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My Daughter Cried Last Night

Updated: May 19, 2022

A Poem by Dr. Barry Lubetkin / New York City

My daughter cried last night.

Tens of millions of women cried.

The tears were different. Not losing a boyfriend, not failing a test, not a sad movie.

The tears were sourced from the highest court in the land.

“What was it like before Roe?” she asks.

Waiting at LaGuardia in New York, a sanctuary city, to greet terrified young women. Never been out of their hometown.

Money for a taxi and directions to a doctor who could save their future.

Or terminations gone horribly wrong around America, in filthy rooms by unqualified butchers.

Or shame and guilt foisted upon the poor, whose chance of a life of dreams realized died with an unwanted baby’s birth.

Generations of girls and women shudder as their human rights are ignored. Their protest placards scream their anger, their disbelief.

Is this the start

of an Orwellian science-fiction movie,

or can we shut the theater?

Can we scream our rage so loud

that five shepherds of the law

will open their hearts and minds

to the aching needs of those who are already born and alive?


Barry Lubetkin, Ph.D. is the co-director and co-founder of the Institute for Behavior Therapy in New York City. The Institute for Behavior Therapy is the oldest private cognitive behavior center in the United States.

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