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Wednesday, May 18, 2022


by Darrell Petska

Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska said Sunday that he will call a special session of his state's legislature to pass a total ban on abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this term. "Nebraska is a pro-life state. I believe life begins at conception, and those are babies too," Ricketts told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" when asked if he thought the state should require a young girl who was raped to carry the pregnancy to term. —CNN, May 15, 2022

Of course rape is evil,
but evil left to proliferate in a woman
tends to strike again and again in all its
suffocating helplessness, trauma, chronic
anxiety and nightmarish violation,
with all its attendant heartache.

Political one-upmanship and pietisms
that insist on allowing rape's evil to live on
by citing "directives" of god or bandying
emotionally fraught trigger words—
manipulating evil to sell one's agenda—
are beneath a purported man of god
and the yea-saying cadres of men sharing
narrow perceptions of a woman's uterus,
including its role in shaping cognitive
and emotional well-being and the drive
for self-determination—the latter a right
not reserved for men alone.

The shelf-life of your brand of religiosity
is short. We who espouse a more merciful,
compassionate religion pray that your efforts
to be both judge and executioner will fall
to the light, lest "Nebraska Nice" succumbs
to the politics clouding your heart and soul.

Darrell Petska lives and writes in Wisconsin, but part of his heart remains in his birth state of Nebraska.