Well, it finally happened. Roe v. Wade has been overturned by the Supreme Court. Conservative voters and politicians have been telling us they were going to do it, and now they have. Abortion, with very few exceptions, is now illegal in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. In another month or two, once all the paperwork has been filed, over a dozen other states will ban or severely restrict the procedure.

As the only columnist at the Portland Press Herald who is capable of pregnancy, I guess I’m qualified to commentate here. Sure, that’s not much of a qualification, but I can guarantee four of the five justices who overturned Roe have never and will never be capable of pregnancy, so I’ll just forge ahead while it’s still legal for me to have a newspaper column.

There is one thing I am completely, utterly, 110 percent, rock solid sure about: Republicans won’t stop now. Have you ever had a dog beg for a bite of food from the dinner table? Do they stop and go away after you give them a bite? No. They double down and whine harder. They are emboldened. The only way to make the dog stop is to point to a corner and say “No! Go lie down!” in a stern voice, which is what we need to do to the GOP.

After all, these are religious zealots we’re talking about, and if you truly believe that God wants you to do something, what earthly considerations are going to stop you? Remember the story of Abraham in the Bible, who very nearly kills his son because God told him to, only to be stopped by God in the nick of time, as the kid was strapped to the altar? Christians are supposed to model themselves after that level of faith. And Isaac was Abraham’s own son. If Christian zealots believe that God wants them to ban abortion, what does it matter that women they’ll never meet will suffer and die?

If Republicans gain control of Congress and the presidency, they will enact a national abortion ban. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, minority leader, has already stated support for a ban at 15 weeks and as we’ve seen, these people do not stop. If Republicans gain control of Maine’s government, they will chip away at abortion access. Oh, sure, they’ll say otherwise. They’ll swear up and down that things are different here in Maine, and that it can’t happen here, and that Maine is such an independent state. But if judges can lie under oath about Roe v. Wade being precedent, what’s to stop regular politicians from lying?

I have a family history of pregnancy complications. I have always known that I might need an abortion at some point. And if I do get approved to donate a kidney (which I am still trying my very best to get cleared to do), any pregnancy of mine will automatically be considered “high risk.” One of the few long-term issues that comes from being a kidney donor is that it raises your risk of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy from an average of 5 percent to 11 percent. Pre-eclampsia is life-threatening high blood pressure during pregnancy. It can lead to a very quick death. Sometimes it can be managed safely until delivery; and sometimes it can’t. If it can’t be managed, there’s no cure other than not being pregnant anymore, which means an abortion. And while I am sure that if I became a mother I’d be willing to die for my child, I’m not willing to die for a fetus. Sorry if that makes me a selfish person.

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Nothing will change for me right away. I have a birth control implant in my arm that is good through 2026. But long-term, my horizon is shifting. After all, I’ll be 30 in September, which means the next decade is make it or break it for having biological children. If the country turns into an ugly red-and-blue patchwork quilt of safety and access, I’d have to restrict travel while I’m pregnant. What if I’m on a road trip to visit my family in Virginia and my amniotic sac ruptures at 15 weeks while I’m in Pennsylvania and I need an abortion to prevent sepsis but the hospital can’t perform one since there is still a detectable fetal heartbeat?

And if there is a national ban, or abortion access is revoked here in Maine, I simply won’t get pregnant. I will choose not to have biological children. Getting pregnant without easy access to abortion would simply be too much of a health risk for me. Plus, what if I had a baby girl? I’m not about to bring a girl into a Maine where she doesn’t have control over what goes on inside her body.

So. Where do we go from here?

Well, fortunately, I was raised on Johnny Cash and episodes of “The Lone Ranger.” Outlaws were my family heroes. And if abortions are outlawed, only outlaws will have abortions.

Victoria Hugo-Vidal is a Maine millennial. She can be contacted at:
[email protected]
Twitter: @mainemillennial


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