In a country that has produced an ocean of shams and scams, the energized, so-called right-to-life movement is dragging us all down with its dense flotsam and jetsam.
Here we are again, paddling against yet a new current of anti-abortion-rights rhetoric, extortion and hypocrisy that serves no good purpose other than to foster ill-gotten political gain.
In all my days of dealing with abortion-rights foes and fans, I have never, ever met anyone who thinks abortion is a good thing or that there should be more of them. What I have confronted endless times are people who do not understand the science of human life, the U.S. Constitution, the laws surrounding abortion, and the court cases that finally resolved this issue decades ago.
It doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are, science doesn’t care. Those who have or are pushing again in state and federal venues to enact so-called personhood bills — like Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner and a host of other science-shy legislators — do not understand why the government and courts cannot and should not declare human sperm, eggs, or a collection of cells from their union, a legal person. They do not understand that bestowing such a distinction on a zygote would do what so many have tried for so long: officially require female Americans to become subject to the will of the United States government.
What so many so-called pro-life activists and enthusiasts don’t understand or refuse to admit is that the argument is not, and has never been, about the merits or pitfalls of abortion. Like I said, I’ve never met anyone who thinks the procedure is cool or enviable. The argument has always been whether morally or constitutionally the government can lay claim to the body of every woman in the country. If people were like chickens and laid fertilized eggs in laundry baskets or milk boxes, this would not be an issue. But fertilized human eggs exist inside human females. Numerous courts, the Supreme Court, has found repeatedly that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to privacy when it comes to human bodies, whether you are a man, or a woman. The government cannot compel a man to undergo sterilization, hip replacement or prevent them from seeking out Viagra. As a society, and as a system of government, we have affirmed that nothing is more sacred than the right of self-determination, and it lives in the right to privacy.
Courts and the government have gone to great lengths over the decades to balance that critical right to privacy against the reality of human viability, and arguments over those aspects of abortion are needed and relevant.
But as a new Washington regime is ushered in, chock-full of the mindless push for outlawing abortion-rights, it’s critical that cooler heads insist the bull-crap surrounding this issue be called for what it is right now. This anti-women’s-rights mentality immediately rolled downhill to Colorado, where the small but vocal minority of anti-abortion-rights enthusiasts have lit up like phosphorus algae in a sea of glee over the alt-right taking over in Washington.
These are the people who claim a fearsome defense of human life. They are pro-life except for in the cases of the lives of children abused by parents protected by the law, the lives of refugee children and pregnant women banned from immigrating to the United States, the lives of people wrongfully convicted of crimes and wrongfully executed, and the lives of poor children who will die because they don’t have access to healthcare or food like wealthy ones. For most of these activists, right-to-life is a capricious and contradictory concept.
And for those who now praise Denver judge Neil Gorsuch’s ascension to the Supreme Court, he will almost certainly join a long list of conservative “textualist” jurists that agree that the Constitution protects citizens from the government in controlling their bodies, even the bodies of women, minorities or anti-abortion activists.
The issue isn’t that the Constitution guarantees women to have a right to abortion, it’s that the Constitution prevents the government from controlling the reproductive rights and functions of women.
If you want to see fewer abortions, push for more, not less, funding for Planned Parenthood and Colorado’s program of providing cheap and accessible IUDs to poor, sexually active teenagers. Endless studies have shown time and again that those programs reduce abortions drastically because they drastically reduce unwanted pregnancies. It’s simple.
And just as simple is voting for and supporting state and federal candidates who get this, who don’t pander to the anti-abortion-rights lobby for political expediency. Or call those who fail in that area and tell them support legislation and candidates that keep the government out of the examining room, and out of women’s bodies, violating Americans’ most fundamental right.
It’s about privacy, self-determination and common sense, and nothing else.
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