It was weird going back to work this morning; I walked from the parking structure to the West tower with my eyes riveted to the 17th floor far above. I felt queasy and weird.
The atmosphere in the office was strangely subdued this morning. We did progress toward our normal camaraderie as the day went on.
I learned a few things about the young man and his nuclear option; the first thing passed about the office was that a woman who worked in the building had actually been in the elevator with him as he was going up to the 17th floor. According to the grapevine, he was agitated and upset and punched the button over and over and over again. That poor woman, whoever she is, if she is anything like me, she is tormenting herself with every different scenario that can go on the end of the phrase “What if I had…”
The other bit of unconfirmed information that came to us today was that this 17 year old man had just learned that his girlfriend was pregnant, and he couldn’t deal with it.
Yes, this was one man, and the pregnancy thing may not even be true, but being who I am, I couldn’t help thinking that if this couple – and all young people – had unrestricted access to birth control, better sex education and perhaps, if the young lady decided that she and her young man weren’t ready to be parents, that girl could have gotten a safe, inexpensive and legal abortion.
I do blame the rabid conservative right – people like Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Virginia Foxx and Rick Perry – for this, just as I blame them for a whole lot of the other ugliness floating around in America these days. People are suffering. People are homeless, jobless, hopeless…and the GOP in the House puts forth – and passes – a heinous anti-abortion bill that would have the end effect of letting a woman having a miscarriage bleed to death and die untreated on the hospital floor, while piously claiming that they are fervently “pro-life.”
This young man is dead and his family is destroyed. That baby will never know his or her father. And it’s just senseless.