Control of women

By June 25, 2022Society, US Politics

In a rant about the supreme idiocy of Murdoch ‘ruperter’ (i.e. faux journalist) Adam Creighton1, I briefly explained what the 1973 Roe v Wade decision was about:

“Roe v. Wade, is the legal case in which the US Supreme Court, on January 22, 1973, ruled that unduly restrictive state regulation of abortion is unconstitutional. In a majority opinion (7-2), the Court held that a set of Texas statutes criminalising abortion in most instances violated a woman’s constitutional right of privacy, which it found to be implicit in the liberty guarantee of the ‘due process’ clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution (i.e. “…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”)”1.

Creighton’s idiocy was in response to the unprecedented leaking of a draft decision by Justice Alito, who is a religious conservative appointed by George W. Bush. At the time, Chief Justice Roberts confirmed the draft’s authenticity, but emphasised that it was not final1. However, with Trump-appointed religious conservatives Gorsuch, Kavanagh and Barrett, it was likely that the decision expressed in this leaked draft would not be changed. And so it proved to be.

In a case before the court (Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization), it decided there is no constitutional right to abortion. In reaching that decision, the court overturned Roe v Wade. This is unusual, because previously the court has almost universally overturned cases to grant people more rights, whereas here it has done the opposite in restricting a constitutional right at least two generations of Americans have grown up taking for granted. As a result of the overturning of Roe v Wade, states will again be permitted to ban or severely restrict abortion2.

And this is likely to happen in as many as 26 out of the 50 states2, as some already have what they call a ‘trigger law’, which is designed to take effect as soon as possible after such a Supreme Court ruling. Some states also still have abortion bans on the books that haven’t been enforced because of the Roe v. Wade decision1.

For a normal person such a decision is hard to understand, as it will condemn some women to death as, out of necessity, they seek abortions in back streets and alleyways. This decision is only difficult to understand until you realise that it is just another manifestation of the religious trying to protect their power and influence, and they will stop at nothing to do so. If people die because of it, that is a small price to pay for them to maintain control over people’s lives. I expect that the religious will not stop there. There will now be a push from some to repeal same-sex marriage, gay rights, transgender rights, contraception and just about anything else which gives people freedom to decide how to live their own lives, or has to do with sex and gender.

The fact that in the US, so many of the religious threw their lot in with Trump demonstrates what is important to them; not morality, not human rights; just power and influence. Trump is perhaps the most appallingly amoral, unethical, venal person to ever be elected to the US presidency and it shows the depths of depravity which the religious have plumbed, to ignore his character, or lack of it, simply because they thought he could do what they wanted.

It seems, one way to overcome this backward leap into the bigoted past is through legislation, which effectively requires 60 votes in the US Senate to pass, and given that the 100 senate seats are fairly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, that is very unlikely3.

The other way to do so is to increase the size of the supreme court, which currently sits at nine justices. Changing the number of justices in the supreme court has not happened since 1869 because it is extremely difficult to do so, as again, it requires the assent of congress. However, the threat to do so in the 1930s allowed Franklin Delano Roosevelt to get much of what he wanted, as the supreme court stopped overturning his legislation4.

While religion is declining throughout the world and in particular in the western world5, the US is dragging the chain in this decline, with only 29% of people being religiously unaffiliated6. Most other western countries are getting up towards the 50% mark or past it, and that is what terrifies the religious so much; they can see the future and it is not what they think they deserve.

The US is at a crossroads. It either continues along the road to theocracy, or it does a u-turn and continues along the road to democracy. While protests are currently limited and peaceful, I suspect it is only a matter of time before more people start to realise what is at stake and things get much more intense7. Many years ago, I listened to an interview with noted Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey, in which he opined that the US would eventually break up. I remember it clearly because it startled me, given that the US had been around for 200 years at that time. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any record of this interview anywhere. While linking Blainey’s suggestion to this one supreme court decision, may be a long bow to draw, if the US does eventually break up in part because of this, it will be ironic that religious people in the US, rabid gun-loving nationalists that they are, will have handed global military dominance to China, a nominally ‘atheist’ country.




  • James Faulkner says:

    Honestly, atheist China is a lot safer option for us all than theocratic America.
    And even I’ll admit China makes me a little nervous. But god botherers, nukes and “freedom” make for a bad combination.

