Goddess Help Her

Time for another incongruous illustration.

Following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, Hannah tweeted that she had never told anyone other than a few close friends this, but three years earlier, during her freshman year of college, she’d had an abortion during her tenth week of pregnancy, her first pregnancy, and that she considered choosing to undergo that health-care procedure the best decision of her life, because that decision prevented her from having an unwanted child and more likely than not making that child’s life miserable because the child would have symbolized Hannah’s thwarted ambitions, resulting in, despite Hannah’s best intentions, sheer loathing of said child, not to mention sheer self-loathing; now Hannah could finish college and pursue a career and care for any wanted children she might someday bring into the world.

After that tweet, however, her brother Logan somehow found out which clinic she had used. He then sued the clinic under Texas law—she lived in Austin, he in Abilene—for performing an abortion after six weeks. He won his case, receiving a ten-thousand dollar reward, as the law allowed, and helping drive the clinic, one of the few that still performed abortions in that state, out of business, though by the time the clinic closed permanently, she had stopped speaking to him, had even blocked him on social media, though after their father’s funeral in Abilene, standing alone by the grave, the first time they’d seen each other in eight years, she did mutter “Hey” to him. Without exchanging a greeting, Logan told her nothing personal about that abortion stuff, he had never really cared one way or the other that she’d terminated her pregnancy, and he still didn’t care, but he’d needed to pay off the rest of his pickup truck loan, totaling ten grand coincidentally enough, a pretty good pickup, no mechanical issues unlike his previous trucks, plus the finance company had kept harassing him, even threatening to sue him. Sorry.

She found him more reprehensible than ever but, Goddess help her, for the first time since the lawsuit, also sort of sympathetic. He never could budget his money. And as she knew from personal experience, sticking to a budget in this capitalist economy posed myriad difficulties.

Copyright © 2022 by David V. Matthews

November 7, 2022


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