Tag Archives: abortion

Kansans send profound message

Dorothy once told Toto that “we aren’t in Kansas anymore.” Indeed, the Kansas that the little girl who sang and danced her way to the Land of Oz knew likely doesn’t exist, either.

Kansas voters this past Tuesday sent the nation a resounding message that they would not accept legislation and court rulings that made abortion illegal. Kansans voting in a statewide referendum rejected a complicated ballot measure that would have endorsed the idea that its legislature can ban abortion.

Not so fast, said the voters of Kansas.

This is the absolute heart of Middle America. For Kansans to reject — in an astoundingly wide margin — a plan to effectively criminal a medical procedure — is stunning in its scope.

It tells me that conservatives in Congress — as well as those on the nation’s highest court — have overplayed their hands.

And they have handed millions of Americans who disagree with their ham-handed approach to legislating morality — not to mention their effort to repeal “settled law — a potent weapon for the upcoming midterm election … and far beyond.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Imagine such demagoguery

“Imagine being upset that babies will live.”

So it went this morning as I came across this social media post from someone I’ve known — admittedly not well — for the past quarter century.

He is applauding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion. Yes, we know it as Roe v. Wade.

My friend’s social media message, of course, follows the demagogue’s strategy in arguing his point.

To suggest that those of us who are pro-choice on abortion are “upset that babies will live” is a disgraceful attempt at demonization. What upsets me about the SCOTUS ruling has nothing to do with whether “babies will live.” It is that the ruling deprives women of the opportunity to make this most difficult decision on their own.

I maintain the right to be both pro-life and pro-choice. I could never advise a woman to get an abortion; that is not my call. It is hers alone! Nor could I ever endorse a government policy that dictates to a woman how she must handle a decision that is best left to her conscience.

But … all of this is part of today’s toxic climate.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Why omit this one, Mr. Justice?

It wasn’t lost on many folks that U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas omitted a legal precedent when he signaled which others might become vulnerable in future SCOTUS rulings.

The court knocked Roe v. Wade — the landmark ruling that legalized abortion — down and out. Thomas then noted that in the future, the court could take on same-sex marriage and contraception, two other provisions protected by constitutional “rights of privacy” provisions.

But … wait! What about interracial marriage?

Oh, yeah. Thomas, one of two blacks to serve on the court, is married to a white woman … and a controversial white woman at that! Ginni Thomas has been rabble-rousing like the dickens over Joe Biden’s 2020 election as president.

The court’s famous Loving ruling in 1967 legalized interracial marriage. It’s difficult for many of us to understand why it was ever illegal for people of different races to marry one another, but it was.

Is that going to be part of the court’s future?

Bwahahahaha!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Abortion: always toxic

A long time ago, a young Texas congressman served the Houston area. He was famously friendly to organizations that favored women’s reproductive rights.

George H.W. Bush served in Congress for two terms, from 1967 to 1969. He voted routinely in favor of spending bills to pay for those programs now demonized by the right wing of his Republican Party.

Rep. Bush developed — as I understand it — a nickname in the House. His colleagues referred to him as “Rubbers.”

He left Congress and served as CIA director, head of the Republican National Committee, special envoy to China and as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Then along came Ronald Reagan in 1980. “Rubbers” Bush ran against Reagan for the GOP presidential party. Reagan won the nomination and looked for a VP running mate.

He chose George Bush … who then underwent a remarkable political transformation. The instant he accepted Reagan’s invitation to join him on the GOP ticket, “Rubbers” became a fervently pro-life candidate.

The Reagan-Bush ticket won that year. The rest is history.  I hasten to add that as a presidential candidate in 1988, Bush did not wave the pro-life banner with undue vigor; nor did he do so when he ran for re-election in 1992.

I point all this out to remind us all that abortion and women’s reproductive rights long has been among the most toxic issues imaginable. The Supreme Court ruling that strikes down a woman’s right to obtain a legal abortion only fans those embers into a full-blown fire.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Eternal optimism gets test

Yes, it is time to acknowledge the obvious about today’s political climate: These times test even the most optimistic among us … and you count me as one of those folks.

