Updated: Sep 13, 2022
URGENT UPDATE September 13th, 2022
Now more than ever we have to elect pro-choice candidates!
For nearly 50 years, those of us who could give birth were protected from governmental overreach and an invasion of privacy by Roe v Wade.
And in 1992 the Supreme Court reaffirmed that “the fundamental right of privacy protects citizens against governmental intrusion in such intimate family matters” in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Now that has all been stripped away-- and it won't just affect women--this is a slippery slope that will eventually destroy all sense of trust in the doctor's office as soon as the first office is forced to turn over medical records when presented with a subpoena.
HIPAA won't be enough
The company I work for has studied HIPAA extensively, and one thing we've found is that people do not understand what their rights are under the law. Mostly because we are unlikely to read disclosures or anything that resembles fine print in the first place, but also because most people do not understand legalese.
Even fewer people are aware of how lax data privacy laws in the U.S. are already. Do you know what data is being collected by your phone? Your web browser? Your tablet? Retailers with apps? Amazon? Facebook? Instagram? Do you trust that all of them will keep your information private?
Do you know who they sell your data to? Will there be vigilantes setting up LLCs to purchase your data? I'm certain there will be. And because most companies won't go so far as to sell a data list of potentially pregnant people, you can guarantee this will affect even those who cannot get pregnant.
We have known for a long time that banning abortion only bans safe abortions. Not only will we start to see injuries and deaths from botched secret abortions, but we are also likely to see an increase in conditions caused by lack of medical care in the early stages of pregnancy when people will become more secretive.
And that's just the beginning. We will see more people dying from ectopic pregnancies and other complications of pregnancy but we are also likely to see more victims of rape and incest pass from suicide. Our overwhelmed mental health system will be crushed under the weight.
Safe states aren't safe
You don't have to live in a state like Oklahoma to be affected either. People would have you believe that you are safe because you live someplace that still allows abortion, but because a federal right has been stripped away, we can only rely on our state legislatures to protect us.
I have watched the Oklahoma legislature swing from balanced to a super majority in just a few short years. And every 2 years I watch in dismay as people who have become jaded about elections sit at home instead of getting their hopes up at the voting booth.
We will certainly see more states pass legislation now and even more, will attempt to.
Where do we go from here
The first step is to recognize this is about control.
I know this may push some of you away, and it may put crosshairs on my back, but I want you to know we can no longer sit on the sidelines in this fight, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us.
It is about so much more than pregnancy. It is about our fundamental rights as human beings to make decisions about our bodies and to access medical care without fear or suspicion. And to be honest, I'm not sure, and any potential quick fixes would require a functioning senate.
I do know I am fearful of what this means for our country. The fact that 50 years of precedent could be tossed out so easily does not bode well for our democracy. Especially now that the court has signaled they will hear challenges to “all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell” — three cases that address our privacy, due process, and equal protection rights.
If these cases are also overturned we will lose the freedom to access contraception, the freedom to date someone of our preferred gender, and the freedom to marry whom we choose.
These are dark days indeed.
How you can help
As the only person with a uterus who will be running for Congress in OK-2 in November, I need your help. If you're scared, if you're confused, if you're mad as hell, send a few dollars my way.
We know what candidates like Wes Nofire and John Bennett will do. They will strip away your rights to privacy and medical care and more. And they will expect you to applaud them for it. They will spit in your face and tell you it's raining and then call you evil if you don't offer up prayers of thanks.
You know I will protect you, your loved ones, your privacy, and your right to access medical care without fear. Most importantly I will do it with compassion and empathy and show you the respect you deserve.
I know times are hard financially, but they are about to get much harder unless we unite together for the common good.