FYI: I expanded my 6-tanka sequence, Roe v. Wade – Then and Now, which was published on May 4 after the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion, into a 10-tanka sequence, which was written in response to the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
USA Today, June 24: What does overturning Roe mean? A breakdown of the Supreme Court's abortion ruling.
And Sky News, June 24: Roe v Wade: Who are the US Supreme Court justices and what did they say about abortion and other civil rights?
And The New Yorker, June 24, 2022: We’re Not Going Back to the Time Before Roe. We’re Going Somewhere Worse: We are entering an era not just of unsafe abortions but of the widespread criminalization of pregnancy.
In the weeks since a draft of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case about a Mississippi law that bans abortion after fifteen weeks, with some health-related exceptions but none for rape or incest—was leaked, a slogan has been revived: “We won’t go back.” ...
We have entered an era not of unsafe abortion but of widespread state surveillance and criminalization—of pregnant women, certainly, but also of doctors and pharmacists and clinic staffers and volunteers and friends and family members, of anyone who comes into meaningful contact with a pregnancy that does not end in a healthy birth. Those who argue that this decision won’t actually change things much—an instinct you’ll find on both sides of the political divide—are blind to the ways in which state-level anti-abortion crusades have already turned pregnancy into punishment, and the ways in which the situation is poised to become much worse....
Both abortion and miscarriage currently occur more than a million times each year in America, and the two events are often clinically indistinguishable. As such, prohibition states will have a profoundly invasive interest in differentiating between them. Some have already laid the groundwork for establishing government databases of pregnant women likely to seek abortions. Last year, Arkansas passed a law called the Every Mom Matters Act, which requires women considering abortion to call a state hotline and requires abortion providers to register all patients in a database with a unique I.D. Since then, six other states have implemented or proposed similar laws. The hotlines are provided by crisis pregnancy centers: typically Christian organizations, many of which masquerade as abortion clinics, provide no health care, and passionately counsel women against abortion. Crisis pregnancy centers are already three times as numerous as abortion clinics in the U.S., and, unlike hospitals, they are not required to protect the privacy of those who come to them. For years, conservative states have been redirecting money, often from funds earmarked for poor women and children, toward these organizations. The data that crisis pregnancy centers are capable of collecting—names, locations, family details, sexual and medical histories, non-diagnostic ultrasound images—can now be deployed against those who seek their help...
If you become pregnant, your phone generally knows before many of your friends do. The entire Internet economy is built on meticulous user tracking—of purchases, search terms—and, as laws modelled on Texas’s S.B. 8 proliferate, encouraging private citizens to file lawsuits against anyone who facilitates an abortion, self-appointed vigilantes will have no shortage of tools to track and identify suspects...In Missouri, this year, a lawmaker proposed a measure that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps a resident of the state get an abortion elsewhere; as with S.B. 8, the law would reward successful plaintiffs with ten thousand dollars. The closest analogue to this kind of legislation is the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.
The theological concept of fetal personhood—the idea that, from the moment of conception, an embryo or fetus is a full human being, deserving of equal (or, more accurately, superior) rights—is a foundational doctrine of the anti-abortion movement. ... Fetal-personhood laws have passed in Georgia and Alabama, and they are no longer likely to be found unconstitutional. Such laws justify a full-scale criminalization of pregnancy, whereby women can be arrested, detained, and otherwise placed under state intervention for taking actions perceived to be potentially harmful to a fetus.
During the past four years, eleven states have passed abortion bans that contain no exceptions for rape or incest, a previously unthinkable extreme.
In Texas, already, children aged nine, ten, and eleven, who don’t yet understand what sex and abuse are, face forced pregnancy and childbirth after being raped....
And Insider, June 24: Nancy Pelosi warns 'Republicans are plotting a nationwide abortion ban' after SCOTUS' overruling of Roe v. Wade, calling the decision a 'slap in the face to women'
And Insider, June 25: Obergefell, the plaintiff in the SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling, said it's 'quite telling' Clarence Thomas omitted the case that legalized interracial marriage after saying the courts should go after other right to privacy cases.
In a 5-4 decision released Friday, the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. The majority opinion argued that the 14th amendment, which prevents states from depriving citizens of "life, liberty, or property without the due process of law," does not protect the right to abortion.
In a concurring opinion following the ruling, Thomas wrote that "we should reconsider all of this Court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell."
These cases protect the right to contraceptive access, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage, respectively.
Added:This Brave New World, XLVI
Margaret Atwood proclaims, I invented Gilead. The Supreme Court is making it REAL.
“The fortunes of Canada’s 59 billionaires have increased by $111 billion since March 2020,” an Oxfam International report finds. “That’s more,” says the female news anchor in an emphatic, high-pitched voice, “than the $109 billion the Canadian government spent on income support for workers.”
From the back of the noisy kitchen, the cook yells out, “Turn off that TV! It’s time to peel potatoes.” I go down to the basement to fetch three bags of spuds. Inching my way up the stairs, I fall under the penetrating gaze of a colleague from my former workplace.
Under the dim light of the bedside lamp, I fix my eyes on a blank page of my diary.
He is his own man with few adjuncts: a MacBook, an iPhone, and a bulldog. Before the wedding, I was an entity in his life; afterwards, I've become an appendage to his social life. Not even this strip of the king-size bed where I lie feels like mine ...
The sound of my pen scratching on the page becomes loud ... and louder as rivulets of rain streak down the bedroom window with no sign of letting up.
In light of the leaked Supreme Court opinion that would reverse the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, the country faces the prospect of a future where abortion will no longer be legal nationwide. Amna Nawaz spoke to women who remember what life was like for them before Roe.
