Abortion Choice: Good People On Both Sides? You Decide!!

By Donald A. Collins | 7 August 2022
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

Reading Peggy Noonan’s August 6th Wall Street Journal 0p Ed “What Pro-Lifers Should Learn From Kansas” I was reminded of Donald Trump’s statement after the right wingers attacked Charlottesville. Recall he said, “There were good people (pause) on both sides”.

In her column Noonan said “We live in a democracy. The pro-life side rightly asked for a democratic solution to a gnawing national problem”.

Read her column here.

In our fragile and deeply troubled democracy, polls consistently show roughly 70 percent of us favor much more choice than has so far surfaced in proposed abortion laws in red states.

The limit of abortions up to 22 weeks or quickening—when the babies could survive outside the mother’s womb—worked under Roe/Casey not perfectly, but well enough—for almost 50 years between January 23, 1973 until June 24, 2022.

Then by a 6 to 3 vote Roe was killed, going strongly against the long-standing rule of precedence known legally as Stare decisis.

This 6/24th did of course not end abortions, just made it dangerous and difficult for poor, frequently minorities to obtain in a growing number of states.

The story of a raped 10 year old who had to go out of state to get an abortion you can read here.

That it is better to have governments decide women’s and their MDs personal and private decisions has nothing to do with the proper functioning of democracy!

The history of how the extreme right-wing majority of Catholic Supreme Court Justices came about is well known. It happened by anti-democratic process engineered by the then Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, refused to allow President Obama’s candidate, Judge Merrick Garland, to be vetted by the Senate because McConnell claimed it was too close to the end of Obama’s Presidency.

That paved the way for President Trump’s ability to nominate and ram through late in his term 3 staunchly prolife Catholic Justices who decided on 6/24 that fetal tissue deserved precedence over women’s lives.

That each of Trump’s nominees lied about their belief in Stare decisis is only a small corollary to the main point of reminding Noonan and her religious zealots about how undemocratically we got to that 6 to 3 margin.

America was not founded as a Christian nation, but rather by men who held a range of religious beliefs. For example, Thomas Jefferson, the author of our Declaration of Independence, was a deist as was the most influential of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. Many were Protestants.

Deist definition.

Clearly the phase “In God we trust” did not mean to point our secular governance to favor anyone’s personal religious beliefs.

But that is exactly what happened on June 24th when the religious fantasies of a particular segment of Catholic believers exercised their corruptly engineered appointments to our highest court to attack and to take away for the first time in our 244-year history a Constitutional right, one given to half our citizens.

President Biden, a practicing Catholic, immediately issued a statement favoring choice after the 6/24 decision, thus underlining the fact that religious extremism is not democratic or an acceptable decision against those women many least able to obtain safe medical services.

The first political reaction to this anti-democratic decision came in the recent lopsided vote in Kansas to maintain its present abortion law, which unfortunately is not as women friendly as Roe, but better than the result the Catholic Church hierarchy in Kansas spent big bucks to obtain!

Read about the RCC efforts in Kansas here.

All of us who worry about the imposition of religious restrictions on our lives should share this woman Catholic’s concern from the above story:

It remains to be seen which side raised or spent more money, although opponents of the amendment also enjoyed major donations from liberal groups such as NARAL Pro-Choice America and the American Civil Liberties Union. But these mostly secular groups didn’t shy away from faith: In one advertisement broadcast to Kansans, a woman spoke about her opposition to the amendment from the perspective of a cradle Catholic.

“Growing up Catholic, we didn’t talk about abortion,” the woman says. “But now it’s on the ballot, and we can no longer ignore it.”

So back to Noonan’s lengthy arguments in her Op Ed seemingly arguing for justifying a religious basis into a secular public health issue. Recalling Trump’s comment, “There are good people (pause) on both sides”. Not in the matter of religious extremism!

No way, as Noonan implies, does the RCC’s choice of their god over any god reflect the proper functioning of our democracy, so disastrously attacked in many other ways in his Presidency by Donald Trump.

On Trump’s indictment for his capital crime of trying to stop the democratic transfer of power after Biden won the 2020 election rests the entire case for whether we are a nation of laws or just a corrupt political system pretending in words but not actions to make justice come true.

Are there people loyal to our democracy on both sides of the choice issue? That could be decided by people of all political and religious beliefs this November!

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote” and “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”.

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