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Monday, February 26, 2024


by Linda Laderman

The Alabama Supreme Court [pictured above in Night Country] has ruled that frozen embryos created and stored for in vitro fertilization (IVF) are children under a state law allowing parents to sue for wrongful death of their minor children… The 8-1 majority of the court found that it was a long-established precedent that "unborn children" are "children" for the purpose of the 1872 wrongful death law at issue in the case. It said that any doubt about that was removed by a 2018 amendment to the state's constitution, which declared that it was "the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children." —Reuters, February 23, 2024

I tell my husband that my body doesn’t belong to me.
Does it belong to me then, he says. He thinks he’s hilarious,
a comedian. That’s what he calls me when I say something 
he finds absurd or annoying. So I say, are you a comedian?
Then he asks me to explain. If your body doesn’t belong 
to you, who does it belong to? All sorts of entities, I say.
He thinks I’m overreacting after we watched the episode 
of True Detective Night Country, where we (spoiler alert)
find out that the frozen male bodies were not murdered
by a demon, but by a group of indigenous women who
were rightly pissed that their friend Annie K was brutally
beaten to death after she discovered a truth hidden from her
by her lover. I say, good for those women. Those men deserved
to be put out in the cold  How many times have women put
their hands on truth’s hot stove, in spite of its capacity to burn,
and ended up paying for it with everything that meant anything?
I ask, did you read the ruling from Alabama’s Supreme Court?
and wave my phone with the breaking news in front of his face.
Look, I say, Alabama is the spawn of Dobbs. This is not an episode on HBO.
Well, he says, what are you going to do, throw a bunch of naked law-
makers into sub-zero temperatures and leave them to freeze to death?
Only if I have the means and opportunity, I say. You are a comedian, he says.

Linda Laderman is a Michigan poet. Her work can be found in many journals, including SWWIM, One Art, The Scapegoat Review, and Mom Egg Review. She is the 2023 recipient of Harbor Review Jewish Women’s Prize and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.