Roe v. Wade: Women Have Just Been Declared Second-Class Citizens (Remember to Smile, Ladies)
America got Trojan-horsed by the enemy within.
I haven’t been this angry—or disappointed in America—since watching the George Floyd video. I experienced the same white-hot outrage at watching in helpless disbelief as a government institution designed to protect us openly and smugly flaunts injustice.
Sadly, there are even more similarities between the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the George Floyd murder: it is the willful subjugation, humiliation, marginalization, and enslavement of a group based only on their physical attributes. The Republicans don’t want to confiscate guns, just ovaries. The United States now allows abortion laws that are more restrictive than when the country was founded. The colonies in 1776 were more amenable to abortion than Oklahoma and Texas in 2022.
The abortion issue is also similar to the George Floyd protests in that the will of the majority of Americans is being thwarted by a minority of conservatives less interested in conscience than in grooming pliable voters. According to Gallup, 85% of Americans think abortion should be available in some or all circumstances, while 35% believe it should be available in all circumstances. Only 13% say it should be illegal in all circumstances. And yet illegal in all circumstances is the law being enacted by eight states, with five more allowing exceptions only for rape and incest. And more states are lining up to hop aboard the FU America train as it time-travels back to the Middle Ages. No witches allowed.
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How is it possible that such restrictive laws can be passed when only 13% of the people support them? It is a slow-motion overthrow of democracy through GOP gerrymandering, voter restrictions targeting minorities and the poor, stoking racial fears, and the ignorance and complacency of voters too busy preparing for Fourth of July barbecues to do their actual patriotic duty of preserving democracy.
I’ve written many articles logically addressing the anti-abortion arguments. It’s useless to do so again—or perhaps it always was—because logic is not what compels them. It is the conviction that their personal belief system is morally superior and therefore should be imposed on everyone else. This is the basic premise of all horror and action movies. The killer in horror is a mindless entity—such as the characters Mike Meyers, Jason, Jaws, etc.—that cannot be reasoned with. Nothing can be said to dissuade them from carnage. In thrillers—Bond films, Kingsmen, Mission: Impossible, etc.—the arrogant villain is convinced their righteous vision outweighs everyone else’s, justifying their mass destruction. They cannot be reasoned with.
How can you reason with Rep. Mary E. Miller (R-Ill) who said to the crowd at a Trump rally on Sunday: “President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday.” The crowd enthusiastically cheered. Miller’s spokesperson said she just mixed up her words, meaning to say “the right to life.” Even if that were true, the bigger point is: when she said “victory for white life” THE CROWD ENTHUSIASTICALLY CHEERED! People now feel empowered to openly express misogyny and racism. If only they were able to express shame.
That is what we now face: those who will ignore reason, decency, and the Constitution to replace democracy with plutocracy (rule by the wealthy) and theocracy (rule by those claiming to represent God). And we’re letting them—like a family intently watching TV while burglars openly rob their home of valuables.
What especially disturbs me is that many of the anti-abortionists take this stance, not because they have examined all the arguments and facts, but because it is an accepted form of virtue signaling. Their opposition to abortion is just another way of wearing a t-shirt proclaiming, “I’m a moral person. I love babies.”
If they truly believed that a fetus is an actual human being with rights equal to a born woman, then to them abortion would be murder. If they were sitting in a room and saw an angry man enter a schoolyard with an ax and heard the screams of children, they would probably do something to stop the murder. But what have most done to stop abortion, other than talk. Have they got arrested blocking the abortion clinic? After all, that’s the least they can do to prevent murder. The answer is the majority have done nothing because they don’t really believe it’s murder. It’s about how they want to look to others and to feel moral to themselves. It’s like shopping therapy, except it’s “cause therapy.”
According to one study, “Legal induced abortion is markedly safer than childbirth. The risk of death associated with childbirth is approximately 14 times higher than that with abortion. Similarly, the overall morbidity associated with childbirth exceeds that with abortion.” Which means the government can now force a woman to endure a life-threatening procedure against her will. Hey, Oklahomans, suppose a married woman with two children deliberately gets pregnant but her husband is killed in an accident. She decides she’d rather not risk the danger of giving birth and leaving her two children orphans. Should the government have the right to tell her she, as a conscientious parent, can’t make that decision? Now the government can make parental choices as well.
In 1991, Susan Faludi wrote the brilliant Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women in which she identified how historically whenever women made substantial gains regarding equal rights, there was a cultural backlash attempting to subvert them. That is exactly what’s happening today. It’s no wonder that two of the Supreme Court Justices leading the backlash—Thomas and Kavanaugh—have been accused of inappropriate sexual misconduct in the past. Or that Justice Thomas’s wife, Ginni, a staunch Trump supporter, colluded to overthrow the lawful election.
How is it that we can so blatantly disrespect women, to insult them to their faces and think we can get away with it? Has our culture perpetuated the myth to men and women that submissiveness is to be rewarded, like an abusive boyfriend bringing flowers after hitting her? As philosopher Simone de Beauvoir wrote in The Second Sex: “[I]n exchange for her liberty she has received the false treasures of her ‘femininity’. Balzac illustrates this manoeuvre very well in counselling man to treat her as a slave while persuading her that she is a queen.”
The undeniable result of this Court decision is that women are officially reduced to second-class citizens. All pretense that they are equal in the eyes of the law has been dropped. They will be first judged by their body, not their intellect. The subconscious message that will influence culture is: if the government finds women incapable of making their own decisions—like children—how can we take them seriously.
The glass ceiling just got lower and thicker. And covered with razor wire.
The police murder of George Floyd triggered the largest protest movement in the history of the U.S., with up to 26 million people taking to the streets. The video of his death touched Americans deep in their souls. There are some injustices that cannot be tolerated. I hope we can find this Court decision as deeply troubling and intolerable without videos of women dying in childbirth or from self-induced abortions.
Peaceful demonstrations in the streets are fine because they articulate our frustrations and make the will of the people known. But the real test of everyone’s commitment to equal rights for all will be this November in the elections. Conservatives are counting on moderates and liberals staying home while their followers pick our lawmakers. Do not let this happen. Every candidate who supports anti-abortion legislation—regardless of party or gender—must not be voted into office. None.
That is the only way to take back the country from the entitled 13%.