Gail's Blog

Could we be revisiting the Salem witch trials?

Does history repeat itself? Just recently Connecticut exonerated its last witch. It only took over 350 years. It brought me to think about the common link these trials had to the society we live in today.

Here we are again with 5 plaintiffs in Texas bringing a suit against the state due to its severe abortion laws. Although all the women wanted their pregnancies, there was some malformation of the fetus or a fetus was dying inside the womb. One of the women developed the dangerous and life threatening sepsis infection and almost died along with her dead fetus. All had to leave the state and risk more health complications because doctors were too afraid to perform an abortion to save the mother.

If you read the history of the Salem, MA and Connecticut witch trials where about 200 people were put on trial for witch craft, you can almost read some of the parallel lines that are going on in today’s America. Lots of angry righteous people accusing others of sending out abortion pills, having a miscarriage (was it really an abortion)? Other accusations. “The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between early 1692 and mid-1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the devil’s magic—and 20 were executed.” Smithsonian magazine. Connecticut heard 43 witchcraft cases, with 16 of these ending in execution. And Wethersfield, with nine documented accusations and three executions …

In Texas we have vigilantes looking for an opportunity to sue someone for helping someone else with getting an abortion. If you are found guilty, you will pay the other party including legal fees. You can be imprisoned. In Salem and in Connecticut Chief instigators included twelve-year-old ringleader Ann Putnam, Elisabeth Hubbard, Mary Walcott, Mary Warren, Elisabeth Proctor, Mercy Lewis, Susan Sheldon, and Elizabeth Booth. Encouraged by their elders and joined by some peers, the girls began accusing anyone they disliked or feared of being witches.

During the 50’s we had McCarthyism where many lives and reputations were destroyed by false accusations and shunning.

We now have women in 21 states being at the risk of politicians, mostly men, cheering on anti-abortion rhetoric. Poorly thought out legistlation will be creating more pain and suffering for women and risking their emotional and physical health.

“At the center of the Salem witch trials were a core group of accusers, all girls and young women ranging in age from nine to 20, who screamed, writhed, barked and displayed other horrifying symptoms they claimed were signs of Satanic possession. Often referred to as the “afflicted girls,” they included members of prominent village families, as well as domestic servants and refugees of King William’s War, a long-running conflict that pitted English settlers against Wabanaki Native Americans and their French allies. These people often displayed symptoms or signs then thought to be the results of witchcraft they claimed were brought on by the people they accused. Historians have offered numerous possible explanations for the Salem accusers’ actions, including economic hardship, deliberate fraud, mass hysteria or mental illness. A girl named Abigail accused 57 women of witchcraft.”

Even though we may think we have advanced past this phase of our history, we need to be very careful and pay attention to what is happening in America. Could we have another McCarthy era? Could we in some way begin the accusing dance and start bringing those who had an abortion, who inquired about an abortion, who had a suspicious miscarriage, who received abortion pills in the mail be tried and put in prison? If the fetus dies prior to birth, can the mother be accused of murder? Will we have imprisoned women, accused, snitched upon by others and brought to trial as was done in Salem?

We would like to believe we are not like the people of Salem but panic, fear and punishment can go a long way in changing people.

4 responses to “Could we be revisiting the Salem witch trials?”

  1. Jeannine says:

    To: Cheryl
    1) your response is not relevant to the discussion of women’s reproductive rights

    2) Tucker is manipulating his audience (again)

  2. Jeannine says:

    Yes, women are at much greater risk now than when I was of child-baring age. My third pregnancy was not viable and I received the appropriate care of a D&C without risk to my life. My first two pregnancies resulted in 2 full term baby boys (now in their 40’s). It’s their wives and daughters who are now at risk. This is insane.

  3. “a core group of accusers” sounds very much like the cherry-picked members of the January 6 “select” committee. 400(?) arrests and many still languishing in prison solitary confinement WITHOUT Due Process or the right to a speedy trial. Now that ALL of the footage of videos has been released and we can see how much those “core accusers” LIED, EDITED and SUPPRESSED the facts about what actually happened that day, we can proudly declare we have dissenters-now political prisoners in our own gulag. Thank you Nancy Pelosi and Liz Cheney for leading the charge. Your turns are coming 😉

  4. Judy Ferrig says:

    Gail, thank you for the light you share on things. While I’m “young” for my age, I’ll be 76 in July, and I often feel thankful I lived my earlier years when I did…enjoyed women becoming liberated, receiving more equal pay and jobs, independence, etc. Remember the ancient Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times.”
    Thanks for the wisdom and insight you share.

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