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The gun crisis in America is so severe that people would actually have a child elsewhere with solid gun regulations, just not here.

TW: this article contains descriptions of murder and gun violence. On October 28, 2000, I was with a dear friend when we were held at gunpoint during a robbery. The assailant shot my friend point blank in the head, and she died in my arms.  My life jumped off the rails as I went down a dark path, battling post-traumatic stress disorder that haunts me to this day. Every time there is news of a new bout of gun violence I am newly traumatized and remember that horrifying day like it was yesterday, not almost 18 years ago. And since there is a shooting virtually every day now, I am struggling daily to cope with the impact that gun violence has wrought upon my life, my friend’s family, and everyone who loves us. In the wake of the Parkland shooting that took place just 13 miles from my home (and during which the daughter of my husband’s colleague was murdered), my husband and I were never more certain about our choice to not have children. Being a gun crime survivor, the trauma of surviving that event has never fully left me and one of the biggest side-effects was my decision to not have children because of America’s absurd obsession with guns. I wondered if there were others out there who had similarly decided the gun threat in this country was too big a risk when it came to having their own children. It wasn’t hard to find a group of people who feel the same. Donya Johnson is a flight attendant based out of Minnesota, and a lifelong childfree-by-choicer, who tells me, “Since gun violence has become the norm in public schools, it further validates my decision not to have children. Schools should be a safe-haven to learn and explore life, not a place to meet your maker.” Wisconsin-based journalist Jennifer Billock made her decision to not have children far more recently, in just the past year. “I wanted kids,” Jennifer says. “But I don't think I can happily bring a child into this world when guns are such a major issue… I'm a naturally anxious person, and the idea that I'd have to worry about sending my kid to school because they may or may not get shot is not something I think I could handle. I already have mini panic attacks when I'm going to the movies.”

Class privileged white women will likely have their abortion access far less infringed upon than poor people and women of color.

By Muqing M. Zhang On Oct. 6, 2018, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court despite testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her and despite two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, coming forward stating that Kavanaugh has a history of sexual violence. Since before and after the confirmation, serious concerns were raised with regards to what will happen to abortion access. While many publications have correctly argued that abortion access will be further restricted, an understanding of the hugely different impact that greater abortion restrictions will have on privileged versus marginalized people has been lost. Abortion access will not be restricted evenly across the population of people who can get pregnant. Instead, the harmful impact will be highly disparate, landing largely on those who lack the class and race privilege to circumvent the flood of restrictive abortion laws that are coming, while class privileged white women, many of whom supported Trump and Kavanaugh, will be able to evade the brunt of these laws. Kavanaugh’s oppositional stance on abortion is clear. In a 2017 speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Kavanaugh argued against the “tide of free willing judicial creation of unenumerated rights” when praising Associate Justice William Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe, which held that the right to abortion fell under the umbrella of the right to privacy. It is highly likely that Kavanaugh will vote with the five-member conservative majority against the four-member liberal minority of the Supreme Court when it comes to abortion. Abortion access was first legalized in Roe v. Wade in 1973, in which the Supreme Court legalized abortion by ruling that the right to abortion was encompassed within the right to privacy, which was an already established right. The court in Roe established a standard based on the different trimesters to be applied to every case that evaluated whether a law or regulation that restricted access to abortion should be struck down or not. The Roe standard was eventually replaced in 1992 by Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the Supreme Court reaffirmed Roe’s core ruling that legalized abortion but created the standard that exists today with regards to evaluating the constitutionality of laws that restrict abortion. The Casey standard, also referred to as the “undue burden” standard, states that if a “regulation has the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking abortion,” then the court will strike down the regulation or law.
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