Texas. If you haven’t heard what’s going on there yet, please look it up. I’ve seen entirely too little talked about in the mainstream media, which is also horrifying and terrifying.

Florida, Iowa, and other states are already looking to write replica bills. The Supreme Court declined to do anything. Honestly, I don’t see how Roe v. Wade doesn’t get overturned soon. Under His Eye, indeed. Some folks watched or read The Handmaid’s Tale and took notes.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. As I wrote in the Women’s Personal Finance Facebook group last night:

If it SOMEHOW isn’t clear yet:

Pro-choice is pro-women.

And we’re kinda about women here, so yeah, that means pro-choice.

This point is too important for us here at WPF to tiptoe the “not politics” line.

With the weight of 40,000 women behind us, Regina and I decided that we would be angry and use our wallets for good. We are now setting up the Women’s Personal Finance Reproductive Health Community Aid Network.

For starters, we will be purchasing and sending Plan B and pregnancy tests to women in Texas who can’t afford them. While some have mentioned that there are “plenty” of abortion funds already out there, we feel strongly about setting one up specifically for WPF.

Our goal is to meet people where they’re at – and that means serving our community. While we will certainly not turn away a stranger, our initial goal is to set this up to take care of our WPF community and those they know and love.

If you’re interested in supporting this effort, please join the WPF email list and send us an email letting us know you would like to be added to the reproductive health e-mail list.

(We decided to go forward with this without setting up the framework ahead of time, so the separate email list hasn’t been created yet. We decided that right now what is needed is Deeds Not Words, to quote my wonderful Mayor, which means we’re moving ahead and will figure out the details as we go).

Yep. We are now 40,000 strong.

2. Personally, I am now considering at what point I take the permanent birth control step. I’ve been in a heterosexual marriage for more than a decade now, and my husband and I have one child. We plan to have no more. I have an IUD (non hormonal copper, if you’re curious), but we don’t double up on birth control with a condom because, hello, I’ve only had sex with him for the last 12+ years.

We had a conversation this week though after Texas passed this law that if things start to look worse nationally, it may be time to look into permanent birth control. I am 99% sure we are done having children, but I HATE the idea that the decision may be forced on me permanently by a fear of an IUD failure. 99.7% sounds great until there’s no way to change a failure if it happens.

And for those who have mentioned just to have my husband get a vasectomy, at the point we’re at this level of discussions, I would want to protect myself against sexual assault as well. The Texas law doesn’t make exceptions.

Again and again, I keep saying I don’t want to be right and I want to be an overreacting alarmist. Covid. Climate change. Women’s reproductive health. I want to be wrong. But so far I haven’t been.

I want it to be MY choice to stop with this kid.

3. I don’t know. At this point I guess I could talk about the rest of the week, but I’m tired. Add in a sprained ankle from a fall during my run Monday night, and it’s been a loooong week.

The frugal part there is that my mother in law had an ankle brace that she’s been able to lend me, so I didn’t have to spend money there. The messed up ankle means I can’t go run out my anxiety this week though, and that sucks.

4. I suppose I’ll also note how grateful I am to live in the State of Washington. We definitely live in a high cost of living area, but the trade offs there are pretty great. At least in the western half of the state, climate change looks to be reasonably kind to us.

We’ve had a governor take Covid seriously from the beginning, which means the total number of people who’ve died in this state over the entirety of the pandemic is about the same as the number who’ve died in Florida over the past month. Staggering.

And unless a national mandate comes down, abortion will continue to be legal here. And even then, I expect that our state leaders will fight hard to make exceptions through “states rights.” We may be at a point where we could sell our now very expensive home and be FI and live on a farm somewhere else in the country, but the security of living in Washington is pretty great.

5. This week has been straight up exhausting. It would be easier to just shut off the news, say good thing I don’t live in Texas, and go about my day. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, though, I’m sure you know that isn’t me. So I’ve waded into the thick of it, especially within my online communities where my impact will be greater.

The greater impact does mean greater pushback though too, and keeping Women’s Personal Finance a safe community this week hasn’t been for the faint of heart. So much good can come from social media (see the fund we are able to put together because of it), but it’s also hard and demanding and exhausting.

Instead of pushing us past the breaking point, we on the admin team are pushing the temporary pause button again and will be offline next weekend. We can do good in this world, but we also need to take care of ourselves and make sure we’re rested and can continue to do good. If that’s you too, then this is your reminder to make sure to schedule in some rest.

Sending love to everyone this week. It’s been a tough one. Add in Hurricane Ida, wildfires in the west, flooding, and the continued explosion of Covid, and it’s a lot. Love and light and rest to you all.

12 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (Handmaid’s Tale Edition)

  1. Oh Angela. Sending rest to you too. What a horrible week indeed. I watch what’s happening in Texas from the U.K., appalled. Under his **###!!! Eye indeed.

    So sorry you twisted your ankle as well – sucks not to be able to walk/run when it’s your go to for calm/anxiety management.

    Thank you for all that you do, online and in real life, for tour community near and far. You are really fantastic.

  2. Hi – as a long time reader, I always look forward to your weekly updates! That said, I’d encourage you to seek out some intersectional perspectives on your interpretation of the recent developments in Texas. This is a very helpful Twitter thread by Wagatwe Wanjuki that provides information as to why the “Handmaid’s Tale” reference is a problematic view of the circumstances: https://twitter.com/wagatwe/status/1432971890033758213

  3. I live in Texas, and I am appalled! I grew up in a former Communist country and I know what this new law means! I cannot believe this is happening in the “home of the free”!
    You are one incredible human!

  4. Angela! I’ve been reading for about a year as I started on my FI, journey. Your environmental focus is my favorite. Rest up, take the time you need and thank you for your service.

  5. Your use of the Handmaid’s Tale as an example is scarily on point. I used to think that kinda story will never happen in real life but looking at how the world is, it’s becoming a little too real.

    I cannot claim to understand your fear, of course, being a single woman from a country where we’re so used to laws being passed that curtail our freedoms that we’ve become numb to it, but I hope this will be overturned.

    I am a Christian, and in general, my stance is against aborting fetuses without a good, non-medical reason. But that’s MY beliefs, formed by my understanding of the world and shaped by my circumstances, and it shouldn’t be imposed on others. Outlawing it is even worse – women should be given a choice over what they want to do with their bodies. Policing morality is the way to disaster.

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