Overnight, I woke up thinking of the Beatle’s and their song “Yesterday”. Here’s the 1965 version.
Of course, yesterday everything was about the infamous Supreme Court draft killing Roe v. Wade. More below on that.
But there was more, yesterday, as there is, every day…. My friend, Jim, long-time resident of the beautiful but purposely sparsely populated Molokai, Hawaii, wrote “We just got over Covid-19’s. I had all my shots plus two boosters and was sick for 2 weeks. I hate to think what might have happened without those shots. It just seems to me that most everyone will end up with Covid at some time. Aloha.” Say it ain’t so, Jim. At the same time, “yesterday” the one millionth Covid-19 death in the United States since the Pandemic began…
My list about yesterday is much longer, but so is everyone else’s. Ukraine, etc. Life is more than one thing. Tomorrow, today will be yesterday. History continues on, and we’re part of it. All we have is today….
Now the issue du jour yesterday at the Supreme Court, likely continuing in the news today. Abortion. We don’t know by who, nor why, the draft was leaked. In this day of false flags and shameless lies, passed on as “truth”, most any reality is possible.
I’ve followed the abortion issue personally for over 50 years largely because of a single direct personal experience. If you wish, here is my most recent writing about the issue, from 2019, which links to an earlier blog I wrote in 2009, reflecting back to what happened in 1965. I am outspokenly pro-choice for women. I have never been anything else. I have reasons.
This is the 50th year of the Roe v. Wade decision. Cynically, what better way, what better time to slay, the “babykiller” dragon (an epithet Ive heard more than once from “Christians” who think they’re doing the Lord’s work of attempting to kill abortion). They have been subject of a lot of, shall we say, “grooming”, going on for a long time by leaders of the Evangelical right wing, including, especially, the hierarchy of my own Roman Catholic Church in the United States.
“Right to Life” has such a nice ring to it. “Abortion” even sounds evil…as does “babykiller”. Some of the “Christian Soldiers” I experience are modern day Crusaders, slaying others rights in the name of Jesus. In their telling, there is no other side of the story…no room for different opinions.
Absurdity abounds. I don’t think someone can provide any proof that there has ever been, anywhere, an actual law enacted, declaring abortion to be murder or similar. If there is such, I’d like to see the evidence. The dodge is to prohibit the act, not the act itself.
Neither is there any evidence that an unborn baby is a person in a temporal sense. One example, in my own case: in 1940 I was born about two months after the census taker came around to enumerate my parents in North Dakota. So I’m not listed in the 1940 census (which has been public for some years.) I looked. Mom and Dad were there; not the pending me, who by then would have been very obvious.
The day of my birth I was baptized.
Being baptized the day of or shortly after birth was not uncommon. For most of my churches history, church teaching said that unbaptized babies could not go to heaven, nor to hell. Baptism was not put off. Unbaptized babies who died were stuck in a place called Limbo, by church policy. This changed, apparently about 2007. This is how ridiculous this becomes.
Neither is abortion a legitimate theological issue. It is strictly a power and control issue. Different denominations, Christian and otherwise, have different beliefs about this issue, including among their own members.
My own church, in the person of a Pope, even came out against birth control when it came available in the 1960s. Being the Pope, his pronouncement was in effect Church Law. “Thou shalt not…”
You ask “Why? And why do you stay Catholic?” Let’s talk abut that, sometime.
The final Supreme Court judgement on abortion (the actual final words) is not likely until this summer. It may be different, slightly or a great deal, from what was leaked tonight, but it is a seismic event, particularly given the absolutely ham-handed approach of the radical right to seize power in the United States. I’m glad the leak happened, and light was shown on the thought process in progress.
50 years of precedent appears on the doorstep of being discarded.
Beware. Be on the Court.
POSTNOTE: When I woke up I wanted to include a recording of “Yesterday” within this post. Much to my surprise, the song was first published about a week after my wife’s funeral in 1965. In the same month, the Beatle’s were in Minneapolis for a concert.
POSTNOTE 2 May 5: A reader sent a link to Heather Cox Richardsons commentary in her blog about the situation. Heathers “Letters from an American” are always well informed.
COMMENTS (more at end of post as well):
from Jeff: I see it as 150 years of precedent based on the passage of the 14th Amendment. in striking down Roe, the court is enshrined states rights over federal guarantees of civil rights granted by the 14th Amendment. The parade of horrible extends toward racism and authoritarianism state by state.
from Carol: I don’t even know what to say about this. As some have said, the dog that chased the car has finally caught it. And I have a feeling that car is going to run right over that dog. I predict this will make a big difference in November. Maybe Congress will finally pass that law they’ve been talking about for – how long?
from Norm: Thanks for sharing your comments with me and a few others, Dick.
