I've stolen Scott Lemieux's entire post over at Lawyers, Guns and Money because he has the most teeth-grindingly awful quotes in links that make you wonder what century we've wandered into. Have we warped back in time and not noticed?:
Jill Filipovic points us to this Times article about the new strategy to justify using state coercion to force women to carry pregnancies to term by claiming that women are too irrational to know what's good for them, and offers a modest proposal. I would also urge you to read Reva Siegel and Sarah Blustain (see also here.) Quite simply, these justifications are premised on 19th-century conceptions of women as not being rational agents. And such justifications evidently underpin a great deal of anti-choice discourse and policy (most obviously seen in the fact that the official Republican position is that abortion is murder but women who obtain them should be entirely exempt from legal sanctions.) At least Kennedy was decent enough to give away the show, admitting that these assertions are backed by "no reliable data," leaving us with meaningless claims that some women may regret their decision to obtain abortions in retrospect. (If some women regret getting married, can we ban that too? How about anecdotal evidence about women who become depressed after becoming mothers, does this justify state-mandated abortions?) These arguments aren't about women's health; they're about assumptions that women are incapable of making moral judgments, period. That this view is not only part of our national discoruse but has been endorsed by five Supreme Court justices at this late date is dismaying.Digby:
...Bean connects the dots. See also Shakes, Jill2 and what Digby said.
The "great moral issue" of when life begins is fascinating I'm sure. Much more fascinating than whether the state can compel people to bear children against their will. But I guess that's an argument for another day. Today, we are talking about the meaning of "life" and that has no bearing on the vessel that contributes its DNA and lifeblood, incubates it for nine months inside itself and potentially bears its siblings. Certainly that vessel's personhood and agency is irrelevant to the much greater issue of blastocyst rights. Why even bring it up?Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast:
The idea of a male Supreme Court Justice, or for that matter, a woman who had an abortion and wishes she hadn't, thinking he or she has the right to dictate what any other woman does is repugnant. There is no credible scientific research indicating widespread mental illness resulting from abortion, and that this bogus notion has crept into government is a crime. And to hide behind a paternalistic "We're just trying to save your from your evil, unchaste self" notion of "We know what's best for you" is insulting.I'd post more but I've got to go get some guidance from my husband. He's the one without the womb so obviously so much more capable of thinking and stuff.
In this life we're all going to do things we regret. As the years went by and I hadn't changed my mind about not having children, people would ask me, "Well, what are you going to do if you regret your decision later on?" And I would say, "Live with it." Because we make decisions every day. Some of them are intelligent decisions and some are stupid. But we all, male and female, have to live with the consequences of what we do. We do what seems right at the time, and if we have regrets later on, well, such is life. Abortion is no different.