My eternal optimism over the strength of democracy is suffering from serious stress.

The U.S. Supreme Court has punched the hot buttons that create my anxiety. The ruling on concealed carry permits for handguns in New York got me started. Then came the decision that tossed aside Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion.

Political figures are being hectored, harangued and harassed because they insist on following the rule of law. They and their families are being threatened with bodily injury … and worse!

A president who lost re-election in Novembe 2020 threatens to overturn the results of that election in an unprecedented attack on our governmental process. His cult followers insist he is right, and the rest of the country is wrong.

I am not alone in wanting our U.S. Constitution to hold together. I believe it will. I also believe it will hold the nation together.

My family and friends are likely to tell you — if you ask them directly — that I tend to see the good in people. The recent former POTUS, though, makes me think only the worst in him. Thus, my eternal optimism is being put to a test I did not foresee occurring … even when the former POTUS was elected to the presidency in 2016.

It’s a struggle. The news I watch for much of most days depresses me, pushing my emotions to a level with which I am mostly unfamiliar. Look, I dislike feeling this way. It’s against my nature. I am not an ebullient fellow normally, but I long have maintained an innate faith that our system of government — cobbled together by our nation’s founders — is built to absorb punishment.

My inherent faith in our system of government — as imperfect and occasionally rickety as it is — will keep me going even as I fight off the depression that threatens to put me asunder.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

SCOTUS has changed, not Roe

Leave it to a lame-duck U.S. Supreme Court justice to put a monumental ruling in fascinating perspective.

Stephen Breyer is about to retire from the nation’s top court. He cast a dissenting vote in the decision to toss aside 50 years of “settled law” by overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that made abortion legal.

Previous Supreme Court decisions had upheld Roe v. Wade in earlier challenges. The court would rule that the law was established and that, by golly, the Constitution did guarantee a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.

Not this court. Not this time.

It was Justice Breyer who noted in his dissent that Roe had withstood challenges because it remained the same. The only thing that changed, he wrote, “is this court.”

So it is that Supreme Court, with his conservative supermajority, has decided to enact an activist agenda by ruling that a half-century of “settled law” had been decided wrongly.

Pitiful.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

SCOTUS credibility at issue

The U.S. Supreme Court has a credibility problem. It’s serious, I’m telling you.

It ruled in just the span of a few days that New York does not have the authority as a state to govern concealed handgun carry and then decided that states must decide whether women can obtain a legal abortion.

Two justices — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — reportedly told Sen. Susan Collins that Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion ruling that the court has just tossed aside, was “settled law” and that they wouldn’t trifle with it. Well, they damn sure did.

“This decision is inconsistent with what Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their testimony and their meetings with me, where they both were insistent on the importance of supporting long-standing precedents,” Collins wrote.

This calls into question whether the court is as independent and impartial as the founders envisioned when they created the federal judiciary.

Having said all this, I stand by my refusal to endorse the notion of expanding the court’s number from nine to whatever progressives want to install.

What has to happen is that American voters need to decide whether the Supreme Court’s current makeup is reason to vote for members of Congress and for presidents who will honor the rule of the majority.

Donald Trump vowed to nominate justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. He made the pledge while running for president in 2016. Yes, he established the proverbial “litmus test” for judicial candidates to pass. He said so reportedly knowing that most Americans favored keeping Roe on the books. They, too, understood the meaning of “settled law” and wanted to give women the right to choose whether to take a pregnancy to full term.

The high court has thrown all of that aside with its Roe ruling. Moreover, it has spoken out of both sides of its collective mouth by declaring that states could decide whether to allow abortion but that they had no authority to decide how to govern firearm ownership.

Credibility? It’s missing from the Supreme Court.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

‘Representative democracy’ takes a hit

I need to stipulate something up front that shouldn’t need to be stated, which is that we all live in what we call a “representative democracy.”

What does that mean? To me it means that the men and women who serve in our nation’s public offices need to represent the will of the people they govern.

