Women's Abortion and Reproductive Rights - We Won't Go Back

November 03, 2022

Women's Abortion and Reproductive Rights - We Won't Go Back
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Before the November 8 election, the WMF ladies felt it was important and necessary to discuss the hot topic of Women's Reproductive Rights. What does that mean? Where does our country stand? How does this affect us as women and our future generations? Marlena, Christy and Jamie share their thoughts, feelings, as well as their own personal stories surrounding this topic. 

 If you are in need of services, here are some services that were discussed  in this episode:


https://pregnancydecisionline.org/  866-798-8511 (private and confidential hotline)


 If you are having difficulty coping, please seek out a professional help. You can contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 on your cell phone. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HELLO to 741741 or calling the 24 Hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK). 

We apologize for the technical difficulties we were having with Marlena’s microphone during this episode. We are hoping to have the issue resolved in all future episodes.

Medical Disclaimer 

Have questions or comments for A Witch, A Mystic & A Feminist? Send us a message on our Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/witchmysticfeministpodcast/



Jamie: Good morning podcast land. Welcome back to a witch, a mystic and a feminist. I am Jamie. I have my favorite girls with me, Marlena and Christie. Good morning ladies.

Christy: Good morning

Marlena: morning.

Jamie: How are we doing so far? Have we had our coffee? Are we ready to go?

Christy: I think I'm caffeinated enough. Yeah.

Marlena: I'm definitely caffeinated.

Jamie: Oh wait, I have my special Wonder Woman Cup today because, well, today's episode is all about us wonderful women,

Christy: Yes.

Marlena: So excited, but so nervous to talk about this topic.

Christy: It's, it's a, it's a hot topic,

Marlena: Yeah.

Jamie: it is a hot topic. So with that said, what that leads into is today's topic, and today we do plan on dabbling a little bit more into our feminist side, our activist side. This is why I'm, I'm speaking right now. Um, . So today we are discussing the difficult topic and. The topic that needs to be discussed before election day, let's be honest, to women's reproductive rights and where it stands today.

And of course, we will be discussing our personal stories as it relates to these topics. So we wonder why we're nervous here. We are . This is why. Um, but it, we also know that for our group and our discussion, this needs to be discussed openly, um, with our podcast family and amongst each other, with our families and friends.

So if we're gonna do it, let's just get to it already. let's just dive in. So today, and, and as we bring up these discussions, we do like to just open up with, well, what does this big statement mean? I mean, women's reproductive rights. Um, this has been something that has been discussed and debated and politicized and such a hot topic for anyone to talk about.

Men, women, children, everyone, grandparents. So, Women's reproductive rights, What does that mean? So if we look up on Google, the definition of women's reproductive rights, states, reproductive rights are about the legal right to contraception, abortion, fertility treatment, reproductive health, and access to information about one's reproductive body, reproductive rights, secure people's freedom to decide about their body's capabilities or capacities to produce or to not reproduce.

So it goes both ways. I think when we discuss and talk about reproductive rights, people tend to only go towards the abortion topic, but it does embody everything. So that is our definition, if you will. If you look it up on Google, that's what it says. Uh, reproductive rights also include. Your legal ability to make these decisions.

So it's not also just giving you the right, but your legal freedom to be able to make these decisions about your body, whether you choose to reproduce or not, whether you choose to have an abortion or not. Whether you choose to control when you get pregnant with contraception or not, These are your legal rights in order to be protected so that no one comes after you for whatever your decision might be.

But we also know, and I think we may focus a little heavy on this particular topic because it is up for

Christy: Mm-hmm.

Jamie: Um, we recently had some big changes in the law, and we know it's important for this election coming up in November, but abortion, Ooh, ladies, how do you feel when we say that word? , Abortion.

Christy: It for me, it's a right, It should be everybody's choice or they should have access to it, safe access to it, and, and that's something that now a lot of states do not have safe access to abortion. And that is super concerning. Super angry, super frustrating. Because we've rolled back to how many years ago?

I mean like so many years ago when we didn't have these rights and like we're having to fight for them again.

Marlena: And the fact that our children have less rights than we did at their age, strikes such a chord with me, um, the way we have been stepping back in this country, um, and not protecting women.

Jamie: Yeah, I agree with, with both of you and Marlena, what you just said, with our children not having as many rights as we did growing up. I think that really resonates with me cuz I feel it bubble up inside of me. Just pure anger and sadness and frustration that we even went backwards in this particular area and my daughter has to deal with this all over again.

So it is unfortunate and here we are cuz that is our reality. So abortion for many people is a tough topic to discuss. And it is a topic that has to be discussed whether you want to or not. Uh, this is something that is, is very politicized and we really can't get away from it. So it needs to be something that is discussed openly amongst our peers and others.

So again, it is a topic that needs to be discussed openly, willingly, and with our children as well as this is a reality, especially if you have daughters. And let's be honest, it affects our sons too. They, they need to understand what's going on when they're dating, and if they're in a situation where something comes up, they need to understand the mental.

Capacity of it and, and how it affects the person that it happened with and themselves. It does affect our boys too, who are involved. So without abortion, if we don't have safe legal abortions, if our rights are restricted, they could lead to several different things. And we talk about unwanted pregnancies often due to rape or incest situations that happen outside of a consensual act.

Um, there could be pregnancy complications that could result in a mother's death. There are places that still don't believe in the right to abortion if it's gonna complicate someone's health. So there are situations that could happen that if we don't have this legal right protected, it could affect us in many ways.

And I don't even think we need to go down the path of, you know, adoptions population that will grow, that people are of unwanted pregnancies. It just could lead to so many things. But in the past as well, there's been a lot of women of different color races, uh, Native American that didn't even have the same reproductive rights as other white women.

Let's be honest, back in the day. That was a very valid fact. And who's to say it's not even true? Now, I'm sure there are studies out there that would talk about how lower income women of all colors don't have the same reproductive rights as more financially well off women. So some were forced back in the day to get sterilized.

