For Fixed Electronic Media
This work is my response to the June 2022 Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. I had a visceral, physical reaction upon hearing the news, and took notice that my heart rate and breathing had elevated. This piece reflects that reaction, which is paired with the very personal and intimate recordings I have from my own pregnancies of the fetal doppler picking up my babies’ heart rates in utero during my pregnancy check-ups. I am extremely fortunate to have had two healthy (and wanted) pregnancies in 2018 and 2020, but even with all of the support, financial stability, and access to good health care I received, I was overwhelmed by how difficult pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care were. I do not believe any woman should have to experience those things if she does not expressly and deeply want them for herself. I’ve quoted two well-known melodies in this work: the Negro Spiritual “Wade in the Water” and the children’s song “Row Row Row your Boat,” both obviously derived from the names in the Supreme Court case. I felt compelled to include “Wade in the Water” particularly because this decision will disproportionately impact Latina and African American women, and the song is rooted in the struggle against slavery and overcoming oppression. The last iteration of “Row Row Row” in the piece is a recording of my four-year-old daughter singing the tune, a representation of the uncertainty I now feel for her future and her rights.
(headphones or external speakers recommended for best listening experience)