50 years

Monday is the 50th anniversary of the decision in Roe v Wade.

Letters from an American gives a good brief discussion of the history, here.

I note that I have written something including references to abortion 38 times since 2009 at this blog site.  That’s about three times a year.  I have not changed my position, now in place for over 58 years.  Respect life, but respect women’s human rights, and reality too.  By no means does everyone believe the same when it comes to ‘life’….

This morning at Mass the Pastors sermon was on the topic.  This was not surprising, his was carefully worded, the institutional – Roman Catholic – position.  I would have expected nothing else.

Codifying and even enforcing belief used to work better than it does now.  The Catholic Church, and any denomination for that matter, knows it’s an ever more lonely place to be when declaring some belief as absolute.  There will always be the cadre of supporters, but it takes much more than believers and laws to force belief.

50 years is two generations in human time.  That is a long time.  Moving from a moral imperative to a legal high ground, then controlling legislation and the courts which interpret the law, is a bridge much too far in a diverse society as ours is, in my opinion.  The above noted “Letter from an American” notes: “about 62% of Americans support the guidelines laid down in Roe v. Wade, about the same percentage that supported it fifty years ago, when it became law.”  One could guess that the same general percentage goes way, way back….

There is a tendency to divide us into good people and bad people.  It is not nearly so simple as that.  I’m not a ‘babykiller’ (an epithet that no doubt is still spewed by some).  Neither are all purist pro-lifers possessed of a consistent absolute ethic of life towards all who are born, wherever and whatever their circumstances, whether accidents, unwanted, immigrant or whatever.


Postnote Jan 23: I published the above in early afternoon yesterday.  Later in the afternoon, we went to the latest Avatar, ‘The Way of Water,  and it wasn’t till last night that I learned of the latest massacre, this time in Monterey Park CA; and this morning about other major incidents.

My position on the epidemic of dangerous and essentially unregulated firearms has been conveyed many times.

For this morning, I yield to Joyce Vance (who grew up in Monterey Park) and Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American.

Regarding Avatar, The Way of Water:  It is a very long film – about three hours.  I saw the original Avatar.  I liked and recommend both.  There is plenty of Star Wars sort of violence, but I think its essential message especially to younger audiences is very positive.  The ‘bad folks’ don’t fare well, and the role models portrayed are the kind of people you’d like to know, and the sea creatures are phenoms!  I’d like to see comments from others who have seen the film, or heard from others.

Just received re Supreme Court: Status Kuo, the Kavanaugh Cover-Up.  Pertinent for today.

COMMENTS:  More at end of post.

from Fred: Excellent piece on a terribly difficult subject. Thanks!

from Jeff: Firstly, the leak investigation at SCOTUS didn’t even include the justices (irony abounds when the arbiters of ultimate justice are essentially above the law) when the most obvious leak was via Alito’s chummy dinners with big donors to conservative causes.

2nd, re Kavanaugh, yes sunlight is an antiseptic, but we also have not heard a good explanation of how his big debts miraculously disappeared during that period as well.
Kuo and others make a good point, the SCOTUS  is truly non transparent, it needs huge reforms to its practices and independent review of its ethics.     Adding 4 or 6 new justices won’t happen in our lifetime.  It is the right idea though.
in the end I see the Senate as the source of much of America’s problems. it is the most undemocratic legislative body in the developed world that has actual power.  (A similar body , the Lords in England, was demoted in any actual power making many years ago.)

responding to Jeff, your last para especially: our Founders were geniuses, and lucky, but unfortunately didn’t have vision over 200 years out.  Their model, good and bad, was England.  They tried to build what they thought was a perfect union.  In a democracy, the crew in power is not going to voluntarily give it up – look at the obsolete veto power held by five countries in the United Nations.  It made sense, perhaps, in the wake of WWII, but no longer.  Same is true with the dis-proportionate power to the small population ‘red’ states.  It almost takes a life-ending catastrophe to bring serious changes.
4 replies
  1. norm hanson
    norm hanson says:

    I got a kick out of seeing a photo of R-v-W supporters and those who supported it being over-thrown, by Donnie’s and Mitch’s SCOTUS. The photo showed several women holding up signs favoring and supporting abortion rights while two tall men stood close by looking at them with amusement and no about disgust. Interesting but not unusual as men often are leading the charge in the efforts to ban abortion including totally, banning the procedure. I have to assume that given that is almost always men leading that charge including the SOB who wanted to prosecute a physician who had performed an abortion on that ten-year old girl who had been raped by some so very “mature” 26=year old guy! It has to be a macho thing where an abortion somehow threatens their manhood or at least what they perceive to be man hood, no matter whether they know the woman who has made that difficult decision or not. Abortion has to be seen by those so very, very insecure men as being a threat to their manhood and masculinity or some damn thing…or in the case of the former-pro-life man-child who would be king, being pro-life was correctly seen as a good way to get votes!

  2. Catherine Rivard
    Catherine Rivard says:

    From my perspective, we are always focused on the end and not the beginning. We live in a dangerously overpopulated world, on the verge of destruction from climate crisis, famine, war, and every other type of human-created tension. All of these problems would be reduced at least in urgency if birth control were made the chief issue rather than abortion. But pro-life folks think that is an insult to life too, just as they would like to eliminate the programs that help unwanted children. If we prevented unwanted pregnancies, behaved better, and used common sense, we may have a chance at saving our pathetic over-emotional species. We have lost our common sense, I think overwhelmed by the sheer size of the world. We retreat into tribal mode too easily. We have a diminishing moral center, allowing the internet to teach us what to do and be. Violence is taught to children through video games from the pram up. Movies contain violent villains and heroes who are pretty much indistinguishable from each other. What do we expect is the result of this? An out of control Might is Right society. What do we do about abortion? Let the woman rule her own body. Men — stop raping women. And if you want women to stop canceling the delivery, don’t put in the order. Yours in indignation.

  3. norm hanson
    norm hanson says:

    Catherine: That has always puzzled me to no end, that is, the lack of support for unwanted children by the pro-life God is on our side and she told us that…


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