Like many of you, I am livid over the leaked decision that overturns the Roe v. Wade decision. And like many of you I have been turning all sorts of thoughts concerning access to abortion over in my mind. The history, the consequences, the lives of women, why are there no consequences for men? The politicians who have so cravenly used women’s health care as a stepping stone to office.
There are a couple of issues I would like to focus on. First is why is it only women who bear the consequences of having an abortion? She did not become pregnant by herself. As a matter of fact the man should have more responsibility than the woman in this situation. If a pregnancy is terminated and that termination is illegal, then if the woman should be prosecuted then so should the man.
A man can easily stop the pregnancy by using a condom, or more permanently through a vasectomy. Having unprotected sex is not a right I have heard of anywhere. A Mormon mother of 6 spelled this out in a very insightful twitter thread. Here are some excerpts from that thread:
“If you want to stop abortion, you need to prevent unwanted pregnancies. And men are 100% responsible for unwanted pregnancies. No for real, they are. Perhaps you are thinking: IT TAKES TWO! And yes, it does take two for _intentional_ pregnancies.
But ALL unwanted pregnancies are caused by the irresponsible ejaculations of men. Period. Don’t believe me? Let me walk you through it. Let’s start with this: women’s eggs are only fertile about 2 days each month. And that’s for a limited number of years.”
She goes on to explain the simple biology of insemination and the problems with birth control pills that have rough side effects for women. Birth control pills are not simple, are not easy and in many states are not covered by insurance nor are they easily available at women’s health clinics which are being curtailed in many states.
After a discussion of using a condom, she makes this statement:
“So… there are men willing to risk getting a woman pregnant — which means literally risking her life, her health, her social status, her relationships, and her career, so that they can experience a few minutes of slightly more pleasure? Is that for real? Yes. Yes it is.”
At this point it is apparent that men are the ones truly in control of insemination. Yet sex and pregnancy are seldom connected for men. The author suggests consequences for men that might finally get their attention:
“Put a castration law on the books, implement the law, let the media tell the story, and in 3 months or less, tada! abortions will have virtually disappeared. Can you picture it? No more abortions in less than 3 months, without ever trying to outlaw them. Amazing.
For those of you who consider abortion to be murder, wouldn’t you be on board with having a handful of men castrated, if it prevented 500,000 murders each year?”
This twitter thread is about a ten minute read and well worth the time to read. It is a perspective of woman who has a real solution that puts the responsibility where it belongs.
Secondly, if the right to privacy – which according to Justice Alito is the basis of his opinion – means anything to you, you cannot vote for Chuck Grassley. It was his subversion of the constitutional processes for approving SCOTUS justices while Obama was president that led to this gawd awful regressive majority.
And then it was his subversion of that previous maneuvering that led to the confirmation of super regressive and poorly qualified Amy Coney Barrett to the SCOTUS. Not surprisingly those are about the only two accomplishments that anyone can remember from Grassley over FORTY-TWO YEARS in office.
Third, I want to remind folks that women’s reproductive rights as an issue, including abortion and access to abortion, was never much of an issue for nearly a decade after Roe until segregationists saw evangelicals as a large voting bloc they could exploit that could turn elections. Segregationists used abortion and hyped it up to get voters to get into power to attack their segregationist agenda.
Weyrich saw that he had the beginnings of a conservative political movement, which is why, several years into President Jimmy Carter’s term, he and other leaders of the nascent religious right blamed the Democratic president for the IRS actions against segregated schools—even though the policy was mandated by Nixon, and Bob Jones University had lost its tax exemption a year and a day before Carter was inaugurated as president. Falwell, Weyrich and others were undeterred by the niceties of facts. In their determination to elect a conservative, they would do anything to deny a Democrat, even a fellow evangelical like Carter, another term in the White House.
But Falwell and Weyrich, having tapped into the ire of evangelical leaders, were also savvy enough to recognize that organizing grassroots evangelicals to defend racial discrimination would be a challenge. It had worked to rally the leaders, but they needed a different issue if they wanted to mobilize evangelical voters on a large scale.
By the late 1970s, many Americans—not just Roman Catholics—were beginning to feel uneasy about the spike in legal abortions following the 1973 Roe decision. The 1978 Senate races demonstrated to Weyrich and others that abortion might motivate conservatives where it hadn’t in the past. That year in Minnesota, pro-life Republicans captured both Senate seats (one for the unexpired term of Hubert Humphrey) as well as the governor’s mansion. In Iowa, Sen. Dick Clark, the Democratic incumbent, was thought to be a shoo-in: Every poll heading into the election showed him ahead by at least 10 percentage points. On the final weekend of the campaign, however, pro-life activists, primarily Roman Catholics, leafleted church parking lots (as they did in Minnesota), and on Election Day Clark lost to his Republican pro-life challenger. (Ed. note: Roger Jepsen)
Finally, having overturned this so-called “settled law” what else will be in their list to “fix?” The age of the six extremely regressive justices range from three in their early 70s to three in their 50s with Barrett just short of 51. That means they will be singing together for another possibly ten to fifteen years as presently composed.
So what else will they go after? Most pundits say gay marriage since it was also decided on ‘privacy.’ Others pick Griswold v. Connecticut, the decision that allowed sale of birth control to married women. Also a privacy case. But what about the interracial marriage case of Loving v. Virginia?
And what says it has to be a case in the privacy area? In the next ten years I fully expect that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and any form of federal health insurance (Obamacare) to be on the chopping block. Fasten seat belts, it is about to get bumpy.