No, the Reaction to Roe Decision is Not Overblown

The entirely predictable Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade prompted some very strong reactions, ranging from shock, outrage and despair to relief and smirking jubilation. Mixed in with these was another common response: the suggestion that it really isn’t such a big deal. Tossing in a heavy dose of bothsidesism, many commenters argued that the decision was neither a major victory for “pro-life” forces, nor a major setback for pro-choice interests. Which, in a word, is bullshit.

There are always those — we’ll call them the Tranquilizers — who tell you to “calm down” whenever there is an atrocious development like this. A fair number of U.S. journalists assured the American public that Hitler wasn’t really as bad as he was painted, right up until the time that Hitler proved he was even worse than he was painted. The same people who are telling you now that the termination of Roe isn’t the end of the world are often the same ones who assured you that it would never be overturned. And that there was no way Former Guy would ever be elected. And that if he was defeated, he would concede gracefully, and there would be a peaceful transfer of power.

At the heart of Roe Vs. Wade was the right to privacy. In overruling the watershed ruling, the current “conservative” court essentially decreed that there is no right to privacy. The “conservative” justices issuing the majority opinion assured us that we should calm down, because there’s no way the same arguments would ever be applied to any other issue, wink wink. But out of the other corner of their mouth, they hinted that next on the chopping block might be same-sex marriage, contraception, and even interracial marriage. (Justice Thomas, like other “conservatives”, is a firm believer in the bedrock conservative principle of “I got mine, so up yours”.)

Even on the matter of women’s reproductive choices alone, this ruling is bound to open the floodgates to unprecedented intrusions into privacy to determine who is pregnant and who is a candidate for abortion, and who may even possibly consider an abortion, persecuting women on the basis of mere suspicion. Women will be arrested and jailed for having miscarriages. What’s that you say? “Calm down, how do you know such things will happen?” Because it’s already been happening. And the impetus will be even greater now. Even Susan Collins should be spilling her tea by now. The court has made it very clear that upending Roe is only the beginning.

Actually, it isn’t even that. The very day before this ruling, the “conservative” court had nixed certain state restrictions on firearms; a “conservative” court believes states have a right to impose needless death and suffering on pregnant teenagers in the name of protecting the “preborn”, but those same states do not have a right to protect the lives of post-born children. (In the same vein of consistency, it believes that states have a right to craft laws designed to prevent Democrats from voting, but do not have the right to count their votes according to their own rules if doing so will make a Democrat president.)

A few days earlier, the “conservative” court had decreed that church schools can benefit from taxes — even though churches still don’t have to pay any. A nice, fuzzy red carpet for further church abuses of tax law. And they ruled that school teachers can lead students in prayer. A cozy little precursor to “throw out those science books and open your Bibles”. Another recent SCOTUS ruling decreed that a man wrongfully convicted of murder can still be executed despite his innocence, because having new hearings to exonerate him would be too inconvenient. “Pro-life”, all the way down.

It’s also worth noting that the Dobbs vs Jackson case the SCOTUS used as a pretext for aborting Roe did not address a right to abortion in general. In other words, there was no reason for the court to pass a ruling on Roe except that it chose to do so. Right-wingers often wail about “activist” judges whenever a court takes a stance slightly to the left of Ronald Reagan, but this was about as activist as it gets. And they’re praising it to the skies.

So we have an arrogant, power-mad cadre of six justices who want to install an unlimited fascist theocracy, give the NRA free rein, control your reproductive life, and invade your privacy; and that has no value for human life beyond an obsession with the gestational stage. One of them was involved in shady shenanigans to put George W. Bush (whose dad appointed him) into the Oval Office; and is married to a woman who participated in the plot to overthrow the U.S. government to coronate as dictator the Former Guy who appointed three of the other justices. Why should anyone be concerned?

The Tranquilizers are right about one thing: this is not the time to panic. The time to panic was about 20 years ago.


  1. Lions and tigers and bears, OH MY. Please stop the hysteria and say something coherent. Also please read the Constitution so you might grasp the concept that the purpose of the Supreme Court is not to create laws that congress has failed to write, or to establish a right federal right that the Constitution reserves for the states, but it can reverse a Court decision that attempted to do that.

