Can the left-wing hysteria over the Supreme Court’s leaked opinion on abortion get any more ridiculous?
Corporate media have claimed that the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade marks only the beginning of a slew of conservative judicial decisions that will ban everything from sodomy to birth control. “Next they’ll go after gay marriage and maybe Brown v. Board of Education,” Joy Behar postulated on The View. “They want to send us back to the dark ages,” 85-year-old woman Eleanor Oliver, who procured an illegal abortion in Washington, D.C. in the 1950s, told a Washington Post columnist.
The justices who have reportedly endorsed the draft opinion have been called “barbarous and cruel.” The prospective ruling has been accused of racism. It has been attacked on economic grounds because it will allegedly make poor states poorer. And… get ready for it… it has been labeled fascist because, well, do we even need a reason?
Unfettered access to abortion has become the sine qua non of acceptable dogma on the left. To restrict abortion in any sense has become so unthinkable that any attempts are viewed as nothing less than a Handmaid’s Tale dystopia. Prohibit abortion before fifteen weeks (as the current Mississippi law before the Court does), and it might as well be Kristallnacht all over again.
It’s time for everyone to take a deep breath. Even if the drafted court opinion overturns Roe, this would only return the abortion debate to the states. Indeed, not even half the states have abortion bans on the books that would take effect after a potential overturning of Roe. And even for those states that would outlaw a significant percentage of abortions, many could still legally occur, whether they be early in a pregnancy or in the case of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk.
Moreover, more than half of abortions in the United States are medication abortions, meaning the mother takes pills to induce a miscarriage rather than undergo a surgery. It’s unlikely state governments will be able to effectively eliminate access to mifepristone, a common abortion drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It’s also very unlikely that the Supreme Court will allow states to ban federally approved drugs.
In other words, regardless of the language and scope of the Supreme Court ruling this summer, abortion in the United States is not going away. Even if abortion happens to be dramatically restricted in your state, you will likely be able to drive to a neighboring state, or perhaps a few states over, to procure one. And there will almost certainly be well-funded organizations and activist groups, like the “Aunties,” who will provide all manner of financial and advisory aid to help people who desire an abortion. The annual budget of Planned Parenthood alone is in the hundreds of millions, if not over $1 billion.
Thus is the Chicken Little narrative propagated by the left patently absurd. It’s a desperate propaganda campaign aimed at generating voter momentum prior to the 2022 midterms in lieu of what only last week was looking like a Republican tidal wave. (Adding evidence to that assessment is how often recent polling on American support for abortion has been cited by corporate media.)
Beyond that, the dustup over the leaked Supreme Court opinion offers a sad commentary on American politics as a zero sum game. For, as few liberals seem willing to acknowledge, American abortion laws are actually quite extreme when compared to those elsewhere in the West. Sweden, France, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland, and many other countries across Europe and Asia have more restrictions on abortion than the United States. When it comes to abortion, we are ahead of the curve.
And that’s not all. Much of the angst over the Supreme Court leak has sought to impugn the pro-life cause as a violation of the separation of church and state. The left, we are told, is on the side of science and reason. And yet modern science has consistently demonstrated that the living organism inside the womb shares many of the same qualities as life outside the womb, even at early gestational stages. As I noted in an earlier Spectator piece, parents can learn the sex of their baby at ten weeks with a blood test, and see the child in the womb sucking its thumb at eighteen weeks. A heartbeat can be detected at six weeks. The brain begins to form as early as the fifth week.
At some point, the argument for abortion reduces to geography: if the life has a brain, heart, and appendages, all liberals can point to is that it is still inside the womb, which is supposedly the exclusive property of the mother. But given the fact that about 73 percent of children are born before their due dates, “viability” of that life is quite fungible. If a living human organism inside the womb at 34 weeks would be likely to survive if the mother is induced tomorrow, can we really say that “my body, my choice” is the determinative mantra?
Even if we take philosophy and religion out of the equation, and rely only on the premises accepted by the left (namely, materialist scientism), organisms inside the womb are undoubtedly human, especially in later stages of maturational development. That’s true from the moment of conception.
This is why the trope that the pro-life movement is nothing but a bunch of fundies and troglodyte Catholics is both risible and disingenuous. Sure, if you want to have a debate about whether or not a fertilized egg or a two-week-old zygote constitutes a human person, let’s have it. But let’s dispense with the ridiculous claims that something inside the womb that possesses all the traits that even secular science identifies as uniquely human is somehow not human and worthy of legal protection.
That the left has been willing to bet all its chips on the pro-choice cause is bizarre. Even their own (wrong) premises undermine their position on abortion. And yet they persist, seeming to believe that enough shouting and name-calling will distract from the simple reality that abortion in many currently legal cases stops a beating a heart.
If liberals have any sense — and compassion — they will acknowledge that abortion is a subject worthy of democratic deliberation. Given that a significant number of states (and their voters) feel strongly enough about it, why should the states not be allowed to serve as laboratories of democracy? It’s an idea proposed not only by a Supreme Court justice, but the very Tenth Amendment to our Constitution.
Unless, of course, the left wants to continue claiming that the pre-Roe world (i.e. pre-1973) was the dark ages. If that’s the case, then it’s hard to determine what, if anything, remains of a shared American polis.
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