I’ve been thinking about the verdict a lot. I have a criminal defense background. (but now I practice boring property law). Everyone says she got away with murder. It might be true. It has me thinking a lot about what constitutes murder, in the legal and ethical sense. Which are decidedly two very different things. Why does the state sanction some types of killings and others are excusable or legal? When along the lines did we collectively determine what was morally excusable and what wasn’t? A loaded question, I guess.
Sometimes, I have to tell you, I feel like I got away with murder. I am really thankful that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life in prison. I truly am. But, there are days where I feel like that is where I belong. I try not to beat myself up about the situation, and If I was in a clear state of consciousness, I would have never let someone take my baby from my body. I would not have chosen to end her life, if I wasn’t seriously afraid for mine, but well… don’t murderers justify their reasons too? Some of them do, believe me. Some genuinely believe they have very good reasons for the actions they took, its just that collectively, as a whole, we determine what is a good reason or not. So, the public, as a whole, has determined that my reasons are sound or that it’s not really murder to have an abortion or maybe that is ok to murder babies before a certain number of weeks gestation, I don’t know. The government has determined that I don’t have to stand trial for murder, and I am grateful for that. But the way I see it, abortion seems to be government sanctioned murder and yet, I truly breathe a sigh of relief, that the only prison I have to contend with now, is the guilt and shame that I live with. So clearly I am not taking a stand on the issue at the moment, but for what its worth those are my meandering thoughts, the day after the trial.
Now, obviously the issue is so much bigger and deeper than the two paragraphs I have devoted to writing about it, and I am not going to push myself to take a stand on abortion, politically or ethically at this moment. It’s just that my experience has changed me completely, and it makes me question everything: my beliefs, views , all of what I stand for and all of who I thought I was. I’m just grappling in the dark, to try to put order back into my life, and to make some semblance of who I am and to resolve the conflict that comes with simultaneously hating myself and trying to love and respect myself and my limitations …trying to find my sea legs.