May 4, 2022 | Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’m so sorry for your loss

To the women in my life.


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I have been writing about the fall of Roe and a woman’s right to choose for some time. I have not, however, dedicated time to considering the emotional toll – to women. I have not, I admit, because I do not experience those feelings firsthand. In short, I’m a white man. Lots of things don’t apply to me. 

I don’t mean to tell you what you already know.

I do mean to acknowledge the damage done to millions of Americans who figured, not unreasonably, that abortion was a settled issue, that a revival of a mindless kind of 1950s conformity would never return. 

I want to say I’m so sorry for your loss.

It was there. Now it’s gone. It’s like time folded back on itself. We’re going to be arguing about birth control again, about sex toys again, about curse words again. We’re going to be debating what a man and a woman is. We’ll be forced to debate things the culture left behind.

Worse, we’re going to debate whether a woman has the right to safe, effective and legal health care. We’re going to debate whether a woman has the right to make demands on her government that claims to be of the people, by the people and for the people. It’s all so stupid.

Confusion, shock, grief, defeat, anger, panic, vulnerability, paranoia – these and so many more seem to me entirely natural feelings in the face of monolithic forces bearing down on women, as if women were a social problem to be solved on account of not being born as men. 

I don’t have anything else to add except again that I’m sorry. I’m sorry that things have come to this. But you are not alone. I think you know you are not alone. I think you know you have allies. I think you know how strong you are. I think you know the righteous will win in the end. 

There is a way forward – as there usually is in a democracy. There are obvious ways and unobvious ways. In time, we’ll figure it out, together.

In solidarity, 


John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.


  1. Kathy Routliffe on May 4, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you.

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