How to talk to your daughter about the SCOTUS overturning Roe v. Wade like a middle-aged man with high-cholesterol

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You ask for whom the gong tolls…

Take your daughter to her favorite Japanese restaurant. She’s going to be a sophomore in college in September, and you’re her dad so the tab is settled before you’re seated.

She loves sushi. You hate sushi. But right now—in the face of this grave discussion—you’re willing to make concessions. Besides, she’s your daughter and since the SCOTUS stripped her—and millions of other American women—of the basic human right to privacy over their own bodies, nothing has been palatable anyway.

You sit in a booth, and your daughter orders a ginger ale, and, in accordance with the ambiance, you order sake. You fold your hands on the table and become solemn. You can’t look her in eyes.

“I’m sorry, honey,” you say. “It’s not fair.”

“So six conservative activists who carry on the charade of being impartial judges, three of whom were appointed by an amoral narcissist and confirmed by his cult in Congress have decided that the states will now decide what I can and cannot do with my body?”

“That’s right,” you say.

“And what about the wall of separation of church and state that Jefferson declared?”

“It’s gone.”

“If these supposed Christians are so concerned about babies, are they going to advocate for free prenatal care, free paid time off for parents to raise their children, universal health care, free preschool and kindergarten, and waving tuition on state colleges so the babies they’re so desperately trying to protect can be live fulfilling lives in a nation that values them after birth as well?”

The waitress brings your drink, and you pour the sake in the small ceramic cup and throw it back. Pour another. “I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way,” you say.

A gong tolls in the Japanese restaurant.

“Are the men going to be held accountable as well? Will they need to start paying child support at the point of conception? As soon as there’s a heartbeat, do the men need to step into the role of father? If they shun that role, will they be held criminally liable, like many of the states want to hold mothers, doctors and nurses criminally liable for performing abortions?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Wait a second,” your daughter says, covering her eyes with her hand. “So the same high court that decided that Americans should have no limitations on their right to conceal deadly weapons has decided that women need limitations on their access to their own bodies?”

“I’m afraid so.”

“Meanwhile, the carnival barker who appointed three said justices and incited an insurrection, who is being proven guilty beyond a doubt of seditious acts based on a Big Lie that he won an election that he clearly lost by a landslide, he gets to skate? Now King Donald J. Lear is doing a touchdown dance for tromping on a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body?”

“I don’t know what to say.”

You reach across the table and hold your daughter’s hand. Apologize with your eyes. She doesn’t deserve this. No woman deserves this. Order another sake. Allow your daughter to gorge on sushi. Text your wife. Tell her you love her, too.

A gong tolls again in The United States of America.


 

About this Author

nathan-graziano

Nathan Graziano

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester with his wife and kids. He's the author of nine collections of fiction and poetry. His most recent book, Fly Like The Seagull was published by Luchador Press in 2020. He's a high school teacher and freelance writer, and in his free time, he writes bios about himself in the third person. For more information, visit his website: http://www.nathangraziano.com