OK, are we clear on that? Good! Then consider this:

Every reputable public opinion poll taken reveals that a substantial majority of Americans favor maintaining abortion rights for women. Gallup, Harris, Quinnipiac, Roper, Ipsos — all of ’em — tell us that most Americans want women to have the right to govern their own bodies.

The U.S. Supreme Court, though, today said the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. The ruling comes as the court has struck down the Roe v. Wade landmark ruling that stood as settled law since it was announced in January 1973. Women no longer are able to obtain an abortion.

Most Americans believe in providing abortion rights for women. A minority in Congress and in our legislatures believe something else.

Where I come from, when the minority rules supersede the beliefs of the majority, we call that “governing by tyrannical means.”

Is that what we are becoming?

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

SCOTUS might spur political uprising

The U.S. Supreme Court’s stunning decision announced today that tosses aside a long-settled law enabling women to obtain legal abortions well could create a midterm campaign issue for the ages.

Or … it might fizzle out like warmed-over soda pop.

The court ruled 6-3 that the Constitution does not guarantee a woman’s right to an abortion, which was the basis for the1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized the procedure in the United States.

Conservatives are joyous at the ruling. The rest of us? Well … we’re not.

The midterm election now could hang on whether enough voters are concerned enough to elect members of Congress, governors and state legislators who believe that women have a right to terminate a pregnancy.

My hope is that it does energize the electorate. That it does stem the so-called “red wave” that threatens to sweep Democrats out of control in Congress. That it does elect state legislators and governors in states that already have dropped the hammer on hapless women who now no longer can obtain an abortion legally.

The consequences of this decision are far-reaching and frightening to many women across the land. It won’t end abortion. It only makes it more dangerous as desperate women seek them. What then? Who cares for women whose bodies are devastated by botched procedures?

We hear it said over and over: that “elections have consequences.” We now are paying for the travesty that occurred in 2016 when Donald J. Trump slithered his way into the White House and — with the help of a GOP majority in the Senate — managed to get three individuals confirmed to the SCOTUS.

The right-wing cabal on the high court has set the cause of women’s rights back for decades to come. It now falls on the rest of us to ensure that our ballots count in this year’s midterm election … and beyond.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

SCOTUS strikes down Roe … let the fight commence

Whatever crap you might hear from this day forward about how conservatives will not tolerate “judicial activism” or “legislating from the bench,” think of this day when the Supreme Court did exactly that with its decision striking down a woman’s constitutional right to obtain an abortion.

The U.S. Constitution, said the court in a 6-3 ruling, does not guarantee a woman’s right to an abortion, and it now hands the issue over to the states to decide individually.

This is a dark day in American judicial history.

The SCOTUS has struck down the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that declared women had a right under the Constitution to terminate a pregnancy. Previous court rulings had upheld that right.

No longer. The Supreme Court, with its super-conservative majority, has acted in a fashion that used to be anathema to judicial and political conservatives. It has exercised extreme judicial activism in tossing aside what had been considered “settled law.”

Didn’t conservatives once frown on such activism? Didn’t they excoriate progressive judges for crossing that line?

Roughly half the states already have laws on the books that will now take effect. They will make abortion illegal. In Texas, for example, doctors can be charged with felony crimes and sentenced to decades in prison if they perform an abortion. Texas even allows its residents to reap bounties if they tattle on their neighbors who they know have obtained an abortion.

It might not stop with just criminalizing abortion. There well might efforts to overturn other SCOTUS decisions legalizing gay marriage, which the court has ruled is protected under the Equal Protection clause in the 14th Amendment.

Does this hideous decision end abortion? Hardly. Women will continue to terminate their pregnancy, even if it puts them in serious — possibly mortal — danger.

The Supreme Court, moreover, has just furthered the cause of conservative judicial activism. Those on the right-wing fringe, therefore, can spare me the highly dubious argument that the court merely called “balls and strikes” from the bench.

Oh, no! It weighed in with a ruling that denies women a basic right that had been protected under settled law … and the U.S. Constitution.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com