While the East coast of the U.S. dries out from the most devastating hurricane to hit it in the last 100 years, I'm sorry to report that there's another catastrophe on the near horizon... and it's going to slam into the entire U.S. in just a few days.
And this impending calamity will be more severe and more overwhelming than Sandy. That is, unless you are a white male of better than modest means.
I'm talking, of course, about the potential election of Mitt Romney as president of the United States. And yes, I know it sounds like hyperbole to call the election of Mitt Romney a "calamity in the making," however, that's surely what it will be.
Mitt Romney believes "the supreme court should overturn Roe vs. Wade." And that isn't an interpretation of Romney's ideas by the biased "mainstream media" out to smear a decent man's reputation. Those words in quotes are straight off his website.
Romney also says that he will "end federal funding for abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood." Again, the words in quotes are straight from his website.
(Before I continue I want to be clear about a few things. Women must have the absolute right to choose what happens with their own bodies. And abortion must be safe, legal... and most of all, rare. Because, as a father who has seen a six-week old fetus on ultrasound, it is crystal clear, even at that tender age that what's growing inside a pregnant woman is a life.)
"But Jon," you say, "So what? Where's the calamity in changing a few laws?"
Let's try a thought experiment. Imagine it's a few years in the future... and abortions are now illegal except in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother. According to the CDC, in 2008 (the last year they have complete records for) nearly 1.2 million women had abortions.
Now, what percent of those fall into the exemption category? Who knows?
But let's say that one million women had abortions in 2008 for reasons other than those listed above. Now, imagine it's the future... and there are one million women who are pregnant who decide they don't want to have a baby. Again, the reason doesn't matter.
Of course, in the future, some percentage of the one million pregnant women will abide by the new draconian laws and will carry their baby to term.
Some percentage of women, regardless of the laws, will decide to end their pregnancy. And well, this is where the calamity happens.
What follows will be graphic.
It doesn't take a prognosticator to conjure the various scenarios pregnant women who wish to terminate their pregnancy will consider when Roe vs. Wade is overturned and safe abortions become illegal.
1. Pregnant women with money will find qualified doctors who secretly perform illegal abortions in a safe medical environment.
2. However, some women won't be able to afford a U.S. doctor, so they'll go down to Mexico where they'll have an abortion performed by less than qualified "physicians" in what will likely be unsanitary conditions. They will return home having ended their pregnancy, with perhaps copious bleeding, a scar, an infection, a damaged uterus, torn vaginal walls or worse.
3. There will then be some women who decide to take their chances at some inner city back alley or rural "fly by night" clinic a "friend" heard about from a "friend" run by a couple of guys who watched a lot of Grey's Anatomy. Women who opt for this situation to end their pregnancy will encounter the same problems as women who venture down to Mexico.
4. And then there will be the women who are too scared, too ashamed, too young, too naïve, too terrified of what their partner, their community, or their church or their parents will say now that they're pregnant... so, they will attempt to quietly and secretly end their pregnancy all on their own.
a. Some pregnant girls will throw themselves down stairs in an effort to induce a miscarriage.
b. Some pregnant women will ask, no, beg a friend to punch or kick them in the stomach so hard that it will induce a miscarriage.
c. Some pregnant girls will drink too much or take drugs in an effort to kill the growing fetus.
d. Some pregnant girls will find a coat hanger in their closet... they'll take it from its familiar triangle shape... and they'll stretch it so it's long and thin. They will then insert the hooked end into their vagina and attempt to snake it up into their uterus in an effort to dislodge the fetus from the uterus lining. They will bleed. A lot.
e. And some pregnant girls will start doing one of the above... then have second thoughts... and carry their baby to term... A baby more likely, after having been punched or drugged, to have considerable birth defects or neurological impairments.
Welcome to the years of the Romney Presidency. Well, at least all these bleeding girls and women with scars and infections will be able to get proper medical care once their pregnancy is aborted. Oh fuck. On day one of his presidency, Romney got rid of Obamacare... and the insurance companies refuse to cover the cost of the hospital expenses, because they say the pregnancy is a prior condition.
Jon Hotchkiss is the creator of This vs That.