I sent around my bully pulpit commentary on the pending overturning of Roe v. Wade to many folks including yourself the other day although I am sure that is was not something that you would want to include as a comment to your pending blog. It is mainly an expression of my extreme disgust with so many of my fellow DFLers, liberals and progressives who did everything that they could just out be to assure the election of the an-child who would be king!
Elections have consequences as those dumb-bottoms supposedly on our side of the aisle who assured the election of the man-child who would be king are finally realizing with the release of that draft.
They will continue to be reminded of the stupidity of what they did every time the current SCOTUS overturns or overrules a public policy that we think is an important part of a civilized society!
The SCOTUS will repeatedly be used to make “those people” behave, act, speak and worship in the “right way”, that is, how that group of paranoic narrow minded self-righteous holier than thou dumb-nuts think that everyone should behave, act, speak and worship…and to sue the SCOTUS to make sure that they do!
As you know, that is a theme that I have hammered on ever since the 6-3 margin in the SCOTUS was confirmed by the US Senate and everyone who was somewhat cognitive of his/her surroundings knew that meant the end of Roe v. Wade and the potential effort to make abortions illegal all across the land.
Per your comment as a Catholic regarding this important issue, I am aware of several Catholics who feel similarly about the issue as do you.
It is just amazing the self-anointed protectors of women in the legislatures and governors offices in the US…mainly white guys…are hell bent on making abortions illegal in their states and even across the land for any reason including rape. The latter really shows one hell of a lot of disrespect for women who under their view of the world should carry the result of that rape to full-term and??? More importantly, the “trigger laws” that have been adopted in so many red states regarding the matter in anticipation of the repeal of Roe v. Wade show one hell of a lot of disrespect for women in general and their own personal right to make their own decisions regarding their bodies.
Interestingly, most of these “pro-life” legislators/governors have no interest at all in providing support for the children that their actions have been bought into the world.
Just pathetic, Dick!
from Joyce: This is an excellent essay, Dick, and of course you may include my comments in your blog.
from Fred: As usual I take the long view on almost everything. The early 20th Century produced an abundance of reformers driven to make better the lives of those, particularly new immigrants living in the slums of our largest metropolitan areas. These “do-gooders,” as they were sometimes called, worked to establish child labor laws, pure food and drugs, equal rights for Black citizens, elimination of corrupt local governments, slums and slumlords, corrupt political party bosses, monopolies that crushed competition and wage levels, the existing six-day work week, the little guy (farmers in particular, who suffered from price fixing and extortionate shipping rates), etc.
from Mary Ellen: I really have nothing to add to the excellent comments already posted.
Actually, 60 years ago (before Roe v. Wade), there was nothing courageous about a teen placing her baby for adoption; she would have been told by everyone in authority it was her only option. There was a direct pipeline from the home for unwed mothers to the adoption agency.
The writer shares details of his life of “blessings and opportunities,” his many achievements – for which he certainly deserves credit. He was fortunate to have been adopted into a loving home. He’s understandably grateful that his mother did not abort him. But he can’t know if she would have made that choice even if available. [He likely doesn’t know the circumstances of his mother’s pregnancy, nor how this may have affected the rest of her life. – They left this sentence out]
I’ve known two very young teens who were raped and impregnated – one by her drunken father, also 60 years ago. Coming from a poor family with no resources, she had no choice but to drop out of school, hide for months, and give birth. It changed her life.
The other teen, 14, lived far from an abortion provider, was too young to drive, had those telling her abortion was murder. She had been happy, a good student, an athlete. She quit school and cried all day, begging to just “be a kid again.” Her friends dropped her. The family kept the baby, which had a disability. The parents divorced over it. The girl’s life further unspooled, and she made some bad choices seeking to recover her sense of worth. By the time she was 20, she had aged beyond belief. It ruined her life.
Lawmakers have recently made some appalling comments about pregnant teens, saying they have an “opportunity,” a “gift from God.” We have a Supreme Court justice suggesting they can just drop off their unwanted babies at the local fire station. We should not once again force pregnant teens to supply our adoption agencies.
The writer is of the belief that a fertilized egg suddenly becomes a “human being.” That’s an argument it seems will never end, and of course many vehemently disagree. But what can’t be argued is that these teenagers were children, with immature bodies and minds not equipped for forced pregnancy/motherhood. What about THEIR future blessings, opportunities and achievements? Do their lives not matter more than an egg or a collection of cells?
The writer points out that abortion ends the potential of a human being, with its own unique characteristics. However, most fertilized eggs do not implant and grow, and an estimated 20 percent of pregnancies end in early miscarriage. We accept that as inevitable, acts of Mother Nature. Opposing abortion because a [specific] “human being has not existed before [and will never exist again]” does not make sense. [bracketed words added by Carol].