Democracy’s dilemma: freedom of choice

Tom Camfield
Posted 6/5/19

A WOMAN SHOULD BE FREE to choose motherhood on her own terms. She should not have the course of her life determined by a cabal of aging men who are totally unqualified to experience or truly …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Democracy’s dilemma: freedom of choice


A WOMAN SHOULD BE FREE to choose motherhood on her own terms. She should not have the course of her life determined by a cabal of aging men who are totally unqualified to experience or truly understand either childbirth or abortion. Nor should she be sacrificed at the altar of the self-righteous of both sexes.

More on the illustrations above: One prominent sign in a St. Louis protest march May 30 bore the observation “Irresponsible ejaculation causes 100% of all unwanted pregnancies.” If you’d like to read a graphic extension of this contention, something old male senators aren’t likely to be talking about, see this lengthy account by a mother of six.
I delayed this blog awaiting court news from Missouri, which came on Friday (May 31), to wit: “A Missouri judge issued an order Friday ensuring the state’s only abortion clinic can continue providing the service, acting just hours before the St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility’s license was set to expire. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (prompted by Gov. Mike Parson) had not renewed the clinic’s license, citing concerns with ‘failed abortions,’ compromised patient safety and legal violations at the clinic.

“Planned Parenthood pre-emptively sued this week to prevent a potential gap in abortion coverage. St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer heard arguments Thursday. His ruling prevents Missouri from becoming the first state without an abortion clinic since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized the procedure nationwide.”—Chicago Sun-Times

Apropos here seems to be this conclusion of an op-ed article by Aaron Katz (actually writing on another topic) in the June 1 Seattle Times: “If we are to progress as a country we must have a fuller understanding of what it takes to build and defend the institutions of freedom, institutions that are more often threatened by tyrannical and oppressive forces within than enemies abroad.”

Being male, I have been reticent about broaching this subject. However, women have yet, it seems, not been totally freed from slavery—despite advances on some fronts—and won’t be as long as we have the maniacal albatross that is Donald Trump barging about unchecked in a position of power.
More men of conscience must begin standing up and flexing muscle on behalf of womanhood. We’re either with ‘em or against them. It’s not that they’re asking for our help, but that they shouldn’t have to—considering how women have supported and enabled us men for so many years.

The life we should be saving isn’t a not- yet-significantly-formed fetus; it’s a teen-age or young-adult woman.

The state of Alabama has just instituted the most restrictive anti-abortion measure passed in the United States since Roe v. Wade was decided by the U. S. Supreme Court in 1973. The legislation bans all abortions in the state except when "abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk" to the woman. No exemption is made for rape or incest. It criminalizes abortion, reclassifying the procedure as a Class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison for doctors.
The Alabama senate’s favorable vote on the statute was 25-6. All 25 of those voting “aye” were men. Other red states pushing through abortion restrictions of a draconic nature lately include Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio . . .

Abortions after six weeks will now be illegal in Georgia. In the normal scheme of things, six weeks can go by before many women know they are pregnant. The Georgia law, which would take effect in 2020, prohibits most abortions once doctors can discern a fetal heartbeat. Louisiana also passed a six-week law. Ohio’s mirrors Alabama’s except for the felony bit.

This entire major disturbance in the force that is our democracy can be traced directly to Donald Trump. He campaigned as “pro-life” and promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who would repeal Roe v. Wade. In his final debate with Hillary, he said overturning of the 46-year -old abortion-rights landmark would “happen automatically” because “I am putting pro-life justices on the court.” Which he has done in Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

So the various conservative states are pushing to fruition the upheaval in the matter of women’s rights by instituting outlandish restrictions that likely will force the subject to be taken up by the Supreme Court. The appointment of Associate Justice Kavanaugh appears to have been the tipping point.

Passing extreme anti-abortion laws and overturning Roe will leave poor women desperate and the children they bear bereft of what they need to flourish.—Rob Schenck, evangelical minister


6 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
Justin Hale

There are 30 States With Homicide Laws That Recognize Unborn Children as Victims Throughout the Period of Pre-natal Development.