Even today, women on Medicaid or drug rehabilitation treatment programs may have limited birth control options. So unwanted pregnancies tend to happen a lot more commonly in lower income families or situations because they don't have the same access as a lot of us do, which is so unfortunate. So for a long time we've had the Roe v Wade.

Marlena: Precedent.

Jamie: precedent. There you go. There's my, there's my, my legal advice there. Okay. Um, I'm always looking for the right word, , but we've had that for a long time to protect our rights federally since the overturn, and we will get into that a little bit later. What we have right now, the laws that protect our rights.

Well, you know what? Shit, there are none. Let's be honest. There are none currently, Federally, federally is different than state. So federally, there are no laws that protect our reproductive rights. Now we do have some pending, let's put it that way. We have the right to contraception act that was passed by the house so far in July of 2022.

It still has to go. The Senate, still gotta go, the president, all those things. Um, we have the Women's Health Protection Act, also known as W H P A, that was also passed in September of 2021 in the house. 2021, so already over a year and still hasn't gone any further. Those are the current bills. That are pending, that haven't moved since they were approved by the house.

So in discussing Roe v. Wade, we did have that federal protected. Precedents for us. Since January 22nd, 1973, the court decided in a 7 22 decision holding that due process clause of the 14th amendment, I know this is gonna sound really technical, provides a fundamental in quote right to privacy, which protects a pregnant women's right to an abortion.

The court also held that the right to the abortion is not absolute and must be balanced against the government's interest in protecting women's health and pre. Life. So in essence, we've been protected with the right to an illegal and safe abortion since 1973 under Roe v. Wade, under the right to privacy that has been upheld up until June of 2022, this year.

So on June 24th, 2022, this is when Roe v. Wade was overturned. So the Supreme Court overruled Roe in the Dobbs versus Jackson Women's Health Organization. So this was in Mississippi on the grounds that the substantive right to abortion was not deeply rooted in the nation's history or tradition, nor considered a right when due process clause was ratified in 1868 and was unknown in the US law until roe.

So basically what they're saying is they don't believe that the rights are protected because it wasn't in the nation's best interest or a history since, what'd they say, 1868 and therefore it is not protected. That's how I summarize it, and that is just ridiculous. So anyways, it is just, it blows me away.

But again, we will discuss that. So in essence, I know

Marlena: like,

Jamie: it, I know such a heavy side because it's, I read this and I have to tell you listeners out there, I physically get sick hearing this stuff, but okay. I promise not to puke while we're having this podcast. Um,

Marlena: nothing.

Christy: I make no promises.

Jamie: in essence, the overturn a Roe v. Wade put the power of the decision of the law of protection back to each state, allowing them to make their own laws varying state.

To state laws that don't necessarily need to be voted on by their citizens. Keep that in mind. I actually had to go down the rabbit hole for this because I don't remember in my fifth grade how a bill is passed and I should have watched Schoolhouse rocks again. I don't know, but I know a bill is a bill on Capitol Hill.

Yeah, I remember. But I had to go down the rabbit hole because it really did boggle my mind that a state could just enact a law without its citizens voting on it. Because I know there are precedences and bills and and laws we vote on when we have our elections, But what I found out is that yes, as long as it passes through all the, the committees and the houses, and it goes to the governor and the governor signs it, boom.

It's a law. And then we as citizens will vote if we wanna have changes, if somehow a change wants to come up or a modification or to remove a. Then I, from what I understand, that's when it comes to us. So yes, these states can literally make the decisions right now how to restrict abortion, how to ban abortion, how to keep abortion legal if needed.

They can currently make it a law and what's done is done. And that's scary shit. Scary shit. So

Marlena: And Jamie and I, you were, you and I were talking about this, um, as we were getting ready for this episode. Currently there's 14 states that have bans on abortion. 14 fucking states. Like I just, I'm, I'm blown away.

Jamie: that, that's 14 too many.

Marlena: And then in Wisconsin, medical providers have to stop offering abortions since the overturn of Roe versus.

Christy: Yeah. And the people passing these bands are mostly men who have no idea how a woman's body works and shouldn't be speaking at all about abortion. They should just be shutting their fucking mouth and not be representing, I'm sorry, I just got very angry. But yes,

Jamie: Nope.

Marlena: you know what? We should be angry. We

Christy: we, I, Yes. Yeah.

Marlena: such bullshit that we have to have this conversation yet again in 2022.

Christy: right.

Marlena: have to have this conversation again. Yeah. We should be fucking angry. I'm fucking pissed.

Christy: Yeah, Yeah.

Marlena: not sorry.

Jamie: And now we're back.

Christy: Whew. right. Trying to keep it together.

Marlena: Yeah.

Jamie: Yes.

Marlena: it's banned abortions after six weeks. I don't know many people that have known they were pregnant before six weeks.

Christy: No, they won't even

Jamie: That's usually when you find out.

Christy: but they won't even take you for an appointment before eight weeks. So like, even if you thought you were pregnant, you have no confirmation from a doctor to then go in and get an abortion before six. Like that's not even possible. So it is in essence a ban

Jamie: Right. Well, and I wanna know if I did find out at six weeks, do they just have these doctors like ready and waiting for me? Because if I don't get it right now, I can't get it next

Christy: Right.

Jamie: So I guess they just have open clinics with doctors waiting for that six week pregnant girl to walk in. Absolutely. I'm sure that's what George is

Christy: Yeah. George's waiting for you. Yep. Let's go.

Jamie: Yeah. Ridiculous. Ridiculous.

Marlena: speaking of ridiculous, and Arizona Judge said that the state could now reinforce its pre Roe versus Wade Ban, which includes a penalty of two to five years in prison for abortion providers.

Christy: What I mean?

Jamie: now we go after the doctors. It's fucking ridiculous.

Marlena: we're gonna go back to, you know, back alley abortions,

Christy: I mean, do we need to go, I mean, rewatch dirty dancing. That was my first experience really With like a, a legal abortion. Right? Like, why are they sending us back there? It's not gonna stop abortion. It's just gonna increase complications and death among women. It really is because they're forcing us back there.

