Even though we knew it was coming, it is still horrifying.
On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States, in an inconceivably simple-minded way, struck down the precedent established by Roe v. Wade that legalized the right to privacy and safe, legal healthcare decisions. Let’s be clear: wealthy people will always have access to whatever doctors, medicines, and procedures they want. Ending Roe is an attack on the autonomy of poor, powerless, marginalized, and disenfranchised Americans. Banning abortion, which is but one of many protections defined by Roe, is racist, ableist, transphobic, misogynistic, oppressive, and unjust.
At CHNW we focus on supporting people, individual human beings. We think of the challenges they face, whether they are college students, their children, or other loved ones in their homes. We are focused on the real needs of people now. We can talk about freedom, we can talk about choice, and those are important things, but what pains me deeply is how indiscriminate thoughtlessness on behalf of those in power increases pressure, pain, and a greater sense of powerlessness to anyone outside of that heartless club. This impacts all of us.
While horrifying, it’s not surprising. We have watched this kind of blind meanness smoldering even amid increased empathy and caring we saw throughout the pandemic. We are witnessing a backlash against empathy and caring, and it is being codified into law in many states. In our State, reproductive healthcare laws are still protected, but we sympathize deeply with our friends, loved ones, and fellow humans in other states immediately impacted by the SCOTUS decision.
We have the opportunity to improve the lives of those struggling through challenging academic systems, challenges that the privileged and the powerful never have to think about.
As a hopeful person, we want to believe that this meanness, this disregard for building a compassionate nation will itself face a backlash as people, businesses, and organizations around the country take a stand against what can only be understood as fascist methods to keep this nation from being a country known for goodwill, kindness, and equity.
It’s important to recognize that while the SCOTUS decision changes nothing concretely right now in Oregon or at CHNW, it still feels awful and it makes the future feel uncertain and unsafe. Feelings of despair, rage, and sadness around this news are valid, and we stand with any of you reading this who are struggling as we, collectively as a community, are.
Every day at CHNW, we shine a light that makes our little corner of the world a little nicer, a little more caring, a little more compassionate, and let that be part of our contribution to a better America. Knowing that we are supporting the students who are working toward a brighter future, brings us so much solace.