Robin Rendle
• San Francisco, California

Our Fury Over Abortion Was Dismissed for Decades As Hysterical

“In vast portions of this country,” wrote Rebecca Traister back in 2019, “Roe might as well not exist already”:

[For] years, I’ve listened to Democratic politicians distance themselves from abortion by calling it tragic and insisting it should be rare, instead of simply acknowledging it to be a crucial, legal cornerstone of comprehensive health care for women, people with uteruses, and their families. I have seethed as generations of Democrats have argued that if we could just get past abortion and focus instead on economic issues, we’d be better off. They never seem to get that abortion is an economic issue, and that what they think of as economic issues — from wages and health care to housing and education policy — are at the very heart of the reproductive justice movement, which understands access to abortion to be one (pivotal!) part of a far broader set of circumstances that determine if, when, under what circumstances, and with what resources human beings might have and raise children.

God, I just want to quote all of this thing. Rebecca continues:

First, never again let anyone tell you that the fury or determination to fight on this account is invalid, inappropriate, or inconvenient to a broader message. Consider that this is also what women and marginalized people are told all the time about their anger in general: that they should not express it, not let it out, because to give voice to their rage will distract from their aims, undermine them; that it will ultimately be bad for them. This messaging is strategic. It is designed to get angry people to keep their mouths shut. Because if they are successfully stifled, they will remain at the margins, isolated, alone in their fury. It is only if they start letting it out and acting on it and working in tandem with others who share their outrage that they might begin to form networks, coalitions, the building blocks of movements; it is when the anger is let loose that the organizing happens in earnest.