The idea for Moral Infidelity began more than 25 years ago. In the summer of 1989, I was reading, with interest and anger, newspaper articles about the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Missouri’s restrictive abortion legislation in the case of Webster v. Missouri.
This was the first serious chink in the protective armor provided under Roe v. Wade, because suddenly, due to the Webster ruling, male politicians in several different states were pounding the drums about enacting laws in their own states that would diminish the protection Roe afforded women in making very personal decisions.
The thought occurred to me: What if an unintended, inconvenient, unwanted or dangerous pregnancy could threaten one of these male politician’s happiness, security and position in life?
What if a male politician, who thought he knew better than a woman what she should and should not be able to do with her own body, had a mistress who became pregnant, and she didn’t want to abort his fetus, but wanted his baby and him? What would happen if that mistress threatened to destroy his marriage and his political career if he did not meet her demands?
How would that male politician feel about the removal of any choice he might have regarding an unwanted baby, when he is being given no choice about it by his mistress?
It has been almost 25 years since this thought first occurred to me. But it was in that instant, when I had that particular thought, that I was inspired to write Moral Infidelity.
Since I lived in Miami, and went to college in Tallahassee–the state capitol of Florida–I chose to set the book there and to create the fictional character of Pro-Life Florida Republican Governor Michael Romano. I created a character who held himself up as a beacon of morality, but who made moral judgments about women who chose to have an abortion for reasons other than rape or incest, or to save her life.
Yes I wrote the book, and when I could not get it published those many years ago, I shelved it. However, being the feminist I was—and still am—I never stopped advocating women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
Over the last few years in particular, I have become increasingly alarmed at the escalating assault, largely by male politicians, on a woman’s rights–especially the right to make decisions about her own body and reproductive health. I have long held that legislating these women’s rights is a misogynistic and hypocritical assertion by men, since men can’t possibly understand what having reproductive choice can mean to a woman.
It was my husband who, being equally alarmed at the escalating and relentless assault on women’s reproductive rights, said to me in December, 2013, “Now is the time to revise and publish Moral Infidelity.” With the burgeoning world of self-publishing, it seemed that the time was indeed perfect.
But what did “revising” mean for Moral Infidelity? Did it mean researching and including the hundreds of proposed and enacted restrictive-abortion laws made by legislators in numerous states during the 25 years since the 1989 Webster v. Missouri ruling?
Did it mean setting the story in 2014, when technology such as cell phones and Google would have to be included, even if they added nothing of value to the plot…and in fact would have caused unnecessary complications that would have impeded Governor Michael Romano’s affair?
Or did the original version of Moral Infidelity stand on its own in 2014, and deserve to be treated as a period piece, 25 years later?
Because the 1989 Webster ruling opened the door and practically invited states to start enacting stricter abortion legislation, it is perhaps the most important and damning assault on Roe v. Wade ever. In fact, Roe was only one vote away from being overturned with the Webster ruling!
So I chose to stay with that time period because it is germane to the plot, and because 1989’s Webster ruling set the stage for the changes that were about to take place in politics regarding women’s right to choose.
I also considered the dynamics of the relationships in Moral Infidelity. The thoughts and actions that drive its characters to do what they do had not changed. Sex, power, money, lies, infidelity, honor, fear, love and hate–these are the elements that play into human relationships; that fact has not changed in 2500 years, let alone in the 25 years since I first wrote the book.
So I tightened, edited, and revised portions of Moral Infidelity to make it an even more compelling read, while keeping the original story and its integrity intact.
I sincerely hope you enjoy all of the elements of the book…including the provocative sex scenes!
© Rebecca Warner 2014