Kind of a big news week last week, huh? And don’t you know, the big story about the abortion decision leak drops right after I publish my weekly post. I had thoughts about dropping an interim post but it probably wouldn’t have been anything more than a bunch of incoherent howling and guttural sounds. Yes, I was viscerally upset.
I’ve been flipping through Facebook all week, looking for something on the subject from my conservative friends, some of whom attend Right to Life marches. I was dying to start tearing some shit up. But there was not a mention to be found. All week long, up through today, I haven’t seen a single GOP friend post anything on the subject; just usual wildlife mpegs, food shots, and other trivia. I wonder if they’re shocked that they finally got what they wanted, or they’re afraid of the massive blowback (that those like me were itching to unleash.)
I’ve written about abortion rights a number of times since I began this blog, the first of which being back when I was just trying to entertain a small group of Pittsburgh bloggers. I look at it now and think, “Damn, that guy has no idea how bad it’s going to get.”
The ramifications of this probable decision are vast and abhorrent. More rights given to a rapist father and his family than to the prospective child-bearer? No exceptions for the health of the mother? (Haven’t these assholes ever heard of an ectopic pregnancy?) Any random schmo from Texas being able to sue the Uber driver who takes a woman to a clinic? It’s madness. It’s a festival of unspeakable cruelty. And that, of course, is a highlight, to the Right to Life crowd.
There are so many angles to this story, I barely know where to begin. So to me, let’s start with the big nut.
A Point With No Foundation
This should have been a slam-dunk reading of the law and it would have been if we didn’t have six religious ideologues on the bench, ones who rather than call the balls and strikes, go out and look for reasons and rationales to support the position at which they want to end up, as strained as they may be.
The whole issue comes down to the question of when “human life” begins. And that happens to be one of the great moral and philosophical questions of the ages. Basically, it’s a religious question.
Did the Founding Fathers set up the Constitution to follow religion? No. Ahem, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Making everyone follow the tenets of any specific religion is forbidden by the Constitution. So how can it be that a small percentage of the country (but a high percentage of justices) are allowed to enforce this religious belief on the rest of the country, to the extent that 51% of the population lose deciding rights to their own bodies? It’s ludicrous.
As far as I’m concerned, two cells intersecting is a science project, not a human being. And it stays a science project until the point of viability, or in some cases, until after college. Maybe longer if there’s a gap year involved.
If we don’t have dominion over our own bodies, how can we even pretend that we’re a free country? Isn’t that the bare minimum, as far as freedoms go? Look how upset the MAGAs got over being forced to get a shot or wear a mask. And then look at how enthusiastically they cheer the prospect of forced births. That’s because they subscribe to no principle other than “I’m allowed to do whatever I want, and YOU have to do whatever I want.”
The author of the leaked decision, Justice Alito, hung a lot of his decision on the fact that abortion is not protected (or even mentioned) in the Constitution. He should know better than to use this angle because he knows full well that the 9th and 14th amendments state that rights cannot be removed based on their non-appearance in the Constitution. But like I said, these five radical justices came up with the conclusion first and worked to back-fill the reasons later. That’s not how the law is supposed to work.
Fox “News” is having a field day with this, filling hour after hour with outrage. No, not about the decision, about the leak. That’s the real problem, according to the GOP. And I don’t really think they care about it either, but it’s a great way to redirect the heat.
Republicans are deft at this maneuver, that when you can’t or don’t want to defend a point or position, then come up with a different point to defend. But it’s funny how they just presume the leak came from a Democrat. We’ll be able to tell in the future. If the big “investigation” yields nothing, we’ll know it was a Republican. It’ll be all over the news if it’s a Democrat.
One of the stories about Fox’s coverage got my shorts in a twist because it’s classic conservative rhetoric. Per Greg Gutfeld: “If you ask somebody why they’re pro-life, they will say, because abortion takes a life and we believe life is sacred. You can disagree with that. But the problem with the pro-choicers is that they don’t have the balls to state their case plainly.”
Here’s why he’s full of shit.
The pro-life argument, again, comes down to the definition of life, which I talked about at the top of the post. It’s a highly personal and moral judgment. And if they really believed life was sacred, why are they against every rational safeguard to life, except guns? (I’m sure they miss the irony there.) Where’s the support for pre and post-natal care, medicines, food assistance, housing, and every other human need that comes into play outside the womb? What about the life of the mother? Why isn’t her body sacred?
The second part is eye-bogglingly misdirected. Can’t state our case plainly? Is he out of his fucking mind?
Maybe he is only going by what passes for liberals on Fox, who are directed on what they can or cannot say on these shows. If you look at my Facebook feed, you’ll see the massive balls of the men and women who are stating their pro-choice cases loudly and clearly. It’s not difficult to find out what pro-choice people really think, he just has to look outside the Fox Bubble.
And clearly, they have no interest in presenting the real arguments from the other side. Then they’d have to answer questions about why a couple of microscopic cells have more rights than a grown-up, sentient, woman. There’s no way they come out of that looking rational, hence the misdirection.
The Mind Games
Republicans excel at the art of “talking past the sale.” That’s a sales term that can be applied to a persuasion technique. Like when a car salesman, long before you close the deal, starts telling you about all the things you can do in your new car, and how to take care of it, how much your friends will like it. He’s talking as if you’ve already agreed to buy the car, in the hopes of bypassing the point of decision-making to get to where it’s already a done deal.
Republicans do this by making statements that assume contentious points have already been decided. Like when they make the abortion issue all about “babies.” It’s “babies” this and “babies” that. They want to implant the image in the mind that everyone thinks of when they hear the term “baby.” They want to make it seem like that if weren’t for the abortion, the “baby” would be laying in a crib somewhere, playing with his toes or waving at a red, white, and black mobile.
This is part of what gets people so riled up… no one wants bad things happening to little babies. But they’re breezing right past is that 90% of abortions are done on a mass about the size of a grape. And the ones that come later are invariably due to severe deformities with the fetus, or pregnancies that threaten the life of the mother. Women aren’t having late-term abortions because they never got around to having one earlier.
Gutfeld was “talking past the sale” when he said, “abortion takes a life.” Whether it’s real human life is debatable, (again, because of the religious thing), but he’s already assuming facts not in evidence. There’s no question it has potential for life. But when pitting potential versus an actual human being, the rights of the human have to come first.
I’m Shocked, Shocked to Find Out They Overturned Roe
Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are now scrambling to deflect bearing responsibility for the justices they approved going on to overturn Roe. AOC called them out on their bullshit right away.
“Murkowski voted for Amy Coney Barrett when Trump himself proclaimed that he was appointing justices specifically to overturn Roe,” she tweeted.
“She and Collins betrayed the nation’s reproductive rights when they were singularly capable of stopping the slide. They don’t get to play victim now.”
How is it that every other Republican knew these guys were there to overturn Roe, but not these two? The mere fact that they were on the Federalist Society’s list is verifiable proof that they were enemies of reproductive freedom. That’s why TFG nominated them… that, and to get him out of whatever legal or electoral trouble he conjured for himself. The jury’s still out on the latter part.
The fact that this issue is still in play is an affront to half the country’s population. And with the way the various states are going about curtailing the right to abortion, it’s going to unleash a torrent of unintended tragedy. Or maybe it’s completely intended. It’s beyond debatable that these laws are meant to control women, to bring them completely under the dominion of men. If it weren’t, there would be more concern for the well-being of post-birth children or the very life of the mother.
But then that’s the new GOP, isn’t it? The cruelty is the point.