Abortion Today

I read most of the Dobbs decision, enough to judge it. The Supreme Court is not entirely wrong. Abortion has long been considered a crime. Roe v Wade was, I think, judicial activism. Respect for precedent only goes so far. Eg, Plessy v. Ferguson was an insanely wrong decision that made racial segregation legal. Retaining it as controlling law would have continued a crime.

But it also has two flaws that make it unreasonable. First, privacy and personal autonomy are real, traditional human rights that deserve the utmost respect even if women have only recently been included in the list of humans who deserve it. Second, society has absolutely no legitimate interest in "preserving fetal life". Yet these are the foundation of the Dobbs decision.

The decision explains that everyone goes around claiming rights that are components of 'liberty' that are not mentioned in the constitution. It ridicules the ideas of privacy and "bodily integrity" yet, these are rights that men (in America, white ones) have had throughout history, so much so that nobody even thought to mention it. If someone had suggested to Willian Penn or Thomas Jefferson that anyone had authority over their personal bodies, they wouldn't have even argued. They would have laughed.

Of course, we all submit to infringements on our freedom in support of important goals. Your driving speed is restricted for my safety. Basically all laws restrict freedom. The operative phrase is "important goals". The Dobbs decision explains that many people consider the value of "potential life" to be an important moral point. It tells us that this fact gives legitimacy to the efforts to restrict womens' liberty. If most people value "potential life" over womens' freedom, that's enough to make it an "important goal".

But preserving potential life is no more legitimate an interest than, say, preserving racial purity. They both have arguments that favor them. They both have many adherents. But the values they propose are founded on completely personal, internal, emotion motivations. There is no consequence to society to justify either, no important goal that can be named.

Having spent my life arguing with anti-choice proponents, I can tell you that I have never, ever found an argument that didn't, at bottom, rely on God. Nobody has ever once said that "society needs more people", or "society's a better place if women have more babies", or "we need more Soylent Green". 

I have never heard, or read, a single explanation of why abortion should be illegal that did not come down to "God says so" and I have never heard of a single consequence of abortion that makes the rest of the people less safe, prosperous, secure or free.

Dobbs essentially says, "We see that many people hate abortion. That serves as a state interest. Some say a woman has a right to privacy. We don't think so. Let the rich people decide." Ok, I add "the rich people" but it's not as if the Supreme Court doesn't know that laws are made by rich people, after all they supported Citizens United.

Roe was a bad decision but only because it was afraid to simply say, "The right to privacy is obvious. The state has no possible interest in determining if a woman bears a child." Had they simply stood up for the right of a woman to determine the course of her life like every man in history, they would not have felt the need to say a lot of complicated crap that has made life worse.

And it would have put today's Supreme Court in the position of explaining exactly what interest the state has in regulating abortion. They would have had to explain why a woman doesn't have the right to control her body. 

Instead, they got to talk about a lot of extraneous bullshit to cover the fact that they don't think women are fully human.