Wounded, Broken, Not Yet Defeated

Blood drips from the warrior’s ribs. The spear cut deeply. Still, she stands. Though wounded, she is not yet defeated. 

We have been wounded. But we are not yet conquered. We fight, but we do not fight alone.

Three of the Justices who overturned Roe said during their confirmation hearings that Roe was a precedent that had been reaffirmed by the Supreme Court and they would give that reaffirmed precedent weight if the issue came before SCOTUS. Justice Alito said he would approach Roe with an open mind. Justice Thomas refused to give his opinion but said he had compassion for the people who suffered the horrors of back alley abortions. They lied.

Justice Roberts voted in favor of the Mississippi law but not on a complete overturn of Roe. He is no less culpable for the spear thrust in our side.

We fight for more than abortion access. We fight for our ability to direct our own lives, to live by the dictates of our own conscience and to allow everyone else to do the same.

We fight alongside those who will die from abortion attempts.

We fight alongside those who will die from high risk pregnancies in a country with the highest maternal mortality rate of any industrialized nation.

We fight alongside the families who will bury loved ones.

We fight alongside people who will be forced to carry a reminder of rape.

We fight alongside the children born of those rapes who will carry lifelong trauma.

We fight alongside the children who will be abused.

We fight alongside the children who will grow up in poverty with no social safety net.

We fight alongside parents as they watch their children suffer.

We fight alongside the teenagers who don’t know enough about contraception because they only learn abstinence.

We fight alongside the teenagers who will marry too young and for the generation they will give birth to.

We fight alongside those who simply aren’t in a place to give birth.

We fight alongside the thousands of children already in foster care.

We fight alongside the thousands of children who age out of foster care. Those who have nowhere to go. Those the system has already failed, and those the system will fail in the future.

We fight alongside every Black, Latinx, and Indigenous sibling who has been or will be sterilized through force or coercion

We fight alongside our siblings who are neurodivergent, those with mental health needs, those with epilepsy who live with a history of forced sterilization.

We fight alongside Indigenous nations and their stolen children

We fight alongside the Black community and their murdered children.

We fight alongside our siblings who will experience an increase in intimate partner violence.

We fight alongside our trans siblings for bodily autonomy.

We fight alongside our gay and lesbian siblings who know very well the pitfalls of conservative morality laws. 

We fight alongside the doctors who must choose to break either the law or their code of ethics.

We fight alongside everyone who will lose contraceptive care.

We fight alongside those who face the moral judgment of their religious and cultural communities.

We fight alongside those who will die by suicide.

We fight alongside our matriarchs who were called “hysterical” and locked away in asylums for advocating for themselves.

We fight alongside our siblings who aren’t at risk of forced birth but who feel the effects of it.

We fight alongside those who use their voices and votes to stand between us and laws that hurt us.

We fight alongside our brothers, our fathers, our husbands, our sisters and wives and nonbinary partners.

We fight alongside our matriarchs who fought for reproductive healthcare until 1973. We draw on their wisdom and power, and we call on them to help us through the generations. Those that are with us are more than those that are against.

We fight, wounded and bleeding, but not yet wholly defeated.

We are warriors from birth. We stand with nations and generations of warriors. And we will conquer.

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11 Responses

  1. Aine says:

    Beautiful writing. Thank you for acknowledging contributing factors and differing outcomes that have consequences many don’t consider or understands.

  2. Ziff says:

    Amen, Bryn. This is an awful time. I only wish we could actually unite all these people so negatively affected by this horrifying Supreme Court decision. It’s deeply depressing how many people–women in particular–have sided with patriarchy and are celebrating the decision.

  3. Katie Rich says:

    Thank you for this and for touching on the many ways that this is about more than abortion, but about reproductive justice.

    • Jan says:

      Prayers have been answered. Lives will be saved. This is a great day in America.

      • Ziff says:

        Jan, you don’t have to side with patriarchy against women. I’m guessing from your name that you’re a woman yourself. Even if not, surely there are women in your life that you care about? Please, join us in considering women to be fully people, and refuse to embrace government intrusion into their bodies.

