Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I think Planned Parenthood is making a serious mistake.

ADDENDUM: Sticky Green Leaves, you miss my point: I fully support a vigorous and full-throated challenge to this pernicious law passed in South Dakota, as long as the challenge is mounted ANYWHERE BUT IN THE COURTS.

ANOTHER, SADDER ADDENDUM (3.13): Today, I've (re-?)learned, much to my despair, that there are Ann Coulters on our side, too. How embarrassing.

Of course, the world is talking about the recently-signed-into-law abortion ban in South Dakota. I feel for the women of SD, I really do, but I had hoped that this move on their legislators' part would remain a tacky political badge run up the flagpole, and nothing more. However, as I was driving home tonight from the 9:30 Club, listening to whatever BBC shit they have on NPR, I heard the news that Planned Parenthood is going to challenge the new law in the courts. This caused me to beat the steering wheel and shout, "Stupid, stupid, stupid!" several times.

Again. It's not that I don't sympathize with the citizens of SD who are going to suffer the deleterious effects of a law that flies in the face of Freakonomics and imbues rapists with special legal rights. It's simply that Planned Parenthood is embarking on the EXACT course the opponents of legal abortion WANT them to. Taking this matter to court is a fine way to make a big showy pageant of deeply held principles, but it's a trap--the path inevitably leads to showdown in the SCOTUS against a panel of judges that are, in all likelihood, not predisposed to rule in favor of abortion rights. It's the one battlefield where victory is certain to be denied and it should be avoided at all costs.

For years, advocates of gay rights paid the price for bringing their arguments before unfriendly Supreme Courts. I've no doubt that some deeply held feelings were expressed in lovely speeches, some of which must have been delivered with oratorical zeal. But the real world isn't Law and Order, where Jack McCoy convinces everyone to accept his point of view in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary on the force of a well-spoken closing argument. And when you lose in the Supreme Court, you shovel a heaping pile of unfavorable precedent down on your own head.

Right now, with South Dakota's laws on the books, the correct course of action is to make sure no plaintiff of any sort challenges their law. I know that sounds like crazy talk. But right now, this anti-abortion buck stops at the South Dakota border (though I'm well aware that other states are considering moving in the same direction--sadly, these states will also have to be sacrificed to save abortion rights everywhere else). There is nothing more the opponents of abortion can do about it. An abortion opponent would, obviously, be unable to claim the law created a harm or an undue burden on themselves. As my erstwhile future Retainer-for-Life, points out:

So yeah, to get into court again in the first place, the plaintiff would need there to be an actual case (see Constitution re: cases and controversies) and have standing (i.e. be able to show that she herself would suffer injury because of a law)...and then a woman who was pregnant and wanted an abortion would be able to file suit. (Note: women generally have babies within nine months of conception, so this kind of a case is what we call "evading review but capable of repetition" -- it will never be ripe the whole time it's going through the court system, but we let that slide, if you will). An abortion opponent could not, in good faith, be the plaintiff, because the right needs to be infringed and someone needs to challenge the infringement, so why would an abortion opponent do that?
So, only a pro-choice plaintiff could practically challenge the case. At this point, anyone who would do so would simply be serving as "a brilliant ally to their own gravediggers," to quote the eminently quotable Milan Kundera.

What should Planned Parenthood do? Rather then expend money in effort in a shameless waste that will, in all likelihood, end in total defeat in one fell swoop (or, in all fairness, bring that possibility a step closer*), abortion-rights advocates should take the sensible step of making the anti-choice winners pay the price for having won. They should bring as much pressure as they can afford to bear on the legislators who gave this abortion ban its life and chase them from office. Barring that, they should simply let South Dakota twist on the withering vine of their tax base, letting the state buckle under the weight of having to care for unwanted children and all of the malicious consequences cited by Steven Levitt.

Additionally, proponents of abortion rights need to employ that time-honored conservative idea--federalism--to their advantage, and press friendly states to uphold pro-choice freedoms through legislation, which, frankly, they should have been doing for years. Certainly, such laws could be challenged, but at best, the current bed of judicial precedent favors such legislation and, at worst, it would put the SCOTUS into a sticky situation, seeing as how honoring South Dakota's legislative decision while simultaneously denying a pro-choice leaning state's similar decision would put this conservative court at something of an apocalyptic self-disconnect where states' right are concerned.**

More than that--we must think realistically about South Dakota. This is a state that had one functioning abortion clinic that served a mere 800 women each year. For all intents and purposes, South Dakota had abortion well nigh banned well before today. It's a cold comfort to those effected by the law, but the inconsequential gains of Roe in South Dakota are not worth risking the entire kitty.