Jamie: Whew. Yes. So as Marlena was mentioning, these, this is just a, a portion. Of the laws that are out just a small amount. And it is just, it's so scary. And the fact that they would go after, you know, the doctors as well as the woman who's having abortion. So it's not just the doctors. They'll go after the lady who had it as well.

So that's scary shit. And some of the other things we've been noting since, uh, the Roe V way overturn is just . There have been a lot of positives too with people and their activism. And just as we have been discussing our anger is, is forcing us to make our voices heard. There's a lot of positives that have happened since the overturn in June.

Some of those positives. And I'll just discuss one of them, the medical students of the University of Michigan walked out. This kind, this gives me the chills because this is like, this is so huge for them. Walked out on their white coat ceremony and this is like a rite of passage. Once they've graduated, they get presented their white doctor's coat.

When their keynote speaker, who was Kristin Collier, spoke on her anti-abortion views, and that resonates so much because it's just such a huge statement. It's a huge statement. These are our future doctors. Literally walking out when this lady decided to preach her anti-abortion views, that's just, that's speaks so, so many volumes.

It's just amazing. Amazing.

Christy: Another thing that, um, has come, you know, in the a hundred plus days since the overturn is that Planned Parenthood is working on mobile clinics that will be consultations and abortion pills, Which plan B, Right. So the morning after pill. Um, so that'll give them access in all those states, those particularly red states, but the states with anti-abortion laws and bans and Planned Parenthood, they're clinics for so much more, but they are clinics for reproductive rights is what they are.

So that's, that's huge and really necessary for all those states because some people don't have access to cross state lines to go to a state where abortion is legal.

Marlena: And that takes us back to, you know, people that, again, don't have that money to be able to get safe abortions that may have to have these children during these unwanted pregnancies

Jamie: in terms mm-hmm.

Marlena: harm them potentially cause death to the mother. You know, it's just, Oh god.

Christy: It's so layered.

Jamie: every time we talk about it. It's just like, it leads into so many variables that it's not just this one thing. And I do have to say, it's unfortunate that people have this perception of Planned Parenthood of being just purely about abortions because they do so much, so much, and for low income and non-insured women and women with insurance.

I can't speak more about how proud I am of them. And Planned Parenthood does everything from mammograms to um, counseling to all the things. And it's just, it's unfortunate that people have this stigma about them. So I just wanted to plug that in real quick. As you mentioned about Planned Parenthood, I can't, I can't talk more highly about them because they're just, they're such a great group and unfortunately people just think all they do is they're, they do abortions and actually they don't do abortions.

They might refer you to a doctor who can, but little side note.

Christy: yeah. Well, side, side note continued is that unfortunately, young religious people are indoctrinated to believe that Planned Parenthood just does abortions. They are an abortion clinic. That's all they do. So the women, all the women that you see going into the clinics are all there for abortions. So that is what you are taught to believe.

And so you're like, Oh my God, there's like 20 people in there. They're all in there for abortions. What the hell? Right. But that's not true. And I really wish that they would take Planned Parenthood out of their mouths. , honestly, like I just, I really wish they would.

Marlena: you know, one of the great things is a lot of people have banned together to fight. I mean, you see celebrities telling their stories. You see women from the fifties and the sixties telling their stories about the abortions that they've had and the reasons why they've had to have them, and being able to express their personal stories to educate people as to what was taking place Then, because that's where we're going back to right fucking

Christy: Mm-hmm. . Yep.

Marlena: you know, And so for people to be able to speak on their own personal stories, Sorry, I'm just so emotional talking about this. You know, it's, it's helpful to a lot of people that feel like they, they don't have a voice.

Jamie: Absolutely. Oh, I love you. I know this is such a tough topic and it's such a heated topic and I know the three of us, along with so many others are just feel so passionate about it. So it does bring up and stir up all the emotions, anger, sadness, frustration. But also, as we pointed out, there have been a lot of positives that have come out since the overturn.

It's just sad that we have to fight for this again when we should be focusing on current issues. But here we are again. So I love you, Mar.

Christy: I love

Marlena: I love you too, Jay. I love you too, Christy.

Jamie: so as we've mentioned, there's been a lot of positives, but let's be honest, there's been a lot of shithole things that have happened too since, uh, the overturn and ridiculousness, and unfortunately, they tend to involve a lot of our politicians. Yes. Politicians. We voted for that, um, have come off saying utterly ridiculous things that just blow my mind.

For example, Senator Lindsay Graham introduced a national, national abortion bill, so this bill would ban all abortions completely after 15 weeks. Nationally. I can't even wrap my brain around this, that someone thinks they could come in and actually do this, but 100% honesty scares the fuck outta me because I've obviously have seen weirder things happen.

Just like the overturn of Roe v. Wade, it's just utterly ridiculous. Yeah. F off. Lindsay Graham, I don't know who you think you are, but you can just move

Marlena: Stay the fuck away from my

Christy: Yes,

Jamie: Yeah.

Marlena: out of my

Jamie: And you know, on top of Senator Lindsay Graham was also Mike Pence. He's also called for a national abortion band too. So they have backing and that's scary ass shit.

Scary ass

Christy: Um, another negative, I mean, we can just group these all under just terrible things, but, um, for more White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated quote, Republicans will make sure that when a kid is in the womb, they are as safe as they are in the classroom. Um, so I mean, this is fucking ridiculous.

Like, how did the former press secretary literally liken safety in the womb to safety in our classrooms? What the fuck?

Marlena: Ally with all the fucking mass shootings.

Christy: what I'm saying. Like that's, Yeah.

Marlena: It is so ridiculous that she would state that

Christy: Well, and and that's, and the scary part is that people actually believe her. They're like, Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. They'll be as safe as they are in the classroom. You're like, Who are you? Have you tuned into like any of the news in late,

Jamie: of them?

