“He has created a false public sentiment, by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society, are not only tolerated but deemed of little account in man.”Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments 1848.
Nurse Margaret Sanger related an experience that inspired her career in family planning. Called to a dilapidated tenement building, Sanger found a pre-teen immigrant girl writhing in the throes of childbirth.
Attempting to assist the child, Sanger soon recognized the girl was slipping away, bleeding out on a filthy mattress. Indifferent, the girl’s family crowded nearby in a small parlor seemingly resigned to the life and death drama in the next room.
Soon the bloody battle ceased, as both girl and infant were no more.
A mother herself, Sanger built her life’s work in promoting a woman’s right to choose if, or when to bear a child.
As for Sanger, she found herself under arrest in 1916 for advocating sex education and birth control through the mail. The charge sheet read that her actions were indecent. Despite that legal setback, a determined Sanger founded Planned Parenthood later that same year.
June 24th, 2022 the Supreme Court ruled women no longer have physical autonomy. The government claims an overriding interest in American women’s reproduction. Plainly females are once again set aside as second-class citizens, leaving men free of any culpability for their actions. For one moment think if men were required a reversible vasectomy at age 16. No male would tolerate such a law, and this is the same invasion of privacy women are forced to obey.
Justice Alito, in his majority opinion, stressed moral judgement over legal arguments when the issue is reproduction.
In fact, in overturning Roe, women are stripped of the most consequential of life decisions, reinforcing Mrs Stanton’s phrase in 1848, that “a different code” is still alive and well. Women cannot be trusted with their own bodies.
That Planned Parenthood offers so many other services is not the point. That neonatal disorders portend a fatal, and agonizing death for newborns isn’t the point, either.
One of the most precious American underpinnings is the right to privacy. And remember that Prohibition, too, attempted to police private practices. That fiasco resulted in an uptick of violent crime, and corruption because like it or not, people drink. The same is true of abortion. The procedure has not been halted in the country, but made more risky.
The Supreme Court has not ended abortion in America.
This isn’t over.
*Justice Thomas indicates he would go after birth control next. Does he realize he opens a pandora’s box that could threaten overturning Loving V. Virginia?