Tag Archives: Roe v. Wade

GOP on wrong side in abortion fight

Abortion is a political issue that gives me the heebie-jeebies, given the intensity of views on both sides of the great divide.

I consider myself to be pro-choice, but clearly I am not pro-abortion. And, no, those terms are not mutually exclusive. I merely cannot counsel a woman to obtain an abortion; then again, I do not deserve to have any say on how a woman should make such a gut-wrenching decision.

Republican politicians, therefore, are on the wrong side of history when they continue to dictate to women what they can and cannot do to manage their own biological affairs. Voters across the nation are making their feelings clear as well on that issue, turning back GOP-led efforts to ban abortion, to make it illegal.

Ohio voters spoke loudly and clearly on the matter by ratifying a measure to make abortion rights part of that state’s constitution. Other states’ voters in places such as Kansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Virginia have offered the same message to GOP pols: Do not dictate to us how we can make these decisions.

The Dobbs decision by the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade earlier this year, energizing abortion-rights advocates across the land. Let us not be coy about this fact, either: abortion is going to play a major role in every election going forward as we march toward the 2024 presidential election.

Voters already are speaking with absolute clarity on this issue. They have warned the pols in D.C. to keep their mitts of women’s reproductive rights. The key question now is this: Will the hide-bound politicians listen to what their constituents — their bosses — are telling them?

GOP becomes nationalist party

Just how topsy turvy has the political machinery become in this country? Consider this example.

Republicans once thought that the federal government should leave key decisions up to the states and local government entities. Big Brother had no business telling people how to live or how to handle their affairs.

But wait! Now we have abortion on the table. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion should be legalized and is a protected right under the Constitution, conservatives stuck to the let-the-locals-handle-it argument.

The current SCOTUS has overturned Roe v. Wade, unleashing a torrent of efforts to ban the practice.

Now, though, they want to enact a national ban on abortion. They insist that Congress enact federal laws that ban abortion after, say, 15 weeks of a pregnancy. Some states, such as Texas, have gone even further, banning abortion after six weeks … which often is before women even know they are pregnant.

So, which is it?

I know the answer. It depends on the issue. It’s a form of selective principle. Go small on government interference, until the issue involves the hottest of the hot-button matters. Then you go big.

Conservative, small-government philosophies be damned!


What would they do … ?

I am willing to wait for as long as it takes for a self-righteous, sanctimonious politician to answer a simple question that I believe needs asking.

What would they do, how would they react, if their daughter was raped and beaten half to death and then learned that she is carrying an unborn child as a result of that attack?

While we’re on the subject, how would they react if, say, a lecherous uncle impregnated them?

No one has asked the likes of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, or Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick that question. Nor has anyone asked any other politician who has enacted laws that all but eliminate abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

It’s a fair question. I admit it’s a bit of a “gotcha” inquiry. I can remember when then-GOP Sen. Dan Quayle was running for vice president in 1988 on a ticket led by VP George H.W. Bush. Quayle said he would “support” whatever decision his daughter made, even if she chose to have an abortion. Quayle was notably pro-life on the issue of abortion but didn’t flinch when someone asked him publicly about how he would react if a member of his own family faced that gut-wrenching decision.

Politicians simply must thrust themselves into the lives of those who must live by the laws enacted. They must be forced to answer the tough questions that some of those decisions require of them.


Abortion: state or national issue?

Lindsey Graham once thought and talked like a traditional Republican, such as the time he said that abortion laws needed to be settled by states.

Now, though, the South Carolina Republican is ratcheting up the argument, pitching for a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Which is it, Sen. Graham, state issue or national prerogative?

Politicians on both sides of the divide have criticized Graham’s about-face. Then, of course, are those of us who dislike the government dictating how a woman can govern her own body.

Public opinion polls suggest Graham is on the losing side of this debate. He isn’t dissuaded. Graham believes the nationwide ban will become law despite those polls and despite some election results that suggest Americans want to retain a woman’s right to choose whether to end a pregnancy.

I will give Graham some credit for recognizing the need for excepting cases involving rape and incest from the ban. Certain statewide bans, such as what’s been enacted in Texas, require girls impregnated by their lecherous uncles or fathers to carry their pregnancies to full term.

However, Graham is getting way ahead of himself if he believes most Americans will line up behind what he’s proposing. According to the Huffington Post: “I am confident the American people would accept a national ban on abortion at 15 weeks,” Graham told “Fox News Sunday.” “And to those who suggest that being pro-life is losing politics, I reject that.”

Graham ‘Confident’ Public Backs U.S. Abortion Ban Despite Elections Proving Otherwise (msn.com)

Instead, he has joined the wacky wing of the Republican Party that now wants to nationalize what used to be part of the GOP mantra: it is better to leave some things up to the states than to have the feds impose their iron will.


Land of the Free? Hah!

Didn’t this country found itself as the “Land of the Free,” a nation that prided itself on delivering freedom to all Americans, a land that honored our civil liberties?

