• Leah Diament

The Woman Question: A Fictional Tale of Reproductive Rights

Just for funzies

May, 17th 2040

The woman walks by for the third time, fragile, on the cusp of breaking. How does one end up working for a campaign? I suppose you either care enough about the cause to drop everything and beg for signatures or you are “underemployed” and will do anything to make a dime.

“Sign the petition to keep women’s loan percentages bellow 14%! If enough of us sign we can help keep women out of pregnancy debt and build better lives for ourselves.”

Clearly, she knows nothing of politics, but I motion to her so that at least my guilty conscience is soothed. We are all stuck sweating in the same line any ways. Knees grinding against diminished cartilage standing on hard concrete meant for moving, not waiting. Waiting for another loan, for another baby or non-baby. Since the Anti- Abortion laws went into affect 20 years ago, they’ve loosened substantially. In the beginning you would be arrested, along with your doctor, and go to prison for life. Thankfully, legislation was passed to allow women to pay a fee for any aborted fetuses instead. You could add it on to your taxes for the government, give it directly to law enforcement, or contribute to Focus on The Family to contribute to birthing services. It was a big decision for the government to allow us to do this, understandably so. To ensure that women wouldn’t be picking abortion for financial reasons the fee’s exceed the typical cost of raising a child until they are 18 years of age. Currently that figure sits around $5000,000 with a 23% apr loan rate over the course of 18 years most of us are looking at paying out 20,000,000 by the end of our terms. I work at a mechanic shop. I will never in my lifetime make 20 million dollars.

Neither will any of the other women in this line. Which is why most opted to have the babies. They were careful not to let health insurance costs become inflated due to the increased use of birthing facilities so the health insurance companies ceased coverage on births. Costing a woman upwards of 50,000 a pop with an agreement of payment within 30 days, causing most to land here in line with me. Waiting. To buy more, pay more. 14% may not be the worst idea. Anything will help.

My two sons and daughter are happily playing along side the line with the 30 odd other children. Some claimed, others independent of their parents. About 200,000 children live on the streets, bouncing from criminal activities to occasional farm work when the cops pick them up.

Our fees were increased the year before last because of a miscarriage, just my body letting go. Nothing spectacular. Although it was accepted by the child loss prevention and assessment company as a miscarriage, I was still fined 20,000 for neglect. My other option was 6 months of jail time. I am lucky I live in a country where I have the freedom to choose. I couldn’t leave my children to the streets, so here we are again. Standing in line. Waiting for my Uterun Loan. Chris will be 7 next month and finally working age to help pay off the debt. Until then we are living in a communal house sponsored by the kind people from Focus on The Family. If not for them, we would be on the street.

It’s my turn. I pull out my disheveled wallet to pay down my Uterun loan and request a secondary one for food for the kids. We are almost back to the rest of our day.


Contemporary fine art photography and printing series that are available for sale, basis for commission,  and for gallery shows.
 

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