Millennial Life: On Our Way to Make America Even Less Great
The kindergarten class was shepherding new chickens into the world. At least, that was the plan. At the beginning of the project, my son talked about the life cycle of a chicken and that in 21 days, there would be small, cute chicks in his classroom. He proceeded to ask nearly every day after if 21 days had passed.
Rumored cracks in the shells started to be reported a few weeks later. The time was near. But then I got news, via a text message, that we might want to talk with our children before the morning. The message read, "I thought you might want to prepare your children for the fact that only 2 chicks are probably going to make it." I had to ask, "How many could there have been?"
There could have been 12.
The next morning, I told my son there would be fewer chicks than expected. "Did they die?" he asked. "Yes," I said, looking back up in the rearview mirror. He nodded. "That could happen."
When I glanced at my daughter in the rearview mirror two weeks later, it was harder to explain the impending loss. My job was not to explain death but the loss of rights. And while the conversation was then directed to both in the mirror, the loss of rights would be impounded by the fact that the decision would be felt more by her. She, my daughter, would have fewer rights than I had in my life, than even my mother had. There was no easy way to explain this.
Regardless of how you feel about the impending SCOTUS decision, it opens an avenue for fewer rights. As I explained to my mother the morning after the leak, it's not just about abortion, it's about the logic that the law was based on. When the belief in that logic falls, the incoming fights will erode the rights of more than those in the womb. Alongside the unborn, the Supreme Court will erode other rights we have: the right to who you love, the right to love someone with more melanin in their skin and the right to choose the education for your children. It's all based on privacy.
Roe vs. Wade wasn't solely about abortion, but about privacy and control. When a contingent of Americans rallied against the influence of government on their lives with masks, they must have forgotten about the precedents that allowed them to crow about their freedoms. What will be struck down is one of the platforms from which they claim their rights, and their rights will fall alongside the rest of ours due to the decisions of the minority.
It's a hard pill to swallow to tell your children that they will be less free, die younger and have less access to the American dream. And there's a strange taste from the leak from the Supreme Court as it feeds into a holiday meant to prop up mothers. There are notes of regret and a tinge of hypocrisy.
But motherhood in America prepared me for this. There was preparation for the loss of my life, as maternal mortality is high. There was the preparation for less time, because mothers still take on more of the home life than men. There was the preparation for less autonomy because there can be more loss of self when a woman becomes a mother. And there was the sad preparation for less support from a society that was so enthusiastic when you were pregnant but so silent and disdainful after you gave birth.
If there was a genuine belief in the protection of the unborn, there would be support giving new mothers and their child a safe place to land after the child is born. However, that support is deemed not worthy enough for a vote. Those voters support life only when it unburdens their morality that relies on a book club many of us have not joined. But at least they can buy a generic Mother's Day Card that claims to value the sacrifice.
Cassie McClure is a writer, millennial, and unapologetic fan of the Oxford comma. She can be contacted at email@example.com. To find out more about Cassie McClure and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate Inc.