I live in Texas.
In those four simple words there is a massive double edged sword.
I am well aware that this state has a deserved stink to it. It embodies backwards schooling, racism, fear of science, politically dangerous dullards, and overall idiocy.
There is much in this state that makes me cringe, but living in Austin - an odd oasis of realness, acceptance, and decency - I am quick to point out that there are many good, openminded, forward thinking, kind, big hearted people who are completely unlike the Texas stereotype of the beergutted, cowboy hatted, thinly educated, Open Carry dimwit. And many of them are Republicans.
People who don't fear or hate those with brown skin. Folks who embrace differences, love learning about the other cultures around them, and who work tirelessly to change the stifling political structure from within.
But. The stereotype exists for a reason. It exists because it is real. This state is full of hand me down racism, stupidity turned into an art form, Bible thumping aplenty, men with zero true understanding of how a woman's body actually works making laws to legislate them, and guns - dear lord, the guns. I think guns in this state may only be outpaced by the number of rubber bull testicles hanging from the back of pickup trucks.
It is a lifestyle, a mindset where science withers in the shouted words of the Bible; where patriarchy holds court over women's issues; where history is not only revised, but fiction is embraced.
Which is why I am not surprised at a headline out of the Dallas area.
This past Friday, at some point during the schoolday, a student or teacher suffered a miscarriage in a bathroom at Woodrow Wilson High School. The "possible fetus" was found by a custodian, and reported to the principal. The next step involved police descending upon the school in what onlookers described as a "swarm." This included a helicopter overhead.
Because of a miscarriage.
“What was found was what appears to be a fetus, or what has been confirmed to be a fetus,” Dallas Independent School District spokesperson Jon Dahlander told reporters. “We have been in the process of trying to notify parents to let them know about this.”
Let's stop there. Parents do not need notified that a miscarriage occurred. But they sure as hell deserve to know who turned that unfortunate scenario into an episode of CSI.
“We’re reviewing video, talking to the teachers, trying to determine if anybody has any knowledge of any student that may have had something going on in their life, and pray,” Dallas Police Major John Lawton said.
For the love of ... nope, sorry, won't type it.
Give me a break.
Do your fucking job and leave your religious views out of it.
Adding to the idiocy parade, Alan Elliott of Baby Moses Dallas told reporters that the mother could have avoided any criminal charges if she had taken advantage of Baby Moses laws by carrying the child to term, and then dropping it off at a safe baby site like a fire station.
“And that’s a happy ending when that happens, because the baby is safe, the mother is protected from any sort of prosecution, so it’s a win-win for both of them,” Elliot noted.
OK, look, programs like Baby Moses are perfectly fine, great even. WHEN AN ACTUAL BABY IS INVOLVED.
This was a miscarriage. To those of you who don't understand what that means, let me help you out because I have had one.
YOU HAVE ZERO CONTROL OVER IT.
For whatever reason, your body does not support the pregnancy and works to expel what it considers unsustainable foreign matter until it comes out.
But the same fools (read: men) who think our bodies can shut down a rape pregnancy, obviously believe we women can force a pregnancy out at will, like a turd.
When I miscarried, at home, in tears, in pain - because the contractions of a miscarriage are the exact contractions that bring a baby out into the open - I held what finally came out. Tissue, blood, the placenta, and what was obviously a fetus in progress.
A fetus that no longer functioned as a fetus. A fetus that my body determined was not viable.
And there was nothing I could have done to stop it. I stress that part because I wanted to be pregnant, I wanted it with all my heart. My body, however, did not. I could have no more stopped the miscarriage than I could have stood on the beaches of Kauai and stopped the waves.
I did not commit a crime. There was no need for police to swarm my house, study video, ask around.
I miscarried. That's it. That's all.
And as profound as it is to the women when it happens (if they are even aware they are pregnant - miscarriages happen daily very early on), it happens with stunning regularity.
Statistics provided by March of Dimes include:
Approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage; some estimates are as high as 1 in 3. If you include loss that occurs before a positive pregnancy test, some estimate that 40% of all conceptions result in loss.
40% of all conceptions.
Ever have what you take as an slightly heavier flow one month? If you are sexually active, there is every chance you have suffered a miscarriage and did not know you were even pregnant.
It just happens.
Regardless of desire to be pregnant, or how much you pray, or how many tears you cry - if a miscarriage is going to happen, it just happens. You don't pick the time or place or circumstances.
While details as to estimated weeks of the fetus found, etc, have not yet been provided, what is clear it that whatever was found was not a viable BABY. This was not a case of someone going into labor at school and ditching the live baby in the garbage can.
This is not something that prayer or the police or Baby Moses could have stopped.
And it certainly is not something that needs the female who suffered the miscarriage being identified by police as a "suspect."
But then, hey, this IS Texas, and we go big or go home. Big hair, big hats, and BIG STUPIDITY.