I find it strange that a woman could drive to an abortion clinic, abort the child, and no problem. But if someone crashes into her on the way to the clinic and kills her unborn child, that person is charged with homicide.. we got some weird laws in this country.

Thursday, June 6, 2019
Tom Camfield

It's true that a majority of states have laws covering pre-natal homicide. However, those laws do not deal basically with abortion. They deal with fetuses killed by violent acts against pregnant women—such as shootings stabbings or beatings. Murder charges generally do not apply to acts that cause the death of an unborn child "if those acts were committed during a legal abortion to which the pregnant woman consented." Nothing in various state homicide laws makes it a crime to perform or obtain an abortion that is otherwise legal. It's that "otherwise legal" that a number of states are attempting to toss aside right now.

Under federal law, Roe v. Wade, abortion is legal. In our state a person is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree when he or she intentionally and unlawfully kills an unborn quick child by inflicting any injury upon the mother of such child. "Quick" child is a fetus far enough developed and matured to be capable of surviving the trauma of child birth with the aid of usual medical care.

Until Trump's stacked Supreme Court guts or repeals Roe v. Wade, I don't see how Alabama can legally send to prison for 99 years a doctor aborting a 6-week-old fetus.

For those states trying to skate past by excepting from abortion restrictions cases where the life of the mother is threatened, I believe a 15-year-old high school girl's life definitely is threatened by her being forced to birth a child.

Thursday, June 6, 2019
Justin Hale

As I understand it the Unborn Victims of Violence Act is based on the "right to life" model. The law gives "personhood" to the unborn, I doubt that the unborn persons care how they are killed.

Manditory (reversible) sterilization upon birth, all financed by the feds / US.

My wife, who is a nurse at a regional Childrens Hospital, says 25 weeks is the term of reasonible viability, and then they are called "Million Dollars Babies".

"I believe a 15-year-old high school girl's life definitely is threatened by her being forced to birth a child."....Probably more of a psychological threat than a physiological threat, that's what's called Karma.

Thursday, June 6, 2019
Marge Samuelson

A Woman's (Woman's) right to choose. I am old enough to know what happened to women before Roe vs Wade. This is a woman's issue. If you want an opinion ask a woman whose been through it. Most would say, it's a personal decision, between herself and her doctor. As all legal medical procedures should be.

Friday, June 7, 2019

A pregnant woman is definitely a person. The basic disagreement obviously is when a fetus actually becomes a conscious, sentient being—with individual rights superior to those of the woman. I'm fully appreciative of the close attention and regulation of late-term abortions, and 25 weeks may well be a proper border line for viability that should be generally honored—but not decreed out of hand. It should boil down to a doctor's judgment, case by case. I certainly have more respect for the medical profession than for a great many of today's politicians. I'll also readily go along with a doctor's opinion rather than that of a minister of any particular religion.

The thought of back-alley, knitting needle abortions makes my skin crawl, but that's the direction in which we appear to be digressing.

These various "pro-life'' states recently are really pushing the envelope with a religious self-righteousness that has no place in government. We are not a theocracy. Theirs is an addition that has hit rock bottom.

When the abortion issue hits our Supreme Court and Donald's litle toady Brett Kavanaugh as a swing vote joins the likes of Clarence Thomas et al, we'll see women's Freedom of Choice twisted and stomped upon in the same manner in which the Supremes ruled that money is free speech in removing restraint from the proponents of a plutocracy—equating corporations with individual citizens, rather than maintaining a one-man, one-vote equality. A judicial entity that also a few years ago gutted the 1965 Civil Rights Act to allow individual states to change voting laws—something that works well in concert with gerrymandering.

America is continuing to be destroyed from within.

Friday, June 7, 2019
Tom Camfield

Spell-check strikes again! When (above) I referred to an ADDICTION that has hit rock bottom, it came out "addition." Self-righteous extremists are like maddened alcoholics breaking down the front wall of a locked liquor store.

Friday, June 7, 2019