For His (Aesthetic) Pleasure

You may remember back in March when the lawsuit trying to ban mifepristone was in the news. I remember it because it was completely infuriating. The groups were trying to argue that the drug had not been properly approved by FDA, and that mail order mifepristone violated the Comstock Act:

While the antiabortion group challenging the drug acknowledged there is no precedent for a court to order the suspension of a long-approved medication, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk questioned whether mifepristone has met the rigorous federal standard necessary to be prescribed to patients in the United States.

He asked a lawyer for the group whether the court could unilaterally withdraw FDA approval for a drug, and engaged with attorneys for both sides about whether mailing the pills should be prohibited because of a 19th-century law that bans sending articles “for any indecent or immoral use” through the Postal Service.

OMG just re-reading that makes me furious all over again. But wait—there’s more.

On Wednesday the 5th Circuit Court ruled that access to mifepristone should be curtailed on the basis of the specious FDA approval grounds (subject to a determination by the Supreme Court which retained the current availability after the previous ruling in anticipation of hearing the case in the next 2 years).

But the court didn’t just limit itself to that “logic”. You see, one of the judges argued that physicians have standing to bring this case because they treat patients and so have an interest in the outcomes of therapies. And then it gets it worse.

First, emergency room doctors should not have to give women mifepristone because it means women who wish to terminate their pregnancies will hog medical time and resources they don’t deserve:

Third, the Doctors are injured because they must divert time and resources away from their ordinary practice to treat mifepristone patients. In particular, the Doctors describe this treatment as often requiring extended physician attention, blood for transfusions, and other hospital resources. As one doctor testified:

When I must perform surgery [for] complications from chemical abortions, this takes attention away from my other patients. As a hospitalist, I am often supervising multiple laboring patients on labor and delivery. When I am called to the operating room to address an emergency resulting from chemical abortion, this necessarily means I may not be immediately available if an emergency should occur with one of my laboring patients.

“[O]ne of my laboring patients”, i.e., a woman who is having a baby who deserves medical care, as opposed to a woman terminating a pregnancy, who is obviously inferior and undeserving of medical care. Nice. But there’s still more, and I’m quoting all of it because it is a giant WTF?:

In addition to the injuries analyzed by the majority, Plaintiffs have demonstrated another basis for Article III standing: the aesthetic injury they experience in the course of their work. See, e.g., Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 Case: 23-10362 Document: 543-1 Page: 67 Date Filed: 08/16/2023 No. 23-10362 U.S. 727, 734–35 (1972) (recognizing aesthetic harm as “injury to a cognizable interest”); Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 562–63 (1992) (“[T]he desire to use or observe an animal species, even for purely esthetic purposes, is undeniably a cognizable interest for purpose of standing.”); id. at 566 (“[T]he person who observes or works with a particular animal threatened by a federal decision is facing perceptible harm.”).

It’s well established that, if a plaintiff has “concrete plans” to visit an animal’s habitat and view that animal, that plaintiff suffers aesthetic injury when an agency has approved a project that threatens the animal. See Lujan, 504 U.S. at 564. See also Humane Soc’y v. Hodel, 840 F.2d 45, 52 (D.C. Cir. 1988) (standing where agency expanded approval for hunting, “depleting the supply of animals . . . that . . . [plaintiffs] seek to view” and causing plaintiffs to witness “animal corpses”); Am. Bottom Conservancy v. Army Corps of Engineers, 650 F.3d 652, 657 (7th Cir. 2011) (standing for birdwatchers to challenge agency permit that would allow development and thus “diminish the wildlife population visible to them”); Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. EPA, 861 F.3d 174, 183 (D.C. Cir. 2017) (standing where agency authorization to use pesticide created “demonstrable risk” to beetles and butterflies that plaintiffs intended to view).

Yes, this judge compared women seeking to terminate their pregnancies to wild animals that people travel to observe.

And then there’s this:

Unborn babies are a source of profound joy for those who view them. Expectant parents eagerly share ultrasound photos with loved ones. Friends and family cheer at the sight of an unborn child. Doctors delight in working with their unborn patients—and experience an aesthetic injury when they are aborted.

This is sexism on steroids:  the legal argument is that because a man enjoys delivering babies, all women have to carry them to term. (I just can’t today with the “unborn baby” bullshit.)

One last quote:

Dr. Jester put Plaintiffs’ interest in unborn life this way: “When my patients have chemical abortions, I lose the opportunity . . . to care for the woman and child through pregnancy and bring about a successful delivery of new life.” Dr. Jester Declaration ¶ 19. See Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. EPA, 937 F.3d 533, 541 (5th Cir. 2019) (recognizing judicially cognizable injury where plaintiff experiences aesthetic harm at work).

What. The. Actual. Fuck?

A man feels that HE has been robbed of the right to make a woman carry a fetus to term. O.K.

Who is this ghoul?

Judge James Ho. Here’s his swearing-in photo:

Yes, that’s Clarence Thomas swearing him in, and yes, that’s Harlan Crow’s library.

Gee, why are women so angry all the time lately?

I’ll leave you with this:

3 thoughts on “For His (Aesthetic) Pleasure

  1. So…women are sources of income, livestock, and objects d’art but not [checks notes] persons with the ability to make their own decisions. To think that someone wrote this opinion and put their name on it like it was no big deal.

  2. Jester, Ho, Crow? Is this some kind of right wing troll farm anagram contest challenge?

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