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On the Rights of ChickensGarden Poultry and the Choice of Motherhood

Updated: Jul 4, 2022




This is Lily attempting discretion as she toys with the idea of motherhood. Invariably, after sitting for a couple of hours on a nest, with or without eggs, she changes her mind, walks away from the nest and gets on with her day.

No matter what one does to persuade them, hens make their own choices about motherhood. If fertilised eggs are at hand, a hen might choose to sit on them, hatch them out, and raise chicks. She can also choose (like Lily) to change their mind and not sit on them, or she might boldly fling the eggs from the nest, or refuse to raise her chicks. Sometimes, she’ll kill them after they hatch. In any case, a hen makes her own choices about motherhood — and no one else has a say.

As it should be. In the wise words of Lily ‘If you want chicks, buy an incubator and brood them yourself, human.’

I am sharing this rather mundane story about poultry reproduction because yesterday, in America, my grandchildren’s reproductive rights were summarily ended by misogynistic zealots and their unelected, bought-and-paid-for, compromised AF Supreme Court (in)Justices. As of yesterday, my grandchildren now have less control over their own reproductive choices than my flock of hens. That is now the law of the land. Six, cruel, cynical, unaccountable fuckers in black robes, disenfranchised every person of reproductive age in the country — and to paraphrase Clarence Thomas, we ain’t seen nothing yet. They’ll be back for more.

Sit with that.

My anger is such that I have been spitting nails since 3:34 GMT yesterday when I first heard the news of the SCOTUS decision.

I live in Ireland, where after countless horrors, humiliations and deaths endured by women and girls in the aftermath of crisis pregnancies (btw — any unwanted pregnancy is a crisis pregnancy) abortion was finally legalized after the VOTERS — not some gaggle of dusty old men and their complicit handmaids — decided in favour of reproductive rights for women and pregnant people; thus guaranteeing access to a full range of reproductive healthcare, including abortion.

I’m sixty years old. I am well past my fertile years. I lived in America for forty years and had access to abortion throughout my entire adult life in America, so one might say the reversal of Roe v Wade doesn’t affect me. One might suggest I keep my post-menopausal opinions to myself. After all, have I any skin in this game?

Why yes, I do — in the form of an eight-year-old granddaughter and twelve-year-old trans grandson. But even if I had no ‘material’ skin in this game, I continue to hold citizenship in a country that is waging a war on all women, on the LGBTQ community, on all people of colour, on all children, on literally every kind of human body — but guns are sacred. Unfettered cruelty is sacred. So, I won’t be shutting up anytime soon.

I’m not done spitting nails yet. My mouth is chocked full of nails this morning. When I’m not raging, I’m weeping. I say ‘Fuck’ a lot because I am lost, because I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what we need to do to fix this, but we urgently need to find out.

I have no answers, but I’m open to suggestions, folks.

I am currently in the mad rant phase of this grief (stage one?) — so no meaningful message here — just a rant. Meanwhile, here are a few podcasts I’ve found helpful in the past twelve hours, and of course links to planned parenthood and other pro-choice organisations. If you have others to suggest, please leave links in the comments.

More rants are sure to follow.

The New Abnormal —- How to impeach a supreme court justice

Boom! Lawyered — The Day Roe Died

Planned Parenthood — click for info to donate

Naral -- Pro-Choice America — click for info and to donate




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