    I have a Chinese friend whose kid is still at school, the kid’s emails usually complain about teachers using the stick. What they never complain about is being left hungry for a month.
    My American friend is a mess. Sufferers from trauma from being witness to several (yeah, not just one) shootings, been held hostage by gangsters and seen cops shoot people dead, and that’s beside growing up in Utah and being chased out of his town for being a devil spawn. Oh yeah, he is fucked up. (He gets some welfare for that, but it is a payment that goes through at least two layers of private business, so called handlers, before he gets a physical cheque that barely covers his costs of housing and medical, lives off food stamps. No direct debit, and no accountability going up the chain. It makes Centrelink look organised). He is always short on food.

    The US is a failed state. In my opinion, Australia would be better off pulling the plug on its outdated military and cultural alliances and returning focus to our region as a neutral partner to all.

    • admin says:

      Like you, I have a great deal of suspicion regarding China. While they are not religious nutters like the US, they have not been taken over by oligarchs. However they are a totalitarian regime of sorts, whereas the US often acts as a totalitarian regime. While the US thinks it is the greatest country on the planet (it isn’t, by a long chalk), China thinks it should be and harbours much resentment (much of which is justified) for what the west has done to it over the last couple of centuries. I have friends who were out here (working with us) when the Tiananmen massacre happened in 1989. They stayed here. So, for me it is 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. The only way out of the trajectory the US seems to be on towards being a failed state, is to get rid of the Republican Party. If this Roe v Wade decision doesn’t incense them enough to vote out Republicans in their droves in the November midterms, then the US is rooted. If the Republicans are voted out in a big way, then the Democrats need to completely rejig the country. There are things they need to fix: corporate money in politics; Murdoch; inequality; gun laws; etc. The list is long, and I doubt they will manage it.

      • Jon says:

        ….[China is] “a totalitarian regime of sorts”? Two words too many there BA.

        USA (and its various power wielders) has been an enigma for many decades – plenty of good, plenty of hypocrisy, plenty of bad/problems. Trump, and the great divide he sought to exploit for purely personal benefit, was a boon to Russia and China, and his disruption which exposed the USA’s fractured society continues even now. That said, unlike China and Russia imo, they are still overall a force for good, albeit one teetering on the edge and with many hypocrisies – mainly attached to the actions of its private sector which regularly pays lip service to the notions of human rights, fair play, freedom etc.

  • James Faulkner says:

    Also, I forgot to say, if this can happen in murica it can happen here, and we haven’t even really worked our legal stand on abortion properly. I will be marching alongside those girls and women for their right to reproductive control and all the benefits it brings. I’ll also punch any religious anti abortionist right in their smug faces. Why? Because I’m an honest Australian, not a septic tank.

    • admin says:

      I had a conversation with a relative yesterday about the US and the Roe v Wade decision. They, of course, were dumbfounded that it could happen. I told them that the US is behind Australia in jettisoning religion. The lates survey in Australia that I have seen was from last year if I remember correctly, and had Australia at 45% of the populace having no religion. The US last year was at 29% of the population having no religion. Australia passed that mark in about 2015-2016. The census results on this topic are due out next month. It will be interesting to see if that trend is continuing. One of the encouraging things in the US, is that some companies (Disney is one) have said that if any of their employees need to have an abortion, the company will provide a travel subsidy to where they can get one.

  • Russell says:

    The topic of Australia’s relative or as some say, chronic, dependence on both China and USA has been much written about lately. to mention only two authors, Hugh White at ANU and journalist Peter Hartcher. They have deeply investigated the “China-Indo-Pacific” issue. And we really are at the proverbial pivot point in this. No solution can be perfect but James’s idea of non-alignment as far as practicable seems good to me. Hartcher warns loudly of the devious nature of Chinese infiltration of business and politics down under, and his bent is pro-US alliance. That doesn’t really surprise percipient readers of course, but he does make interesting reading despite being a little too paranoid. The USA may or may not come to some sensible resolution of its several internal crises, but to judge by depressing trends re black inequality and mass shootings, it is unlikely. And if we blame China for chicanery and duplicity, we must recall that it has had a very good example of those sins to follow over the past 80 years at least. No, not the Soviet Union, but a powerful world economy with lots of spy and surveillance entities, all of which have been fully occupied in promoting internal discord or even authoritarian takeovers in the politics of mainly South America and the Middle East. Yes you got it: “Israe-merica”.

    • admin says:

      It is difficult to know how to deal with China, given its history and seeming resentment against much of the world, some of which is justified. I can tell you one thing and that is the idiot twins Morrison and Dutton made a complete dog’s breakfast of it; Morrison blaming the Chinese for Covid-19 and Dutton talking up the prospect of war; and both of them referring to Albanese as the favoured Chinese ‘Manchurian’ candidate. However you deal with China, such stupidity would not be it.

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