10/06/2034 5:49 AM ET

OPINION

Don't Judge Mona Ojukwu For Her Abortion Choices

Pietra Rissischelli
Woman, mother, lover of denim

Public Domain Mark 1.0 Moord Volkspark by Josbert Lonnee | Writer image: CC BY-SA 3.0 - image changes released under same license Black and white photograph of a young woman's face, eyes gazing left by Valerius83 | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
Forensics crews at the site of Ms. Ojukwu's home.
If this were a sane society, we would not be judging Mona Ojukwu, we would be supporting her.

But this is not a sane society and we are not a supportive people. At least, not some of us.

By now you've probably heard about Mona, or as local conservatives are calling her, "Death's Mama". She was seen by a neighbor digging a hole in her backyard and placing something in it. Her neighbor dialed 9-1-1.

(Why a person can't dig a hole in their backyard without having the cops called on them, I don't know.)

It seems the very enthusiastic local law enforcement officers did some investigating. Within a couple hours, hazard-suited forensics teams were scouring every last inch of Mona's backyard.

Huntington Courier's local affiliate reported that eight bodies were recovered. They have been sent to the County Medical Examiners' office for investigation. Apparently, the issue in question is the age of the children, and authorities are looking to discover whether Mona was in breach of Clarke v. State of Tennessee.

It is being reported that Mona had been pregnant multiple times over the last fouryears.

For those not aware, Clarke allows a woman the choice to seek a post-birth abortion up to one week post-partum. So the issue now is whether the fetuses were more than a week old when they were aborted.

This is of course, absolute madness. A woman has the right and the choice to seek an abortion on her own terms, and should not be held accountable to anyone, including her husband, and especially not to a sadistic trial by media. Mona should not have to go through this.

And this is not to mention the fact that those fetuses are hers. They don't belong to the state of Texas to do with as it wishes. Has anyone questioned Mona about whether she's okay with this? Has anyone considered her feelings? What if - despite her choices being hers alone - she did consider some kind of connection with the fetuses? Perhaps digging them up for lab experiments is, oh I don't know, insensitive?

If this scenario can be used as any kind of object lesson, it should be that Clarke's age limit is clearly unreasonable and needs to be extended, immediately. We wanted six months. We got seven days. Seven days to decide whether our careers, our finances, our social lives, our entire existence would be determined the way we wanted it to be, or not.


CC BY 4.0 crime-scene-graves.jpg by r. nial bradshaw | Image was cropped. Image used for illustration purposes only.
Ms. Ojukwu's backyard.

If Mona's fetuses were more than a week old...so what? Why should her choices be subject to national scrutiny? The choices of grey-haired white men never face anywhere near the same intense glare as those of poor, black, immigrant women of size like Mona.

But this hasn't stopped state Republicans from piling on. Texas Governor Paul Shankley called the issue "an outrage all Texans should condemn", while Senator Kirby Drienhaus described it as "a tragedy of the highest caliber...awful". You'll note the gun reference there. But he did offer thoughts and prayers, so that's nice.

The one bright spot in this festering, stinking mess is that we live in the age of Kaley's Law - thank you Hillary Clinton - which means that for all their disgusting rhetoric, Republican leaders can't actually take their used-to-be-daily swing at the abortion fence. Unless of course, they like the idea of six months in a federal prison. How about it, Paul?

I hope Femmes 50 gets out and marches. If they do, I'll join them. I'm good with a Molotov Cocktail.

But in the end, it still comes down to one woman. Mona Ojukwu. Rumor has it her husband has abandoned her, and she is being tended to by friends. Good for her.

But she shouldn't have to endure this. No woman should. We still have so far to go.

This is not a sane society and we are not a supportive people. Yet.
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