New Texas Abortion Law is Brutal, Misogynistic, and Insane.

The Supreme Court just upheld one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.  This law bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, at about six weeks. While the Supreme court ruling allowed the law to go into effect but kept open the possibility of abortion providers and perhaps even individuals challenging the law in court in the future, for now, this is a crushing blow to women’s liberty in the lone star state. 

Here are some observations and questions based on what I’ve read so far. 

An abusive spouse may report his or her wife to the police for having an abortion (even if she hasn’t) and receive a 10K (Ten thousand) dollar reward. 

Even by the time a heartbeat is detected, there is no viable human being present in the clot of tissue that will later become a person. 

Apparently even mentioning abortion as an option to a woman can now have legal consequences. 

The prison sentence for a woman seeking an abortion will be longer than that of a rapist. 

What happens to a woman who leaves the state to have an abortion? Will she be arrested on her return? 

More importantly, how will the state know? Are women’s medical records now to be opened and available to scrutiny? Will this law be extended retroactively? 

I am very pro-choice. I not only believe abortion should be available on demand, I think it should be legally required in some circumstances. There is never, ever a time where I would limit a woman’s right to bodily sovereignty (even though I think abortion should be mandated in certain circumstances, I’d be very, very hesitant to make any laws to that effect. This is personal business, not something in which the government should involve itself). That’s what any abortion restriction is: an assault on bodily sovereignty. 

Do I believe abortion is murder? Yes. I believe the fetus is a life. Do I think that’s a relevant question? Not in the least. The only life that matters in this situation is that of the woman because until that fetus is pushed through her vagina in a flood of blood and pain, it is nothing more than a parasite, depending upon the mother for its continued existence. Carrying a fetus to term, has long term, potentially devastating physical effects on a woman’s body. 

I think Roe V. Wade is a bad ruling. Abortion was legalized on privacy grounds. There are stronger grounds upon which to allow women basic civil liberties (is there a single medical procedure for men that is put before non-medical, government and political groups like abortion? No there is not). 

Let’s start with the 13th Amendment, you know, the one that abolished slavery. Any time someone has no control over their bodily sovereignty, particularly where forced breeding is concerned, we have something quite akin to slavery. Forced breeding was always part of the experience of slavery in this country, particularly after the trans-Atlantic slave trade was abolished. Control of fertility (for both women and men, though the greatest burden always fell on the woman) was a significant part of the experience of the enslaved in the US. Apparently, it still is. 

Then we have the 14th Amendment, the first part of which states: 

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Or let’s talk about self-defense. I would have preferred to see Roe V. Wade legalized on grounds of self-defense and bodily sovereignty than privacy. I think those are much, much stronger grounds. 

Within our religious traditions, abortion is not prohibited. In fact, at various times and places amongst our Heathen ancestors, newborns were not considered properly ensouled until nine days after birth. If we’re looking at Roman religion, it was when the father picked the newborn child up and acknowledged it. Furthermore, we have many Deities Who may be called upon to protect women who choose to have abortions. Freya, for instance, is a Goddess of sexuality, of personal choice, of bodily sovereignty (and many other things). I think one may call upon Her, or the other Vanir, for protection and blessing if one is seeking an abortion. Now, the Vanir are also Deities of fertility. We have Heathens who are pro-life, and they may choose to call upon the Vanir to protect life and bless women choosing to have children. (I also think it is important to be very, very careful about ascribing our personal desires onto the Gods. We may say, “I think Freya would bless this choice,” but to say outright, as if we can ever fully know, “Freya likes/doesn’t like X” is deeply lacking in integrity. We may assume, conjecture, but can never truly *know* because the Gods are so much more than we ever can be). Any abrogation of personal choice is an abrogation of personal power and as such, I think this would be quite problematic from a Vanic point of view. Certainly, in our lore, Freya never allowed her own power to be so infringed. One may thus extend the lesson.

There is the healing Goddess Hlif, ever a help to women. She is usually called upon for anything pertaining to OB/GYN issues. While She is a Goddess of birth, as She also tends to all things gynecological, I see no reason why She could not be called upon here as well. We are not animals, slaves to our biology. We have wyrd, and thus the capacity for conscious, individuated choice. That doesn’t suddenly disappear because one possesses a uterus. 

