Don’t say the w word

Even the editorial board of the Washington Post does it.

On Monday, Politico published a draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling declaring that the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to end their pregnancies.

That jolts like a badly-constructed bus hitting a pothole. It’s not “Americans” who had the right to end their pregnancies, it’s American women who did. The Washington Post is not a teenager with tattoos; it should talk like an adult.

What brought the court to its current precipice was not a fundamental shift in American values regarding abortion. It was the shameless legislative maneuvering of Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who jammed three Trump-nominated justices onto the court.

In his draft, Justice Alito points out that the court has overturned many cases in the past, including the atrocious Plessy v. Ferguson, which permitted racial segregation. But the court has never revoked a fundamental constitutional right. Overturning Plessy expanded liberty. Overturning Roe would constrict liberty — and be a repugnant repudiation of the American tradition in which freedom extends to an ever-wider circle of people.

Or, to put it another way, in which people who aren’t property-owning white men gain some of the rights those men allotted to themselves only.

For most people, Roe is a workable standard on a fraught issue; absent a clear understanding about when life begins, and with the moral implications surrounding that question far from settled, the Constitution’s guarantees of personal autonomy demand that pregnant people be able to make the difficult decision about whether to end their pregnancy according to the dictates of their own conscience.

Sigh. That “guarantees Americans” wasn’t an oversight; they’re doing it on purpose. They’re adding their bit to the fiction that this is an attack on the rights of everyone when it is in fact a massive attack on the rights of women. Women only. This isn’t done to men. However sympathetic men may be, however inconvenienced they may be, the attack is on the rights of women.

The Post has the bit in its teeth now, and goes all in.

It is Justice Alito’s proposed decision that would further divide the country, starting in nearly every statehouse. Yet the greatest casualties would not be the court as an institution or the nation’s already toxic politics. It would be pregnant individuals suddenly stripped of a right they had been guaranteed for almost half a century. Wealthy people would be able to cross state lines to end their pregnancies. (Although some states are already trying to outlaw that practice, as well.) Poor people would be forced either to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, with all the health consequences and risks that entails, or to seek illegal abortions that could endanger their lives.

Emphasis mine. Perverse choice of wording theirs.

The piece doesn’t mention women at all. Not once.

11 Responses to “Don’t say the w word”