Abortion rights about to end and why it should concern you

With the retirement of Justice Kennedy from the Supreme Court, abortion rights are about to end, said Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s judicial watcher, this morning. President Trump, bowing to his glassy-eyed religious right minions, will appoint a replacement justice who will vote to abort Roe v. Wade at the earliest opportunity.

Kennedy is not a moderate, as corporate media pretend—he voted to allow the super rich to outright rent American elections, and has always supported plutocracy and laissez faire capitalism at any expense to actual justice. He is a rock-ribbed, Reagan-appointed conservative, and is retiring during a Trump administration because he supports the kind of judge Trump will select.

The fact that Kennedy is often on the other side of “social conservatives” does not make him a moderate—all of the libertarian Republicans in Congress support these personal rights (abortion, gay marriage) as they sell out the working class and the poor on behalf of corporate greed at any cost.

So what are we to expect in the near future from the departure of Kennedy? Encouraged by the red meat President Trump throws at them with his new appointee, many state legislatures will begin to pass laws outlawing abortion in one manner or another, says Toobin. The newly-formed Supreme Court will back the right of such states to do such a thing, voting 5-4.

And the impact will be that we will return to the 1950s, when, in my youth, I remember that only rich women got legal abortions. Then, wealthy women would pretend to go to Switzerland to visit a spa for a beauty treatment, that (unsaid) included an abortion. Poor and working class women could not afford this, as the cost to them was prohibitive.

So poor and working class women often resorted to that which we called “back alley abortions with coat hangers.” Trained doctors were rarely available because they didn’t want to face the potential of being found guilty of committing a crime. Many of these women and girls died from such unsafe abortion attempts.

It is easy to see why people are upset about abortions, and the rhetoric adds to the emotional stress that such a debate spurs. The anti-abortion side often calls itself “pro-life,” although most of its adherents are pro-war and pro-death penalty, making the term hypocritical and misleading.

I once attended a lecture by the late Molly Yard, a feminist who pointed out that every year in the Land of the Free, fundamentalist religious fathers murder their daughters when they find out the girls are pregnant. If they didn’t know their daughters were pregnant, and the girls were able to get a medically-safe and confidential abortion, lives could be saved. Isn’t this a pro-life viewpoint?

Such girls often fall in love with boys who impregnate them and then leave. Can we blame these impetuous youths for falling in love? Should they be sentenced to being beaten to death for this?

Most people support abortion for victims of rape or incest, and for medical reasons in saving the mother’s life, but there are many reasons a female may wish to have an abortion.

I do object when people call me pro-abortion. I don’t think anyone is pro-abortion. We who are pro-choice would love to see every pregnancy result in a healthy, wanted baby who would grow up loved and cared for.

Jack Balkwill has been published from the little read Rectangle, magazine of the English Honor Society, to the (then) millions of readers USA Today and many progressive publications/web sites such as Z Magazine, In These Times, Counterpunch, This Can’t Be Happening, Intrepid Report, and Dissident Voice. He is author of “An Attack on the National Security State,” about peace activists in prison.

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