Christy: any of the news? Where are you?

Jamie: Did

Marlena: she speaking on them? , you know, it's like, oh Jesus.

Christy: like selective memory. Like they just like, Oh yeah, we're gonna forget all about those mass shootings in the classroom, and we're just gonna like, totally agree with her here.

And maybe she has selective memory. I, I, I really don't know. I can't, I can't even make sense of that tweet. I honestly cannot.

Jamie: know,

Marlena: So, you know, to continue on in today's report of stupid things that politicians and judges and, you know, stupid people say, Let's go into how, uh, Republican Carrie Ann

Jamie: Oh, she's another special, Special. Yeah, go ahead,

Christy: I,

Marlena: stated, I do trust, and this is a quote, I do trust women enough to control when they allow a man to ejaculate inside of them and to control the intake of semen.

Jamie: That, that's just like, it just makes me

Christy: And again, do they understand how a woman's body works? Like, do they.

Jamie: I guess. You do a kale and cut it off. I mean, I don't know. How does

Christy: Well, and and here's the other part. Yeah. A kele I guess, I don't know, but like, why are we the ones responsible for a man ejaculate? Like, why is it on us?

Marlena: Right, Right.

Jamie: it, it's, it's utter ridiculousness. Like I just, I, I can't even put words to make this make sense in any, any, any way. Like, it infuriates me that someone on a political platform would fucking say that, and our children could hear it and our, our friends can hear it, our family, this, it's just utterly ridiculous.

Christy: Well, this case in point is why we need access to sex education because apparently, apparently nobody knows what the fuck is

Jamie: Nobody

Christy: in our reproductive bodies. So we need access to that.

Jamie: Women's reproductive rights all encompasses everything. It's not just abortion. We're talking contraceptives, all the things. So if we're gonna be responsible and we use condoms and we use birth control, first of all, we need fucking access two. That shit doesn't always work. So if you read, if anyone has seen friends, there's the episode with Joey and Ross and the condoms like, you know, Joey's like what?

What do you mean they're not a hundred percent effective? Yeah. Guess what? Condoms break two pills don't always work because they're not the right prescription strength. Or it's something more you need. It doesn't always happen even when you make the best intentions. So shit, you have two people who actively did what they were supposed to fucking do and shit fucking happens.

What then? What are you gonna say to those two people who did responsibly what they were supposed to do and still got pregnant, married, or. Boyfriend and girlfriend are not. Whatever. Come on. Okay. Back to ridiculous things that our politicians have said. Um, congressional candidate. Yes. Lee Vega suggested that it is harder for a, Oh, this one was,

Christy: This one makes me very

Jamie: I'm sorry I, it's even hard for me to say because it's just beyond.

It's beyond. Okay. Congressional candidate. Yes. Yes. Still, Yes. Lee Vega suggested that it is harder for a victim of rape to become pregnant because, quote, there is so much going on in the body end quote. I just need a moment of silence for that, because that is just what in the actual fuck. Like, seriously, Seriously.

He needs to go back to sex ed.

Christy: I have a bunch of word vomit for that, but I mean, it's

Jamie: like I can't even wrap my brain around that one. Where is the even partial common sense in this? I just, I don't understand why someone would even verbally say that, especially someone in the political world. Why would you verbally puke out of your mouth? Like it just, I don't un I don't get it.

Marlena: like it didn't sound good in your head. Why would you think that it would sound good coming out of your

Christy: Exactly.

Jamie: it? Don't we teach our children that? Like listen to what you're about to say before you say it.

Christy: Yeah. Stop for a minute. Yeah. Evaluate. I mean, and then we had a Florida court judge who ruled that a 16 year old was not mature enough to decide on having an abortion. Okay. Yet somehow they are mature enough to be a parent.

Marlena: Because that makes sense.

Jamie: Total. Total sense. Just it makes

Christy: Just let that, let that sink in. The maturity needed to be a parent. Apparently the 16 year old had it, but didn't have enough maturity to make a decision for her own.

Jamie: Yep. Oh, okay. I feel for this world.

Christy: I know

Marlena: just, I, I just, I, I

Christy: we could go on with, with the stupidity, but we will move on.

Jamie: Yeah. Okay. Now that we all had a moment to compose ourself from the, uh, ridiculousness of our politicians and judges, and, and that's just like the tip of the iceberg , we could have like noted and quoted and gone on this whole episode about them because,

Marlena: I mean, I found hundreds, hundreds of dumb fucking quotes and just

Christy: Mm-hmm.

Jamie: So with that being said, everything we've discussed so far, what does this all mean for your rights right now?

Right now, in this moment? So, again, abortion laws can vary state by state, and they. Absolutely. If you ever find yourself in this situation, for whatever reason, you got pregnant accidentally, you unfortunately had to deal with a rape or an incest, or you took all the protection you were supposed to do, and guess what?

It shit still happened. You now need to make sure that your state will support you. Unfortunately,

Marlena: the overturn of Roe versus Wade Justice. Clarence Thomas also stated in his opinion that the Supreme Court should look at other precedents that have to do with contraceptives, but also with gay marriage. And so to basically start taking away those rights, and I'm, I'm getting really emotional because now you're really, with abortion rights and reproductive rights, you're affecting.

Jamie: Mm-hmm.

Marlena: When you're talking about gay rights, now you're affecting my family as well. You're talking about my mom, our producer, who is married to my stepmom. You're talking about friends and family that, you know, just wanna be fucking happy. And the fact that, that these justices think that they can take away those rights, it's just fucking wrong.

Jamie: It's scary because they can, That's what's super scary.

Christy: What you just said, it's clear. It's not just about women's rights, it's about rolling us back to a man and a woman. A woman staying home with the children. Having kids. I mean, it's rolling us back to that time period and little by little trying to strip away the rights that would get us back there. And for what reason?

A lot of it is because they think that's the way of God. I, I don't know. But it, it is terrifying to me because this is just one part of the puzzle and it's a power grab. And if they can take away our rights as women and we have less rights than the men making the laws, then they can take away the rights of anybody else.

