May 15, 2022 Opinion

Written by:

Lauren Morgan Patrick is a native Southerner and the editor of Pretty Southern.com. She's on a mission to change the world. #LovetheSouth #GoDawgs Follow Lauren on Twitter

It feels like I need to explain myself.

Some of y’all who I love dearly were a bit perplexed at how outspoken I am regarding the decision to reverse Roe v. Wade.

Family and close friends know I’ve been the “little liberal” pretty much my whole life.

But here’s something you don’t know…

As I’ve gotten older and learned more about the world, especially our society here in the South, it’s become clear how social constructs, policies, and laws are designed to protect institutional racism.

Yup. I said it. It’s about race.

It’s time we all start speaking up for southern Women and our fellow Americans

America was built on the backs of our colored and Native fellow Americans.

Womxn and trans people of color are twice as likely to need access to reproductive healthcare than their white female peers.

And the states (especially the South) that are most likely to ban abortion have much greater proportions of people of color.

At the Bans Off Our Bodies rally yesterday, I heard from one woman who had to take out a loan, such as that loan on the same day, to drive from Macon to Atlanta to get her abortion. Georgia has 150 counties and only 20 clinics providing this care.

And there 17 counties in Georgia with no OBGYN, let alone a doctor.

The decisions coming from SCOTUS are strengthening the chokehold the patriarchy has on our fellow Americans, especially poor people in the rural South.

Reversing Roe to increase a “domestic supply of infants” might as well have said, “make more poor people to keep labor cheap.”

I am not here to cast judgment. No, I am not the Supreme Court, a talking head on a conservative media platform, or a preacher at a pulpit.

I am a writer, making an observation about how this patriarchal society we live in is completely screwed up.

Bans_Off_Our_Bodies_RoeVWade_protest_No_Justice_No_Peace

These reckoning moments have been defining points in my adult life.

On Nov. 9, 2016, when the world awoke to Donald J. Trump becoming the next president, the emotions poured out.

In 2018, when Stacy Abrams lost her first contest to Brian Kemp.

In 2020, when three states were still too close to call because, despite years of recognizing his deplorability, half the country still voted for the impeached president.

On Jan. 6, 2021, when Trump supporters, QAnon followers, and our radicalized fellow Americans stormed our Capitol with the intent to harm our democratically elected Congress.

And on May 3, 2022, our U.S. Supreme Court made it known they intended to reverse the ruling on an individual’s right to privacy, which is what Roe v. Wade’s judgment was truly about. The number of y’all who reached out directly is countless (even on work channels), and many of you posted on this very platform.

Because y’all know we can do better

That’s what this whole journey has been about, here at Pretty Southern and for my adult life. Although some sources want you to believe that being ‘woke’ is a bad thing, the thing about being wide awake, when you can see things as they truly are, you cannot go back to sleep.

For some of us ‘woke’ liberals, we have not only the ability to see the forest through the trees, but to also recognize what each tree is made of, to see the predators lurking in the forest, and the sunny skies above.

What’s in that metaphorical forest, and the great beyond, is what binds us all together because here we are trying to navigate a trail.

And for some of us, we are so lost.

So now we have to think about how we get better from here

How do we find a path to healing together?

Please know that I’m speaking up because I care about you, your neighbor, our home, and all our fellow Americans.

I’m proud to stand up for all womxn and our fellow humans in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Our home is the birthplace of the social justice movement. This beloved community recognizes the oppression we will continue to face if we stay silent.

Find your way to fight back. Vote because our rights depend on it.

Healthcare is a human right.

No justice. No peace.

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