For my own sanity, I’ve been staying OUT of this election so far. I just don’t have the mental bandwidth to deal with this shit show. So last night when I stopped into the crack van (just to say hi, I wasn’t watching the debate) was the first I’d heard of Mike Pence’s stance on mandatory funerals for miscarried fetuses. Horrified, I mentioned a story then that I didn’t want to take over the crack van to explain, but I’ll tell it now.
I went to Catholic high school during the early 2000s. George W Bush was newly-elected President, and this asswipe was the bishop of the diocese. Catholic values, as they were being taught to me, were basically “the gays are going to hell” and some combination of “if you have sex before you get married you’re going to get pregnant immediately and go to hell” and “if you abort that pregnancy so we can’t tell you had sex before you got married, you’re also going to hell”. There was no compassion, there was no understanding, there was just a lot of if you have lady parts you are a Bad Person.
Well, a friend and classmate of mine, Amy (not her real name), behaved like a normal 17-year-old and had sex with her serious boyfriend. She got pregnant, and because of all of this “no sex, also abortion is bad” bullshit, she starved herself for a month until she miscarried. The religion teacher got wind of this and suddenly “also miscarriage means you’re bad” made its way into the curriculum, along with not-so-subtle hints that naming the miscarried baby and giving it a funeral would make you right with God.
So she did, and maybe it made her right with God, but I don’t think she’ll ever be right with herself again. The last time I heard any news about her, we were 24 and she had four children by two different fathers and was still mourning her high school self-induced miscarriage.
Miscarriage funerals can be very important, positive points of closure for hopeful parents, and I don’t mean to say that they are inherently awful. But forcing a formerly-pregnant person to wallow in that if they just want to move on with their life is… abhorrent when it comes from the Church, and completely fucking unacceptable when it comes from the State.
All in all, I’m thinking it was a good call for my sanity that I checked out of this election process ages ago. I’m gonna go vote early for Secretary Clinton tonight and then crawl back under my rock, thank you very much.