I ask because of what has transpired in recent months with the U.S. Supreme Court rescinding one of our sacred civil liberties, the one that granted women the right to determine how to control their own bodies, as covered in the rights of privacy spelled out in the U.S. Constitution.

The court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion legal in this country. Over the nearly five decades of its existence, legal scholars and other courts had determined that Roe was “settled law.” In other words, we couldn’t mess with what had become part of the nation’s legal fabric.

Not so, according to the current Supreme Court.

When the court rescinded Roe v. Wade it essentially determined that on this key issue, women are longer free to make critical, gut-wrenching and highly emotional decisions involving their own bodies.

There doesn’t appear to be any remedies available, given the current makeup of the U.S. Senate and certainly given the ideological bent of the court, with its six conservative justices. Senate Democrats want to “codify” legality of abortion legislatively, but they would have to overcome a certain Republican filibuster; they need 60 votes to end such an obstructionist act. A 50-50 Senate split isn’t likely to bend.

Oh, but wait. The midterm election could give Democrats an actual majority, enabling them perhaps to toss out the filibuster. We’ll have to see.

I just am baffled at the frontal attack that the GOP and their allies on the Supreme Court have leveled against a fundamental principle established by our nation’s founders. It is that American citizens enjoy the freedom to make decisions that only they can make for themselves.

I would say that a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy qualifies as a critical component of living in the Land of the Free.



Pro-life, pro-choice … or both?

Occasionally I have to grapple with my position on abortion. Am I pro-choice? Am I pro-life? Truly, this issue causes me some grief. To alleviate that grief, I have determined I am both.

I now shall explain myself.

If a woman were to ask me for advice on whether to abort a pregnancy, I could not counsel her to do so. Therefore, that resistance to pro-abortion counseling makes me — in my view — pro-life on the issue.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that strips the court’s Roe v. Wade ruling of its power spurs another emotion within. You see, I also believe that government should not govern how women can manage their own reproductive process. That is not a governmental call. Such heart-wrenching decisions belong only to the woman, her partner, her physician, her spiritual leader and, yes, the god she worships.

I have thought about a gentleman with whom I attended church in Amarillo. His name is Doug and he once told a crowd of fellow churchgoers in a voice loud enough for many of us to hear that he was both a “creationist and one who believes in evolution.”

I learned then that Doug, a fellow who is quite a bit older than I am (which is really saying something), takes the same expansive view of Scripture that I do. We believe that the biblical version of “six days” worth of work creating the universe doesn’t mean the same six calendar days we use to measure that length of time.

So it can be with abortion. I see myself as both pro-life and pro-choice on an issue that when all is said about it really is none of my business.

As a 70-something-year-old man I never have had to make that choice for myself, nor will ever have to make it for as long as I walk this good Earth. Nor do I ever expect a woman to ask me whether she should make that choice for herself.

That suits me fine, too … because I never could say “yes” for any woman to commit such an agonizing act.


Contraception is alive, but struggling

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that allows Americans to take measures to avoid pregnancy when they engage in intimate activity.

Sounds, well, rather normal, right? Not if you’re a Texas Republican member of Congress. You see, all GOP House members from Texas voted against this modern, common-sense, rational bill. That means my congressman, Van Taylor of Plano, has something against allowing his constituents to use contraceptives during sex.

What the hell?

Someone has to explain to me the reasons behind the partisan resistance to this measure.

GOP Texans in Congress vote against bill to protect right to contraception | The Texas Tribune

It appears to be some additional blowback to the Supreme Court decision to overturn the law that made abortion legal. Justice Clarence Thomas — the right-wing king of the high court — let it be known that the SCOTUS might next take aim at same-sex marriage and, yes, allowing contraception.

Good grief!

The 50-50 U.S. Senate isn’t likely to follow the House’s lead, given that the GOP side of the divide is wedded to this idiocy that contraception is some sort of Satanic mischief.

Well, it’s as clear as deep blue sky that the Texas Republican congressional delegation has swallowed the swill that now governs GOP policy these days.

They sicken me.


End of Roe brings new idiocy

Idiocy can present itself in sometimes surprising forms, such as when a pregnant woman drives her vehicle in a “high-occupancy vehicle” lane, asserting that the baby in her womb is a “second person” in the vehicle.

Therefore, she argues, she is entitled to drive in the HOV lane.

Nonsense. Bullsh**. Horse pucky.

We’re getting some of that idiocy these days in Texas as individuals are reacting to the overturning of the Roe v. Wade abortion decision. A woman who is about to give birth to a child decided the other day to flout a rule requiring two people or more are allowed to ride in an HOV vehicle.

This is an example of political grandstanding run amok. It’s nothing more than a stunt that — and this is weird — could eventually find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

I shudder to think what this court, comprising a 6-3 super conservative right-wing majority, would do with this form of idiocy.


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.


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?