*Outside of states that have trigger laws tied to an overturn of Roe, a mere decision by SCOTUS to toss Roe is insufficient to bring a blanket abortion ban down upon the United States. I hope you know that, at least. As my loyal retainer relates: "The worst the SCOTUS could really do after all that is say, 'No, we were wrong about the undue burden thing. You people have a bunch less substantive due process rights than we said before. States, you can totally unduly burden pregnant women who want abortions pre-viability. Feel free.' Even then, it's still up to the state legislatures, so you might have SC and TX and unholy places like those severely or maybe only moderately restricting abortion rights pre-viability. Of course, you'd also have CA and NY and other such places who wouldn't move on it. So you see, it actually isn't that easy to undo Roe, and even if they did, the states make the call. Which is why it is really super important to focus on getting the right people into the state legislatures." [Emphasis mine, added for a particularly astute, if slightly off-topic, point you should think about this election year.]

**The bad news scenario (this of course changes the optimism of the above footnote as well) is that we all know that we are dealing with an administration that has already proved itself able to accept multiple apocalyptic deviations from the set of ideas known as conservatism. You should know that while Justice Antonin Scalia has recently said that people who believe in a "living Constitution" are "idiots," that hasn't apparently stopped Scalia from deciding that a quietly beating heart--or perhaps acute zombification!--exists in at least one portion of the Constitution: the Commerce Clause in Article I, Section 8. For more on that, consult with Glenn Greenwald.


PK said...

It's interesting... you and I had a similar conversation about the Dover, PA evolution case. My take is that they successfully used the issue to remove the wingnuts from elected office, which was great... but by ALSO going to court and winning there, they turned the whole thing into a massive national GOP fundraising issue for no reason. Electing different people sends a clear message that the anti-evolution nutcase view is marginalized by the people of this country. As yesterday's Doonesbury so wonderfully put it, "Teaching the controversy means teaching BOTH SIDES of the issue - not just the one supported by facts!"

But winning in court sends a different message, one that is easily distorted into the whole "activist judges" meme that the right has been using for the last twenty years. Your post here points out a case that will likely LOSE in court, but winning doesn't necessarily help either (you could argue that Roe has been a great fundraising tool for the right).

The best thing for them to do is avoid the court, use the issue to fire up the pro-choice base, and ignore/bury the issue when dealing with other voters. I actually work with a South Dakotan who's a registered Republican but votes Democrat... she's Catholic and pro-life, but recognizes that the Republicans are wrong (and anti-Catholic!) on just about every other issue. The more you play up abortion, the more likely she is to vote Republican. So if it's in the news, win, lose, or draw, you run the risk of losing that vote. And I think a LOT of flatlander voters operate that way.

People should work to legally circumvent the bad law (e.g., setting up rider pools that will take women to states where it's legal or something), but the more it's in the news and in the courts, the less likely it is to get overturned.

Sommer said...

Preach on, brother DCeiver. The Supreme Court already ruled that states have the right to limit abortions for themselves. This Planned Parenthood legal challenge is only going to leave the door open for a federal ban. This shit is keeping me up at nights.

Divine Ms. K said...

You know, in the midst of my preparations for hari kari over the most recent assault on women's rights, I stumbled across this article from Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2137436/ (I think I stumbled across it in the Post, though)... and it talked me out of my tree, to a large extent.

It also raised a very important question, and one that's been nagging at me for months, truly: what if it is time to move beyond Roe?

In any case, some 3/4 of the American public believes that women should have access to legal abortion, with some restrictions on gestational timing, etc. Those numbers haven't changed, despite what the anti-choice movement likes to tout on its posters.

It's been very easy for conservative politicians to gain favor with the right wing by loudly proclaiming their opposition to abortion, when there was very little chance that laws would be passed that would restrict access to abortion... I'll be interested to see how many of them go scuttling back to more moderate ground when it becomes clearer that most of their constituents do not want to return to the days of the back-alley butchers.

Personally, I'd rather see a much larger focus on the middle ground... reducing the need/demand for abortion in the first place, by improving access to reliable forms of contraception and providing education about its proper use... but with Bush and the Fundies (band name?) getting rid of sex ed in classrooms I dont think that's a realistic goal at this point.

Rusty said...

Sorry for butting in here, but I felt compelled to make a comment.

I 100% disagree with you regarding Planned Parenthood's course of action. First, Roe will not be overturned by the Supreme Court as its currenty assembled. Even if Roberts goes anti-Roe, which I doubt, Roe is still upheld 5-4. Planned Parenthood has nothing to worry about.

