Six Weeks

Pregnancy is counted
from the first day
of a woman’s last period

before a sperm’s part
of the equation, only
blood and tunnel—

periods not like clock
work. Some slow,
some late naturally.

I’ve seen six weeks
pass easily between
mine, and that’s how

some bodies work.
And it can take
weeks before

an appointment
is available to see
a doctor. Now add

to that childcare
and work. You’ve
banned abortion

Texas. And put
a bounty on women’s
lives: $10,000.

For a heartbeat
that’s barely audible
in a grain of rice.

About the Poem

This poem is in response to SB 8, the new law in Texas that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, at around six weeks of pregnancy, when the fetus is the size of a grain of rice. The law allows citizens to sue any person who helps a woman obtain an abortion, for a minimum award of $10,000 plus legal fees. The Supreme Court has decided not to stop this rule from going into effect, which essentially ends the era of “Roe v. Wade” federal protections of a woman’s right to choose.

About the Author

Katie Kemple (she/her) is a poet, parent, and public radio consultant in San Diego, CA. Her work has appeared recently on Lunch Ticket (Amuse-Bouche), Anti-Heroin Chic, miniskirt, and Matter.

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