And today's tanka is a sequel to/relfection on the following tanka sequence, first published on NeverEnding Story, May 4 and written in response to the shocking leak of a draft of a Supreme Court majority opinion
Roe v. Wade – Then and Now
under a slate-gray sky
at counter protesters
with their arms linked
outside the closed clinic ...
stretches her hand to catch
falling rose petals
the space telescope
launched to explore the birth
of this universe ...
safe haven baby boxes
wrapped in Mississippi sunset
bans off our bodies
as firm as marble steps ...
against the Supreme Court
a phalanx of women
my body, my choice, my life
in the pandemic ...
the MAGA crowd chant, Hey, hey. Ho, ho.
Roe v. Wade has got to go
(FYI: MAGA stands for Make America Great Again)
over the Roe v. Wade leak
Afghan women covered
head to toe in black
(FYI: The Washington Post, May 7,: Taliban orders head-to-toe coverings for Afghan women in public)
Added: This Brave New World, XLIV
written in response to election worker Ruby Freeman's tearful testimony in Tuesday’s Jan. 6 hearing: There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the "president" of the United States target you?”
I only need
eleven thousand votes ...
in the empty hallway
barking at his own echo
FYI: "I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break:" Listen to the recording of President Donald Trump pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger & other officials to "find" enough votes in GA’s presidential election to make him the winner.
And this tanka could be read as a sequel to the following:
Trump’s former Attorney General told Trump this to his face. Among his choice words about various claims by the Trump legal team: “bullshit,” “completely bullshit,” “absolute rubbish,” “idiotic,” “bogus,” “stupid,” “crazy,” “crazy stuff,” “complete nonsense,” and “a great, great disservice to the country.” What’s more, Barr added, if Trump actually believed the garbage he was spewing about the election, then he had become dangerously “detached from reality.”...be the surprise star witness, debunking his former boss’s fantastical and malicious election falsehoods with a derision that bordered on outright contempt.
And Democracy Now, June 15: “Conspiratorial Mindset”: From Nixon to Trump, Lessons for Jan. 6 Hearing 50 Years After Watergate
The 50th anniversary of the Watergate burglary in 1972 this Friday comes as public hearings are underway by the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection. We speak with Garrett Graff, author of “Watergate: A New History,” about critical lessons and historical parallels between the defining controversies of the Nixon and Trump presidencies. Rather than isolated crimes, Watergate and January 6 should be seen as culminating events of U.S. presidencies that share a “dark, criminal, conspiratorial mindset that drives and links together so many of their scandals,” says Graff.
...what we now really understand about Watergate was that it was less an event and more a mindset, that that Watergate burglary was the equivalent of America walking into the second or third act of a play that had been underway for years at that point, and that Watergate is really about this dark, criminal, paranoid, conspiratorial mindset that Richard Nixon brings to the White House that permeates the upper ranks of his administration, that drives the actions of so many aides, including men like John Ehrlichman, who we heard from a moment ago, and that Watergate really becomes an umbrella for about a dozen interrelated but distinct scandals, all of which stem from presidential abuses of power, abuses of American civil liberties, the Nixon administration’s attempts to weaponize the government against its political enemies, and that carry straight from the campaign of 1968 through the summer of ’74, when Nixon finally resigns from office.
And so, my book and sort of where history, I think, is settling on the Watergate story is to look at the burglary as really just one event in this six years of, at least until then, unprecedented corruption and criminality inside the White House....
Born in Taipei,Taiwan, Chen-ou Liu was a college teacher, essayist, editor,and two-time winner of the national Best Book Review Radio Program Award.In 2002,he emigrated to Canada and settled in Ajax,a suburb of Toronto. Featured in New Resonance 7: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku, and listed as one of the top ten haiku poets for 2011(Simply Haiku, 9:3,4, Autumn/Winter 2011),Chen-ou Liu is the author of five books, including Following the Moon to the Maple Land (First Prize, 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest) and A Life in Transition and Translation (Honorable Mention, 2014 Turtle Light Press Biennial Haiku Chapbook Contest). His tanka and haiku have been honored with 139 awards,including First Prize Co-Winner, 7th and 8th International Tanka Festival Competition, 2012; Tanka First and Third Places, 2011 San Francisco International Competition; Grand Prix, 2010 Klostar Ivanic Haiku Contest and First Prize Co-Winner, 2010 Haiku International Association Haiku Contest.
My book is now available through Lulu.This collection of short poems is filled with themes of immigration, learning English, racialized identity, and a poet’s life struggles.
Following the Moon to the Maple Land
My book (First Prize Winner of the Spring 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest) is now available through http://www.haikupix.com/ You are one of the most lyric haikuists in our worldwide haiku family. You have the gift of tugging at our hearts. I can see why so many of your haiku have won awards. -- Neal Whitman, renowned American poet
Ripples from a Splash
My book is now available through www.lulu.com [Liu's] haiku resonates the Asian spirit, and makes use of aesthetics in a continuum of time that is permanent and impermanent; the process more important than the subjective specificity of object bias found in most Anglo-Western haiku like poems. His poetry demand to be interpreted by the informed reader. They do not tell all, are not based on an “aha” moment, and have no definitive ending. More importantly they give meaning and voice to the unsaid, the magic inherent in Japanese poetry. -- Poetry Review by Robert D. Wilson, Editor-in-chief of Simply Haiku.
A New Resonance 7
A New Resonance 7: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku edited by Jim Kacian and Dee Evetts. I'm featured in this anthology and have 15 haiku included in it. This is the seventh volume in a series that has won the Haiku Society of America's Merit Book Award in each of its first six appearances.