Are women’s wombs owned by the state? – South Side Pride

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BY LYDIA HOWELL

Imagine a woman or girl under the age of 18 you know: a partner, a sister, a daughter, a niece, a friend. Then imagine a grainy video of an egg being traversed by a sperm: the moment of fertilization. That fertilized egg is rising above already born women and gender non-conforming people, who are disappeared by politicians and judges who practice medicine, ignorant of the basic facts about reproduction.
Self-described pro-life Republicans are indifferent to the fact that the United States has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates among Western nations. Their professed family values ​​are a farce revealed by their consistent votes against what families and children need. Most Republicans recently voted against addressing the baby formula shortage created by corporate monopolies.
The leaked draft of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade makes reproductive decisions a matter of “states’ rights.” Half of the states are prepared to ban abortion as soon as Roe falls. Republicans are threatening a national ban if they regain control of Congress and the Senate.
Decades of campaigning against the election with scare tactics and outright lies distorted this debate. No state allowed abortion on demand until moments before birth, but Alito repeats that false claim.
Anti-abortion billboards show cute babies. Protesters shout “save the babies!” However, 92% of miscarriages occur in the first three months of pregnancy when the fetus is 2 ½ inches long and weighs a half ounce, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The Guttmacher Institute, which researches sexual and reproductive health, reports that by age 45, 30% of women have had an abortion and 60% of women were already mothers when they terminated a pregnancy. In Minnesota, 283,400 women live in “birth control deserts,” disproportionately affecting Black, Latina, Native American, undocumented immigrant, and low-income women by making the most reliable contraceptives unavailable. Birth control can also fail.
Life-threatening emergencies or fetal anomalies incompatible with survival account for 8% of abortions performed after 12 weeks.
Self-induced abortion and spontaneous abortion can look identical. Louisiana and Oklahoma bans make abortion murder. Investigating miscarriages as crimes will lead to massive civil rights abuses.
Alito’s opinion exposes the “originalist” interpretations of the right-wing Federalist Society Constitution that now dominate the Supreme Court. He freezes the law in 1789, the year our Constitution was born, when only 8% of white men could vote, women were defined as the property of their husbands, and people of color were seen as subhuman. Time and time again, Alito cites “history and tradition” as reason enough to ban abortion. He goes back long before the founding of our nation, citing a 17th-century British jurist, Sir Matthew Hale, an extreme misogynist even for his time, as well as the colonial period in 1602 and even the 13th century. it would have been during the time of catholic church law.
Alito argues that abortion is not mentioned in the Constitution, so it cannot be a protected right, contradicting the Ninth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, which states: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed as deny or belittle others held by the people.”
All Americans should be chilled by Alito’s uncompromising and repeated assertions that our Constitution does not protect the right to privacy.
It is an Orwellian irony that many who shout loudest about “state tyranny” and “government overreach” when it comes to public health protections from COVID-19, support the use of laws that violate bodily autonomy to control women’s reproductive decisions. Privacy was central to reproductive rights, as well as legalizing contraception for married couples in 1965 and for single people in 1973. Privacy rights ended the criminalization of LGBT sex lives and legalized same-sex marriage sex.
Those judicial decisions recognized freedom and human dignity, which means that the government cannot meddle in intimate areas of our lives.
Like the mantras of Donald Trump’s right-wing Supreme Court nominees “I respect precedent” and “Roe is established law,” Alito saying “Only abortion will be affected by this decision” is a worthless promise. nor the paper it is written on.
When contraceptives were a crime, sterilization abuse was legal and targeted women of color and the poor. With the spread of the Replacement Theory of white supremacy that sparked the Buffalo massacre, will forced sterilization make a comeback? The Comstock Act of 1873 declared birth control information and devices to be criminal “obscenities” for 90 years. Anti-abortion activists and politicians falsely claim that the most effective contraceptives are “abortion-related,” promising to ban them next.
How much of the last 70 years of human rights expansion will the originalist Supreme Court reverse?
Since 1995, the Minnesota state constitution has protected reproductive rights. But people should remember that Trump lost Minnesota by just 1.5 points. Democracy is on the ballot and so are our rights.
Resources: Minneapolis journalist Robin Marty’s “Handbook for a Post-Roe America” ​​is crucial to activism and self-determination, including making emergency contraception (Plan B or morning-after pills) and medical abortion safe and available online.
See also: UnRestrictMinnesota.org; ProChoiceResource.org; and the Minnesota Religious Council for Reproductive Choice at www.mnrcrc.org.
Lydia Howell is a journalist from Minneapolis.

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