On Stripping The Rights Of Women …

Today I’m going to touch on a subject that is controversial, to say the least:  abortion.

A number of states, the most recent being Alabama, have recently passed highly restrictive and misogynistic abortion laws.  Anti-abortion evangelicals are patting themselves on the backs thinking, no doubt, that they have once again proven themselves the rulers over women’s bodies.  But make no mistake … these laws are only a tool.  The legislators and governors who have passed these laws are well aware that they don’t hold water, for when there is a conflict between federal and state law, federal law trumps state laws, no pun intended.

The federal law on abortion was established in 1973 with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v Wade in which the Court ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a fundamental “right to privacy” that protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion.  It is not within the rights of the State of Alabama or the State of Georgia to change, ignore, or override that ruling.  Period.

So … why are they passing these ‘illegal laws’, you might ask.  Because … long story short, they are hoping for a lawsuit against them that will reach the Supreme Court.  And when it does, they are hoping, believing, that the Supreme Court will then use that lawsuit as a basis to overturn Roe v Wade.

One of Donald Trump’s campaign promises that gained him a large number of followers was that he would put justices on the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v Wade.  It is an emotional issue that gained him the support of the evangelicals.  However, the Supreme Court cannot simply say, “Let’s overturn a decades-old decision because the president would like us to.”  A case must come before them that challenges that decision before they can take it under advisement.

You might notice that the states did not pass these dranconian abortion laws when President Barack Obama was in office and the Supreme Court was still largely apolitical.  You’ll also notice that Trump was in such a hurry to appoint a second justice to the Court that he had a quiet little talk with Justice Kennedy, and shortly thereafter Justice Kennedy announced his imminent retirement.  And you’ll further notice that there was a mad dash by Trump and his boot-licking Senate to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, thereby giving the court a 5-4 right-wing, conservative majority, despite the fact that the Court is intended to be apolitical.

The stage is set … now the states who have passed these anti-abortion laws that rob women of their rights to have control over their own bodies will sit back and wait for the inevitable lawsuits claiming, rightly, that the states have no right to restrict a woman’s right of choice.  Then will begin the inevitable back and forth through the courts until sometime next year, perhaps even sooner, the cases will reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump is relying on the five conservative justices to vote in favour of overturning Roe v Wade.  Those justices are:

  • Clarence Thomas
  • Samuel Alito
  • John Roberts (Chief Justice)
  • Neil Gorsuch
  • Brett Kavanuagh

Justice Steven Breyer warned in a dissent to another decision earlier this week …

“Overruling a case always requires special justification. I understand that, because opportunities to correct old errors are rare, judges may be tempted to seize every opportunity to overrule cases they believe to have been wrongly decided. But the law can retain the necessary stability only if this court resists that temptation, overruling prior precedent only when the circumstances demand it.”

The Alabama bill, which has been passed by the state legislature and is expected to be signed into ‘law’ by Governor Kay Ivey, bans abortions at every stage of pregnancy and criminalizes the procedure for doctors, who could be charged with felonies and face up to 99 years in prison.  The Georgia bill, recently passed and signed by Governor Brian Kemp (remember him … the guy with the gun pointed at his daughter’s boyfriend?), is only slightly less restrictive, banning abortion after about 6 weeks, often before a woman even realizes she is pregnant.

Those who are so dead-set against a woman’s right of choice, call themselves “pro-life”, but this is a misnomer, as I have noted before.  They are often the same people who support the death penalty.  They are often the people who protest their tax dollars going to help feed and clothe the poor.  Many are the same ones who fought so hard against ACA, which provided affordable healthcare to those who would not otherwise have any.  Pro-life?  No, only anti-women’s rights.

If people are so against abortion, doesn’t it make sense to support such things as birth control, family planning and counseling, and other measures to prevent unwanted pregnancies?  But no, the evangelicals are against all of those, too.  They support de-funding such organizations as Planned Parenthood who help with all women’s health issues, and they argue against company-sponsored health insurance plans covering birth control.  Sorry, folks, you cannot have it both ways!

Thus far through the years, state laws attempting to restrict abortion have all been struck down by the Supreme Court as being unconstitutional.  Will that precedent hold?  I cannot say for sure, but I’m less confident now than I would have been two years ago.  More than 60% of the people in this nation support a woman’s right of choice, but these days it seems that the minority is the only voice that is heard.  If the Supreme Court ultimately overturns Roe v Wade, it will be a slap in the face to every woman in the U.S.  What will be next?  Will they take away our right to own property?  Our right to vote?  Think about it.