And I totally agree with Ms. K. I am pro-choice but anti-Roe. It's just bad Constitutional law. That being said, it is most Republicans worst nightmare to see Roe overturned. A heavy majority of women (and of Americans) are pro-choice. If SD and MS roll back on abortion rights and it's upheld by the Court, the electoral blowblack will be felt throughout the entire country.

Furthermore, the law has to be challenged to protect the rights of the 800 South Dakotan (is that the word?)women who want abortions. I don't really think it's a Constitutional right, but there are plenty of people who disagree with me. And Planned Parenthood must defend what they perceive as an important and inalienable right.

Again, sorry for butting in.

PK said...


I generally agree with you about the likely result. But personally I think the best way to help those SD women is to keep the issue off the front page, where it only incites craziness, and help them "work around" the issue. Bus 'em to Iowa or Minnesota if they need to. (Like DCeiver said, there's only one clinic now, so there has to be some way for the group that it serves to continue receiving the treatment they need, given a little smart organizational management.)

Also: Don't apologize! This is what comments are for!

The Deceiver said...

Rusty, by my count, the only reliable pro-Roe votes are Ginsburg, Souter, Breyer and Stevens. While it's true that Alito and Roberts are unknown quantities, it still makes sense for Planned Parenthood to hold off on a challenge until they see how Roberts and Alito vote on the abortion-related matters already before the court. Unless they pull some per curiam bullshit, they will be able to parse the decision to see how Alito and Roberts are likely to lay down with regards to the larger issue of Roe.

The bottom line is, if it looks like a sure loser, you cut your losses and don't bring a challenge against South Dakota, because if you lose, you lose large by adding to the precedential protoplasm running against abortion rights. It's much more sensible to activate the pro-choice political base, try to make anti-choice legislators losers at the polls, and use the same mechanism that was used in SD to establish pro-choice beachheads in other states.

That said, you are absolutely right that Roe is bad holding and has always been a rather rickety framework to hang abortion rights. There are still too many people who think that Roe magically guaranteed rights to people. South Dakota is exacting proof of the opposite--the state has clearly had no trouble at all making abortion a near impossibility.

Additionally, I'll agree with you on another point by saying that part of me has always subscribed to the "BRING IT ON" school whenever I hear Republicans threaten to strip abortion rights across the board. Right now, it's one of the only winning issues the GOP has--especially now that national security is trending against them (Ha ha.). Based upon my experience, many voters vote Republican SOLELY because of their stance on abortion. It's a key reason the GOP receives ANY Catholic votes at all.

Remember how Lyndon Johnson said that the Civil Rights act would ensure that the Democratic Party lost the South for a generation? Well, if the issue were to be stricken from the table, I think that a similar electoral shift would occur, for the reasons that you and I have brought up.

Typically, I think deep down, most GOP strategists understand that keeping the ISSUE alive is much more favorable than SOLVING it. Bush, Sr. and Reagan both famously shafted the religious right on this matter during their tenures. It'd be nice to be able to assume the same about Commander Cuckoo Bananas, but he's been so willing to straight up trample on so many conservative ideas to enforce his uniquely f'ed up vision of America, that it's too unpredictable to forecast. It's another reason I would definitely avoid a showdown in the SCOTUS, at least until I could read the extent to which Roberts and Alito love stare decisis.

The Deceiver said...

And to reiterate what Paul said, you can feel free to but in whenever you like.

Retainer said...

I am now and always will be your retainer.

Retainer said...

On a semi-related point, I also wish to point out that Scalia admitted, during his lecture at CUA Law my second year, that even though his "dead Constitution" outlook forces him to make decisions based upon the "plain text" of the Constitution, had he been faced with Brown v. Board of Ed., he would have "found a way" to rule in favor of Brown. Ha. Way to contradict yourself and everything you stand for.

Kitty921 said...

A couple of thoughts:

1. Just because SD only has 800 women getting abortions every year doesn't make any one of those 800 any less entitled to make that choice than the millions that have it done in NY, Cali, etc., etc. I think it's crappy to sell these women out like this.

2. Even if SCOTUS grants cert on this case- which it might not- I see Kennedy as the swing, and I see Kennedy upholding the undue burden standard that he supported in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. That was a hard choice for Kennedy then, but it won't be this time around.

