And So It Begins: Woman Arrested For Helping Her Daughter Abort

Nebraska voted to outlaw abortion. Now teenagers are going to jail.

And So It Begins: Woman Arrested For Helping Her Daughter Abort
Photo by niu niu on Unsplash

“Ossiana, be reasonable,” urged my mom. “They don’t want to do the surgery.”

“I am not going to act like having no control over my body or negotiating what I want to do with my body is unreasonable,” I said. “Especially not after what happened to me when I got denied an abortion.”

This was the 10th doctor who refused to sterilize me, the 10th time I fucking cried. I was ready to go through drastic options to ensure I never get pregnant again under this totalitarian farce that is the government watch.

At that point in my life, I was actively debating injuring myself to force doctors to sterilize me or remove what was there. I was very close to doing it, too. My mom begged me to see two more doctors before I “did something drastic.”

Eventually, after a dozen doctors, I found one willing to actually fucking listen to me and sterilize me. Throughout the entire endeavor, everyone was calling me insane, stupid, and unreasonable for exercising my right to not have kids.

What many people didn’t realize is that I had this nagging feeling that birth control and abortions would eventually be outlawed. The writing was already on the wall in 2014 with the War on Women.

Everyone around me laughed at me when I said Roe v. Wade would not be around to protect us much longer. They said it was impossible to overturn and that I could just “get better birth control.”

After what hit the news in recent days, I don’t think anyone is laughing at me anymore.

Recently, a Nebraska mom was sentenced to two years in prison for helping her daughter get an abortion.

She was not the only person arrested and sentenced for the so-called crime of not allowing an unwanted baby to enter the foster system. Her daughter, who was able to terminate the pregnancy, got 90 days.

The woman was doing nothing but trying to let her daughter choose not to have a kid. Pregnancy does serious damage to a woman’s body and throws a woman’s life off-course, often permanently — an inconvenient truth anti-choicers hate.

These two women did something that would have been legal in most other states. However, since they lived in the wrong area, they were sentenced to jail and will likely never recover from the brutality of the US legal system.

Unlike most other people, I’m actually surprised that people are raising hell about this.


Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

People online are talking about this. They’re furious that a woman would get arrested for doing what she felt was right as a mom. Even anti-choicers are shocked to hear about women getting jail time over this.

When the news hit, there was an uproar over the sentencing, but why? I’m perplexed as to how anyone could be shocked that this would happen, especially those in red states who voted for this.

I mean, Nebraskans got what they wanted.

This is what they wanted.

We all knew that this was going to happen when anti-choice GOP voters got their way. Being anti-abortion was never about “saving babies.” It was always about punishing women and controlling them.

A lot of female anti-choice activists are starting to realize what they’ve done.

It’s almost as if abortion is a medical procedure that can also help prevent over-clogging an already-burdened foster care system. Insane, right? Well, that’s the thing that a lot of anti-choicers are starting to realize, albeit too late.

Anti-choice movements were never about protecting babies. If they were, they’d be voting for maternity leave, better childcare systems, free healthcare for all, and better schools. Right wingers aren’t voting for that.

The GOP platform does not want to help make life easier for the mothers it forces women to be. It was always about controlling women, not about helping kids and families.

You know what I noticed? A lot of anti-choice women somehow thought that they wouldn’t be personally affected by the people they put into power or the laws they repealed. To them, this was more or less just performing that you were a “good girl.”

They thought that abortions only happen to bad women. What they didn’t realize is they’re now going to have to deal with a legal framework that doesn’t require proof to upend a woman’s life — even if they didn’t get an abortion.

They’re going to have to deal with pregnancy posing a much larger risk to the life of the mother. They’re going to have to deal with having less choice on kids, and they’re also going to have to deal with the very real threat of imprisonment and lawsuits over accusations of aborting.

The case in Nebraska is one of many, many cases where women are getting tried for abortion. In Texas, even being accused of abortion or aiding an abortion can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

About 60 percent of Nebraska’s votes went to the GOP last election, so why are they horrified?

No, really. 58 percent of the votes went to Trump. Nebraska is heavily red. This is what the GOP’s platform is: punish women for having sex, shit out babies that are unwanted, and establish a Christofascist kleptocracy.

I want to know why Nebraskan women are so shocked that they actually got what they asked for. Why the pearl-clutching, ladies? If you voted for this, you should be happy that it could be your ass on that court chair soon enough.

My heart goes out to the people who voted D in Nebraska, because pro-choicers do not deserve to have the rights they fight for get ripped away. But let’s not lie here. This was the will of Nebraska’s women, too.

In order for the GOP to win, they had to have a lot of female voters back them up. The Republican party could never win if they had to run without a single woman voting for them.

So, don’t get angry at the courts, the police, or the friends of the women who just got jailed. Don’t get angry at the politicians. Get angry at the women who voted their own rights out the window.

Read more of Ossiana Tepfenhart's work on Substack.

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