Roe V. Wade Was Overturned Today

Never forgive. Never forget.

Fri, 24 Jun 2022

TL;DR: Right-wing Authoritarianism is a personality disorder. Those afflicted need therapy, not tolerance.

WARNING: This is a rant. Read at your own risk.

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Today is the day that six unelected reactionary ideologues made women’s ownership of their own bodies once again subject to majority votes in state legislatures by overturning the precedent guaranteeing constitutional protection of a woman’s right to choose abortion in Roe v. Wade. The Christian Right has been pushing for this for decades, and it seems they finally have their victory in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

I look forward to making this victory a Pyrrhic one. I have always voted against the Republican Party because I regard them as a party of censorious, authoritarian, corrupt reactionaries who have been both intellectually and morally bankrupt since Richard M. Nixon’s first (and failed) presidential campaign in 1960. Like paleoconservative Barry Goldwater, I thought that every Republican with a semblance of decency (I won’t admit to the existence of a good Republican) should give Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and their self-righteous ilk nothing but a swift kick up the ass.

Make no mistake: I should be working right now, but instead I am typing this post with barely restrained rage as I consider the implications of a post-Roe America. You might think that since I am a man the issue of a woman’s right to control her own destiny is no concern of mine, but anybody holding such a narrow view should be slapped. If a woman can be forced by law to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term and give birth to a child she is not ready and willing to raise, that child will suffer irreparable harm. If you were truly “pro-life”, you would not want children to grow up in poverty or face neglect or outright abuse at the hands of mothers who never wanted them in the first place.

Moreover, the legal reasoning used to justify overturning Roe v. Wade can be used to overturn precedents striking down anti-sodomy laws and guaranteeing the right to marry to queer and interracial couples. Should states once again be permitted to legislate against “sodomy”, any American having recreational sex – sex for pleasure rather than for procreation – risks being criminalized. Sodomy laws have traditionally been used to criminalize LGBTQ people, but there was never anything to stop police from also going after heterosexual people who indulged in oral sex, anal sex, mutual masturbation, or solo masturbation until Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. Hell, even people indulging in plain old penis-in-vagina sex while using contraception were subject to policing and criminalization prior to Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965.

I can’t speak for anybody else, but I do not want the government policing my sex life. What I do with other consenting adults is between me and them alone. I wouldn’t permit God a say in my bedroom play; why should I allow the government one? If I wanted cops in my bedroom I’d date some.

The question of what to do remains. I am only one man, with one vote. I am not rich enough to buy legislators. What I can do is continue to donate to Planned Parenthood and – despite my distaste for their lack of zeal in protecting freedom of speech – the American Civil Liberties Union. Perhaps donating to the Freedom From Religion Foundation might help as well. I can continue to steadfastly vote for Democratic party candidates for every office, and against the Republican Party, and I can hope that the Democratic establishment will treat the overturning of Roe v. Wade as a long-overdue wakeup call. The party needs more progressive candidates, and progressives and leftists need to get their shit together and understand that their own personal oppressions are irrelevant in the face of a conservative movement bent on reducing the working classes of America to the status of serfs with no say over their own lives and no claim to the products of their labor.

There is one other thing I can do as well, should my state criminalize abortion. If called upon to serve on the jury at the trial of a woman accused of obtaining an abortion or a medical professional accused of providing such services, I can vote to acquit. I will vote to acquit, no matter what, and persuade my fellow jurors to do the same. This is the right of jury nullification. Judges almost never admit to the existence of this right, and prosecutors will often attempt to eliminate potential jurors aware of this right during voir dire, but nevertheless I shall exercise it if given the chance. This is my solemn pledge, sworn in the spirit of eternal hostility toward every form of tyranny over the human mind.

I likewise pledge in that same Jeffersonian spirit that I will never, ever debate or attempt to argue with any sort of authoritarian who believes that my rights and those of women are granted by God or subject to debate or majority vote. My life is my own. My body and soul are my own. I alone have the right to determine the meaning, purpose, and course of my life. Whether I choose to help create another generation is my decision alone. I am sovereign, and all powers of government derive from my consent to delegate some of my rights as a sovereign individual in order to live in a peaceful society. All human beings possess these rights regardless of any distinguishing characteristics. These rights are inherent to us and inalienable because we are human beings and cannot thrive as such without them.

Anybody who believes otherwise is no friend, neighbor, or fellow citizen of mine. If this offends you, consider the side you have chosen. You have sided with tyranny, hopefully because of a principle I do not share rather than in service to your own lust for power. Having sided with liberty, with the right of people to make choices for themselves that I might not necessarily approve, do you honestly think I would not oppose you?

To John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett: you are wrong and you have failed in your duty to your country. You are traitors to the legacy of your predecessors, who exercised the power of judicial review claimed in Marbury v. Madison and mostly used it to work out the implications of enumerated rights, discover unenumerated rights, and strike down encroachments by the state upon the rights of the individual. How dare you claim that the Constitution does not protect a woman’s right to abortion when the Ninth Amendment explicitly says that the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people?

Guess what, assholes: the right of a woman to control her own body and terminate unwanted or dangerous pregnancies is one of those unenumerated rights. We can’t salvage usable organs from a fresh corpse unless they provided informed consent while still alive, but it’s somehow OK to force women to carry pregnancies to term and give birth? Why is it acceptable for dead men to have more bodily autonomy than living women?

Don’t tell me you’re trying to balance a baby’s right to life with a woman’s right of self-ownership; it’s not a baby until it can breathe on its own. Furthermore, I don’t believe for a second that people pushing for the overturn of Roe v. Wade give a damn about children. They push adoption as an alternative to abortion, but how many unwanted children have they adopted? Not nearly enough. If they actually gave a fuck about children – if they truly were pro-life – they would pay parents to raise children, or at least guarantee adequate paid parental leave for both parents, fund access to affordable childcare, and a whole lot of other shit that more civilized countries do but the US can’t because that would be “socialism”. I don’t believe pro-lifers give a fuck about kids, and I think they’re fine with socialism as long as it doesn’t help the “undeserving”, and we know what conservatives mean by “undeserving” thanks to Lee Atwater.

Why did Republicans and conservative Christians in the United States really want to bring down Roe v. Wade? I suspect that they just want to control women and punish them for having sex – and I hate them for it.

Therefore, to all Republicans and conservative Christians in the United States I say the following: God may forgive you, but you have sown a crueler wind than you were willing to suspect with your victory. Enjoy it while you can, for not even Jesus H. Christ can save you once it is time to reap the whirlwind. He’s more likely to turn his back on you as workers of iniquity. You should have learned to be captains of your own souls instead of aspiring to the admiralty of others’.