Something Died Inside My Heart When the Supreme Court Stole Our Right to Abortion. And I Can’t Heal It.

Today is supposed to be the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  

Today, this fight feels like too much.  

You know those montages at the end of action movies? The flashes of images of the good guys losing all their fights against the bad guys—well, that’s what the past two years have felt like to me.  

My colleagues and I getting pinned by a rigged system, in the courts, in supermajority legislatures, amid increasing violent threats. And now looking toward the upcoming election—with extremist candidates who brazenly support a federal abortion ban, taking away medication abortion, and tracking you through your phone data.  

It’s all the kind of stuff that wakes you up at 3 a.m. and you can’t go back to sleep. 

For an optimist like me, it is hard figuring out a way forward while experiencing something so heavy and contrary to my being. It is hard to play by the rules and keep fighting when it all feels rigged. When your day includes crafting arguments on why Idaho shouldn’t let pregnant women die. When the Supreme Court refuses to intervene, telling sick pregnant women to wait it out until they decide Idaho’s case this summer. 

So why do I do it? Why do I keep going to work every day, even when I feel like the game is rigged and crashing all at once?  

After a recent snowstorm, I walked out at night. I noticed that trees have shadows when snow is on the ground and the moon shines. After many decades on this planet, I am just learning this beautiful detail about our world.  

And I don’t know why, but that made the flicker inside me shine brighter. See, we each have flames inside of us. Sometimes, they burn super bright—you know those times in your life, when you are at every protest, donating to every cause. 

Then the flicker can dim, on the verge of being snuffed out. The Supreme Court did that to me on June 24, 2022. It almost snuffed out my flame. 

But seeing the shadows of great trees on snow at night, I am reminded why we fight. 

Because this world—full of wonder—is worth fighting for. People who get pregnant and need abortions, no matter where they live or how much they have in the bank, are worth fighting for.  Equality, equity, and progress are worth fighting for. 

Again, I am reminded of the scenes in movies and TV shows where the good guys are about to lose, and the bad guys play mind games to finish them off. They tell them it isn’t worth it, that they’ve lost already, to just give up.  

And, really, it is easier to quit. It is the easier short-term option.  

But I have realized that’s what the bad guys need you to think. They need you to actually give up, because if you don’t, they haven’t really won. Maybe they have the power, but they don’t actually win until you stop fighting. So, on this Roe anniversary, here is my advice from a struggling advocate who continues to fight: Find a way to keep your flame alive.  

Because you know what happens after that montage of the bad guys winning? 

The good guys beat them. Every time.