I met my father at my mother’s funeral. I was 36 years old.
I was standing next to the open casket, greeting family and friends, when Aunt Mary grabbed my arm and pointed to a bearded man pacing back and forth behind a row of metal chairs. “Well, look who’s here,” she said. And when I failed to recognize the man she was pointing to, said, “Girl, that’s your dad!” and waved him over.
My father left my mother when I was a baby, before my first birthday. He was only 22, but his leaving marked both his second divorce and his second abandoned baby, providing no support, financial or otherwise. He simply disappeared.
So as Gov. Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) signed her state’s draconian antiabortion bill into law last week, I combed over the coverage with one specific angle in mind. I pored through the horrifying details about how doctors who performed an abortion could receive up to 99 years in prison, read there would be no exceptions for rape or incest, and learned that women and girls, no matter their age, would be required to carry a fetus to term. No exceptions.