60 thoughts on “On Stripping The Rights Of Women …

  1. Pingback: U.S. Rules The World??? | Filosofa's Word

  2. While I myself do not believe that I could ever have had an abortion, thankfully I was never in a position where I had to consider the possibility or need. That said, I have always felt that EVERY woman has the right to decide what she does with her own body. I went against what I was taught in saying this and at times was taken to task for my stance. Then there is the denying of the right for women to birth control, that to me makes no sense at all. I have to wonder when will men be denied the right to a vasectomy, seems only fair. Many many years ago I worked with an older nurse, a single never married childless one, who was deeply involved in pro-life. She picketed, handed out and mailed brochures, etc. and was very vocal. One time I asked her if she also provided assistance with the care and upbringing of those saved babies as there was much more involved beyond simply birthing a child. She scowled at me and told me that it was her job to save them, not raise them and never spoke to me again on the subject. Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The example you give of the nurse you worked with is the definition of the ‘pro-life’ crowd. I am constantly amazed that they aren’t concerned by children dying by the hundreds on the African continent, would sooner kill a stray puppy than give it shelter, aren’t willing to help provide for that child once it is born, but the self-sanctimonious jerks think it is their right to tell ME (the hypothetical me) that I must carry to term an unwanted pregnancy because … why??? Excuuuuuuuuse me, Mr. Self-Sanctimonious Jerk, but next time you go to refill your Viagra, I hope your pharmacist refuses! Sigh. Obviously this is one that disturbs me greatly. Along with … well, never mind … you know my hot topics by now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s quite interesting that the Republican policy agenda now stands for big government and suppression of private individual freedom. That’s totally anathema to Conservative dogma in the past. Have you ever read the book by Rick Wilson on this subject?

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, I didn’t know there was such a book, but on reading your comment, I popped over to Amazon and got a sample of the book for my Kindle, which I’ll read when I go to bed in a bit. Thanks for the heads up! And yes, under Trump, the Republican Party seems to have sacrificed what they once claimed to believe in. I think that in today’s world, profit is the only thing that matters.

      Like

  4. This is a tough one, I’m not sure how we the ppl can get these conservative Supreme Court Justices out. If Trump gets re-elected then he’ll even stack the courts further! I’m at a loss, we better get our act together and vote him OUT if we women want to preserve our rights! This is very troubling indeed. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Wow good times for Criminal outfits who can now organise underground abortion clinics with a veneer of clinical ‘respectability’ leaving the victim to pay exorbitant costs and also be liable to subtle forms of blackmail.
    Back years ago the Catholic Church in the USA went into a sort of tentative alliance with the Apparently Evangelical wing of Pro-Life, then when Catholics found out these folk didn’t give a happy damn for the welfare of individual woman, foetus or child, the alliance was dropped.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wish we could take a jigsaw, cut Alabama out of the U.S., and literally send it to you guys … you could squeeze it in somewhere out in the west, couldn’t you? And perhaps we could throw in Mississippi, too? Yes, we are going backwards and it doesn’t appear to have a stopping point as long as Trump’s evangelicals still think he was sent by god to take over the world! Sigh. 😥

      Liked by 1 person

      • Um…thanks but no thanks. I did consider Antarctica but I’d hate to pollute all that pristine ice.
        It’s odd, the evangelicals violate almost everything I know about Christianity. It’s as if they say the words but are actually following an anti-christ. I truly don’t understand how they can even call themselves Christians.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Awwww snap! Antartica is losing their ice anyway, but the hot air of the Alabamans would only hasten the glacier melt.

          They talk from both sides of their mouth, as we say over here. What they claim to believe is the total opposite of what their actions imply. The word for it is, in my book, hypocrite. Sigh.

          Like

  6. ‘What will be next? Will they take away our right to own property? Our right to vote?’ I’m sure they would love to do that – Let’s make The Handmaid’s Tale come true! Put simply, they would like a return to the days when men were totally in control and women were nothing more, essentially, than their slaves.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The Netherlands have one most liberal laws about abortion in Western Europe, but the number of actual abortions are amongst the lowest worldwide. So it is not that liberal laws automatically open the flood gates …. But even here the pressure from “pro life” is getting stronger. – A pattern?

    Liked by 1 person

    • WHERE have you been??? I’ve missed you and just a day or two ago decided I better email and see if you were okay, but obviously I haven’t done so yet.

