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the Handmaid's Tale, Alabama, Abortion, Kay Ivey, America

The Handmaid’s Tale is Real Just Ask the Women of Alabama

by Deborah Cruz

Alabama state Republican Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed into law a controversial abortion bill that would punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison. Sound familiar? Sounds like something right out of the Handmaid’s Tale if you ask me.

“Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature,” said Ivey.
The Alabama Senate passed the bill 25-6 late Tuesday night. The law only allows exceptions “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” for ectopic pregnancy and if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly.” Democrats re-introduced an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims, but the motion failed on an 11-21 vote.
Ivey noted in her statement that the new law may be unenforceable due to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states. But, the new law was passed with the aim of challenging that decision, Ivey said.

I love the United States. It is a country born out of asylum. My mother’s ancestors fled here seeking religious freedom. Her other ancestors were already here; our great nation’s original citizens, Native American.

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But that is not where my love ends, it’s the country the provided my father a place to come to make a better life; to rise above his circumstances. This is the same country that made it possible for my mother and father to meet and have 6 first generation Mexican-Americans. This is a country based on freedom and built on opportunity. We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. But do we? Do we have the basic human right of choice and domain over our own bodies?

It’s a beautiful dream. A nation built of people with arms open to welcome their fellow human beings seeking that same freedom, escaping persecution in their own nation, willing to leave behind all they know in search of something better for their children. What a beautiful dream it is. Only that’s all it is. The reality is opportunities are boundless if you can check all the boxes to meet the criteria.

READ ALSO: My Father the Immigrant

It’s not about open arms to help anyone. It’s about a master race, defaming anyone else who would dare to pursue that American dream. We grab them at our borders and punish them for even trying to take refuge in our nation’s bosom. For some reason, we don’t believe they should be afforded the same chance at freedom as our own ancestors were given.

But should we be surprised? For centuries now, we have withheld those rights from American citizens even born in this country. Those with the misfortune of being born anything other than Caucasian male, those citizens born female and even those who dare not to be Christian. I’m a Latina daughter of an immigrant, so I’m twice on the outside.

My life has consisted of straddling a very fine line of trying to blend in and not be seen and standing tall and speaking up for those of us who cannot do so for themselves. I’ve been speaking out and standing up a lot more than I used to need to.

READ ALSO: Will all the Politicians Kindly Back the Eff out of My Uterus

Women and minorities have always been treated less than. In fact, misogyny, racism and bigotry is something we had all developed an acceptable threshold for. We knew it was wrong and we hated it but, it was better than it used to be. Black people are no longer sold into slavery and women can own property and vote. This is all de jure, not always de facto.

Women are still treated like second class citizens with our government almost always with one hand in our uterus and well, black people may not be chained any longer but there is an epidemic of black men being shot dead in the street for no reason at all other than being born black. And apparently, all Mexicans are criminals. Our crime? Being brown?

We got the vote and then we got reproductive rights. Well, we weren’t given anything. We fought long and hard to be treated equal but it never really took so we live this emboldened half-life where we are brave and strong but only as much as society allows us to be. That was as good as it got for us.

READ ALSO: Women’s Reproductive Rights are not the Same as Animals

We almost had a female president. Almost. Now, we are in danger of losing our God-given human rights because the misogynists feel it’s more important to control our reproductive rights and enslave our sexuality than to have a president who misused her email privileges. Moms all over the United States are bulk buying Plan B so that they can ensure that their daughters have a choice to make when the time comes in 5/10/15 years. This is our America. We are going backward. Which begs the question, whose America is this? If it’s not mine or yours or hers, whose is it?

I feel like there is a cleansing being put in place by our administration.  I expect a purge and my smallpox blanket in the mail any day now. All I want for my children is what my dad wanted for his, what so many immigrants who built this country wanted… a land of opportunity. A haven in a world of shit. A place where hard work is rewarded.  A place where good people do good things and everyone is treated as a human being. A place where human respect, dignity and freedom are givens. A country where equality isn’t something that has to be fought for but is given because what makes one human life more valuable than another human being’s life?

READ ALSO: Let’s Build Something Beautiful for our Daughters

I want my daughters to be treated as human beings and not inanimate objects. Women are more than what lies between their legs and no one else has the right to control what we do with our bodies. I never quite understand where men get off trying to tell us what we can do with our bodies and what we can and can’t do.

Women are goddesses. Without us, there would be no men. We create the world you live in. We are not weak.  We are stronger than anyone has ever given us credit for. We grow and deliver children and it’s hard. Harder than anything any man has ever done. Who is anyone to tell us what we can and can’t do? Without us, there would be no you.

Stay woke ladies, the Handmaid’s tale is not just some dystopian novel.

It is fast becoming our reality. We need to stand up against the Kay Ivey s of the world before they destroy the country we love so much. Also, can I just say how disgusted I am that a woman would sign this bill?

 

 

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