By Lori Day – Educational psychologist, consultant, and author of Her Next Chapter
In the great state of Texas where the prickly cactus grows
and the tumbleweeds tumble when the hot wind blows
and politicians thump their Bibles as the money flows…
is the Land of the Self-Induced Abortion.
And deep in the desert, some people say, if you look deep enough you can still see,
today, where Planned Parenthood once stood
just as long as it could
before somebody lifted women’s rights away.
What were those rights?
And why aren’t they there?
Enshrined in the Constitution, then taken somewhere,
from the red state of Texas, where religious fervor grows.
The old Sermonize-ler lives there.
Ask him. He knows.
Look lady, calm down, there’s no cause for alarm.
I just shut down some clinics, I’m doing no harm.
This is all for your welfare, so your healthcare is good.
This is all about women! You should see that. You should!
So you need some days off and some childcare? Big deal.
We all have our problems. I know how you feel.
You can just drive your car for a couple of days.
You can come up with money in all kinds of ways.
Mister, you’re crazy. You’ve no legal right.
Shove your sexist religion. Get out of my sight.
Take your laws off my body; it’s entirely mine.
Put your bottle of aspirin where the sun doesn’t shine.
Your preaching offends me. Your “values” are vile.
No one will swallow this political bile.
I know why you do it and so, sir, do you.
I’ll shout from the rooftops what’s right and what’s true.
Aha, you’re mistaken, my sweet little lass.
I have friends in high places called the donor class.
We buy our elections. We make our own rules.
We bamboozle the voters, those hapless, dumb fools.
Go home to your kitchen and take off your shoes.
Have babies for Jesus. You’ve no right to “choose.”
You think that you know me? Well that may be so.
But what does it matter? My power will grow.
It will grow through the churches.
It will grow through the courts.
It will grow through misogyny,
and other male sports.
Why did men invent religion if not to keep you in your place?
Close your legs, make me a sandwich, and wipe that smirk off your face.
On it goes, this gloomy banter,
for many days and months and years,
while the clinics just keep closing.
Goodbye breast exams. Gone pap smears.
No one stops the gynoticians in their cunning, evil scheme.
People know what they are doing, they just somehow do not seem…
to care enough for women
or the mouths they have to feed
or the fact that decent healthcare–
not Christian scripture–is what they need.
Church and state are to be separate, as the Founders did agree,
but we now have politicians who prefer theocracy.
And why not? It benefits them! They pervert the law with joy.
Thus the assets of male privilege are passed down to every boy.
And the women who support this? Those who preach and smile and nod?
It’s the truth that most oppression goes down easier with God.
How can we fight the system, as the clinic doors stay locked?
What will women do now that their healthcare has been blocked?
From Texas to Alabama to Louisiana on the shore,
women’s reproductive rights are stolen from the poor.
Huge time machines are popping up across the United States,
and women are tossed into them at quite alarming rates.
As history has shown us, light is always followed by dark.
The cycle is eternal and the aftermath is stark.
One thing I must mention
is the train is gaining speed.
As the children’s story tells us,
no one needs the Sermonize-ler’s thneed.
But please do not believe every single thing you read…
like “there is no one on earth who would buy that fool thneed.”
Through the years, abortion access has fallen apart,
and I’ve worried about it with all of my heart.
“And now,” says the Sermonize-ler. “Now that you’re here,
the roles meant for women are perfectly clear!
Unless people like you
care a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to change here.
Don’t let this happen.
I beg you, speak out!
Make a loud noise
from your grumpula grout!
Grab your flu floopers
tar tinkers, who hoovers…
Blast your gar ginkers, trum tupers,
As Texas goes, also goes this great nation?
Only you can stop that abomination.
Until everyone cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.