Then there is Gerda, the wife of Freyr. This has ever been a union of opposites in so many ways and my particular branch of the Northern Tradition holds that because Freyr came to Asgard as a hostage for peace (one of the hostages exchanged to guarantee peace between the Aesir and Vanir, the other being Njord), and because this would extend to His children too, He and Gerda have no children. Not all denominations of the Northern Tradition hold to this, but ours does. Because of this Gerda maybe sought out by those who have had miscarriages, those who use birth control, and those who have abortions.

You know what this issue never was amongst our ancestors? A matter for public scrutiny. It was women’s medicine and women’s business, a private thing known to the woman and her midwife or healer. Of course, in ideal circumstances within a family, it may have been a matter of discussion between spouses but in the end, it was a choice the woman herself made. 

Modern America is not so enlightened. Laws like this are not about protecting potential life. They’re about criminalizing sex and pleasure and keeping women in a place defined by a most pernicious evangelical Christianity with a healthy helping of the Victorian cult of motherhood to boot. It’s revolting. This is not about “women being unable to control themselves” (as I recently saw stated on twitter and by a woman no less).  It’s about basic human rights and human dignity – not to potential life, but to living, breathing women here and now. It’s about trusting that women are actually capable of determining for themselves when to become pregnant. 

I actually wonder if those who are so incredibly anti-choice realize what it’s like to have one’s body turned into an incubator. My earliest memory as a child was of doggedly, most definitely, and under no circumstances ever wanting a child. I was maybe 2 ½ and I knew I found the whole thing utterly disgusting, dehumanizing, and permanently disabling in some circumstances. My opinion on the matter hasn’t changed. I would flat out rather be executed than forced to carry a child. So, I have made sure never to get pregnant, however, if I did, I’d have had the abortion clinic on speed dial. Other women want children, but not at a given time, or they want to do the financially sensible thing and space their children in a way that allows for economic independence. Or…many other reasons. Really the only reason a woman needs to not be pregnant is “I don’t want to be.” 

What these laws really are is about criminalizing sexual pleasure and criminalizing women’s independence. I’m all for modesty and continence but come on. Birth control fails all the time. Accidents happen. Moreover, rape and incest happen (cases where I think abortion should be required as a matter of common sense personally). Women don’t need big daddy government telling them what to do with their bodies. There’s no consistency in these laws either. If pro-lifers were really worried about loss of fetal life, then male masturbation would likewise be a source of legal concern. But we’re not seeing that. We’re seeing, as always, the onus of these laws placed on the woman. Nor can women easily get a tubal ligation which would solve the problem completely for some – paternalistic doctors will say she doesn’t really know her own mind, or might marry someone who wants children. Even now. (In 2019 a young woman in UK sued the NHS for just this reason and won the right to be sterilized. But note, she had to go to court. Men seeking vasectomies don’t have this issue). All of this is a violation of bodily sovereignty in every respect. So when someone is coming out prolife, what they’re really saying whether they realize it or not is this: I not only don’t trust women to make the right decisions for themselves, but I don’t think they should legally have the right to do so. We are rendering women as less than full civic partners in American social and political life. What’s next? Is birth control going to be made illegal? Will a woman’s testimony only be worth half that of a man’s in court? Maybe we’ll go back to the days when women couldn’t own a credit card or put a down payment on a house without a male relative’s consent (as late as the 1970s in the States). 

So, here is my solution. TX has fairly decent gun rights. I think women ought to avail themselves of those rights because this is an attack on women’s freedom, bodily sovereignty, and personal integrity. It’s disgusting. When someone tries to enslave you, the only appropriate response is armed resistance. Hoist the black flag and get on with it, ladies (and the men who love them). Or watch your freedoms get chipped away ever more. 

To those anti-choicers out there, you are welcome to hold whatever opinion on the matter you want and to apply that to your own person. The moment you step to me or anyone else with demands about what we can and cannot do with our own bodies, the moment you attempt to force fertility, weeeelll, see the paragraph above. 

EDIT: not actually advocating violence. But I am advocating that both men and women get off their asses in TX and forcibly fight this law. It’s a bad law –even if one is pro-life. It has long term, far reaching consequences that could easily be expanded and applied to many other aspects of private life, for everyone.

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About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on September 2, 2021, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. The Supreme Court has failed in a truly incredible way.