      • JC says:

        Yes, Jan. Please tell us what is so great about men’s responsibility in this being completely ignored. Please elaborate on what is is so great about the women who will die as a result of this, whether it’s through domestic violence (homicide is the leading cause of death for pregnant women: https://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Fulltext/2021/11000/Homicide_During_Pregnancy_and_the_Postpartum.10.aspx) or being forced to carry an unviable pregnancy to term (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-61898437).

        Please explain to us what is so great about the women who will become victims of marital rape, denial of birth control, and forced pregnancy/birth because of this. Please tell us what is go great about victims of rape, incest, and sexual abuse being forced to carry such pregnancies to term and why we should be celebrating children who are abused in this way being forced to compromise their lives at great personal risk (https://kfor.com/news/mississippi-house-speaker-says-12-year-old-incest-victims-should-continue-pregnancies-to-term/ and https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/no-exceptions-new-abortion-laws-across-the-us-will-force-victims-of-rape-and-incest-to-give-birth/3DJZJCQKLFLKXJKTRX7HOL6RFU/). Please elaborate on what is so wonderful about cases like this and the overturning of Roe increasing their likelihood: https://nypost.com/2022/06/15/louisiana-rape-victim-crystal-abelseth-ordered-to-pay-child-support-to-rapist-john-barnes/

        Please tell us what is so great about the foster care system becoming clogged due to so many women surrendering their babies at birth, quality third-party care centers for the disabled running out of room, and the centers that are already overcrowded, poorly run, and underfunded becoming even more so. Please tell us what is so wonderful about the increased number of disabled babies and the children, teenagers, and adults they will eventually become, becoming victims of abusive and predatory behaviors. Please elaborate on what is so wonderful about poverty, homelessness, and crime will increasing overall as a result of this.

        Your comments and other comments like it are absolutely horrifying, and do nothing but show your ignorance.

        • Jan says:

          You’re right, life sucks. But it’s better if you’re dead, right? Is that your message ? Maybe all those in prison should just be put to death since prison life is difficult. I’m a nurse by the way, and I care for people, all people including the most vulnerable. Those who promote and advocate for abortion are promoting murder. I thought this was a religious site ? Apparently NOT.

          • Ziff says:

            Sorry, Jan. Not all religious people are fundamentalists. Some of us actually consider women to be fully people, with more rights than a fertilized egg. I’m sorry you don’t agree. Please get your priorities straight.

          • JC says:

            Jan, women and girls who are victims of rape, incest, and other forms of sexual abuse – and are forced to continue those pregnancies – are vulnerable. Women and girls who are forced to pay child support to the men who raped them are vulnerable. Women and girls who are forced to continue a pregnancy that is unviable are vulnerable. Women and girls who are abandoned by the men who got them pregnant are vulnerable.

            Please explain how THEIR rights matter LESS than a barely fertilized egg, an embryo that will go unused, or an embryo that is incompatible with life. Please explain how women and girls who are abandoned by the men who got them pregnant have LESS rights than the men who deserted them. A key to stopping abortion is to holding those men accountable, but you don’t seem interested in doing that. You only seem interested in punishing girls and women – your own sex. Shame on you. As Ziff said, you REALLY need to straighten out your priorities.

            “‘The unborn’ are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus, but actually dislike people who breathe. Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.”

            – David Barnhart, Pastor of Saint Junia house churches

            (Oh, look! A religious person commenting on being pro-choice! SHOCKER!!!!!)

  4. Jan says:

    Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? They get to live…….

    • JC says:

      Prisoners, immigrants, the sick, the poor, widows, and orphans are all vulnerable people who seldom get the help and support they need from society. Many of the unborn become orphans people stop caring about the minute they’re born. Many of the unborn become prisoners, immigrants, sick, poor, and widowed that everyone turns a blind eye to because of the “inconvenience.”

      My question to you is this: would you still save the unborn if they all grew up and became prisoners, immigrants, sick, poor, widowed, and orphaned? Or would you only care to save them if they lived exactly the way you wanted them to?

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