abortion rights

In the wake of the highly expected overturning of Roe v. Wade, activists demonstrated their contempt in towns and cities across the country for the Supreme Court and its highly politicized conservative agenda in a National Day of Defiance. In San Francisco alone there were three simultaneous demonstrations with protesters voicing their commitment to reestablish Women’s Rights for Pro-Choice, while demonstrations continued again today across the country in support of abortion rights.

The issue, as many present pointed out, is one of healthcare embodying freedom of choice and not the domain of politicians and religious conservatives who are desirous of imposing their values on others. As a formally neutral body capable of adjudicating each case brought before it on its own merits regarding the law, the court now finds itself as the arbiter of a conservative agenda imposing its morals and values on the very public which it serves. Several demonstrators iterated how the nine jurists are a non-elected group of political hacks whose reformation in today’s world is badly needed in reestablishing a fair and impartial court.

In the courts majority opinion Justice Samuel Alito Jr. spun the issues as one of state’s rights in the interest of the people by stating in part that, “…the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.” While Justice Clarence Thomas, whose wife has been implicated as an active participant in the January 6th insurrection, feeling impowered has now announced he wants to review gay marriage (read overturn) and review contraception as a next step. Evidently the jurist is in the morals and values business not waiting for cases to come to the court but instead is out looking for causes dear to his conservative value heart.

The court’s decision to throw out abortions rights and hand off the matter to the states is yet another move against universal freedoms that creates a patchwork of laws inconsistent in their handling of the matter. Several states have now indicated that they will pass laws making it illegal for women residents to travel to another state in seeking an abortion.

This draconian threat strikes at the very core of our democratic principles by attempting to disallow freedom of movement in allowing the state to become the arbiter of approving who can travel where and when and for what reasons. For the conservative agenda there seems now to be no limit on what they are willing to sacrifice to promote their schemes. Moving forward, applying such “logic” one can envision illegal travel to another state might be imposed on those wishing to gamble, use recreational drugs, purchase a banned book or to engage in other activities that are illegal in one’s home state.

This line of thinking is yet another warning sign of how conservative states and their GOP leaders desire complete control over everyone’s lives and freedoms to forcibly establish their religious ideology, morals, values and world views on others through the legislative process and the courts. This from the exact group who profess to detest “big government” and its involvement and intrusion in citizens daily lives. Think of all the GOP whining and moaning since the COVID pandemic about mandatory vaccinations and masks regarding government intrusion and freedom of choice that they now in turn readily deny women without any thought whatsoever.

As though this latest decision is not enough, the court also found this week that it is constitutional to carry a concealed weapon for one’s personal protection thus imposing onto a nation awash in guns with yet another avenue for further violence.

One concept often advanced by gun advocates for open carry laws is how as a deterrent a thusly armed public can thwart armed bad guys from carrying out their nefarious deeds. Not very often is the answer they concluded in a recent extensive New York Times investigative report of how many times a gunman is stopped by an armed citizen. And contrary to that notion however is the despicable example of the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas where heavily armed police waited for close to an hour before attempting to intervene while a deranged gunman went about unmolested in killing elementary school children.

How long will it be before we begin seeing more gun fights from combatants in a replay of the Wild West when a minor confrontation takes a deadly turn. We won’t have to wait as it’s already here and a part of daily American life.

As many demonstrators have pointed out for some time, “Guns have more Rights than Women” bringing yet more division to an already very divided nation.

(This article has previously appeared in  Nuzeink.)

Phil Pasquini is a freelance journalist and photographer. His reports and photographs appear in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and Nuze.ink. He is the author of Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.


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