Our trans population, our gay population, our queer population, they can strip all those away and penalize us for being who we are and for living our lives the way that we want to because they wanna control us. And I, I know that sounds kind of like a little conspiracy ish, but it's not, It's.

Jamie: It's the reality.

Christy: is.

It's a, it is. It's a power grab and this is the first part of it and it's not the last. And so if we do not do anything now we are sitting ducks.

Jamie: And one of the things that, you know, Marlena had touched on Judge Thomas, it literally opens up Pandora's box to everything we have worked so hard for. So not only just passing a legal protection for abortion, but everything we have worked towards since then literally could be reversed. And what is scary as shit is that these judges can do it.

They did it with Roe v. Wade, they can do it again. And it's scary as shit. So I'm just at a loss. It's just a huge step backwards for America. And statistically, many reviews and polls have been done to find out where Americans. In Roe v. Wade with the overturn. And, and to be honest, they've done, let's see, CBC news Government did a poll, and I'm, I'm literally reading statistics because I wanna get it right, but they did a poll and it showed that 59% disapprove of the Roe v.

Wade overturn, and of them women that were pulled 67, 60 7% disapproved according to the same poll. 52% of the participants also called the court's decision. A step backwards for America. 31% said it was a step forward. And then we have 17% that just didn't weigh a judgment. So what does this mean? All of this, this discussion, all these changes, all the, um, atrocities that have happened, What does this mean?

This means that your vote really. Matter. They make decisions for us, not us. We don't always get to do it. Who we put in office in our states matters. Your vote matters, and I won't get on my soapbox about your right to vote. I get on my soapbox for a handful of things, and one of them is voting. But I wanna plug that I myself don't necessarily agree with the electoral college for the president.

I always vote, Don't get me wrong, I always vote. I don't necessarily agree with the archaic age of the electoral college, but your vote matters when it comes to your cities, your counties, and your states, who you put in office, what you want, past, what you want, change whatever's on the ballot for every election.

Your vote fucking matters. That's when it is one to one, you are counted. So think about it. If you wanna make a change, especially where you live, you have to go out there and vote for the people who have your best interests at heart, period. Your state, your county, your city matters. So if you're gonna vote and exci exercise, you're right that our forefathers actually like put in place and fought for back in 1776.

Was it, I don't know, Sorry. I'm really bad at history, but I know that they fought for that and that's a huge thing. And as women, as women who weren't given rights to vote till the 19 hundreds later on in life, we weren't even like a part of it. Sorry, , we weren't even a part of it when it was put into law that we could vote on these things.

Now we really need to speak our voices. So in essence, what does this mean? It just means you need to get out and vote to make a difference. So with that being said and everything we have discussed, we've talked a lot of political stuff. Uh, we've talked a lot about the law that was recently overturned and, and where we are now.

As a nation, as a community, uh, we do have some very personal stories that directly affect us and have really made us passionate about this decision, about our women's reproductive rights. And with a lot of thought and heart put into this, we've decided to share our stories because this is where we can, this is where our platform is, and we know that there are people out there who can relate to our different scenarios.

So, with that being said, we are gonna dive into some personal things that, uh, that can really touch us and, and, and make us emotional. So please bear with us. But, um, let's go ahead and dive into it. Marlena, I'm gonna let you start us off.

Marlena: Okay, well, you all know at this point that I am 100% pro-choice

Jamie: No way.

Marlena: if, if you haven't been able to tell throughout this episode, I am 100% pro-choice and I have had an abortion, um, at the time. That I had an abortion. Um, I was using a lot of drugs. Um, that's not something, I mean, me having an abortion or me being addicted to drugs at a point in my life, um, is not something that I.

Have ever really openly shared. So me and my partner at the time decided to terminate the pregnancy. A lot of it was mainly because of the problems that if we continued on with the pregnancy, the problems that I could have faced. Um, continuing on with a pregnancy you could deal with, you know, a rupture placenta, um, preterm labor, still birth, but also what could have taken place with the child.

So you have premature birth, low birth weight, heart defects, birth defects, infections, Hep C, like, there's so many different things that a child brought into this world to. A drug addict, it could take place. And, and that wasn't something that I wanted, um, not for myself and, and not for, you know, a child. If I'm going to bring a child into this world, I want to give them the greatest fighting chance that they possibly could.

And I couldn't even give myself my own fighting chance at that moment. So, um, and let me be very clear that my tears are not regret from having an abortion. I have more regret and shame from using drugs than anything else. So I absolutely have no regret about having an abortion. And I am 100% at peace with the decision that I made.

Jamie: Absolutely

Christy: Yeah.

Marlena: And that's it for me. Sorry.

Jamie: I love you.

Christy: No, that's,

Jamie: You're amazing. Yeah. That

Christy: You are amazing.

Jamie: So just, it's another thing that happens, right? We've talked about all the reasons why a, a pregnancy could happen, and here's just, it's another scenario and it's reality, and it's your reality. And I'm just so proud of you for sharing your story because it's, um, it's very powerful.

So thank you so much. And, uh, Whew. With that deep breath. Okay. We go into, uh, Christie Christie, You ready honey?

Christy: Yeah. All right. So story time with Christie. Um, , um, I have been on both sides of this topic in my life, so I know in our intro episode I mentioned that I was brought up in a conservative Christian family. So in the first, I don't know, 17 years of my life, I was. Pro-life by kind of just default . Um, but at the time that I was old enough to know or to learn about what all this was, it was explained to me that the women having abortions were killing babies.

Okay? So the visual was of a fully formed baby, and they were killing them. So of course, in my little unformed brain, I thought it was horrible, and I thought these women were horrible. How could they do that to babies? Okay. Um, there was also this stereotype ingrained in me that the women having abortions were lower class, often not white, and using abortions as birth control, right?

