Notwithstanding the Supreme Court majority's boast of being "Constitutional originalists," the First Amendment of that document apparently does not apply to them. Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion overturning Roe vs Wade that since the founding fathers had not specifically considered abortion to be a human right back in the 18th century, then the subsequent Court decision making it one 200 years later was reached in error. Or, as the nuns used to put it to those of us who went to Catholic school and lived to overcome its hellfire ideology, it was a "most grievous sin."
As a priest essentially put it to my conservative, 40-something Catholic mother when she dutifully sought his permission to go on the pill after bearing six children and suffering several miscarriages: "Be fruitful and multiply."
If the secular Pantheon of Founding Fathers didn't, as Alito cynically argued, consider abortion to be a human right, then it can never be a human right. He didn't mention that since the founders were largely slave-owners who raped their property, they actively and deliberately encouraged full-term pregnancies so as to produce more unpaid labor down the road, at no additional cost to themselves. It didn't matter whether the sperm for the progeny/property came from them, or whether it was from other slaves.
In actuality, the overturning of Roe vs. Wade has set the time machine spinning back much, much further than even the horrific 1700s plantation era. The Supremes have transported us overnight right into the 12th century, when feudalism was all the rage, and the first stirrings of the Catholic Church's escalating crusades and inquisitions against heretics, infidels, and eventually, accused witches, got underway with a vengeance.
With every single one of the Supremes who voted against reproductive freedom last week being practicing Catholics themselves, perhaps they should exchange their black robes for red ones, with beanies to match.
Because although some critics have aptly called them an unelected monarchy, they're acting more like a College of Cardinals with infallible power over every-day basic human behavior and freedom, not to mention life and death.
Clarence Thomas, who wrote the concurring opinion, intimated that the criminalization of abortion is his intoxicating gateway drug to the criminalization of birth control, same-sex marriage and even interracial marriage. Once an aspiring Catholic priest, having studied at an Indiana seminary, Thomas in particular seems to consider himself a veritable sub-pope in the Supreme Holy See, without even the need for sacramental oil.
George H.W. Bush did the ordination honors, despite Thomas having served only a short time as a practicing judge. He needed that rare, conservative Black guy to tokenize and fill the shoes of the late great Thurgood Marshall.
Thomas, according to the biography "Supreme Discomfort" by Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher, gets really miffed when critics call him a recipient of affirmative action - because everybody should know that it was his own hard work and towering intellect that enabled his rise through the ranks of the American judiciary without ever litigating a single court case after graduation from Yale Law. His opinion overturning affirmative action is probably already written in draft form.
Alito similarly had a private Catholic education, as did Brett Kavanagh and Amy Comey Barrett. Ditto for Chief Justice John Roberts, who only voted against the ruling because he prefers more narrow restrictions and control over women. Sonia Sotomayor alone was able to rise above the dogma of her own parochial Catholic education to vociferously side with the liberal minority.
If there is one extremely faint silver lining to emerge from the overturning of Roe vs Wade, it's that it fully exposes the Democratic Party majority as the feckless enablers and moral co-conspirators that they are.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for one, hardly got through singing "God Bless America" on the Capitol Steps (ostensibly to celebrate some very narrow and bipartisanly ass-covering gun control legislation) before she hightailed it out of town and went straight to The Vatican to personally receive communion from the Pope himself.
|Mea Culpa. Mea Culpa, Mea Minima Culpa!|
You see, Nancy gets to have her cake (rather, wafer) and eat it too. She recently bragged that her production of five children in only six years should prove to the Church once and for all that she is a good Catholic, despite her excommunication by the archbishop of her San Francisco diocese for her mouthing of toothless platitudes defending the reproductive rights of others.
President Joe Biden, also a devout Catholic, merely said that he was "disappointed" in the Supreme Court justices, before hightailing it over to Europe to commune with his NATO bros and gin up more support for his bloody proxy war against Russia. Joe, you might remember, greased the skids for Clarence Thomas's installation as secular Cardinal when he allowed his Senate Judiciary star chamber of a committee to throw Anita Hill under the bus, and then refuse testimony from other women about Thomas's sexual harassment in the "equal opportunity" employment office he had previously been appointed to during the Reagan administration.
Biden only disowned his support of the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the federal Medicaid funding of abortions for poor women, when he was running for president in 2020, and then only after pressure from Planned Parenthood. For decades, he had been one of its staunchest advocates in the Senate.
Barack Obama, who took time off from playing golf in Spain to tweet out his own displeasure at the Roe vs Wade ruling, is not a religious man. Therefore, his own failure to protect reproductive rights when he had the chance is even worse than that of the Catholic leaders who are torn between their church and their state. Early in his first administration, when he enjoyed a congressional supermajority, he reneged on a campaign promise to legally codify the reproductive rights of women. It was the same old Democratic excuse: he didn't want to alienate his Republican friends. He didn't want to spend his political capital, especially if it canceled out one of his party's most lucrative fundraising gimmicks.
But he didn't stop there. When, in 2011. Kathleen Sebelius, his Catholic Health and Human Services secretary, blocked the FDA's approval of over-the-counter Plan B, or "morning-after" pills, to teenagers under 18, Obama offered his full-throated support of the ban. He chauvinistically moralized that "as the father of two young girls" he, too, felt uncomfortable with the thought of teens being able to just prance into the drugstore to buy birth control like it was candy.
Susan F. Wood of George Washington University, who resigned from the FDA in 2005 because of delays by the George W. Bush administration in relaxing restrictions on Plan B, said she was “beyond stunned” by the decision.
Remember.... nobody expects the American Inquisition. It is bipartisan, for one thing. It is always shocking whenever "your side" drops the liberal mask and goes all medieval on you.
Even after Planned Parenthood sued the Obama administration and won, the Obama administration kept right on appealing the ruling. Finally, in 2013, a federal appeals court judge issued a stinging rebuke, accusing them of bad faith and playing politics, and ordered the FDA to immediately lift the age restriction in the sale of the pills.
Of course, birth control bans essentially have always been about women having sex, and having fun while doing so and threatening to achieve economic parity once escaping the brood mare corral. It's about men feeling squeamish about their womenfolk having uncontrolled sex and power even other women feeling squeamish about other women having sex and power. Certain powerful men like Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito, and yes, even Barack and Joe, must always cling to the illusion that they are the ones in charge.
As for us, as we learn to cling anew to the reality that we can never rely on any politician or feudal lord to grant or protect our rights, here's a wee bit of Pythonesque solace to tide you over until the dawning of yet another new post-post-modern day.