ME has spent most of his retirement from service to the United States studying, thinking, and writing about the country he served.
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The Conservative Supreme Court's Assault on America
I was recently banned from the hubpage forums for awhile because I took exception to a post that grievously insulted the Capitol and Metropolitan Police as they were attacked on Jan 6, 2021. I let him know what I thought of his lack of patriotism. That attack occurred almost twenty years after the third greatest attack on America in our modern history - 9/11. The greatest attack, of course, the attack on Democracy itself in the months leading up to Jan 6, and the year plus afterward.
The second greatest attack is the topic of this article - the loss of the Right to Privacy at the federal level brought on by recent decisions from the Conservatives on the United States Supreme Court. This action by the Supreme Court, which rivals Dred Scott and similar decisions, has enormous ramifications far beyond telling women that they are, at least in federal eyes, not complete American citizens with the same rights as men.
Among other things, this article is a call to vote (as opposed to Trump's call to arms for Jan 6). Why? Because there is nothing more at stake in this upcoming November 2022 election than conservatives solidifying the loss of your freedoms that this activist Court has wrought on our Nation. If YOU don't VOTE to protect yourself, then what happens next will be on you.
So, what did the Court do that was so bad? Many things, really. but I will stick with the worst decision, the one with the that can cause the most damage to civil liberties - overturning Roe v Wade.
Roe, for short, was the 1973 landmark ruling which said that because women have a right to privacy, they have a right to control their own bodies as it relates to pregnancies. It ruled that the rights of the woman supercede any rights a fetus may have - up to the point where that fetus can live outside her body. Only at that point does the woman's rights become secondary to the viable baby. Until then, they were primary.
When the Conservative Court overturned Roe, it claimed they could find nowhere in the Constitution where it specifically gives citizens a Right to Privacy. As such, it is up to the States to determine if its citizens have such a right. And the Conservative states are resoundingly saying no!
As we will see, this ruling not only allows states to take away an American woman's control over her own body, it also allows restricting any Right that is based on a federal guarantee of Right to Privacy. And that is a very long list indeed.
Consequences - Right to Choose
This is a living article. In other words, it is going to grow as more atrocities come to light that are a result of the denial of an American Citizens' Right to Privacy. What you are about to read are not theoretical - they are happening (or have happened) as I write. More will occur in the future until Congress is sufficiently Democratic to right this terrible wrong.
Banning a Woman's Right to Control Her Own Body
Most, if not all, Conservative States have banned a woman's right to chose in some form or another. In some cases, it is after 15 weeks of gestation; in others, after a heartbeat is detected; and still others, when a zygote is created.
In many states it makes no difference if the pregnancy was the result of inc**t or r**e. In Texas, you will read about the mother that had to be almost dead before they will allow a doctor to terminate the pregnancy that was killing her. In Ohio, you will read about a 10-year old r*pe victim who had to go to Indiana to terminate her pregnancy because she was six days passed their deadline.
Indiana doesn't get off the hook now either because they are thinking about prosecuting the doctor who performed the procedure for not filing her paperwork properly (even though she did). They are also quickly moving to where the little girl would have had to find another state were she could terminate her pregnancy and the doctor prosecuted for probably saving her life.1
As we will see, there are going to be what I hope are unintended consequences from the demise of this 50 year old precedent.
1 In follow-up interviews with several conservative politicians and religious leaders, they said they would have made the little girl carry her fetus to term - which is just sick in my opinion.
Mothers Who Almost Died
I'll start with this horrific anecdote. In Texas recently, a woman had an ectopic pregnancy. That means the fetus was growing outside the womb. It is always fatal to the fetus and potentially fatal to the mother, if left untreated. Well, in Central Texas, a hospital instructed its doctor not to provide the standard treatment to a woman who had and ectopic pregnancy until it ruptured! Doing so, put the mother's life in grave danger. There is nothing in Texas law that prohibits termination of the pregnancy in this case, but its terms are so unclear, doctors and hospitals have no idea if they will be sued by some stranger, fined, or put in jail.
Likewise, another mother in Southern Texas had begun to miscarry. As a result, she developed a serious womb infection. The normal course of treatment is to remove the fetus that is now killing her. Under Texas law, however, because the fetus still had a detectable heartbeat, it would be illegal to terminate the pregnancy even though it was terminating on its own, just not fast enough. The doctors were required to watch the woman get sicker and sicker until the heartbeat stopped the next day. Because of the 24-hour wait, in order to save her life, they had to perform a surgery, replace multiple liters of blood, and had to be intubated!! Effectively, the Texas legislature and governor almost murdered this woman.
She was Not Alone in Texas
A recent study published in July in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, there were 28 women, all less than 23 weeks pregnant, who had dangerous pregnancies. They were so dangerous to the mother's life that the recommended medical procedure was to terminate the pregnancies. But, under Texas law, because a fetal heartbeat could still be detected, the procedure had to be put off for an agonizing nine days!
Of those, nearly 17 women almost died. This is nearly double the number of complications experienced by patients in other states who had immediate therapeutic procedures. There were eight fetus' who survived and were born. Of those eight, seven died within hours. The eighth, born at 24 weeks, had severe complications including brain bleeding, a heart defect, lung disease and intestinal and liver problems. It probably won't survive long either and live a very miserable and painful life while it waits to die.