3. Supreme Court justices may be conservatives. They may be assholes. However, they are also egotistical. They have enormous egos. They have lifetime tenure. I don't think Roberts and Alito, or even Scalia, for that matter, are too eager to jump through hoops that some yokels in SD have planted for them. I don't see them buying into the idea that they owe anyone anything, regardless of who nominated them. I wouldn't be surprised if one of them bailed on the cert vote and this case never even saw the inside of the Supreme Court.

4. Planned Parenthood is not an organization devoted to winning battles for the Democrats. It's not the responsibility of this organization to play nice with the voting electorate in this country. The mandate of Planned Parenthood is to provide women with safe and legal choices when it comes to making the decision of whether to bear a child or not. They are filing suit because it is in their mandate to do so. When we start demanding that every liberal advocacy group in the country "take one for the team," we are becoming more and more of a party that's just about taking back Congress and nothing else.

5. This may be reverse sexism, but I chafe when I hear men discussing how women in South Dakota should just suck it up and deal until they can get better state senators. That's garbage. Unfortunately, biology does not allow men to ever understand the ramifications of making a hard choice like abortion. And that's never going to change.

The Deceiver said...

No one in the world has a lawyer who values lunch as much as you!

As for Scalia, well, I suppose like love, he would Find A Way. He's probably upset that he didn't get to be the one to crack the DaVinci Code as well! I'm not an activist judge, except when my popularity is at stake!

Retainer said...

Awww. I DO value lunch, esp. at LS.

The Deceiver said...

1. I completely agree that it is crappy to sell-out the women of South Dakota. And yet, the road the freedom is frequently littered with good people getting crapped on so that the shitstorm could be brought to an end. I'm afraid that SD is the place where the crap must fall in this case.

2. You may be right, but cert is an easier hurdle to clear than the decision--only four votes. As it stands, Scalia and Thomas get you halfway there. As for Kennedy being the swing, didn't he sit on the court right next to O'Connor, who was herself considered the swing? What makes Kennedy the swing now? Did he swear some kind of oath to Sandra Day or something?

3. Here you make an excellent point. The ego of Supreme Court justices is massive, and it brings up another possible safeguard--the fact that they are so head-up-ass with self-delight over being a Supreme Court justice that they would never deign to rule that the Court was wrong in their Roe decision. Supreme Court justices prefer to believe they are participating in a tradition of infallibility.

4. This has got nothing to do with taking back Congress. It's not a shift in Congressional power that has precipitated this move by SD. You are correct, though, to insist that Planned Parenthood is an autonomous organization that shouldn't be required to be beholden to any other party outside their immediate mandate. I am correct, however, that their failure to see beyond the vaccuum of their autonomy will make them the brilliant ally of their own gravediggers. They are being DRAWN INTO A FIGHT by an opponent that holds all the key advantages and knows it.

5. For I don't know how many centuries, women were thought of as little more than bags of skin that produce offspring. That disgusts me plenty, believe me. But i concede that I'm more able to sympathize than I am to empathize. Nevertheless, judicial matters do not settle themselves like self-contained pearls, never to trouble the world again--they settle themselves into a web of precedent that reaches into many other lives and allows for far-reaching effects. For this reason, I advocate on the pro-choice side despite my lack of fallopian tubes because there remains the distinct possibility that this matter can be decided in such a way that preys upon me as well. It's not just a simple matter of biology.

PK said...

Oh, good god, Kitty. It didn't take long to play THAT card, now did it.

First of all, your argument that "men can't understand" is crap. And frankly, losers' crap. FINE - I will take my ball(s) and go home, and not care about this issue, because CLEARLY I cannot possibly understand the personal ramifications. I take serious issue with your very premise - but if you must know, I am a married father and if my wife was forced to confront such a decision, I can clearly perceive how difficult it would be. Maybe I can't "feel" it exactly the same way a woman could, but if that's the essence of your argument, you've just written off half of America as a base of support (and 8/9ths of the Supreme Court).

In all of my comments, I have stressed that it is extremely important to find a way to serve those women in South Dakota. But I think DCeiver is right when he points out that current law in South Dakota is not exactly a resounding ally to women seeking an abortion. Fighting to save the status quo there could threaten much greater freedoms. It is horrible tragedy that those 800 women might have their lives made much more difficult, but unless you have a magical alternative which will improve the status quo, we are left to talk strategy. It would be easy to win (or just prolong) the battle and lose the war here.

