realm of understanding. It hits close to home, as I’m married to an immigrant man of color; we have relatives and friends who are undocumented—and I have daughters who identify as LGBTQ.

What if my seventeen year-old suddenly found herself pregnant? How could I possibly support legislation that would take away her right for a safe abortion? What about women whose pregnancy is no longer viable, or if a young woman becomes pregnant through incest or rape? I personally know women who were able to obtain their own abortions back in the day, yet now, years later, they support an agenda that wants to take this right away from other women! How unfair and hypocritical is that?

My head was so deeply buried in the sand that when Obama was elected, I actually had hope for all of us. How wrong I was to think that a country founded on slavery and colonialism could possible change with the election of a black man.

It was easier when I didn’t know what folks’ politics were. Before Trump was elected, I didn’t really care about others’ party affiliations. I went on about my merry way, oblivious to the fact that people close to me could actually support a man who is a toxic narcissist, con man and conspiracy theorist, not to mention a big fat liar. But somehow they did, and we’ve all been paying for it since.

But now, I must take responsibility that I was part of the problem. I can no longer wear my rose-colored glasses and think that all is fine and dandy. I must acknowledge that my privilege prevented me from truly understanding how dysfunctional we are as a society.

In the days to come we will find out in which direction we’re headed. I implore you to show up and vote for your rights.

Seriously, people—our democracy depends upon it.

VOTE.