Thursday, June 3, 2010
You know what also stops a beating heart? Murder.
This past Sunday, I was driving home to spend Memorial Day with my family, my handbag on the seat beside me with a Dr. Tiller memorial button pinned to it. I wear the button daily, when I go to work at the clinic and even when I end up in the rural south for whatever reason (When I'm in the rural south, I wear it just as proudly, but I steel myself.), but on Sunday, I wore the button differently, anticipating, dreading the first anniversary of Dr. Tiller's death on Memorial Day, itself.
Heading home to the family that doesn't need to be reminded of what day May 31st will always be, to the family that has never made choice seem like anything but a fact of life, to the family that is a safe haven, I passed under an enormous billboard on the side of the interstate that featured a woman covering her face in anguish. Next to her image, in yellow, the words, "1 DEAD, 1 WOUNDED." Maybe there was a website or a phone number, too, but I didn't need more details to know what it was all about. I raised my middle finger at the billboard ineffectually, and I felt good about the work I do, thankful that flipping off an inanimate object isn't all I can do.
And in my mind, I replaced the anguished woman's face with my own and with my co-workers' and with my co-bloggers' and with all the allies of choice and with the faces of the women who have had abortions and who aren't sorry. In my version, the woman has a cartoon-style thought bubble with Dr. Tiller's face in it. The caption is still there, but it reads, "1 DEAD, MILLIONS WOUNDED." Let me show the world how to appropriate that language, and let me show what it is to be wounded. Let me fight in the REAL war on terror. Let us all show what it is to be wounded and to carry on a legacy and to work harder than ever.