Was listening to NPR this morning and heard a weird figure…according to a recent poll, something like 80% of the people polled thought abortion would be illegal in four years.
Didn’t catch enough context to know what this was in terms of, and I don’t happen to agree with it–the population WANTS abortion to be legal at least through the first trimester, and you abandon all hope of acquiring a moderate vote if you go to “No abortions for anyone, ever!” So I would be surprised. And horrified.
Then again, I was surprised, and horrified, when Bush was re-elected. So it’s not like that’d be a first or anything.
Now, I am a good little liberal. After my inital “Ungh!” of horror, and thinking longingly of how my husband could get transferred to the Montreal branch, I nevertheless hunkered down and vowed to work to promote the cause of sanity and good taste in my home country. I calmed down. I still despise Bush on a deep and fundamental level, and would dearly love to see him caught in a compromising position with a dead girl or a live boy, mind you, but this presidency, too, shall pass. Sooner or later there must be a backlash. Nixon got re-elected by a much higher margin, and look what happened to him.
But if abortion is ever rendered illegal, I am outta here. That’s my deal breaker. I was appalled by the treatment of homosexuals in the last election, I hate our foreign policy, I loathe the Religious Right, I grit my teeth A LOT these days–but abortion hits me where I live. I can handle living in a country run by people that I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire, but that’s the point at which, for me, we tip over into unbearable. This is MY body. Nobody gets to say what goes in or out of it except me. I, and not the government, own my ass. Abortion is my dealbreaker. Abortion is the point where I stop merely disliking my government and begin to fear it. So far, it’s just unpleasant. But if abortion became illegal, I would feel threatened by it, and bugger all if I’m living like that. I can handle a neighbor who’s opinions I dislike, but one whom I feel is posing a direct and personal threat to my physical safety I ain’t gonna tolerate. That’s the point where it stops being “fight for change from within,” and becomes “get out while you still can.”
It’s unlikely. Crimony, I hope it’s unlikely.* But likelihood or not, that’s my breaking point. I can take a lot, but that, right there, is the bit where I can take no more and start saving my pennies to get the hell outta Dodge.
People will undoubtedly say “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass…” as they always do in these cases, yadda yadda, the cleverness, it burns, and those with slightly more moral high ground will tell me that it’s imperative to stay and fight, etc, and make dire insinuations about my cowardice. And here I am. I’m staying and fighting. But damn right I’m a coward, and that’s the point where I break and run.
Now, I don’t expect this to change anyone’s mind–if you’re rabidly pro-life, you can presumably do without me and my babykillin’ ways if it comes to that, and if you’re rabidly pro-choice, I’m preaching to the choir. But I felt like saying it anyway, because the notion that we could have backslid that far from enlightenment scares me into some kind of eruption.
Just so y’know.
*Anybody about to go off on how I’m demonizing conservatives by rumormongering, re-read this line a few times before you start, will you?
Edit: We have context! It appears the poll was asking what would happen in the event of overturning Roe v. Wade, which makes a helluva lot more sense. (Then again, with the way the Supreme Court is likely to be stacked in the next four…well, y’know.)
Still stands as a general statement of policy, however–abortion goes, and I go with it.