In the end, it also comes down to something Melissa McEwan wrote here at Shakesville:
‘Of course is to say nothing of the zoning laws that allowed a fertilizer plant to exist in such close proximity to residences and schools. Many residents say they saw it coming, and, naturally, because we live in a garbage culture full of victim-blaming and tasking individuals with solutions for systemic problems, there is already a lot of “why didn’t they move?” where “this plant was irresponsible and deregulation is a fucking nightmare” should be.’
Anyone who lives in a space where they are the political minority and they talk to someone who agrees with their politics but lives in a place where those politics are in the majority have heard the “why don’t you just move?” as if that is a viable or useful response. It is an excuse that refuses to take into account at all people’s lived experiences, their desires to be near family or friends, the pressing issue of finding a new job in a new place, or people’s complete inability economically to just pick up and move (to be able to do that is a privilege). It is a conversation killer and, as McEwan wrote, victim-blaming.
I have driven probably 10,000 miles on I-35 in my lifetime and it’s inspired a lot of my blog posts. A lot of people find the long stretches of highway in red states across flat prairie really boring, but I confront my own fears nowhere better. Lately when driving I’ve just felt an intense pride in the people who work and live here despite what coasties and other misguided/wrong folk might say about us. So I figured this was as good an opportunity as any to highlight a couple of TOTALLY AMAZING things that people are doing in red states along this highway (even if the city they’re in isn’t).
Let’s start with the southern point: Texas! The Keystone XL Pipeline, a system of pipelines carrying crude oil from tar sands in Canada to multiple US cities, is a pretty awful, environment-tribal sovereignty-water supply-destroying endeavor. Have you heard about the fantastic Texas folks opposing its construction?
On Sunday, the Texas Tribune reported that a growing number of people in that state seeking abortions are looking to Mexico for chemical abortifacients in the form of a potent medication – not prescribed on its own in the U.S. to terminate pregnancies – called misoprostol. According to the Tribune article, the World Health Organization has stated that even on its own, the drug can be an effective method for medically inducing abortion when used properly. Unfortunately, the proper method for the use of misoprostol to induce abortion is not widely known in the border communities affected, which results in a variety of health risks.
From an access perspective, the recent uptick in such a practice seems to be the logical result of recent cuts and restrictions on public health services, including reproductive health and domestic violence services, in the state of Texas. Other states – especially red border states – can learn from this story in the fight for reproductive justice. It may seem far-fetched to prepare to distribute facts on proper use of misoprostol to possible affected communities, but if state TRAP legislation continues to pass, such education may be necessary to prevent injury or illness. Ideally, community reaction to such a trend will be mostly to increase knowledge of and access to safe, legal, affordable, and discreet abortion services through hotlines and abortion funds.
The people using misoprostol, also widely used in Mexico due to poor reproductive health access, are mostly poor Latino-Americans living in sparsely-populated areas near the southern border of the United States. This story will probably not be widely covered because it has yet to affect urban middle-class white Americans, and I sincerely hope that the big state to the south can stave off further increases in the practice. I highly recommend reading the original article from the Tribune and checking in on Robin Marty’s coverage of the story.
Pearl is making two pizzas tonight, just try and stop her
Y’ALL. Molly Jo is doin her thang so you’ve got me this Friday! WAHOO. I’m really jazzed to let you know about news I’d like to call What The Actual Fuck.
Across the ole Red River (where our Denton friends live HAYYYY) just outside Bryan, TX there’s a sleepaway camp for highschoolers training to become pro-life activists. If that sounds too gross to read about directly (sort of like looking into the sun) I can basically tell you this: pro-lifers are getting the idea earlier and earlier that to show your “compassion” to people with unwanted pregnancies, it’s important to believe that they have no idea what’s going on and have no idea what an abortion is or what it does.