Dear Brian Kemp,
You’ve walked by me and didn’t even know. Last year, when my dad’s name was engraved on the Georgia Public Safety Memorial, you shook my mom’s hand, handed her a plaque, and thanked her for my father’s service. Before his death, my father served in the United States Air Force as a military police officer. After that, he served in the North Carolina Highway Patrol and served in the United States Secret Service before his death. In fact, he formed the fourth Electronic Crimes Task Force in the country here in Atlanta. If you need proof, just look at a picture of him and a picture of me. A DNA test wouldn’t even be needed- we look nearly identical.
He did not serve this country so that you could deny my right to bodily autonomy as a woman. While I hope that I will never need an abortion, a pregnancy would likely be a death sentence. There are two things that most politicians don’t know about me. However, we all know that you probably wouldn’t care anyway. Women like me don’t fit your narrative.
First and foremost, I was raped at the age of nineteen. I did not report it and regret it every day for the past twelve years. However, at thirty-one, I know that a police officer would have done little- if anything- to investigate. First, the man who raped me was “too good looking”. Secondly, someone forcing themselves on me is still seen as consent since I was behind closed doors on his property. Let’s not forget the photos that I was FORCED to pose for afterward. I tried to fight back but, he had military training and was bigger and stronger than me. Do you really think it mattered?
How do I know that the police wouldn’t have done anything? I was stalked by another student at my former university a year later and, despite receiving death threats, the police there told me that we needed to “work it out like adults”. For the record, this man was 6'8" and well over three hundred pounds. At 5'8 and, at the time, about 170 pounds, I would have been no match for him.
As an only child, I was my father’s pride and joy. However, it was a well-known fact that Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy runs in my dad’s family. In fact, two of his brothers died from it. For those who don’t know, there is a fifty percent chance that I will pass it on. Forcing a woman to give birth is barbaric enough. Forcing a woman to watch her child die is cruel and you are a sick, depraved person if you think that this is acceptable. On top of that, what help will you personally give me? Probably, none. This doesn’t take into account that I would be unable to work, take care of my mother, and take care of an unwanted child. All of my dreams would die. Honestly, I would be better off dead than pregnant.
Under your laws, I would not only be forced to potentially carry a child with Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy or a daughter who could carry the genes. I would be forced to watch that child slowly die over the course of around twenty years. I’m thirty-one now and both of my dad’s brothers were dead by the time they were my age. In fact, I told my grandmother that I wouldn’t be having kids before she died. Despite being a staunchly pro-life Catholic, she supported that decision one hundred percent. Why? She had to raise two kids who she knew would die a slow, painful death. She knew that they would never be able to work doing what they loved, get married, or have children of their own. My father was the only perfectly healthy son that she had.
To make matters worse, my mom is permanently disabled from her pregnancy. While not to her liking, I attempt to help her around the house. I make sure that we have food in the house, it’s somewhat clean, and that affairs are in order. If I became pregnant, there is a high likelihood that my pregnancy would be high risk and that would be my fate. Are you that brainwashed that you feel that I should suffer PERMANENT consequences from a potential pregnancy? Or are you just that stupid? If I get pregnant, you might as well just shoot me. I would be better off dead.
On top of that, I have never wanted children. Despite the fact that I used to work with them, I always knew that having my own children was not meant for me. I have prayed about it more than you and that is the answer that I get. Contrary to popular belief, you are not God and I will not bow to you. No woman should be forced into motherhood and no one should be penalized for helping a woman get the care that they need. I am a practicing Christian and Buddhist. That will guide me- not you and your bullshit laws.
I don’t feel safe in Georgia. I see laws being passed around the country about “aiding and abetting” abortion. What does that even mean!?! How is that defined? If I post something on Tik Tok that violates this law unknowingly, leave the state, and get detained, will I be facing twenty-five years in prison? Will I be at risk for lawsuits by fighting for women to have autonomy over their bodies and make the choice that’s best for them- whether abortion, adoption, or keeping their child?
I also feel that my only options are to have my IUD switched out and to have my Fallopian tubes removed in case you come up with any more bright, tyrannical ideas. Every woman that I know under forty is terrified. I have multiple friends who have always wanted kids who have made the decision not to bring a child into this world.
After I tie up loose ends, pay off a small amount of debt, and save up enough, I will be moving to Illinois. I have no clue how I will afford it but, what choice do I have? I don’t feel safe here. If I’m not out of here by March, I am terrified that I will be incarcerated or dead. My four fluffballs would not have their mother. My mom would not have her daughter. My late best friend’s parents wouldn’t have their “bonus daughter”. I have spoken to many felons in research for a science fiction novel (which you can read about here). I am very aware of what their realities are in prison and what their reality is when they get out (for those that will be released). It is bleak and I should not be potentially penalized for helping someone get basic healthcare, directly or indirectly. Even if this isn’t a law in Georgia, there are laws across the country and they are terrifying. How is any of this okay?
All of the progress and connections that I’ve made here will be irrelevant. I am going to have to find ways to care for my disabled mother as well. Is this the reality that you want? Is this really “pro-family”? I am trying to convince her to move but, she is in denial of how bad this is. She is in denial of how my rights are being denied. She is in denial and you are to blame.
On top of this, the economy will tank. Honestly, I hope that it does. Do you really think that any company with any sense will want to do business with someone who discriminates against half of their workers? You can’t honestly think that those of us who can leave won’t leave. Sure, some will be stubborn and fight. However, if we can leave, we will. Do you think that I am looking forward to Midwestern winters? Or somehow finding a way to pay off my debt and save up enough to move? Did I mention that I am doing this all by myself since I have no husband, father, or men to help me? Do you think that I look forward to driving nearly fourteen hours with four animals- including two cats, one of whom sedatives do not work for? However, I’m willing to do all of that if it means leaving your sad, sorry ass here and that I can have basic human rights again.
There is nothing wrong with being personally pro-life. However, there is something wrong with forcing your viewpoints on others. Nothing about this law makes sense. Instead of policing us, trust women to make the right choice and do the right thing.
Ironically, I’m not political. I would say that I’m moderately independent. However, I do believe in basic human rights. My father would be ashamed if he knew that this was the country that he fought for. He loved his country but, he loved me more.
Keep this in mind in your bullshit “Fight for Life”. It’s a farce. You may have everyone fooled but, I will not be fooled. Do better.
Not Voting for You