A Cautionary Tale
This happened in Illinois where terminating pregnancies is still legal. But, imagine what might have happened to Sheena Gray. She had an embryo in a fallopian tube and an eight-week fetus in her womb. Left on its own, this situation would have killed Sheena. The correct course of action, to preserve her life, was to remove the fallopian tube as well as terminate the pregnancy. In states like Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Ohio, and many other medieval states, the procedure would not have been possible, at least without a significant, life-threatening delay.
Also, after extraordinary surgery that would have been required from a delay, chances are high Sheena would not be able to conceive again. Because she was lucky enough to live in a state that protects women, she was able to have identical twin girls sometime later.
Sheena said "No one should make these choices for a woman, period,” - yet white, evangelical, old men do all over the country.
There will be many more of these nightmares to report as conservatives strengthen their stranglehold on American liberty.
The Conservative Court, meaning Justices Thomas, Alito, Barrett, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch are forcing women to make unimaginable decisions to protect themselves from Republicans. The worst is sterilization.
Julie Ann Nitsch is a sexual assault survivor living in Austin, Texas. She has taken an unbelievable step for a woman in order to protect herself from the laws that encroach on her liberty in that backward moving state.
Nitsch saw the writing on the wall last your when Texas Republicans past their Medieval laws against terminating a pregnancy. She predicted that the conservatives on the Supreme Court will take away her right to privacy and took an unimaginable step to protect herself. She got herself sterilized to ensure that if she was attacked again, she wouldn't get pregnant. Nitsch says that at age 36 “I ripped my organs out” to avoid ... " getting pregnant from r*pe! She then states that “It’s sad to think that I can’t have kids, but it’s better than being forced to have children.”
Read a CNN article on this terrible situation here.
Fearing that long-acting birth control or contraceptives may be next on the list to force women to have babies, OB-GYN doctors all over the Red states have heard from hundreds of patients seeking sterilization since the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision.
Clinics have set up group counseling session to handle the surge. One clinic found that every one of the 20 patients who showed up to hear about the risks and ramifications of fallopian tube-removal made an appointment to have the surgery.
There is push back from some doctors who do not want to help young women with many reproductive years left, fearing they will change their minds later. But other doctors said the choice should be left up to the woman.
Are They Going After Your Medicines Next?
Guess what? Some medicines have a side-effect causing miscarriages. Under proposed laws, they might not be able to be prescribed for what ails you. Take the case of Becky Schwarz, of Tysons Corner, Virginia. Why? Because she has Lupus.
Now, Virginia hasn't passed restrictive anti-right to privacy laws yet, but uber-conservative governor Youngkin has said he wants to tell women what to do with their own body. So what is the problem? Well, for those who don't know, lupus is an autoimmune disease and has nothing to do with being pregnant. Yet the Roe decision impacted her life in a terrible way.
One of the medications she takes to relieve her symptoms is called methotrexate (my wife takes this as well) which has the unfortunate, for Schwarz, side-effect of inducing a miscarriage. Because it might be misused to end a pregnancy, her doctor wouldn't prescribe it anymore in light of the Supreme Court decision.
found herself unexpectedly thrust into the abortion controversy even though she has no plans to become pregnant. Schwarz says “For me to have to be essentially babysat by some policy, rather than being trusted about how I handle my own body ... has made me angry,”
The Arthritis Foundation and American College of Rheumatology have both issued statements of concern about patients’ access to the drug and have established a helpline.
Doctors Now Live in Fear!
Another spawn from the Alito-Thomas assault on women is that doctors in ALL states must live in fear of being sued or prosecuted. For example, Indiana AG Todd Rokita told the doctor who saved the 10-year old r*pe victim from Ohio, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, that she is now under investigation. They aren't sure for what, however. You can read about it HERE.
Another story straight out of the Texas version of Marque de Sade is where a woman had to carry a dead fetus around in her womb for two weeks. This is because the same procedure used to resolve a miscarriage is also used in terminating a pregnancy. Marlena Stell found, via an ultrasound, that her fetus had died and there was no heartbeat. The doctors were so afraid of the conservative laws that they told her to get another ultrasound, something mentally devastating to her, to verify there was no "heartbeat". Watch the report on this horror HERE. Social Conservatives are a very cruel people.
On the Positive Side
Kansas - Aug 5, 2022
Voters across party lines told the Kansas social conservative Republican legislature what they thought of their move to restrict a woman's right to choose - they didn't like it!! The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the Kansas constitution guarantees a woman's right to privacy and therefore the right to terminate her own pregnancy. The Republican legislature hated that ruling and moved to do an end run around it. They crafted a resolution to amend the constitution to allow them to ban all ab**tions. They further tilted the playing field by holding the vote on primary day rather than the general election when more fair-minded voters would turn out.
Boy, were they surprised when a nearly 60% majority told them to go stuff it! There was a huge turnout of Democratic and independent voters that gave voice to their displeasure. There were also a large number of Republicans, presumably women, who voted to stop the legislature in its tracks. This really should have come as no surprise to anyone given the results reflect a multitude of polls over the last several decades telling anyone who would listen that a women's body and her decisions regarding it belong to her, and her only.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Scott Belford