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General News    H1'ed 7/4/22

The Abortion of the United States

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Protests against the loss of choice are being .birthed. everywhere, due to the anti-choice decision of the Supreme Court.
Protests against the loss of choice are being .birthed. everywhere, due to the anti-choice decision of the Supreme Court.
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The state-by-state loss of birth choice effects much more than the individual right of when or if for a woman to have a child. The situation is fluid, brand new - though anyone who was paying attention to the supreme court arguments and the leaked Samuel Alito opinion last Spring should have seen this coming. Pro choice advocates haven't been organized for years, even decades, as a woman's right to choose has been whittled away, making some states have only a single clinic that practices abortion. Now, trigger laws are taking away even that.

However, in every state where choice is threatened, there are already lawsuits: Click Here

These states are a bit like the dog that finally caught the car: now what do they do?

Same sex marriage and contraception rights are also in jeopardy, and maybe also sodomy laws, though these last two would be very hard to enforce, as they were previously. Although an interracial marriage ban would serve Clarence and Gini Thomas right, it affects so many people and is so obviously racist that I don't think a rollback of the Loving v. Virginia case that overturned remaining interracial marriage bans in 1967 in a handful of southern states is at risk (this is well within my lifetime and that of many others in the United States). Being anti-choice is racist too, but in a less direct way.

But mass violations of privacy are definitely a risk and already happening. We are not going back to pre-Roe times. It will be worse.

Anti-choice zealots are already tracking teenagers that look for abortion advice online and saving that info to turn them over to police for future prosecution. In response, Google says it will erase abortion clinic location searches. Since the anti-choice people are often racist and primarily concerned with "too few" white babies, they will seek to prosecute young white women who've had abortions to further their cause. Ironically, because women of color are disproportionate users of abortion, this will backfire, and drive white women with the means to move, to flee to states where abortion is still legal. It's worth considering what anti-choice states will look like if the male-to-female ratio gets to be something like 55 to 45 or even 60 to 40. How will all those young males with all their gun rights to carry guns everywhere and for any reason react when there are no young women - it'll be mostly women of child-bearing age that will flee the invasion of privacy and options to live life as they want to - to temper their frustration and anger? What will happen to the women that remain? They will be in high demand - as young women usually are - but will their demands be enough to get back their right to choose when there are so few of them left to vote? In some parts of the late nineteenth century Wild West that anti-choice zealots sometimes fantasize as the "good old days" the male to female ratio was as high as 10:1. Brothels were common and women huddled together for protection. Is this the paradise anti-choice people envision for our future?

Here in modern New York, we are passing laws to support out-of-state women seeking abortions. Some of them, knowing they will be prosecuted back home, will never return. Of course, this will divide the country even more than it already is, fueling still more talk and action of secession; this plank is already in the Texas Republican Party platform (perhaps the most famous example is the un-patriot Sarah Palin, who along with her husband was a member of the Alaska Independence Party. She is likely to be elected Alaska's sole Representative this November, making her oath of office to support the U.S. Constitution inherently suspect and possibly false. She will join other anti-woman women opposing choice, like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert).

It will also be a simple matter to track women seeking abortions just over state lines by recording their state license plates. Abortion clinics promise to set up mobile centers just over the anti-choice borders, so someone could sit in a parking lot all day, recording women as they drive in for abortion services, for later prosecution. President Biden said women may be arrested for trying to go over the border to seek abortion services. How long until Uber or cab drivers look upon young female passengers suspiciously, wondering if they are putting their own freedom at risk just by driving their passengers to where they want to go? How heroic is your Uber driver? Even if Uber and Lyft are willing to cover the costs of their drivers who face legal expenses for now, the real test will come when the first lawsuits start flying. These are not corporations known for sticking up for employee rights; Uber and Lyft spent millions on court cases just to claim their drivers were not even their employees! Neither are other corporations, who mostly don't want to be involved in customer draining political controversies in the first place. Will they move out of anti-choice states? It's hard to imaging Disney World relocated from Florida - which is vacillating between allowing some abortions and none at all, depending on the courts - to a colder, more northern state where choice is still legal. There are reasons Disney chose to be in Florida, after all.

In some ways, it would have been better if SCOTUS just outlawed abortion altogether for the entire country - and more consistent since they claim a fetus is a person, and other laws affecting "persons" are applicable nationwide. The Supreme Court does not normally "punt back to the states" the decision whether to allow murder of a human being. Why should the right to ban abortion be allowed to how a particular state defines the beginning of "personhood?" The majority of SCOTUS is both hypocritical and lazy. By contrast, Roe was a carefully considered, highly researched opinion, perhaps the most science-based decision in SCOTUS history, and we are unlikely to ever see such delving into medical knowledge in the lifetime of this court's majority again. But pro-choice activists should not count of the Supreme Court to galvanize people to action; if they can't use the decision already handed down to motivate people, there is little a blanket ban would do.

However, there is now such outrage that even some red states might flip blue, or at least the purple states might. Right now, the pro-choice people feel safe and relatively secure in their states' laws. They shouldn't. A single election can strip rights away from them for a generation or more. The anti-choice brigade intends to make lack of choice the law of the land. Will women flee to Canada then?

Meanwhile, girls as young as 11, or less, will be monitored for any sign of sexual activity, not because they have and deserve to have protection in their vulnerable childhood, but because there are laws to enforce against them, perhaps even if they are minors, yet another thing the anti-choice zealots have not considered. Will girls not be prosecuted for getting pregnant - by definition, a rape - and having an abortion, while adult women who legally chose to have sex and then had an abortion, will be? Abortions are overwhelmingly performed in the first trimester, well before girls or women "show" so how else will the law be enforced except through deliberate and extremely invasive monitoring of all fertile females? This will cause more mental health issues and emotional trauma. Even Janet Yellen testified that the loss of choice will set women's progress and economic growth, back decades: Click Here This action against young, progressive, educated women, is enough to effect the entire economic trajectory of the country for generations.

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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a former blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:
http://www.americaisnotbroke.net/

Scott is a former and current President of Common Ground-NY (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of (more...)
 

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