Women's rights | Tom Camfield

Tom Camfield
Posted 8/10/22

I’M ABOUT A WEEK BEHIND here and am skipping over piled-up notes on various topics to get in a few licks for women’s freedom, which is taking a beating these days.

Too bad the U.S. …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Women's rights | Tom Camfield


I’M ABOUT A WEEK BEHIND here and am skipping over piled-up notes on various topics to get in a few licks for women’s freedom, which is taking a beating these days.

Too bad the U.S. Supreme Court put together by Donald Trump — and with which we are stuck through the foreseeable future — couldn’t have found a way to strike a blow against global warming. Instead, with a conservative majority now firmly ensconced in judicial robes, it hastened to strike instead at the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion, which had stood as the law of the land since 1973.

It occurred to me the other day that it was only about 10 years before I was born that Congress ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote in 1919.

So things had been moving steadily forward since the “barefoot and pregnant” days of yore, the right to vote a bit over 100 years ago, the right to a reasonable abortion about 50 years ago. But then along came Trump, McConnell and their cohorts.

Now with the country-wide right to abortion no longer in effect, a number of state Republican governments have eagerly jumped in to force their bass-ackward way of life onto the multitude — basically women, who are downgraded again to the role of mere livestock.

This so-called “pro-life” crowd in many cases appears to be totally unconcerned with the lives of both willing and unwilling mothers — rape, incest and a wide range of physical irregularities that could result in actual death. And where the states moved along in a slow but “united” way for quite some time on the matter of birth and female freedoms in general, it’s all now back, willy-nilly, to every state for itself.

There are spots of good news, however. The latest word includes “Republican candidates, facing a stark reality check from Kansas voters, are softening their once-uncompromising stands against abortion as they move toward the general election, recognizing that strict bans are unpopular and that the issue may be a major driver in the fall campaigns.”

The news columns last week noted: “Tuesday night's lopsided result in the Kansas abortion referendum — which saw the anti-abortion measure defeated some 59-41 in a traditionally red state — has Democrats and Republicans wondering if the post-Roe fight over the social issue marks a sea change in the midterm landscape or a less dramatic shift in an environment that still favors the GOP.

“The proposed amendment, which gave voters a direct choice over whether or not to strip the state constitution's abortion protections, marked the first tangible answer to the question of how June's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade will influence the electorate.” So I guess we’ll see how grim it all turns out in the coming mid-term election. Will Democracy regain its senses?

Meanwhile, The U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the state of Idaho — the first such lawsuit the federal government has filed against a state in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade — is based on important matters of life and death, and raises legitimate questions about how Idaho’s abortion ban would be implemented. In essence, the DOJ lawsuit contends that Idaho’s trigger law is a violation of the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act because it “preemptively criminalizes all abortions . . . even where a denial of care will likely result in the death of the patient,” U.S. Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said during a news conference last week.

The medical community for the past several weeks has been raising these alarms over Idaho’s abortion ban.

Without the protection of Roe v. Wade, 12 states already have banned or severely restricted abortion, with 14 others likely to impose bans.