So in my mind, I really thought that one woman was going into a clinic month after month getting abortions. Okay. I didn't know about my reproductive body at that time. I was young, so this was what I believed. It was the information that was presented to me, and because I didn't really know what any of it meant, I just kept focusing on baby being killed, and I didn't want them to be killed.

So I stood on the street with signs in front of clinics that had fetuses on them, chanting with groups of religious people, picketing abortion clinics. I was probably not 10. Now, that being said, I just want a little side note that is damaging to a child. You don't know what's going on. So until I was about 17, I also would volunteer at crisis pregnancy centers, which are largely religious backed organizations.

And before I go in my story, I wanna say I do agree with their purpose in theory. Okay? These are centers that provide resources, kind of like Planned Parenthood, right? But they're places that have resources for people who are pregnant and may not want an abortion, but need to know their options, right? Or may not think that they can do it, or questioning that if they even wanna have this child and these places, give them the resources to hopefully make an informed decision.

And if they decide to go forward with the pregnancy. They support them in ways like providing clothes for the baby and diapers and formula. Um, so in that, I agree with that. I agree that those clinics are absolutely necessary. But these clinics are backed by religious organizations, so they're obviously pushing their agenda of anti-abortion, pushing, maybe adoption or pushing for keeping the baby and having a child.

So I volunteered there and I saw women come in. I was never directly involved cause I was young, obviously, but I saw women come in. I saw women in tears. I saw women probably one of the toughest points of their life, making a decision that was gonna alter their lives. But the other thing I saw was pity in these worker's eyes for women that were coming in to these clinics.

And it wasn't, I never saw it as compassion. It didn't look like compassion on their faces. It looked like. . Right. And that really stuck with me because even though they were there to help, I didn't know if they were compassionate towards the person's life position or what they were going through, or if they were really just trying to convert them.

Right. So, I don't know, but that's where I was until I was about 17. And then right around that age I was sexually assaulted. And it was an extremely tough, obviously, that's probably an understatement, but time for me. Um, but I spent what, another couple weeks, , trying to decide if I believed that I, if I was gonna be pregnant, or if I was pregnant, what I was gonna do.

Because I had all of this anti-abortion indoctrination in my brain. And in my heart I knew. That I couldn't do that. I could not bring a child into this world under those circumstances. Number one, I wasn't ready, and that's really all it had to be. That's really all you have to say. I am not ready to be a mother.

That's it, period. Second, the emotional and mental toll that I could foresee that taking on. Bringing a child into this world that was unwanted and a result of assault. I knew myself and at that point I knew I could not do that. The problem is , is that in that indoctrination is also these little seeds of stories of women who were raped or, uh, got pregnant through incest and they decided to bring the child into the world.

And now the child is some great, I don't know, public figure, and the story is, but if they had aborted, this person wouldn't have existed. And so I really fought back and forth between, well, maybe I am strong enough to bring a soul into this world that wasn't a result of consensual relationship. But in the end, I knew I wasn't.

And so my heart, Really goes to the women who would be forced to bring children into this world after they were forced to do something that they never wanted to do. Um, those women, we may look at them and they are strong, or they may never make the news, right? Um, those women can suffer and they're suffering translates onto the child.

So why would you want to force somebody to do that? And I'm not sorry. I, I know I went a little bit on my soapbox, but it, it hurts me because, Nobody should be forced to do anything that they don't wanna do. Period. Um, so I finally made the decision if I was pregnant and I didn't know at this point, I would get an abortion.

And it ended up that I wasn't pregnant. And I will always remember this conversation I had with this person in my life that was a very conservative Christian and very anti-abortion, very pro-life. We're sitting in a car in a video rental Yes. A video store, um, video rental store. And she says to me, If you had been pregnant, I would've encouraged you to get an abortion. And I sat there and I was dumbfounded because this person had been so vocal about their beliefs. But now that it was personal and it was close to home, it changed. So I will encourage people. hard to get outside yourself sometimes, and it's hard to imagine another person's life. But I really want to encourage you to try to get outside yourself to think about how you would feel if your daughter, if your cousin, if your friend, if whoever came to you and said, I am pregnant and I don't want this child.

Right. Think about it in that circumstance. Please, Just for a minute. Um, so after that experience, I thought of myself as pro-choice, Right? Especially in circumstances of rape and incest. Um, but still in my indoctrinated mind, I was like, I just don't think people should use it as a form of birth control.

Okay. So I went around saying I'm pro, I'm pro-life. Pro-life. I mean, sorry. Yeah. Pro-choice. Pro-choice. Um, I had to like see it's still stuck. Oh my God. Um, my indoctrination was showing, um, And . It wasn't, it wasn't until an amazing friend of mine, we were having a conversation and we were talking about abortion and the difference between pro-life, pro-choice and what Pro-choice really meant.

And I told her, I said, Well, I believe in choice. You should have, Every woman should have the choice, but I don't think people or women should use that as form of birth control. And she said, But you saying that you don't agree with women using abortion as birth control is putting limitations on other women's choices.

Jamie: Mm-hmm.

Christy: And it was like this eureka moment for me, I'm like, Well, shit, thanks for calling me out. I mean, it really, it really was. Um, and so it was like, okay, well do I support women and their right to make the choice or what is best for them? Or do I only support the right if it aligns with my beliefs or the choices I would make person?

Jamie: Mm-hmm.

Christy: is it? Right? And so I had to continue to educate myself because this moment was just like, so it was damn, you know? Um, and , I

Jamie: had an epiphany, you

Christy: I did, I did. And so I had to educate myself, step outside myself, deconstruct the stereotypes that I was fed my entire. And break down what it was wrote really meant to be pro-choice.

And I think that really hit ahead, you know, maybe six years ago or so. But to me it means supporting a woman's right to govern her own body, bodily autonomy. Right? Uh, which should be a fundamental right? It absolutely should. And I cannot limit other women's choices. I no longer believe that it needs to be in situations of just rape, just incest.

