“The country where I grew up, the United States, is transforming itself into a theocratic state”

Dince the Supreme Court revoked the right to abortion on June 24, I feel like I’ve been walking with a target on my back. I am not a woman belonging to a particularly discriminated group, such as women of color, trans people, non-binary people. I don’t even live in the United States! And yet I feel less safe than before.

Truth is me too – like the 343 bitches [qui signaient, le 5 avril 1971, dans Le Nouvel Observateur, un manifeste pour le droit à disposer de leur corps] – I had an abortion. In France, in 2016. I also had several miscarriages, which may be liable to prosecution in certain American states. This is what happened in October 2021 to Brittney Poolaw, a Native American woman from Oklahoma, who was arrested at the hospital and sentenced, on October 5, 2021, to four years in prison because her pregnancy is not not come to an end.

Ectopic pregnancy and abortion

Still in France, in 2015, I had an ectopic pregnancy. The embryo implanted not in my uterus, but in my left fallopian tube, requiring medical treatment, with an injection of methotrexate [utilisé dans le traitement de certains cancers], no result. I therefore had to operate to remove the fallopian tube, a necessity since my life was at stake. Ectopic pregnancy is the leading cause of death in the first trimester of pregnancy in industrialized countries.

Since March 2022, Missouri has nevertheless been studying a bill that equates the treatment of an ectopic pregnancy with an abortion. Texas has already added methotrexate to its list of “drugs causing termination of pregnancy”. These facts are shocking, but they presaged what just happened.

Read also: Right to abortion: what consequences can the cancellation of the Roe vs. Wade judgment have in the United States?

If we doubted it, we know it now: the country where I grew up and where all my family lives, as well as that of my spouse, the father of my son, is rapidly transforming into a theocratic state, comparable to that imagined by Margaret Atwood in 1985, in her novel The Scarlet Maid (Robert Laffont, 1987). When I go there, in August, which country will I find: the United States, or Gilead [le nom de la « République » qui a remplacé les Etats-Unis dans le roman] ?

All of this attests not only to a fundamental misunderstanding of biology, but also to a fascination with the mysteries of the female body. Without understanding anything of us, we are hated. We are hated as women; we are loved – or thought to be loved – as mothers. “The mother should be our religion”wrote Zola in his 1899 novel, Fertility, showing that he is heir to a morbid patriarchal tradition.

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