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I acted in this video directed by a former student of my husband, Larry Dilg’s, at Oakwood School.

Controlling Women

What If Trump Actually Grabbed Your P*ssy?—Mimi Kennedy

Lara Every sent me her little script and asked me to participate. I found her approach completely in line with my belief that women must be in charge of the decision of when to put her reproductive capacity to use in the long and (hopefully!) loving work of motherhood.

No decision is greater in a woman’s life. Women often find themselves making it before they’re ready—but that is their choice. It is not a government’s choice to make. Communist dictator Nicolas Ceaucescu of Romania successfully engineered an abortion ban during his reign. It filled the country’s orphanages with children who were unintentionally conceived, but forcibly gestated in a woman’s womb-turned-state-property, from embryo, attached to her body, to child—a separate being.

The photos of those orphans still haunt me. They grew up unattended in group cribs, sometimes untouched, un-talked to for long periods, often their basic needs—eating, elimination—unattended. Their eyes were wild and hollow and hopeless. Their brains did not develop normal receptors for experience, because they never had normal experiences.

I wonder, so often, what became of those children. Did love every break through? I hope and pray it sometimes did, but I know the scientific odds. Ideology that does not pay attention to science—to the union of embryo and mother’s body, or nurture’s effect on the developing brain—is hardly the Godly approach that its adherents pretend it is. It is state control, and has not place in love.

Raised Catholic, I do consider life sacred. God made Adam out of clay, then breathed in a “soul.” The imagery in that story suggests the soul doesn’t come with the clay. If it’s separate, when does it take on a body?

If it’s in the conceptus, does that mean men are playing God every time they ejaculate inside a woman? They’re planting souls?

Fetuses develop. Mothers are already separate, living their lives, and those lives are sacred, not commodities to be manipulated by anyone else’s conscience. The state cannot dictate when men become fathers. So it doesn’t. Women must have the same freedom or remain, forever, second class citizens whose lives can always be co-opted by the state, simply for the reason of sexual expression that results in conception.

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Ideology currently attempts to deny to women the health care we need to make sure every sex act doesn't change our lives by forcibly making us responsible, for almost two decades, to a child whom we will love—or suffer, forever, because we fail to love, or do love, but must surrender to someone in a position to raise that child.

Respect for life, Openness to Life, means allowing everyone—especially the parents involved—to retain their health and strength to love the CHILDREN WHO ARE ALREADY HERE and need their daily care for almost twenty years! Constant reproduction reduces that capacity! Forced maternity, despite what Mitch McConnell or any righteous Republican might want, does not magically create openness to life.

There can be good outcomes—of course! We all know beautiful stories about unplanned families. We might not know as many bleak or tragic stories, because they remain hidden. And we don’t want to look. But there is much tragedy when a woman is not in control of her fertility, and her situation does not support embracing a child that someone else's ideology insisted she bear, pre-empting what might have been her own plans for her own life, because of sex—perhaps unwanted—that resulted in conception.

These Right To Life ideologues rarely have a stake in the life of mother or child. They simply want to retain clean consciences at the expense of people they don’t know, believing God will take care of anything unhappy as a result, from tragically abused children to chronically depressed children. But, to them, the important thing is that they'll avoid hell by telling St. Peter, at the pearlies:

“I voted to make sure the Supreme Court didn’t have any judges who would let women have choice in reproduction.”

What matters to them as that they can sleep comfortably at night without their consciences being pricked—pun intended.

I used to believe I'd go to hell if I ate a hot dog on Friday. It was not true. And it is not true that crushing women's lives with restrictions on their reproductive health care will help you get to heaven.

The moral thing for a government to do—for the people, collectively, to do, and for our leaders to do—is to keep religious doctrine out of health care . Our Constitution separates Church and State. But of course we want a moral society—and science can help guide us there, if we put our consciences to that task. Keep parents healthy, and children healthy. Let women plan their families with access to contraception, including emergency contraception, so abortion will become rare and eventually, maybe unknown! Teach equality of the sexes, mutual respect, and the science of human sexuality.

My cradle Catholic showbiz soul-sister Madonna said it well. Papa don't preach. Preaching doesn’t help your grandkids. If you’re really Open To Life, you’ll be willing to babysit once in a while, reminding yourself that we on the front lines of raising kids need strength, not judgment—and your help to raise the next generation with patience, insight, and love!


Mimi Kennedy