    • I’ve read the Constitution, thanks. Please read articles before attempting to comment on them. I did not say that the Supreme Court was created to make laws. In fact, I’m sounding the alarm that the current SCOTUS is effectively doing just that. I don’t even know how anyone possibly could get confused on that point. But it appears you found a way.

  2. By overturning Roe VS, Wade the Supreme Court has destroyed its reputation as an intelligent and trustworthy branch of government, after three Conservative Justices claimed under oath, that they truly respect Roe VS Wade and value it’s long standing precedence–which amounts to lying under oath (to Congress)–a federal crime! and one which should have immediately raised a huge red flag. as well as Kavanaugh’s well acted freak-out after allegations that he raped a female student while college, which inspired him to shout out loud that, he would not let himself be falsely manipulated by the Clinton’s and the Obama’s (who have not been in the Oval office for 26 and 14 years respectively? Yet somehow, Repubs still accuse Dems of being in charge of what happens in Congress? So lets ask ourselves if a well educated judge would really believe that somehow the Clintons and Obamas controlled all of Congress even up to 2020?

    There have been times in our nation’s history when the Congress has misused its authority, i.e. when President Lincoln asserted his authority to override Congress’s attempt to deny the full human rights of black Americans. He did this with the Emancipation Proclamation, and by forcing the passage of the 13th Amendment, which was then codified into law.

    Likewise, shouldn’t the Democrats and Biden use their power to add more justices to the Supreme Court and thus improve its fairness–assuring that, half of its Justices would be Liberals! Ironically Repubicans would probably then charge Democrats with disregarding the Constitution. However, now, as in Lincoln’s time, we are in the midst of very contentious and perilous times–times which would justify effort to make court more fair! And, if this proposition offends the ethics of some American citizens, Dems could point out how Repubs refused to even interview Judge Garland for more than a year, and how they also rushed the nomination of Juge Coney only about a month before the 2020 elections.

    In unconventional times we need to take unconventional actions–namely finding ways to Make all three branches more fair.

    • Let me correct myself–Obama has not occupied the oval office for 6 year and Bill Clinton left in 2001–about 21 years ago, Lately my sleep deprived mind has had trouble with grammar and spelling as well as with dates in time.

  3. Apparently, you fail to read responses, before you so readily dismiss them. The original court found that the right to privacy included abortion. The current court did not dismiss the right to privacy, it dismissed the errant opinion that abortion was included as a federal protection. Since you have read the Constitution, where in any of its provisions does the Constitution protect abortion? If you cannot so reference, then the Constitution defers to the states.

    • And I didn’t say that the Constitution specifically mentions abortion. It also doesn’t specifically mention your access to that device you’re using to type those silly comments. And if you think this court is really concerned about what is and isn’t guaranteed by the Constitution, you really, really need to pull your head out of your ass. By the way, that’s two strikes against you. If your third comment doesn’t do better (and I have no doubt there will be a third one — I’ve learned to spot your type by now), you will not be further responded to, published or acknowledged in this space.

    • So if a desperate woman wants to discreetly receive an abortion her name can legally be plastered all over the front page of the New York Times? Of course privacy is part of getting an abortion! And the SCOTUS was wrong to deliberately exclude it!! Isn’t it the 4th Amendment that guarantees privacy like no search and seizure of private homes. Yes! Precisely why the court extended privacy to Abortion seekers under the 4th Amendment–because without this extension the government could be as nosey and intrusive as it wants! It was not originally included but now it is!! In earlier years abortion had not yet become such an intensely personal, and controversial issue!

    • “The current court did not dismiss the right to privacy, it dismissed the errant opinion that abortion was included as a federal protection.”

      And what does that do to the future of abortions? For the court to describe it as an “errant opinion” essentially mean it is wrong because it supposedly does not involve a right to privacy! So the court rewrote the 4th amendment using it’s own conservative bias.

      If a criminal court wants to prosecute a murderer should the court be able to rule out murders which involve poisonings or sophocating because they do not qualify as acceptable forms of murder? The courts decision was every bit as absurd as this hypothetical example! And unfortunately, politically engineered over decades of political scheming!! AND what is worse is that the 3 new conservative Justices lied to Congress about revering the very important precedent established in Roe VS Wade!!

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