Radical is not a synonym for conservative, nor even for reactionary; but the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe V Wade is closer to the former than the latter.
Fundamental to conservative thought among liberal democracies are the founding documents of the United States of America – the oldest living democracy.
Those documents argue every individual has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and to “the Blessings of Liberty” (capitals from the original).
I readily acknowledge the authors’ hypocrisy as their quill pens crossed the parchment – but still argue the history of this country has been a slow but relentless march toward their vision.
The Supreme Court of the United States has led that march for nearly two centuries — until June 24,2022.
On that day, a bare majority of the Court said “Stop”. Stop the post Civil War inexorable march toward greater individual liberty (and equality).
No New Facts or Science Forced Dobbs Decision on the Court.
SCOTUS’ decision to overturn Roe is radical in its scope; hypocritical in its dependence on post-medieval history rather than contemporary precedent; cruel and mean spirited in its denial or easy dismissal of the rights of victims – those it ignores and those it creates.
I am going to leave to others the moral arguments of a so-called “right to chose” whether, when and how to terminate an unplanned pregnancy.
Or the validity of the argument that a woman can surrender a newborn, for adoption, without lifelong consequences. Nor challenge the assumption there are enough potential adoptive parents to fill the need?
The Unintended Victims
My concern is for the unintended victims– the now vulnerable, voiceless victims of rapists, of incestuous parents and of nature, itself.
In the 21st century it is inconceivable that a state legislature and — or a governor — would deliberately revictimize victims of sexual assault (rape or incest).
But 10 states have already made abortion illegal in these cases — with several more expected to follow in the coming weeks.
These laws are medieval — akin to drowning a woman to prove she is/is not a witch.
Not all Fetuses are Created Equal in Nature
Millions of American women experience natural miscarriages every year.
If pre-Roe history is our teacher, in states where abortion is restricted, most of these women will be denied necessary 21st healthcare during the natural course of their miscarriage because their doctor fears potential prosecution.
The consequences of withholding care women have depended on for half a century will be unnecessary maternal suffering, potential subsequent infertility — even unnecessary death.
Next imagine, if you can, the anguish of a mother (and father) who now has no choice but to carry to term a fetus even after exhaustive modern medical testing and ultrasound warn of a child who will die at birth, shortly after, or endure a short lifetime of severe disability.
These narrowly defined state abortion laws are cruel to mother (father) and child.SCOTUS’ decision to overturn Roe without considering the unintended consequences is antithetical to conservatism.
It is radical in its scope; hypocritical in its dependence on post-medieval history rather than contemporary precedent; cruel and mean spirited in its denial or easy dismissal of the rights of victims – those it ignores and those it creates.
Still the damage done can be undone — state by state.
Repeal Cruel State Statues by Repealing the Lawmakers
Rather than march in fruitless protest, outrage must be turned into action.
Put away the picket signs and start knocking on the doors. Telling the stories. Asking if it were your child or your wife or your life?
Stopping the cruelty now depends on turning low propensity (state election) voters into votes — one door at a time.
There’s not a day to waste.