Empower the pregnant people

Mississippi’s Attorney General Lynn Fitch pretends to think that overturning Roe v Wade will “empower” women.

In the opening brief she submitted in July, Fitch asked the Supreme Court to use Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn Roe v. Wade. She argued that abortion prevents women from reaching their full potential. When Roe was decided in 1973, she wrote, the justices maintained that an unwanted pregnancy would doom women to “a distressful life and future.” But nearly 50 years later, Fitch claims “sweeping policy advances” now allow women to fully pursue motherhood and a career, stamping out the need for abortion.

One, like hell they do, but even if they did, it doesn’t follow that there is no reason left to end a pregnancy. Some women just don’t want to, and it’s not a kind of thing anyone else should force them to do.

With this Supreme Court case, Fitch said in a television interview, God has presented women with an opportunity. “You have the option in life to really achieve your dreams and goals,” she said, addressing the women of America. “And you can have those beautiful children as well.”

But what if you just don’t want those beautiful children as well?

One of the economists who countered Fitch’s argument in the amicus brief points out that most U.S. mothers don’t have access to that kind of child care. “People from privilege experience a social safety net they imagine everyone else experiences,” said Kelly Jones, a professor of economics at American University who focuses on gender equality and welfare. When high-income people get pregnant unexpectedly, they can turn to family members or other members of their community, she said — or they can fly out of state to get an abortion. But many pregnant people have no one to fall back on and no money to pay for child care.

Oops. There are the pregnant people again – twice. If it were people who got pregnant we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

To Jennifer Riley Collins, the Democrat who ran against Fitch in the 2019 attorney general race, Fitch’s argument is “absurd.”

“You want to empower women?” Collins said. “Put in place systems that support women. You don’t take away from women that which is their freedom.”

The freedom to decide whether or not to house a human being inside your body is a pretty basic freedom.

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