Um, I will never blink an eye if somebody says, I've had, you know, more than one abortion. It, it doesn't matter because it is your choice and you know what is best for your body and your mind and your emotional wellbeing. Like, you know, all of that. So you do what is best for you and I will stay out of it.

And I think that's how it needs to be. You do what's best for you, and the government needs to stay out of it, period. Yeah. So, yeah, it's just been the, it was this journey. And still I find myself sometimes having little pieces of pro-life, right? Like in my, like a little like pings and I'm like, Nope, nope.

Mm-hmm. , we're not there anymore. Um, but it is important to really evaluate and really educate yourself. And like I said before, step outside yourself. Please step outside yourself because I, I think a lot of this has to do with people who don't have that ability, who can't think beyond their own circumstance and they're making the laws for us.

Marlena: Right,

Jamie: Absolutely. And Christie, thank you so much for being so open, openly candid, and sharing your stories. That's, uh, that's a very, uh, just as Marlene is a very deep and personal one, and thank you for being so open with us and our podcast family out in the world. We love you

Marlena: Love you, Christie.

Jamie: Yeah, Whew. Powerful, powerful stories.

So we get to me now, and for me, this topic is truly, as I've already expressed an emotional trigger for many reasons. And emotionally, I get charged with this in all aspects. I get anger, I get frustration. I'm sad. I am super hypersensitive to this topic for a lot of reasons, and for me on my personal experience, I'm here today to hopefully express to our listeners and our podcast family the absolute importance of having options.

I don't preach pro-abortion, but I preach pro-choice and I'm very candid with that. I'm open about it. I don't hide it. If there's an open discussion about it, I will jump in wholeheartedly with my strong opinions because pro-choice is absolutely necessary as I feel like it's already been discussed with my two other friends here.

For me and my personal, uh, story, this is kind of my tower moment, and this is a reference to taro, if you will, . But, um, I do believe I have a moment in time where this is my platform. To share my story, whoever who wants to listen and understand what happened with me. But this is, this is my moment and whew.

Okay. This has taken a lot of energy. We won't get into specifics, but I will say this happened in high school. I will say I was younger than 18, but got my period when I was like 11. Let's just say somewhere in that window. So, but we'll say high school and I had been with someone for, our entire relationship was about two years, and this was well into the relationship, so this was a consensual thing and we were irresponsible and things happened.

Well, the thing that happened was I got. And in touching on the points that we've mentioned before with laws and how they've added restrictions to timeframes, uh, six weeks, 15 weeks, I will say. When I realized I was pregnant, I was at least six weeks along. My periods were not regular. I hadn't realized I was possibly pregnant till about a week, maybe two, after my first missed period.

So I want everyone to understand when there's these restrictions on the line, as we've discussed, you don't necessarily know immediately when you're pregnant. People talk about nine months of pregnancy. Pregnancy is 40 weeks. That's 10 months from conception. Women don't tend to find out till they skip their first period and sometimes not till they've skipped their second, because maybe their periods are irregular.

Maybe they don't track them, maybe they're not on the pills, so they know exactly when it's supposed to happen. There's so many different reasons. So for me, as this young person, I had irregular periods, they were not on the beat and was I tracking them? Why? Why would I track them? I'm young. It just, they just come.

So I want everyone to understand that this is a very important point. Some states have restrictions at six weeks. Some women aren't even thinking that they're pregnant till that time. Just food for thought. So I had, uh, missed my period. Probably a couple weeks in and I'm thinking, Oh shit. You know, could I, could I be pregnant?

So when I mentally accepted this concept, and that's another huge point, like we have to actually believe this could be a possibility. And in my mind it was not a possibility. This doesn't happen. We're not doing this. But it was, So I ventured with my boyfriend at the time and went to Planned Parenthood, and again, as I said before, I can't rave enough about this, um, service, this, this program.

They were hugely supportive. And I came in to do a pregnancy test because I refused to do one at home because I refused to go buy a test. And I refused to admit that I could possibly be pregnant. But I knew I had to go get this done. So I went to Planned Parenthood and my boyfriend came with me and they actively said he cannot come back with you.

He can stay in the waiting room, but you're gonna come back. Okay, so I went back there, took my test and sure as shit, I was pregnant. So I sat there with the Planned Parenthood, um, counselor and she went over all my options because guess what? I had options. I don't today, but I had options then. So we went over all the things.

Um, adoption, You keep the baby abortion. We went over all the things and instantly I said what I wanted to do. I said, I want an. She said, Are you sure? I said, I'm sure. She goes, Are you really sure? I said, I'm really sure. She said, Okay, well I'm glad that you're sure, but we're still gonna do a counseling session before you make that final decision.

I said, That's fine. So I went back out to see my boyfriend and told him the news. And I have to say, this person was nothing but supportive. I need everyone to know that my decision wasn't influenced by anyone else other than myself, because I had those choices. My boyfriend flat out, the first thing he said was, One, are you okay?

And of course I wasn't, and I broke down. His second question was, Do you know what you wanna do? He didn't say, Well, are you gonna keep the baby? Well, am I gonna be a dad now? Like he was concerned about me. So that was huge. And I told him what I wanted to do, and in my mind I just kept thinking, Oh my. Is he gonna hate me?

Like, you know, I don't even know how he feels. We've never discussed this topic. And he was instantly, Whatever you wanna do, I'm here to support you. You wanna keep it, You wanna put up for adoption, you wanna have an abortion, I am here to support you. This is your decision. And he even told me, he said, I hate to put this pressure on you, but this literally is your decision, which it should be.

So I left Planned Parenthood with a referral of doctors that could provide me a safe and legal abortion in the area. And I was to go home and find out what my insurance covered and, and do all the things. And I then had to face the truth of telling my mom. So my parents are divorced at this time, and I lived with my mom, and I needed to tell her for many reasons.

Um, I did need consent. I did need to tell her emotionally because I needed her strength and support, and it was probably the scariest thing I ever had to tell my mom. And I had, I had dabbled in trouble before. Nothing like this, but I mean, I, you know, I'm, I'm in high school now and I've, I've done my share of things and my mom, she wasn't huge into punishment, but she was so good at the guilt.

