Stare decisis and coathangers

At some point today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hand down a ruling in a case that will, for all intents and purposes, overturn the 1972 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. Essentially, today’s decision will be as oppressive and discriminatory as Plessy v. Ferguson. And just as dangerous.

The ruling will bring back the question of stare decisis – the argument that obligates courts to follow historical cases when ruling on similar cases. But the new decision by the Supreme Court will essentially nullify Roe v. Wade – and in doing so, restrict or eliminate legal abortion rights.

Let’s make a few things clear. This decision is fucked up. Clear and simple. The decision was decided by a Supreme Court whose affirmative-voting members include a man who sexually assaulted a college classmate (Kavanaugh), another man who sexually harassed a colleague (Thomas), and a woman who belongs to a Handmaid’s Tale-group of ultra-conservatives (Barrett). A Supreme Court that was manipulated by the then-Senate majority leader, who held back an available Supreme Court opening, then ram-rodded three nominees into the lifetime positions – including one that was confirmed a few days after one of the Supreme Court justices had passed away. Days.

This was a decision that was fostered by ultra-conservatives who don’t believe in a woman’s right to control her body. And in doing so, have created a quasi-“morality police” who can decide to attack anyone who even provides information regarding abortions or abortion rights. Heck, by writing this blog post, I’m probably opening myself up for possible arrest in Texas, should I ever step foot in that state.

But I don’t really care. As I said before, this decision – when it’s handed down today – is crap. Stare decisis be damned.

And here’s the thing. This decision will not eliminate abortions. It will eliminate LEGAL abortions in half of the United States. It will not eliminate abortions for the wealthy who are able to travel to New York or California for the procedure. It will eliminate abortions for those in Mississippi or in Florida who don’t have the ability or funds to travel somewhere to control what’s happening to their own body.

And if you’re wondering why I referenced coathangers in the headline of my blog post … at one point in time, coathangers were used to try to dislodge a fetus from inside a womb. It was barbaric, it was dangerous, and in many cases, it was lethal – both to the fetus and to the mother. But this was a gruesome option available to women who wanted to end a pregnancy at the time. And by “at the time,” I’m talking all the way into the 1960’s. With the Supreme Court decision, we could be going back to those horrifying times. That’s scary.

And this Supreme Court is not going to stop with removing women’s rights. You know they’re coming for same-sex marriage rights. They’re coming for trans rights. They probably won’t stop until they’ve turned over Brown v. Board of Education and brought us back to Plessy v. Ferguson.

This is the horror that we are in today. With the decision by the Supreme Court, we have essentially made women second-class citizens, unable to maintain the legal right to control their own bodies.

Anybody that cheers on that decision? Shame on you. Shame on your hypocrisy and demagoguery.

Trust me. The Supreme Court isn’t done with removing women’s rights. And that in itself is frightening.


Stare decisis got fucked today.