Thoughts Upon Release From Jail After Sunday's Abortion Rights Protest Inside St. Patrick's Cathedral
“Abortion on Demand and Without Apology!”
“Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement!
“Stop the War on Women!”
|Outside St. Patrick's Cathedral -Sat Aug 11, 2012|
St. Patrick's is, of course, home of Cardinal Timothy Dolan – head of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, a lifelong staunch opponent of abortion rights, and the person who spearheaded the U.S. Catholic church's recent political and legal revolt against birth control.
As I and one other woman, Alice Woodward, spent a long night each alone in a filthy cell, looking out between fourteen bars to cold flourescent lights, a dingy wall, and a window that revealed only the dirty bricks and tarp of the next building (no green and no sky), I thought of the women in El Salvador staring out of similar cells after being arrested out of the emergency room and imprisoned if the doctors suspect they are bleeding due to botched abortions. I thought of the women who are imprisoned in Afghanistan if they fall in love with the wrong man or end up pregnant while still unmarried. I thought of Dr. Pendergraft who had spent seven months in jail for illegitimate charges leveled against him by anti-abortion fanatics seeking to put him out of business.
There is a real war going on against women. Around the world, under the cover of religious authority, women's dreams are extinguished, women's bodies are treated like mere vessels for men's sperm and the incubation of fetuses, and women's lives are foreclosed. Around the world, women and men face not only the church, but also the state, if they dare to defy thousands of years of tradition's chains.