      I think that a combination of making birth control readily available and educating young people, including family planning, likely lower abortion rates significantly, so I’m guessing the Netherlands do a good job of those things, hence the lower abortion rate, even though it is available. Yes, I think that “pro-life” movement is a part of the whole populist movement, but what stuns me … the world is already over-populated … why bring kids into the world when the mother is unable to provide for them??? Sigh.

      Good to see you … I’ve missed you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi….. I have been mostly here (= The Netherlands) as usual 😉 But it has been a busy time … full of never ending to-do-lists, people visiting … then the boys were home for holidays (May holidays, a very Dutch thing). So I struggled to keep up with my writing (not very successful) and did not spend much time reading your lovely blog (the loveliness coming from you, not your topics, I have to say). Plus, having our own political hiccups (stupid Brexit-chaos plus upcoming EU elections, plus Dutch provincial elections too, accompanied by of course the most wonderful public debates… sigh) I followed US politics only when it directly affected us, I have to admit. (There is only so much grumbling I can do per day to keep my spirits from spiralling down.)
        But I have neither forgotten nor concisoulsy abandoned you! 🙂 Have a lovely weekend (here it is Friday mid-morning, so I am allowed to look at the weekend already) and take care!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m so glad to know you’ve only been busy and that all is well! I fully understand you stepping back from U.S. politics, for it is a disaster and gets worse by day, and you guys have your own problems. As you say, there’s only so much grumbling one can do in a day, and it takes a toll on the psyche, as I can tell you from experience! Thanks so much for your kind words about my lovely blog … no, the topics aren’t all that lovely, but I still try to mix it up and throw in some humour or at least cute animals once or twice a week 😉 Have a fabulous weekend, my friend!

          Like

    • Yes, I know what you mean … sometimes I hover over the like button on posts like this, but in the end, it is more a matter of letting the author know you were there, I think. I appreciate your ‘like’ and understand full well what you mean. Thanks, Padre! You’re right … it seems they would like to take us back to the day when women were truly considered second-class citizens. We’ve fought so long and hard, and yet …

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jill, while I personally would not have an abortion, if a woman, I respect the rights of women to have choice of what to do with their bodies. At some point it becomes moot after 20 weeks are discouraged by law, but also are halfway and will see it through.

    A couple of items irk me, though, by the pro-life. They should be called pro-birth, as once you are born, many of this same group are pro-gun rights, pro-industry polluters, pro-ACA abolishment, etc.

    The other issue is this group being against birth control, which is a proven means to reduce abortions and lessen healthcare costs.

    Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree … they are “pro-birth”, for once the child is born, they care not a whit what happens to it. They are not willing for their tax dollars to go toward food, shelter and medical care, let alone education for that child. They will not lift a finger to help the mother take care of the child. These people sicken me, they truly do. And as for birth control … what the heck??? The world is over-populated already, and they think we should keep adding more and more? It becomes obvious that women are of no real value to these evangelicals, neither are LGBT people, nor Latinos, Muslims or African-Americans. It is, if they have their way, to become a society of white, male, Christian dominance. Sorry … I’m beyond frustrated by it all. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, I was watching a movie called “Geostorm,” whose premise is a weather controlling satellite is hacked and used as a weapon. The antagonist said the reason was to take America back to 1945 by destroying all enemies.

        As I heard these words, I thought of the white supremacists and evangelicals who want to turn the clock back to 1945 – whites with far greater rights, fewer women’s rights, and no LGBT rights. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

        • I saw the trailer for that a while back and thought it looked both fascinating and harrowing. But I hadn’t realized the premise and the reason for the destruction. Yes, I do think that some … not all, but enough … of the evangelicals would like to return to what some call a “simpler” time, where women and blacks “knew their place”. We came so far, but now we are losing ground. Sigh.

