So yeah, I’m still pretty mad about that leaked SCOTUS draft opinion.
The frustrating thing about discussing it with anti-choice people on the politics board I frequent is that they have no ability to frame their support in any meaningful way. You get a lot of idiocy about “unborn babies” but nothing about the Constitution.
My first question is always “Where in the Constitution does it say that a woman has less autonomy over her body than a man does over his?”. And I have only had that addressed directly once, where the respondent said it doesn’t but he still supported strict limits on abortion. Nice. But I think this is the crucial constitutional issue and I haven’t seen it addressed in any of this furor.
Of course the spark for all of this was the legalization of birth control, first for married couples in 1965 and then for unmarried women in 1972. Yes, 1972. Think about it. Birth control allowed women to delay pregnancy so they could attend college, graduate school, or go stay in the working world. But it had only been legal for everyone for 1 year when Roe was decided and so here we are.
And where we are is saddled with a case about a medical procedure for women that was decided entirely by men at a time when women were still considered less than full people. Because Roe was decided solely by men, women’s body autonomy had no place in their reasoning. And it is going to be overturned 50 years later by radicals on the Supreme Court who still consider women to be less than full citizens.
Because we’re focused on the wrong things, we’re stuck in this stupid and endless debate over abortion and the people who want to take a fundamental right from women are presented as legitimate critics. Look at this memo that Axios sent out to employees today:
One section of a memo sent to Axios staff Monday discusses protesting or tweeting about abortion, given it permitted staff to participate in racial justice demonstrations in 2020. pic.twitter.com/RMMH0WwBZT
— Elahe Izadi | الهه (@ElaheIzadi) May 10, 2022
Look at the wording here. Abortion—a legal medical procedure—is recast as a “policy solution” and therefore it’s political and everyone needs to be quiet about it. This is the pernicious result of letting men write a legal opinion about women’s body autonomy. I can’t even anymore with these people.
And related to that framing, the other question I keep asking is: “Why should the government be invoked at all? What is the government’s possible legitimate interest in a confidential medical procedure, apart from the usual safety-related issues?” I still have not received any response to the times I have asked this question while discussing abortion.
The tacit acceptance that the state has a legitimate interest in circumscribing women’s rights by dictating who can make a private medical decision leads to another big problem—the discussion over limits as to when an abortion can be performed. It’s a trap that we all use to discuss it because the right keeps pushing the same talking points—that their extremely conservative position of 16 weeks is reasonable because the only other alternatives are a 6 week limit or an outright ban.
If it were actually recognized that the state has no legitimate interest in regulating abortion beyond the usual safety-related ones, then this stupid binary framing would disappear. A woman’s right to body autonomy would be the controlling issue and individual states would not be able to weigh in on any of it.
The Alito draft opinion also perfectly illustrates what complete cowards the radical right wing justices are. It’s full of lies that no one can argue with them about in person, they won’t do interviews, and they can wash their hands a la Pilate by saying it’s simply an issue best left to the states and deny all responsibility for the wave of injustice to come. Yeah, I’m probably still going to be mad about this next week.
Since I am already PO’d, I’ll close with this.