One step closer to slavery: Without bodily autonomy Americans have now become state regulated livestock
The conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that expanded access to abortion nationwide.
This is on top of decisions deeply wounding state’s rights to make gun regulations, to hold police civilly accountable for reading suspects their Miranda rights, and even the separation of Church and State in regard to public funding of parochial schools.
Let me be very clear — this is not about consistency based on legal precedent or interpretation of the law. It is ideology — pure and simple. In the case of abortion, these four men and one woman did it because they wanted to. That is all. And they wanted to for a while now. They each lied to Congress during their confirmation hearings.
Maybe money exchanged hands. Maybe they were influenced by powerful pundits, politicians and ideologues. But their rulings were certainly not based on logic. After all, in the same week they decided states cannot regulate guns but states can regulate women’s bodies.
This is inconsistent and irrational. The right to an abortion is one of the most fundamental rights a person can have. It is central to the very idea of personal freedom and autonomy. And no argument based on the rights of the unborn can support this travesty of justice. Look at the facts.
At the beginning of pregnancy, a fetus is nothing but a cluster of cells. This cluster is alive but so is cancer. So are insects. So are bacteria. Being alive is not enough to give it rights over-and-above the person these cells are clustered inside.
Electrical impulses in these cells do not constitute a heartbeat. Nearly every cell has such electrical impulses – the brain, muscles, organs, etc. That does not make them separate organisms.
Your belief that a cluster of cells is a person is not a compelling argument for anything. There are no facts behind it. It is purely a matter of a faith. There is no way to prove either position right or wrong. It is definitional.
It is purely something you believe without any evidence. It is religion, and in a free society one person’s religion cannot compel someone of another faith or someone of no faith whatsoever.
Catholics cannot make Jews attend midnight mass before Christmas. Jews cannot make Baptists refrain from eating pork. Muslims cannot stop atheists from drawing cartoons of religious figures.
Doing so would be theocracy. So using your belief as a justification to force people who do not share it to take that cluster of cells to term is a textbook example of fascism.
It clearly violates the First Amendment establishment clause of the Constitution. It forces others to be compelled by your faith-based claims.
Moreover, it violates a person’s right to bodily autonomy. If you have a right to anything, it is to do whatever you want with your own body. After all, that is you at its most essential.
Without this right, you are the same as livestock or an enslaved person. No one should be able to force you to do anything with or to your body that you don’t want.
Obviously that right has limits – for example if you intend to use your body to hurt or kill someone else. But we have already established that a fetus – a glob of cells – cannot be assumed to be someone else.
Doing otherwise would be absurd. So someone has beliefs about what is happening inside your body. So what?
Imagine if some cult thought your kidneys have souls and must be kept inside you at all costs. Should they be able to pass a law forbidding you from removing one if it gets infected? If you want to donate it to save another person’s life?
They are your kidneys. And that fetus is your cluster of cells. You can do with it what you want.
Eventually, if you let that cluster of cells develop long enough, it may become something else. It may become viable to live on its own and what almost everyone would agree is a person. But it is not a given at all that this conglomeration of tissue is one yet.
And your insistence that your beliefs about it must compel my actions violates my rights. Moreover, this argument has been predicated on the believer in the personhood of a clump of cells acting in good faith. In point of practice, we do not even see that.
The same people in favor of repealing a person’s right to abortion may be in favor of the knot of tissue developing through birth, but they do not support doing anything to help it once it has unequivocally reached personhood.
No universal healthcare. No universal daycare. No neonatal care. No robust education funding. And no protection against gun violence. This shows that most people professing this belief in the personhood of something inside your body is pure balderdash.
It is not about that mass growing inside a woman. It is about the woman, herself – controlling her actions, making her bend to your will, making it harder for her to exercise her autonomy and benefit from her own economic power.
It is about upholding patriarchy. It is about subjugating women – especially poor women and women of color who are more likely to be impacted.
Make no mistake. This is fascism. Our Supreme Court is fascist. And whether you are likely to ever have an abortion or not is beside the point. Every woman, every man, every person is impacted.
We must fight this kangaroo court and the political power behind it. We must make them regret such blatant autocracy and totalitarianism. This is everyone’s fight. Every person. Everywhere.
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Originally published on Common Dreams as The US Supreme Court Is Now a Fascist Institution