Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, Three Months Later

I’ll admit it – I’m furious that a bunch of Scalia-wannabes on the Supreme Court have overturned Roe. I say this because, while I agreed with almost none of Antonin Scalia’s opinions, I admired his brilliance, his rigor, and his consistency.  With Nino, you knew what you were getting, which was a scathing pen backed up by solid jurisprudence, unshakeable reason, and a judicious sprinkling of such words as “jiggery pokery” that made it impossible to despise him, even if you hated the impact of his rulings.

Scalia’s opinions made crystal clear what he believed, and while those beliefs were undoubtedly informed by his devout Catholicism, they were equally influenced by his judicial philosophy of originalism, which owed no debt to any religion.  Scalia approached every legal matter that came before the Court with the same approach, whether it dealt with hot-button issues such as abortion, or yawn-inducing matters of interstate commerce or patent disputes:  What methods, documents, or or considerations would the founding fathers have taken into account had they been asked to resolve the same legal dispute?

What we have on the Court today, of course, is three women (Sotomayor, Kagan, and Brown Jackson) who have a more modern view of Constitutional law, and six neo-conservatives – five of them Catholic, five of them men.  Of those six, two (Gorsuch and Kavanaugh) represented under oath that they would not disturb the Court’s 1973 holding in Roe v. Wade (and then did exactly that).  Of those six, two (Thomas and Kavanaugh) have been credibly accused of sexual assault.  Of those six, one (Thomas) is married to a conservative activist who runs a consulting firm that frequently works with GOP leadership, far right evangelical pro-life groups, and lobbyists on issues that are often before the Supreme Court; and one (Samuel Alito), may just be the Angriest White Man in America (read his opinions if you want to understand how hard it is to be a guy like him).

So, yeah, the Supreme Court is pretty much a joke if the idea was that it was supposed to be a politics-free, non-biased forum.  And anyone who was breathing when Mitch McConnell engaged in contortions worthy of the Royal Chinese Circus to justify holding hearings on Amy Coney Barrett weeks before the 2020 election after having denied Merrick Garland the same courtesies nine months before the 2016 election (not the same thing at all!) could have figured out what was going to happen when the court took up Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization during the 2021 – 2022 term. Some of us hoped that John Roberts could somehow pull off another ACA Hail Mary, but he alone wasn’t going to be able to stop the inevitable juggernaut of four pro-lifers and a Libertarian (Gorsuch) who – finally – had the ability to do what they and others like them had been dreaming of for 50 years.

So they did it.  But before they did it – when there were signs that Kavanaugh (who may be the judicial equivalent of a golden retriever, from what we’re now hearing) seemed inclined to consider changing his vote (because Roberts scratched him behind the ear, told him he was a “good boy, yes you are!” and gave him a cookie) well, the theory goes – Alito went ballistic:  Not only did his dream of a Handmaid’s Tale America seem to be slipping through his fingers, how was he going to go down in history as the guy who wrote the opinion overturning Roe if Roe didn’t actually get overturned?

Which is when the draft opinion got leaked.


See, once the draft opinion was out there, it was going to be SO DAMN HARD to put THAT cork back in the bottle – like, you just weren’t going to be able to do it. 

I mean, what was Kavanaugh going to say if all of a sudden, the opinion got released in June, and everyone was like, “oh, hey, we know there was a draft where Roe was overturned, but then KAVANAUGH changed his mind. Must be all the BEER. You know who else drinks beer? SATAN!”

How do you think THAT would have gone over? You think it’s hard going to Morton’s and having to leave through the back door? At least there are five other justices that are also getting grief!

Imagine you were the swing vote SAVING Roe when everyone (except Susan Collins, that Moron from Maine) thought you were were on the Back Alley Abortion Bandwagon?

So Kavanaugh rebuffed a very weary Chief Justice Roberts who at this minute is turning the car around and driving RIGHT F***ING HOME  RIGHT F***ING NOW because these goddamned kids are driving him crazy!

Yeah, so that’s what happened.  And now, there’s no longer a right to abortion under the Constitution, which is sort of like when they said Pluto used to be a planet, but now it’s not, or when people only used to have to pay their OWN taxes, but now we pay Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates and all the other billionaires’ taxes, too. Like, what the fuck is that about?

And so in states where it’s okay to get married at 14 and also, marry your first cousin, or your uncle, you can’t get an abortion under any circumstances, no way, no how, no backsies, and don’t you go showing us any books or science about abortion or anything else because that’s YOU’RE opinion and I’m not buying it, lessin’ I get run over by a Ford Ram Tundra 250 Pickup while I’m walking home from Ugly Tommy’s International Harvester Tavern swigging a six of PBR and my arms get torn off me and my blood and arm guts is squeezing out of me like jelly all over the highway, then I’m gonna want a doctor. And a lawyer, too. To sue the sumbitch what hit me.

Even though some judges (state and federal) are doing their darndest to prohibit these bans, they can’t hold their fingers in the dike forever, and in a matter of months, perhaps, abortion is going to be a privilege – mostly for rich white people (including republican congressman and pastors and Christian businessmen and their mistresses), and women and girls who get raped (something rich white women and men SWEAR does not happen, because you can’t get pregnant if you’re only 10, and SWEAR will fall within exceptions that DO NOT EXIST under many state bans such as South Dakota’s) will just have to learn to BE MORE CAREFUL AND NOT GET RAPED. 

