From The Handmaid’s Tale. Courtesy HULU.

by Gina Hamilton

Yeah. It’s 2022, and women in America are facing the stark reality that five right-wing wackos on the Supreme Court, three of whom were nominated by Donald Trump, have now taken the most basic right — the right to determine our own medical care and make decisions about our family, away from us.

Essentially, the nation is now divided into sexual slave states — sixteen of them were poised to criminalize abortion as soon as this came down, with more expected to follow — and free states, where women are not required to undergo forced childbirth, for, as Sam Alito put it, “to provide a domestic supply of infants”.  This is a new Civil War, make no mistake. The War on Women has come home to roost. In some of these states, there are no legitimate reasons for abortion, not even to save the life of the mother. In others, women and girls who don’t report a rape or incest can’t get one.

If they want a civil war, we’ll give them one. And it won’t be pretty.

But hey, this is on the justice system, from start to finish.  So women across the country, both here in the free states as well as the slave states, must first work together to bring that system to its knees. Here is a modest proposal on how to do that.

When I was but eighteen, as the Equal Rights Amendment was going down in flames, I registered to vote. Before the ink was even dry, I was summoned for jury duty. I was as angry as I have ever been about anything in my life. But I dressed in a lovely white dress, and came to the courtroom, and waited for jury selection.

When the judge asked me if there was any reason I could not serve, I quietly and firmly answered.

“Yes, your honor. This defendant is entitled to a jury of his peers. I am a mere woman, and unfortunately, I am not his equal, and therefore, not his peer. It would be unconstitutional for me to serve in that capacity.”

The judge looked at me as if I’d just arrived from Mars.

“Say that again?”

“This gentleman is entitled to a jury of his peers. I am not his equal, therefore I cannot serve.”

“I’ll give you a few minutes to reconsider.”

A few minutes elapsed, and I repeated my rationale, so I was cited for contempt. My roommate called the American Civil Liberties Union, and we spent the night eating pizza and trying to figure out what our court case would look like. I combed my hair and brushed my teeth and with my phalanx of attorneys behind me, went back upstairs to the courtroom.

When I declined again, the judge, in an exasperated tone, said, “You women libbers make me sick! Get out of my courtroom and don’t come back!”

I was one woman, but what if we all did that next time? After all, this ruling certainly makes us second class citizens, even if we weren’t already (the ERA has still not passed!). Justice would grind to a halt. A few of us might be cited for contempt, and contempt would be exactly what we would be showing for this justice system. And rightly so. If you encounter a female defendant, say that given how the justice system has treated women vis-a-vis the right to control their bodies, you do not feel you could be impartial in her case. Be polite. VERY polite. But be very firm as well.

Those of us in the free states need to reach out to women in the sexual slave states and offer them room if they must come to our states for needed health care. I am personally offering any woman who needs a place to stay while accessing health care in Maine the use of one of our bedrooms, a good meal, and a lot of furry company to help them relax.

Women who are forced to give birth against their will can also seek me out if they wish to place their child in a free state. Their girls, especially, need to be rescued from sexual slave states. I am sure I speak for a lot of women that we would happily protect your child from being another victim of the sexual slave state.

Learn how to produce herbal remedies for women who have no other option. Some states are attempting to forbid the import of pharmaceutical abortion drugs. Free states should be prepared to provide these drugs at no cost upon request to women in the sexual slave states, but in the worst case scenario, certain herbs can be used to induce an early abortion.

As an abortofacient, black cohosh is possibly the most reliable. You make the tea from the root, using about two ounces. It should not be used in women who have breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, or endometriosis.

Another common abortofacient is pennyroyal, taken as a tea of the fresh herbs (relative of the mint family), over three to four days at the first missed period. Do not take pennyroyal oil alone in any amount, as it can cause liver or kidney damage.

Some herbs prevent the implantation of the fertilized ovum, including the seeds of Queen Anne’s Lace, parsley, mugwort, juniper, and chamomile. Such herbs are called emmenagogues, meaning they bring down menses, ending a very early pregnancy.

Women who wish to attempt any of these should speak to a local midwife, and be prepared to take the herbs immediately after the first missed period. No herbal remedy is 100 percent effective. If the miscarriage does not occur, make sure you go to a trusted medical provider for a referral for a complete abortion, as some of these herbs can cause birth defects in the fetus.

Of course, everyone has the right and responsibility to speak out — write letters to the editor, including the New Maine Times. Make sure your voices are heard at rallies and in the halls of government. Vote. The best way to reverse this travesty is to elect a government that will codify Roe, and then work to expand the high court so that these extreme voices — Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavenaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett — do not make up the majority any longer.

Make sure that we vote for people — especially women — who will vote in our interests, instead of voting with the party line.