Friday, after hearing the news I took care of a few critical business ops for this show and work I do under other hats, paused all social media (Thanks Digi Dave for the sage advice), and went outside.
I told my partner I planned to write some thoughts once I could collect them, he said ‘you’ll get more hate mail’ … note he said more. Zero hate mail when you’re a woman of colour with an opinion in public isn’t an option.
I want to be very clear on my personal position and the position of this community. Abortion is healthcare. Healthcare is an apolitical, amoral human right.
But this has nothing to do with the outdoors, shut up and ski BIPoC Outside. No!
Abortion bans do not stop abortion, they stop safe abortions, which includes safe treatment for septic uteruses, ectopic pregnancies, and miscarriages that the body can not clear. Pregnant people will die and economically marginalized communities, queer communities, and BIPoC communities will be disproportionately affected. These are our communities.
Some of the conversations post this decision include attacks on other ‘settled’ law including Justice Clarence Thomas inviting a legal challenge against Griswold v. Connecticut. This is the law which protects access to contraceptives. Missouri is seeking to attack the constitutionally protected right to interstate travel which protects privacy and ensures free domestic movement without governmental abridgement.
Folk who menstruate face additional challenges to free and unimpeded access to the outdoors. Heather Hansen said it best when she said the ‘IUD Is the Most Important, Underrated Piece of Outdoor Gear’. This is also my experience and I recognize the privilege of that opportunity.
The idea that a uterus having person could face impediments to their fundamental right to move freely is anathema to everything BIPoC Outside stands for.
But aren’t you in Canada, how about mind your business? No!
First, I will speak out against human rights abuses regardless of where they take place. Second, because of our shared common law heritage American jurisprudence is valid and often used in Canadian courts. In some cases, only American law is cited in Canadian cases because of our significant population difference. America simply produces more judge made law.
Over the course of the weekend I’ve listened to law makers, healthcare providers, and advocates to determine the best way for both myself personally and BIPoC Outside to support those whose fundamental human rights have been affected by this ruling. I’m still learning but expect to see concrete action from us in the coming future.