The Apoplectic Reaction To That SCOTUS Draft
There's been no decision on abortion, but the hysteria from some is off the charts
I’m pro-life. I have been since I was about 24-years-old. Seeing my son’s sonogram for the first time, hearing his heartbeat, and watching as he kicked his tiny feet — only cemented my thoughts on the issue. My views are not based on anything religious. Contrary to the often-cited and intellectually lazy accusation, I am not pro-life because I have an incessant desire to “control” women. It’s not only lazy, but it doesn’t account for all the women who are pro-life. Do they want to “control” their fellow women?
I am pro-life for one reason: I believe the unborn are human beings deserving of all the inherent rights anyone else has, especially the right to one’s own life.
From a moral and philosophical standpoint, I oppose all abortions, even those associated with rape and incest. From a legal perspective, however, I am mushier on the subject. I cannot begin to imagine what it means to a woman (and yes, women and only women can get pregnant. That is one game I refuse to play with the zealots) who’s suffered through the indignity and horror of rape or incest, only to find out it also resulted in a pregnancy.
Still, the leaked draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade (and it is just that — a draft) has fueled a bonfire of hysteria that not even I could fathom if it ever came to full fruition. This piece by Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor at The Atlantic, is one of the most absurd essays I have ever read. She twists herself into the proverbial pretzel, attempting to turn abortion into an issue of freedom and liberty, as one would expect to read from the writings of slavery-era abolitionists. The notion that a woman in America cannot truly be “free” if she doesn’t have the unchecked ability to terminate a pregnancy whenever she feels like it is asinine.
Roe v. Wade is a decision that even pro-choice legal experts think is terribly flawed. John Hart Ely’s The Wages of Crying Wolf is the standard for picking apart the court’s tortured reasoning. Harvard professor Lawrence Tribe, before he became a raging partisan hack, said, “one of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.”
It is an area that is not meant for the courts, particularly one court made up of nine people, to declare what the law is across the country. Antonin Scalia, in his withering (and brilliant) dissent in Casey, wrote:
Quite to the contrary, by foreclosing all democratic outlet for the deep passions this issue arouses, by banishing the issue from the political forum that gives all participants, even the losers, the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight, by continuing the imposition of a rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences, the Court merely prolongs and intensifies the anguish.
We should get out of this area, where we have no right to be, and where we do neither ourselves nor the country any good by remaining.
In the wake of the leak (BTW, I could write an entire newsletter on the perniciousness of the leak and how people who have screamed about “norms violations” for the last six years suddenly don’t give a hoot, but I digress), I found it rather odd, that instead of arguing for the constitutionality of abortion, people went off the rails, saying gay marriage, interracial marriage, and contraception were all next on the list.
It’s not hard to see why. For the last 50 years, pro-choice advocates haven’t had to make an argument. They’ve merely pointed to the Roe v. Wade decision and said, “There! Right there!” Hell, it happened in popular culture. On The Couch episode of Seinfeld, Poppie (who is pro-life) says, “And what gives you the right to do that?” Elaine shouts, “The Supreme Court gives me the right to do that!”
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So, rather than argue on the merits, critics chose deflection and distraction via histrionics as a substitute for reason. However, there is little in Alito’s draft that says the court will use it to go after Obergfell or Griswold. As Ramesh Ponnuru argues in Bloomberg, abortion has always been a legal battleground since the Roe decision:
Opponents of Roe also had the option to fight it in increments. They could ban some types of late-term abortions, require parental notification or restrict the activities of women’s health clinics, for example, and ask the courts to allow those laws. Eventually, they built up to bans on abortion after 15 weeks of gestational age, the restriction specified by the 2018 Mississippi law that has put the issue before the Supreme Court now.
He says that overturning gay marriage is not something states can do incrementally. Instead, it is a binary choice, and the states would have to deal with it head-on. As for interracial marriage, stupid people such as Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell seem to lack the awareness to know that Loving v. Virginia was decided by the Supreme Court on the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Overturning Roe would have nothing to do with Loving. But as I said, Swalwell isn’t all that bright — after all, he did get honey-potted by a Chinese spy. Such news would also likely come as a shock to people like Clarence Thomas and Mitch McConnell.
I also suspect people have jumped on that train as they see abortion in the same way LaFrance does — it is an issue about individual freedom. But as I wrote early on, there is a clear distinction in how the conservative community sees a stark difference between gay marriage and abortion. Both are supposedly about unenumerated rights. While that is a valid line of argument for gay marriage, it doesn’t apply to abortion because pro-life people see the unborn as a human being, and therefore, it is the duty of the state to prevent that human being from having its’ life taken arbitrarily taken away. Two gay people getting married does not directly affect anyone else or infringe on someone else’s rights. Abortion, on the other hand, does. I get that, logically, supporters of abortion rights don’t see another “human being” involved, and that’s why they yammer about rights and liberty.
It explains why the Democratic Party has become so radical on the issue of abortion. When I say radical, I mean the party as a whole favors zero restrictions. Ohio Senate candidate Rep. Tim Ryan and Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke responded with the canned, “It should be up to the woman” take when asked about restrictions.
The reason is that agreeing with any restriction is a de facto acknowledgment that the unborn baby is a human being and, therefore, does away with any moral expostulation they have concerning “freedom” or “body autonomy.”
Other arguments include one of the more puerile varieties: “Yeah, you’re pro-life until the baby is born. Then you meany conservatives want nothing to do with it because you oppose prenatal care, neonatal care, food stamps, and free childcare!” I typically laugh at that form of argumentation because it has nothing whatsoever to do with the merits of abortion. Whether I support Biden’s “free” childcare plan or not has no bearing on whether a state determines that the unborn is a human being deserving of legal protection. Additionally, it sounds macabre, does it not? “I am four months pregnant, and I am getting an abortion because Congress didn’t pass Build Back Better.”
In the meantime, a ridiculously named pro-abortion group called Ruth Sent Us (Named after Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who would have been appalled at this group’s tactics) pinned the addresses of the six conservative justices on their website. It said, “Extremist Justices" Barrett, Kavanaugh, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Roberts online with the tag: ‘Where the six Christian fundamentalist Justices issue their shadow docket rulings.’”
Hilariously, they tried to claim they didn’t offer up the addresses and only provided the GPS coordinates. Of course, if you click on the pin, it shows the address. It appears that Google removed the map as it violated their TOS:
Naturally, the damage was already done as protestors showed up outside Brett Kavanaugh’s home and Chief Justice John Roberts's home. The White House, not wanting to upset the abortion extremists, refused to condemn the posting of the addresses or protesting outside the homes. Instead, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that people were “passionate” about the issue as if that was a valid excuse.
On Monday, Psaki tweeted out this statement:
Better late than never? I guess. She could have said that from the start. That these people have to workshop their responses is ridiculous.
In another example of how this is going, a Madison, Wisconsin, pro-life organization was vandalized and had a Molotov cocktail thrown into the office.
And it’s only been a week. In the meantime, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will try to advance a vote on codifying Roe v. Wade into federal law. It doesn’t have a chance as it requires 60 votes to move to the floor for a vote, and he doesn’t have it. Of course, the cries of “End the filibuster!” have echoed throughout the land, mainly from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who fails to see the folly in her advocacy. Democrats can codify Roe without the filibuster. However, all that means is that should Republicans take back the Senate and win the presidency in 2024, the codification of Roe is gone, and national abortion legislation cometh.
We’ll see how things go, but I suspect it will get worse before it gets better.