This is my personal opinion about the SCOTUS’ decision to overturn Roe v. Wade – from my point of view as a Green Card holder in the U.S. who is subject to all laws, but without any right to vote. My husband and my daughter are U.S. American citizens though – and, within my power, I will always fight for my daughter’s and my equal rights and chances.
On a personal level, yesterday felt like a really good day. We finally dropped off the last missing document at the German Consulate so that Josephine can get her German birth certificate and passport. We took a long walk and spent some time in Central Park, taking fun photos of Josephine. I landed a great freelance job that, with a bit of luck, will continue for several months.
On a German national level, yesterday felt like a really good day. Parliament finally abolished paragraph 219a, a law that punished doctors for spreading information about abortions.
On a U.S. national level, yesterday was a very dark day. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and thus has made abortion bans legal. I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday when the news were published. Eventually, I painted a poster, went to the big pro-abortion protest here in Manhattan and voiced my anger. Rich would have liked to come, but the protest started around Josephine’s bedtime – and we didn’t want to throw her routine off.
Today I am still incredibly angry. I now live in a country that loves guns and embryos. Definitely not mothers or kids. Because healthcare here is a problem. So is paid maternity leave. There is no guaranteed right for pumping at work. There is a baby formula shortage. Daycare is incredibly expensive. So is college later on.
We as an example
When I got pregnant with Josephine, I also lost my job. Now, some people would say that was because I did not have a work permit, which is true. But it is also true that certain comments were made that indicated that the actual problem was my pregnancy and my planned maternity leave. So I have since been at home unpaid – because by the time I could have returned to that job, I didn’t qualify for paid maternity leave anymore. It really wasn’t worth to return. And so I quit.
Due to how the U.S. health insurance system works, we have a high deductible. We paid several thousand dollars for all ob-gyn check-ups and tests before the birth – of which we had quite a few. The hospital charged the insurance over $160,000 for the C-section and us staying in hospital for 3 days without any complications. While the insurance never pays the full amount, the hospital must have gotten a sweet sum. We alone had to pay over $9,000 out of pocket. Now, if you don’t have health insurance in this country – and many people do not – you have to pay the full amount the hospital charges.
Daycare, yay. So it is almost expected to return to work after 12 weeks of maternity leave (that includes any days before and after birth). The cheapest daycare we found around here was almost $2,000 per month. That was also the only daycare that was open from 7.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mostly, full day seems to mean 8.30 a.m. to 2 or 2.30 p.m. So you need to earn at least $24,000 to have somebody else look after your baby. Usually more.
Why I am pro-abortion
I was born in the GDR where abortion was legal until the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. Besides, I grew up in a family that was open to abortion. My mother was born with spina bifida and she has always clearly stated that she would have aborted me or any baby that had a birth defect.
While I have much respect for anyone who chooses to raise a child with disabilities, I know that that is not for me. Having grown up with my physically disabled mom, I have always seen the hardships and issues. So, yes, if at any point Josephine would have had a severe defect, I would have opted for an abortion.
Besides all these, I believe that it needs to be every human’s choice if they want to continue their pregnancy or not. They do not need any reason for an abortion. But they need a safe medical procedure.
The U.S. is not child-friendly. Having and raising kids here is super expensive and there aren’t any protections. It is already easier, if one can afford it – and many cannot – for a mother to stay at home and look after their own child. And thus giving up their (financial) independence. Thus power. Or to put so much money into childcare that you also lose. Basically, you always lose. Therefore, pregnant people need to have the option of a legal and safe abortion because I cannot imagine how bad it is to be on this losing end when you really do not even want the child.
Also, as has become obvious yesterday, banning abortion is only a first step to restrict (more) women’s, transgenders’, LGBTQ+’ rights. Instead we should strive for real equality. I want Josephine to have all the choices possible – and legal. The same chances as any white man in this country.
While I am still angry and feel powerless today, I want to channel my rage and become more active. Support pro-abortion organizations. So tomorrow I will read more and find the right fit for me. While I am not allowed to vote outside of NYC (immigrants in the City recently gained the right to vote in local elections), I am still allowed to voice my opinion.
Pro-abortion organizations that need our support are for example:
- Chamber of Mothers
- National Network of Abortion Funds
- Pro-Choice America
- Center for Reproductive Rights
- National Abortion Federation
- Planned Parenthood