“Pregnant women in the United States die by homicide more often than they die of pregnancy-related causes — and they’re frequently killed by a partner, according to a study published last month in Obstetrics & Gynecology.” [source here]
This sentence tells us plenty about the intersection of patriarchy and gun violence, and about overturning Roe and its effect on women. Murder, usually by intimate partner, usually by firearm, is the top cause for death in pregnant or post-partum women, NOT medical complications of pregnancy. Overturning Roe will lead to more unwanted pregnancies and more gun violence against women.
Women in abusive relationships are already in great danger from easy access to firearms, and all women (especially women of color, as well as queer and non-binary people) are targets for gender-based gun violence. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe, especially coupled with its ruling against NY State’s regulation of permits for concealed-carry, is a death sentence for women. And we don’t simply mean death in attempted abortions, we mean homicide, usually by gun.
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship Gun Violence Prevention Action Group denounces the US Supreme Court and its rulings on Roe and Bruen (NY permits). We all know that they won’t save children from death, disease, poverty and other forms of oppression after their birth – they only require women to bear children, whether they want to or not, whether they were raped or not, whether the pregnancy is the result of incest or not. Incest, by the way, is not a one-off event: it’s a continuing crime of many instances, so it carries a higher risk of pregnancy, and on a younger group. This ruling is meant to enforce patriarchy, to control women, their sex lives and their bodies.
The Roe ruling, especially coupled with Bruen, is mean-spirited and the product of a society based on patriarchy and death. Perhaps not the death of a fetus, but the death of mothers and children, and of so many of God’s children in a society that sacralizes firearms and holds the 2nd Amendment as its holy scripture. It is time for those of us who still have hope, who still have love, to denounce these powers that have shed any connection to the divine, and to recall them to God’s purpose. A transformation of this society will require a resurrection, a rising from the ashes. We look forward to the path to reconciliation of all people to God and each other.