Roe v. Wade, 1973-2022
Well, it finally happened. The Supreme Court issued a decision today that overturned Roe v. Wade.
We knew this was coming. We've had warnings for some time. There's a reason that the Senate under Mitch McConnell refused, in an unprecedented move, to allow hearings on the nomination of Merrick Garland by President Obama. This has been the goal of the (pseudo)religious Right for decades.
We also had a warning a couple of months ago when the draft decision was leaked. And yet, no action was taken by Democratic leadership to protect a woman's bodily autonomy.
And make no mistake, this is about controlling women's bodies, and women will die because of this decision. Most people are too young or too ill-informed to know what it was like prior to Roe v. Wade when illegal abortions were the only way for a woman to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Every woman that dies because of this decision, because she has no access to abortion, will have died because of six justices. Blood will be on their hands.
In a separate concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas called for a reconsideration of the decisions commonly known as Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell, which protect the rights to contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage.
And once he's gone, it would not surprise me if this far-Right court also goes after Loving v. Virginia—the decision that protects interracial relationships.
And it is a far-Right court. They are turning the clock back decades—in the last week alone, we've had decisions overturning New York's concealed weapons ban, allowing the use of public money to fund religious education, and disallowing lawsuits against police officers who fail to provide the well-known Miranda warning against self-incrimination. And all of this after they eviscerated the Voting Rights Act.
I believe this Court to be illegitimate. The seat occupied by Neil Gorsuch is the one that was held open by McConnell's refusal to grant a hearing to Garland. Amy Coney Barrett is there because they rushed through the hearing and confirmation a month before the election (which is ironic considering that they kept Gorsuch's seat open for a year allegedly because the next President should have a chance to nominate, something you'll find nowhere in the Constitution).
But what's done is done. One way around this would be to expand the court, something that there is precedent for in US history. But for some reason, the Democratic leadership hesitates.
They hesitate a lot. They are a fearful bunch. They are fearful of alienating people who already don't like them and who will use any means at their disposal to defeat them. They are pathetic. If you are counting on them to save the country, you are sadly mistaken. They can't even abolish the filibuster.
There's really no choice now. Either we expand the Supreme Court, or we subject ourselves to decades of reactionary and far-Right decisions that return us to the 1950s and before. It's already happening.
And once they achieve their goals on a national level, mark my words—they'll go after the rights of states to legalize abortion, same-sex marriage, and so forth. The states' rights argument has always been a ruse, a mask for religious fanaticism, hatred, bigotry, and intolerance.
When they tell you who they are, listen to them.
If you're from outside the US, don't visit here. We can no longer guarantee your safety, something that should already have been abundantly clear.
If you're thinking of emigrating to the US, choose somewhere else that is less insane. Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Germany—take your pick. You'll be better off in any of those places than here right now. You'll certainly be safer.
In the meantime, if you are an American who is a member of a group that is now in danger where you live, move if you are lucky enough to have the ability to do so. Get out and go to a blue state where the odds are better. Unfortunately, most can't, so the rest of us have an obligation to protect them. Just because you're an old white straight guy like me doesn't mean you should sit back and congratulate yourself on being safe.
Because in a country controlled by a right-wing, white nationalist authoritarian theocracy, no one is safe.
And that's what we are rapidly becoming.
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