It was, I'm not mad at. Jamie, I'm disappointed. Oh, just crushed me. Crushed me. Like, Please ground me. Do something like, Don't be disappointed in me. So this was a huge moment to tell my mom for many reasons, and ultimately I just needed her support and love and I can't stress enough to The mothers out there

How important it is to respond as my mother did, because you ultimately don't know how hard it was for your child to come forward. When I finally told her it was, Are you okay? And I, I said, I was, you know, but I'm scared. And I had just told her at that time that I was pregnant. I hadn't told her my decision yet.

And she said, I love you. I'm here for you. Whatever decision you've made. If you've made a decision, do we need to talk about this? Do we need to go see a counselor? Like she just left that door open to that unconditional love and unconditional support. Not knowing that I've already made that tough decision, and I told.

What I decided to do and she looked at me and said, Are you sure? Do we need to go talk to someone? And I said, Nope, cuz I've already done the legwork in my mind. I've done the Planned Parenthood, I've done the counseling, I've done all this. I've made my decision. And I told her and she said, Okay, all right then let's do this.

I'm here to support you, whatever we need to do. And from that moment on, I had my mom with me.

Marlena: I love your mama and I love you.

Jamie: I just can't like love you too. I just can't express enough how important that wind of communication is because I may have gone to someone else that wouldn't reflect on my insurance, that wouldn't have been not. But you know, from the doctor to my mom to say that, is this okay? I may have gone somewhere else and things could have happened, but if you take anything from this conversation, other than a few more points I'm gonna make.

But, um, the communication between a mother and her daughter is huge. And I will say for his son and his parents, you know, this is, this is traumatizing for them as well, but not in the respect that we have to deal with. And so, from that point on, I had my list of referrals. We went through our, you know, this is where we're gonna go, Uh, had my consultation, and then I would say two weeks after that.

So keep in mind. Timelines. I was probably eight to nine weeks when it finally happened because doctor's appointments, again, you're not walking into a clinic where doctors are just ready and waiting for you to come, have this done. So about eight to nine weeks. And, um, my boyfriend went and he sat in the waiting room with my mom because he wanted to be there to support me.

My mom was there. My, my good friend at the time came and stayed with me that night to make sure I was okay. And ever since then, I've been dealing with it mentally for the rest of my years. But it also pushed me into a very activist, uh, role because it not only speaks to me personally, but it speaks to our daughter.

And women of this country. And to have someone like the government to be able to dictate what I do with my own fucking body is not okay. You get pregnant, you don't believe in abortion. Guess what? Don't get one. I mean, it's that simple. It, it really is that simple. But for you to dictate your beliefs and your opinions on my body when I'm in a situation that I need to deal with, Not okay, not okay.

You don't want an abortion, you'll get one. To me, it is that fucking simple. It is that simple. So I'm here to fight for this cause, and I believe women should have options, period is what it comes down to. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life and I was in high school. So imagine that just for a split second.

The hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life. It wasn't what I'm gonna wear to prom or who's gonna be in my date at homecoming, or do I go to the football game on Friday? It was, am I gonna raise a child? At the sage. So it was very difficult and you grieve, I grieve to this day. So anyways, uh, that's my story, , Sorry, sorry for, you know, Well, not, sorry cuz these emotions are, the emotions are real.

I'm sorry for the, I'm sorry for the, the sniffles. So I do apologize for that to our listeners. But with that being said, what can we do now to fight the good fight? Um, volunteer. Volunteer at a women's foundation that will raise funds and awareness for the cause? Uh, there's just a few I'm gonna list, but there are several and you can always find something locally in your community if you wanna work within your city.

But we do need the national protection. Again, let's be honest, uh, Planned Parenthood has mentioned several times throughout our podcast is very important in this role for many reasons. Again, I wanna take away the stigma of Planned Parenthood. They're not just like an abortion clinic, they. All women's care, um, Center for Reproductive Rights, and I won't, I can just read off really quickly the websites,

Marlena: We can put 'em in the show notes.

Jamie: Yeah. Okay, good. Thank you Marlena. Another thing we can do obviously is talk about these issues. We need to have these hard discussions with each other, including our families and especially, oh my God and our children. We can't hide from reality. This is reality. So these discussions need to happen, and if you don't keep that open channel of communication, you may find yourself in a situation with a child that doesn't feel like they can come to you and does some very dangerous things, not only to maybe rid themselves of the baby, but to rid themselves because it is a very tough situation.

Um, also, you can offer support in any way you can when you know someone who is struggling with this very tough decision or who may be in need of finding safe places for service. As we discussed, many states have bandit, which means women have to travel to another state in order to get a safe and legal abortion.

And if you're in a state like Texas, guess what? That state is like the size of half our country. So these women have to travel far, far to get safe and legal abortions. So maybe you find yourself in a situation where you can help someone else find those safe services if you are in need of services.

We'll also put this in our notes. There's some helpful places. If you're mentally struggling with any decision, that is compromising your ability to function. There is always support for you because sometimes this goes beyond just the pregnancy. It affects us mentally. It always does. And when you may find yourself in a situation where you can't deal with either decision and it gets dire.

So of course if you're struggling mentally, there's always the 9 88 hotline. The 9 88 lifeline.org website. Also safe helpline.org and s m hsa.gov to help you find, um, mental help if you need it. With that being said, I'm so proud of our group here for sharing our stories. Thank you, Christie. Thank you, Marlina.

Christy: you, Jamie.

Marlena: you, Jamie.

Jamie: Feel good?

Christy: you want me to take us

Jamie: Yes. Take us outta. Love you ladies. Thank you

Christy: Thank you for joining us on this episode of a witch, a mystic, and a feminist. It was a discussion that needed to be had, and we wanna encourage you to please go out and vote. Your rights and other people's rights are on the line, so please vote. We love you all and we'll see you next week.

Jamie: Bye.