Yup… I’m Going There

We were on vacation when Roe Versus Wade was overturned…

I will now pause as you realize that we’re about to talk about abortion…

Put simply; the Dobbs decision returned the issue of abortion to each of the 50 states. In practical terms, regardless of intent or motivation, the Supreme Court found a way to further divide a nation that hasn’t been this divided since the Civil War. Essentially, we will, when everything shakes out, have a country in which about half of the states are destinations for what I am calling “abortion tourism.” Economies will thrive on providing safe havens for women who want to have abortions but live in states that don’t allow it. Meanwhile, the other half of the states will continue to do everything they can to try to prevent such things from happening by attempting to criminalize leaving their state to intentionally commit what would be, in their state, a crime, but is not in another.

In other words, things are going to be a lot more complicated and messy; just what this nation needed.

For my pro-life friends, please be self-aware enough to recognize that you’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. Babies will still be aborted, most likely at near-identical rates as before, and the only thing that will increase are dangerous practices by desperate people who would rather risk their own safety than even fathom the thought of raising a child.

For my pro-choice friends, please calm the hell down. While there are many unknowns moving forward; for now, Plan B is available nationwide via the mail (I’d suggest stocking up if you’re in the practice of promiscuous unprotected sex), and far more important than that…as hard as this is to swallow (which is what more of you ladies should do to make this topic less relevant)…the Dobbs decision was a fundamentally solid legal opinion.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself often talked about how, despite being ardently pro-choice, the Roe decision was beyond flawed from a judicial standpoint. It was also miserably timed. When Roe was decided in 1973, America was working its’ way to a consensus on abortion. In 1972, a Gallup poll found that 68 percent of Republicans believed abortion to be a private matter between a woman and her doctor. The government, they said, should not be involved…10 percent higher than Democrats, but still a solid majority of Americans of all types. Had the Supreme Court stayed out of it, America would have moved, of its natural volition, towards legalizing abortion across the land and it would have been codified into American law with very little fanfare and controversy. Instead, by having it decreed by a panel of judges creating a new interpretation of a “right,” it was left open to attack and made it America’s longest-running, most divisive issue.

The Dobbs decision, as written, is not about abortion. It is about returning the decision to individual states as to whether or not abortion should be allowed. While that will result in half the country not having local access to abortion, it is not the stripping away of a right. It is, as was intended when the nation was founded, allowing 50 different laboratories of democracy based on the residents of each state.

Unfortunately, that’s not sexy…it’s just factual, and so people scream and yell rather than listen, learn, and make personal decisions on where they want to live, how much they want to advocate, and whether or not to vote.

The far more troubling part of the Dobbs decision was the consensus written by Justice Clarence Thomas. While the official opinion of the court correctly and explicitly stated that the Dobbs decision did not impact other previously decided cases based on the fourteenth amendment like gay marriage, access to contraception, sexual intimacy between consenting adults, and interracial marriage, Thomas, a black man married to a white woman, wrote otherwise. Thomas voted with the 6-3 majority that struck down Roe. In a concurring opinion, however, he expressed the view that he would go further — much further — than the majority in thinking through the implications of the decision and explicitly mentioned the Griswold case that legalized gay marriage across the nation. To say this is disturbing is an understatement, and also guarantees court challenges to everything from gay to interracial marriage in coming years. Here’s hoping the court relies solely on its’ official majority opinion that those and other 14th amendment cases are protected.

This points to the undeniable thing that the court has done; it has guaranteed endless challenges to everything people find to be “icky.”

A fascinating case in Texas is a glaring example if this. State law now dictates abortion, and in Texas, the fall of Roe put in motion a trigger law that will ban virtually all abortions and defines an unborn child as a living human from fertilization to birth. Given that, when an officer pulled Brandy Bottone over for driving by herself in a high occupancy vehicle carpool lane in Texas just days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, she pointed to her pregnant belly and told him her unborn daughter now counts as a person. You can wave your hand and p’shaw that it’s nothing more than a gimmick, but how can a judge possibly disagree with her based on Texas state law as written? Which opens up a can of worms that will bog down courts for years. For one thing, can a woman in Texas who is merely pregnant in December claim that child on her taxes now?

The most troubling story I’ve seen since the Dobbs decision was announced, bothered me on many levels, but none more so than the cold water dose of reality I had to endure. I pride myself on being anything but naïve. I consider myself acutely aware of what people are capable of, what they believe, and what actually occurs in a world where most people are far more comfortable pretending that the darker side of humanity is scarce. Please. This is why I always laugh at people who think TV shows like The Blacklist are far-fetched. Grow up.

When it comes to abortion, one of the pro-life arguments that has always given me major eye-roll is the claim that pro-choicers view it as another form of birth control. While I have always granted that, of course, there are some people with so a low value of life they will give no second thought to having unprotected sex endlessly with the idea that any unwanted pregnancy can just be aborted. But they’re rare, and extreme, I have long said. Most people who have, or have considered, an abortion, are agonized by it…in my experience, any way…but I really had reason to believe that was true well beyond my own personal history as well…until an article popped up in the USA Today last week chronicling woman after woman who tell their tale of being terrified that their husbands will get them pregnant in a post-Roe America.

In the article we get this gem: “Elena, a mother of two in rural Nebraska, used to not think twice before having a “date night” with her husband. Now, with abortion laws returned to state legislatures as a result of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June, Elena fears what may happen if “date night” leads to an unplanned pregnancy.”

Later in the article we meet Amber Goldsmith, an administrative assistant in Lee County, Florida, who understands these feelings. One of her past relationships, she says, ended in 2016 due to her ex’s anxiety over abortion access being jeopardized by Donald Trump’s presidency. “We stopped seeing each other because he was just too afraid,” Goldsmith says. “He was too anxious to even consider dating somebody and having a sexual relationship with them if there was a possibility of them getting pregnant, however small.”

Leave behind the irrational lunacy of their fears, and the clear inability to truly grasp the seriousness of having sex ever…the idea that there are way more people than I thought who view abortion as a very casual safety net made my stomach turn.

Comedian Bill Burr has a new Netflix special filmed at Red Rocks in Colorado. He ends it talking about abortion; and while it was filmed long before the Dobbs decision, it perfectly encapsulates the issue. I’d claim that he stole the bit from me, since he parrots what I’ve been saying for decades, but I am self-aware enough to know that I’m not the only person to formulate a rational position on an irrational topic.

The truth of the matter is this; in general, I’m pro-choice. I agree with former president Bill Clinton that abortion should be safe, legal and rare. I also believe that for the most part, it’s none of my business…but I do know this: You ARE killing a baby. Just own it.

Taking the plan B pill the day after sex is not, in any way, the same thing. Plan B simply stops fertilization from happening like any other form of birth control, but it does so after the fact. There was never a human forming or growing inside of you.

As Burr says…Let’s say I take all of the ingredients necessary to make a cake, whip them into a batter, place them into a mold and then put it in an oven. About 15 minutes later, you know during the first trimester of cooking, you come along and open the oven, grab the pan and throw it all over the room, thus ruining it. It wasn’t a cake yet, but it was going to be had you not interfered. You killed my cake…own it.

Finally, can we stop with the lazy trope that men have no place in this discussion? Until science makes it widely available and easy for you broads to get pregnant without us, we have a place at the table of debate on this subject; maybe it shouldn’t be the dominant voice, but we have a role to play in the final outcome. It’s like when a traditional heterosexual couple buys a house…we let you pick out the drapes.

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