    If anyone else who rolls through the comments wants to at least help slow down the reporting website, this gentleman made an iOS shortcut to help make plausible-but-false reports really easy: https://www.tiktok.com/@black_madness21/video/7000057713975725318?is_from_webapp=v1&is_copy_url=0&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6914653879254877702

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always been afraid of birth control failing, or worse, getting baby trapped by some malicious or unstable woman. This event has made me even more determined to get a vasectomy as soon as possible. I refuse to take part in this misogynistic garbage, and I will not have parenthood forced on my wife and me by people who believe recreational sex is evil.

    Our culture needs to realize that woman ≠ mother and man ≠ father. Many people do not want children, and that is a perfectly valid choice. I am not less of a man for not wanting to be a father, and my wife is not less of a woman for not having children. I have long since decided that, if my wife and I were to split up, I will refuse to even consider a partner who would not choose abortion in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. There is no potential mate in the world who could make being a father worth it for me.

    What the anti-choice people fail to realize is that even if abortion is made illegal, it won’t stop. It will go back to back alleys with wire hangers and using herbs to induce a miscarriage. Taxes will also go up to pay for the unwanted children in foster care, which will enrage the Right wing anti-tax zealots who are usually the same people who hate abortion. Some desperate people will likely even turn to the ancient Japanese practice of mabiki to escape from unwanted parenthood. Abortion being illegal is horrible for everyone.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m neutral in regards to the subject. I have too many questions on both sides of the issue to take a definitive side.

    One Big Question I have is…what happens to women if they have a miscarriage under abortion laws? If “Life begins at Conception”, then every sexually active woman is guilty of involuntary manslaughter due to the fact that a zygote (that is not attached to the uturine wall) is flushed from a woman’s system.

    Also I find is hilarious that Anti-Abortionists are crying “My Body My Choice” when it comes to the COVID Vaccine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh the GOP wants there to be police to investigate all miscarriages (they’ve tried passing legislation like tgat elsewhere in the US). Did you know if you miscarry a child after a certain point in the pregnancy you are in Texas required by law to shell out funds for a burial. The average burial is around 5-10,000 USD now.

      Now imagine either of these scenarios.

      You were raped, lost the child, now you get investigated like a criminal, and have to pay for a burial.

      Or you and your partner were eagerly anticipating the birth of your child, you lost it, are now investigated like a criminal, and must shell out thousands for a burial.

      I think the cut off date for burial is end of first trimester when the fetus wright’s between half an ounce or an ounce.

      No matter the route the end result is the same, the woman has no autonomy, she us criminalized, and forced to pay a financial penalty.

      Texas has a horrible child welfare system and child protective services, they’ve cut food stamp support, and more. Women have some of the highest maternity mortality rates in the US, some third world countries do better than Texas.

      He’ll this is the government that banned tampons and other feminine hygiene products in the state capitol but doesn’t care if you bring a gun to the senate or house Chambers. (look it up, #tampongate)

      So you know fuckers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. pardon my typos.

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  5. I find Texas an interesting state of logical ambiguities – they restrict abortion rights, and yet its probably one of the most gun liberal states in the country. See, to me, this dilemma over women being concerned about being reported for at home abortions seems to have a natural solution. I mean, its a stand your ground state, right? So, those who feel empowered to report anyone right now, need to remember that women are indeed the weaker sex and are often accosted from all sides by those who attempt to attack and injure them, and that these women, who happened to be almost pregnant but not quite, are empowered by the state law they are subject to, to defend themselves, up to and including via shooting anyone they feel may be a danger to their life, often until that person stop kicking or breathing. I mean, we stand stand our ground, right? Would it really be our fault if some would-be-reporting individual accidentally gets shot while clearly infringing on our personal space? These things happen when you stand your ground as a woman, don’t they? I think these are the considerations that people who report abortions need to take account of. I mean, if they like breathing, that is.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Also, I saw someone from TX on Twitter post that a woman already died due to this law down the street from him, something about “complications due to self-induced abortion”. We are back there again. I am looking for any backup for it in the media, but there is nothing there, at least for now.

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  7. I would hope people would think about the babies, born and unborn, before their own selves. In a society where people are concerned with themselves first, all humanity and freedoms disappear.

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  1. Pingback: Some Further Helish Thoughts about Texas’s Abortion Law (and a Slight Response to Krasskova). | Son of Hel

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