(Also, you women who have pregnancies that pose a risk to your health are gonna have to learn to NOT HAVE PREGNANCIES THAT POSE A RISK TO YOUR HEALTH.  SILLY WOMEN).

(Also, you women who have pregnancies that turn out to be non-viable should be MORE CAREFUL to ONLY HAVE VIABLE PREGNANCIES.  WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?)

(And you women who are just not ready to be a mother? Well, YOU should HAVE THE BABY and spend nine months having to explain that it was a mistake and you are not ready because there are other things you want to do with your life, like getting an education and making sure you can support yourself financially, and that you are not mentally prepared to parent and care for another person for 18 years, and also, you should also have to endure the comments that come with this, like, you are so SELFISH for not keeping your baby, which may actually come from people who say they love you – NICE!- and then also you should go through labor – ALSO NICE! – and then give that baby to another person to raise, all the while knowing you will wonder about that baby for the rest of your life, and maybe that baby will come looking for you even though you don’t want it to, or maybe it won’t, even though you do, and that just sounds like an all around GREAT THING FOR EVERYONE and who knows better how you should live your life than 6 people you’ve never met, 2 of whom like to sexually harass and/or assault women, one of whom likes to pull the wings off bugs, and one who once lived in a cave for 3 years and ate nothing but beetles?)(That last part is a lie).

So.  This was an essay about how I am not so worried about Dobbs.

Here is why:

Things are gonna suck, badly, for a while.  Prepare yourself for it. Be scrupulous about birth control. Consider being a lesbian. So much less mess, probably a lot more foreplay. I hear sex toys are also good fun.

Joe Biden has signed an executive order.  No one understands what it says, and it’s not really going to make a difference, and we think it may only apply to women with an “I” in their name, so that’s not going to be much help.

So, if you want to change things, you’re going to have to do it yourself, and by “yourself,” I mean those of you who haven’t hit menopause.  Those of us who have, care deeply, but we are also tired, our backs hurt, and we’ve sort of done our thing. It’s your turn. 

This is gonna have to be your thing. You’re gonna have to do this.  We did a lot of the “don’t give us that shit” in the workplace, culminating in the #metoo movement. Not all of us sued someone (but a lot of us said something, and did something, grabbed a lot of testicles and twisted – figuratively speaking, of course). We got called honey and sweetie and got passed over for promotions and got put on the “Mommy Track” and had men say disgusting things to and in front of us, and we were expected to swallow hard a “act like one of the boys” if we wanted to get by.

Some of us did (fuck you very much, Judy and Dolores) and some of us didn’t. Some of us had to educate the f***ing idiots in HR, and things still aren’t perfect in the workplace, but they are a shit-ton better. Ask Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer. It took a lot out of us.  We aren’t sure we have it in us to yank Sam Alito off a barstool and kick the shit out of him – figuratively speaking, of course.  But you guys can do it.

Here’s the good news:

1.  More men than ever are getting vasectomies.  Let them.  Encourage them.  They’re reversible. 

2.  By 2050, the majority of America’s population will be Latino.

3.  The percentage of women graduating from college already exceeds that of men, and it has for years.  Soon enough, the same will be true of business school, med school, and law school.

4.  More women than ever are running for local, state and federal government.  The percentage of women in government is still low, but it’s increasing. 

Bottom line.  A lot of white men are fat and lazy and unemployed and hooked on opiates and Donald Trump, who’s going to be dead soon.  These guys are also gonna die, and as they slip off their mortal coils, a new generation is going to emerge, and the power base is going to shift from old white men to POC, women, and people in the LGBTQ community.  Congress, and SCOTUS will follow.

This is going to take time.  It will take less time if young people put down their goddamned avocado toast and video games and get involved. 

By “involved,” I mean, take 1 person with you to vote.  ONE PERSON.  You don’t have to sign up for a committee or run for office, although you might be a really great candidate.

You don’t have to ring doorbells or call people on the phone, although you might find you like doing it, and you will most definitely meet new friends (and learn something in the meantime).

You don’t have to contribute a lot money (because you probably don’t have any, what with the cost of avocado toast and such), but you could probably scrape together $5 for the candidate of your choice (check out their website – they’ll take anything you’ve got!)

And you don’t need to know a whole lot about ANY of the candidates – go on their websites and learn.  Here’s a tip, however:

Since this is a post about abortion, if you want to support people who are pro-choice, most Republicans AREN’T.

So, to sum up:

Supreme Court:  Full of ANGRY and/or clueless men and 4 really smart, thoughtful women (we’re hoping the one wakes up soon – like, REALLY soon).

Abortion Access in America:  Worse than any other developed nation, an embarrassment, the subject of EU sanctions, worse than it was 200 years ago, determined by men, opinion of majority of citizens not taken into account.

What You Can Do to Help:  Vote, march, protest, send letters to SCOTUS and tell the Justices they have become a partisan religious body and thus has violated the First Amendment.

Outlook for the Future:  Sunny.

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