That’s putting it lightly.

I took a break from writing publicly for a while to finish a novel. Now that I lift my head to look around at the world, I am amazed at what earth-shattering news is current or pending. In our mother country, an election looms. In the United States, a leaked document out of our Supreme Court threatens to defang or nullify a 50-year-old abortion ruling.

The Philippines chooses a new president on May 9, 2022. Many Yellows are beside themselves because it looks like Bong Bong Marcos is substantially ahead in the polls and this means that the struggle to overthrow a stealing, cheating, killing, puffy dictator 36 years ago has been all but forgotten. I will always think of that moment in 1986 as the best moment in Philippine history. But there have been so many moments since for the side who was so esteemed at that time to sully their good name. There was renewed graft in the administrations that followed Marcos, a press (much like the US press) that resumed its pre-Marcos mantle of shaping the narrative to its liking. There was the general pompous pock-marked sheen of anyone who was in power in the Philippines. Moreover, the structure of society has not changed in 36 years. The gap between rich and poor is incomprehensible. The overinvestment in the Capital Region was rendered more baffling by the underinvestment in All Other Regions. Glass-encrusted Manila contrasts abysmally with crumbled roads and intermittent electricity in the province. Did someone line their pockets with infrastructure funds? I just wonder if there is anything revolutionary about a Marcos Junior presidency or if he is just more of the same. I read articles by Westernized Yellows like myself who are aghast at what is happening. Maybe the truth is they are all crooked politicians and that putting a Marcos back in the presidency is just a matter of dispensing with the pretense. Leni seems like a high-quality candidate. Just like the United States, the Philippines is not a place where the best candidate wins. Such is the state of leadership throughout the world. The level of criminality varies only by degree. No “side” ever represented good and right through their actions, only their rhetoric.

As for the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade, well, I am just as surprised as anybody. I thought the last two conservative SCOTUS appointees would respect precedent. Instead, the conservative side of SCOTUS is making a statement on bench legislation. In fact, a D-leaning Congress could pass pro-choice legislation before the session adjourns and many of them are voted out. It’s puzzling why they don’t do that. Protesters are already assembling. The thing is, symbolic as this SCOTUS decision would be, it will be very hard to stop women from getting abortions given the changes in how abortions are done today. Fifty or more years ago, abortion was a dangerous surgical procedure. Today, it is often not a surgical procedure at all–just two pills taken one after the other or simultaneously. The abortion pill is actually a fairly mature technology, in use in Europe since 1987 and in the US since 2000. At a double dose, it is extremely effective for pregnancies up to 11 weeks. With the state and federal governments beside themselves trying to keep methamphetamines and fentanyl away from our population, how will pro-life states stop mifepristone and misoprostol pills from circulating in their streets, especially if manufacturing and distribution are legal in pro-choice states? They won’t. Abortion pills can be purchased ahead of time to be stored and used when needed. There are apparently about 26 states ready to slap restrictions on abortions if Roe v Wade is repealed. So, I suppose the stocking of abortion pills probably started just around…yesterday.