This is the 1,453rd post since I initiated this blog in March, 2009. It is also the first time where I’ve used a previously used title for a blog. The first use of the word ‘abortion’ as a blog title was here, October 12, 2009, where I told my personal story. I invite you to take a look at that post, which was written in the first year of the Obama presidency, and about the debate about abortion funding in the not yet enacted Affordable Care Act.
A few months earlier, May 17, 2009, almost exactly ten years ago, President Obama spoke at Notre Dame University. The concern was he’d touch the topic of abortion. I wrote about that here. (NOTE: links included in both posts are no longer current or accessible).
(Word search indicates that I have used the word “abortion” in 23 posts over the years, should anyone be interested. Personal opinion: this issue has never been about “life”. It is totally about power and control.)
Now, ten years later, May, 2019, the alarm bells have sounded, and these alarm bells are a call to action – particularly for those of us who have concern about the rights of women.
Within the last two weeks, ten states have passed obviously coordinated laws to challenge Roe v Wade, hoping that the new configuration of the Trump Supreme Court will reverse a Supreme Court interpretation which has stood since 1973. A Move-on alert May 20 said “abortion bans have been introduced in at least 28 states , and the Senate is holding hearings on a nationwide, 20-week ban.” Groups like Planned Parenthood and ACLU will be crucial sources of support and action and information.
While the specific laws have differences in language, there is absolutely no question that their introduction and enactment were orchestrated and very intentional. The thought is that this new Supreme Court will, after 46 years, get rid of Roe v Wade. No one can predict this for certain; on the other hand, the odds are much more in favor of success than they were before.
The so-called “pro-life” constituency is energized. The evil “baby-killers” (people like myself who believe in the woman’s rights over her own body) will now be powerless, legally. The current president is forgiven for all his “exaggerations” (lies, as described by a Trump supporter) as he promotes “sanctity of life”, as defined by the most conservative moralists. There is no lack of outrageous hypocrisy. Trumps foot-soldiers are the evangelical Christians, marching to war. The old phrase, “the ends justify the means” seems to fit, perfectly.
There is a word of caution here to the moralists, one of many messages: this won’t work, even if it appears to be succeeding.
Ours is, of course, a bitterly (and deliberately) divided country at this point in our history. Nonetheless when embarking on a ‘civil war’, as this (and other) issues certainly have become over the last quarter century), zealots best exercise considerable caution. The deadliest war in American history was the Civil War, which in effect was the war to save slavery. We all know the results of that war. The cost of division was enormous. Those who think they can now control the minority by controlling the law-making and ultimately the judicial decision making, will ultimately find themselves on the losing side. And everyone will lose.
I have followed this “life” situation very carefully for many years, starting with the 1976 political convention I attended in Anoka County Minnesota. It was the DFL Convention, typical to a usual convention except for one particular conflict I remember. Resolutions were proposed, as usual. They required, as I recall, 60% to pass the convention. A resolution was proposed to oppose Roe versus Wade; it failed. A contravening motion also failed to meet the 60% threshold. After the Convention, the supposed “pro-life” bunch deserted the DFL, and the past is history.
When I wrote those blogs ten years ago, we were in relatively benign times. The choice now is ours: to be engaged actively, or to be defeated, albeit temporarily.
I choose to be engaged.
from Bob: The best line I have heard about the abortion issue was this bit of advice to each of us – and particularly to politicians: “Mind your own business!”
from Eileen: Agree. It’s about power and control.
from Greg: How can the catholic church call itself pro life when it really is pro birth? It is free to march in protest to planned parenthood. But, to really be pro life requires effort and spending time and money. This holds true for parents and grandparents alike. Not all are able to provide for their children so that is where and when society must step up to help parents. But isn’t interesting that abortion opponents invariably support politicians who oppose funding social programs that would benefit many young lives? So, who said they have to be consistent? Keep up the fight. I agree with your characterization of what is behind the church opposition to abortion (note comment in below section of on-line comments].
from Jermitt: Thanks for your posting, Dick. It is a powerful warning. Everyone should take action to avoid what seems to be evitable.