          Like

  9. I can’t wait for the day of the Democrat President and Democrat majorities as they put all these Evangelists truly in their place and strip them of their tax free status if they’re going to interfere in politics. The minority does not rule the whole.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m with you on that one! But, it seems that … at least for the time being … the minority actually DOES rule the whole. I don’t understand it, likely never will, but it seems that the only voices that count today in the U.S. are the white, male, Christian ones. Never in my life have I felt like such a second-class citizen. In truth, I don’t feel much like a citizen of this nation, but rather an outsider. I keep reminding myself that in the grand scheme of things, this is but a blip in the annals of history. Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

  10. MAGA – Jill, the unspoken message in all those red caps at trump rallies is a return to the days of cigar smoking, back room meetings where white, privileged, fundamentalist Christian men decided the course of the country and the fate of all minorities which at that time included women. But, baby, look at us now. Women are vocal in politics setting the course for the future. Gays have Mayor Pete unabashedly living his lifestyle at the campaign podium. Blacks have Senators Booker and Harris calling out that white privilege. We have enjoyed way too much freedom of choice and speech to return to those days. There may be setbacks, but millions of women, gays and blacks will have their voices heard regardless of whom tries to keep us quiet.🙏🏳‍🌈

    Liked by 4 people

    • I sure hope you are right, Larry. Sigh. It seems that this country is being set back at least 50 years, if not 100. Women’s rights, civil rights … our voices seem to be drowned out by those ‘evangelicals’ who think theirs is the only right way. I’m so sick of it all. I’m ready to give up … but then, I remind myself that is what THEY want, and I’m a stubborn ol’ biddie who is NOT about to give them what they want! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  11. This is an all out war on women and their bodies. The younger generation had BETTER vote and vote in every election or we will see a country with women sitting in JAIL because they had an abortion after a rape! DISGUSTING!!! This is sickening and outrageous.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hello Inspired. It is not just women who have abortions that could be in jail. One of these extreme bills included a provision for investigating miscarriages to see if they could have been caused by something the woman did and if so she could get up to 10 years in prison. They put the clump of cells growing in the female as a higher value than the woman herself. Her life is meaningless, her zygote is precious to them. Gggrrrrrr. Hugs

      Liked by 5 people

      • Good point, Scottie! I had forgotten that they are even targeting women who have miscarriages! What a crock!!! But then, let a woman have a baby that she is unable to take care of … are they willing to spend tax dollars to provide food, shelter and medical care for that child? NO! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr… Hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Hello Jill. It seems that again religion is playing a heavy hand in this. Evangelical / fundamental religious groups feel a female shouldn’t have a right to sex or to enjoy sex for herself. It is all about pleasing the man who owns her and her body is theirs. Religion is also the key reason many think the five mentioned will overturn Roe is because of their professed religious affiliations. For both the newest two their religion was something that was prominently displayed and touted. So again it will be a minority of deeply religious people enshrining the doctrines of their religion on to a secular country. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hey Scottie! Yes, these days, religion seems to have a hand in everything our government does, from stripping our rights to determine our own health care, to picking fights with Iran, to free speech issues. I was so furious this evening when I was writing the post for morning titled “Oh for Pete’s Sake” that includes a bit from the idiot evangelical Pat Robertson about LGBT rights that I damn near threw my coffee cup across the room. This, then, is how Trump got elected, but agreeing to turn the country over to the evangelicals and let them decide how best to subjugate women and minorities and non-Christians. So, they don’t want us to have birth control, yet men can get Viagra and in many cases their insurance will pay for it????????? Where is the justice????????????? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      Hugs, my dear friend …

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Jill. Two things about viagra. During the arguments about trans people in the military it came out that medical costs for the entire trans population in the military would cost about 20 million. However the cost for viagra is somewhere around 65 million a year. Also during the arguments over the ACA and the courts allowing some religious organizations to not cover birth control for women, those same organization had no problem with viagra for men being covered. It was an offence to god for a woman to have birth control yet god was OK with men needing help to get it up. If god can decide if a woman gets pregnant, can not god also decided if a man gets an erection or not. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Remember, women have no idea what politics is all about. Pregnant, bafefoot, and naked in the kitchen waiting for their menfolk to come home. Women are not people, they are possessions– they are like cattle, chattel! This is moving backward, not 200 years, but only 50 years. It was not so long ago…
    I guess this was when America was last great, when men were supreme.
    Screw them.

    Liked by 6 people

    • How could I have forgotten that we are only good for a handful of things. Sigh. One would think, judging by some of what is happening in the U.S. these days, that we were back in the 1800s. Suffrage? What’s that? Why would you want to let a woman vote? Educate girls? Why? Sigh. I’m sure that to some people that is what they mean by make America great … again … when “blacks knew their place”, when “women knew their place”, and when white males reigned supreme. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Jillybean, you might want to re-read your post title …? It would be, as a suggestion. Stripping away of Women’s Rights. But “Stripping women conjure up images of poles and stages with fur around them … no? Gals in high heels? Not much else? Cheers Jamie … hehe

    Liked by 3 people

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