Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Talibangelical News - Trump's Right-Wing SCOTUS to be Given a Chance to Overturn Roe v Wade

The US Supreme Court.
Hearing a challenge to Roe v Wade this autumn.
Supreme Court to Review Anti-Choice Law Designed by Alliance Defending Freedom to Overturn Roe | Right Wing Watch

The extreme Christian right in the USA have been keen to exploit their new-found dominance in the Supreme Court ever since Donald Trump supplied them with it in return for them turning a blind eye to his very un-Christian behaviour and giving him their unconditional and uncritical support. And now, thanks to Mississippi Talibangelicals, who have passed a blatantly illegal and unconstitutional bill to restrict women's right to abortions, they may get to use it to roll back 39 years of social progress.

The 2018 Mississippi law, which ban all abortions beyond 15 weeks after conception with very few exceptions, was ruled unconstitutional by a lower court in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, because it was a clear violation of the 1973 ruling by SCOTUS in Roe v Wade, which decriminalized abortions in the USA and established it as a basic right for a woman to choose whether to allow a pregnancy to continue or not.

The 1973 SCOTUS was a very different organisation to the post-Trump SCOTUS, which is now heavily right-leaning with three Trump placemen, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and the fundamentalist Talibangelical Christian, Amy Coney Barrett, whose nomination, following the death of the left-leaning Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was hurriedly rushed through by Congress in the dying days of the Trump presidency, giving the right a thumping 7-2 majority. Not content with the 6-3 majority they had on SCOTUS before the death of Justice Ginsberg, Trump felt it needed urgently increasing because the polls were predicting a Biden victory, in which case it would have been Biden's nominee on SCOTUS. He also needed to appease the raving right who had felt cheated when he nominated Kavanaugh, not Barrett, to fill an earlier vacancy, despite the persistent rumours about Kavanaugh having raped women when at college which turned into actual allegations during the Senate hearing prior to his appointment.

In an earlier case, before Coney Barrett's appointment, that could have closed two of Louisiana’s three abortion clinics if allowed to stand, SCOTUS had struck down the legislation when the normally right-leaning Chief Justice John Roberts, voted with the liberals. Trump's two other placemen, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, had voted in favour of allowing the Louisiana bill to stand.

Amy Coney Barrett meets Donald Trump's approval.
Coney Barrett has a long record of opposition to abortions and has accepted paid invitations to speak at anti-abortion conferences organised by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative Christian group dedicated to eradicating Roe v Wade. ADF's Senior Counsel, Denise Burke, has even boasted that the Louisiana legislation was based on their model legislation. ADF's fundamentalism extends to an openly-declared goal to "recover the robust Christendomic [sic] theology of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries." In other words, to take America back to the Early Middle Ages that it regards as the golden age of Christian theocracy. Coney Barrett has also put her name to newspaper advertisements opposing "abortion on demand".

Other Talibangelical/GOP initiatives are also lurking in the wings, waiting to see just how firm is their grip on SCOTUS. Texas governor, Greg Abbott, has indicated that he is ready to sign a bill that would effectively
ban abortions after the 6th weeks - before many women realise they are pregnant - even when the pregnancy results from rape.

The same bill would also allow anyone to sue a doctor who performs an abortion, or anyone assisting in an abortion. The result, as intended, would be that most doctors, nurses, anaesthesiologists, etc, would risk a ruinous law suit for doing something perfectly legal, or would need prohibitively expensive indemnity insurances to carry out their lawful duty to a patient. The term 'assisting' is so broad and ill-defined that it could easily be widened to include hospital managers, administrators, anyone employed by the hospital, health insurance corporations who provide the finances and even anyone who takes the woman to the hospital or collects her afterwards.

There are also moves to challenge the right of same-sex couples to marry and raise a family, and no doubt moves to re-criminalised homosexuality would follow.

What should be recognised here, is that these religious fundamentalists are not actually anti-abortion and pro-life, so much as anti a woman's right to choose and anti safe, medical abortions. In effect, they are for the dangerous, back-street abortions that many women had to turn to prior to Roe v Wade, especially if they couldn't afford the expense of a friendly gynaecologist who could arrange a discrete D & C on the spurious grounds of medical necessity, that was the normal recourse of the better-off prior to 1973.

As we have seen in their opposition to the anti-coronavirus measures, gun controls and affordable health-care, Talibangelical conservative Christians are not pro-life; they are pro-control and anti-choice, unless it is they who get to choose. Religion is simply providing them with the excuses they need to impose their own brand of political extremism on other people.

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