Your other points are valid, although I think your point about Planned Parenthood not needing to "take one for the team" is exactly why the left, and Democrats in general, have been failing to make progress or be heard over the last twenty years. We are increasingly a bunch of one-issue splinter groups that can't agree on a truly progressive agenda that would appeal to enough Americans. They share our values (according to most issue polls), but not our zeal for any individual cause, and tend to distrust those groups as purely self-interested. Your "men just don't understand" statement is a good example: Are you inviting us to just check out and not care? Or to come on in, and do exactly what you say, because we couldn't possibly understand the choices being made? Either way, by choosing a "nuclear" argument like that, you alienate would-be allies. Not a good idea.

Anonymous said...

You are the deceiver... no courage, no convictions, just deception and politics all the time. No fight in ya. Yawn.

The Deceiver said...

Actually anonypuss, my vast courage and ironclad convictions are tempered by intelligence, and my mind tells me that if you stupidly blunder into a fight you can't win, especially when more favorable battlegrounds are available--where better odds are offered, then your courage and convictions don't end up meaning diddly-shit.

If this fight ends up at SCOTUS, I'll cross my fingers along with everybody else that it turns out Roberts and/or Alito aren't the anti-Roe minions I have every reason to believe they are. But you gotta recognize that Planned Parenthood is betting pro-choice money against the house.

Now if PP wants to rattle their sabre a little bit, that's fine. But they need to wait for a ruling on the related cases coming soon to SCOTUS and see how the two new justices rule before they pull the trigger and challenge this law.

Putting your trust in blindly applied courage is the quickest route to an epitaph.

Kitty921 said...

Dceiver- points taken. I enjoy this type of dialogue because you have listened to my arguments and provided reponses that make me rethink my position.

Also, I took down my posting on my blog partly because I think you called me correctly on my response and I posted too hastily but partly because I want to think more deeply about this issues and these arguments before I post on it again.

pk- with regards to your statement:

"Oh, good god, Kitty. It didn't take long to play THAT card, now did it.

First of all, your argument that "men can't understand" is crap. And frankly, losers' crap. FINE - I will take my ball(s) and go home, and not care about this issue, because CLEARLY I cannot possibly understand the personal ramifications. I take serious issue with your very premise - but if you must know, I am a married father and if my wife was forced to confront such a decision, I can clearly perceive how difficult it would be. Maybe I can't "feel" it exactly the same way a woman could, but if that's the essence of your argument, you've just written off half of America as a base of support (and 8/9ths of the Supreme Court)."

Disagree with me, but there's no need to denigrate my position as me playing some "card." I understand that it offends 50% of the population. I understand that it writes off 8/9 of the Court as a support base. I respect that you think as a married father that you have an equal understanding of this issue. That's based on your personal experience. I made my statement based on mine. Also, I'm not saying that men not "feeling" it the same is the essence of my argument. I made four other arguments. I also don't understand why my perspective on gender's place in the abortion debate is "loser's" talk, but I'm sure you'll enlighten me on that.

Kitty921 said...

Kennedy: No, he didn't take an oath to be the swing- I said that he was the swing based on the deliberations that took place before Planned Parenthood v. Casey was decided. Originally, Kennedy was firmly in favor of axing Roe at that point. I think he had committed his vote to it. He was massaged by the left, though, until he finally agreed to get on board with O'Connor's "undue burden" standard. He's not the swing on all issues, but I think that he is on abortion, unless, of course, he's decided in the 14 years since Casey that Roe needs to be completely demolished in order to protect a woman's right to choose in the long run. That could be the case.

Kitty921 said...

Here's the link to my new posting:

Divine Ms. K said...

As a card-carrying member of Planned Parenthood and an active pro-choice marcher since the age of 14, I would not classify myself as being anti-Roe in any sense of the phrase. I even support a woman's right to choose late-term and/or "partial-birth" abortion if she and her doctor deem it medically in her best interest.

I just agree with the central premise of the Slate article... namely, that technology has extended the gestational age at which fetal viability is possible, to the point that a lot of people (including those who vote pro-choice) are no longer comfortable with Roe's guarantee of second-trimester abortions. There is middle ground to be found.

The Deceiver said...

Ah, yes. I forget about Casey. Kennedy's more flexible on the issue than i give hime credit for.

Believe me, I used to adhere strictly to the idea of fighting for principles come what may. Better to die on your feet than live on your knees, some say. Now I'm like: fuck dying. Live and kick ass. I don't want to fight this battle to another acceptable draw. I want to win in a blowout.

But I'll admit, my tone is not very bullish where those 800 South Dakotan women are concerned, so I'll restate: those 800 South Dakotan women are A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY DISGUSED AS AN INSOLUBLE PROBLEM. And solving that problem very well could push the pro-choice movement to a vital and new stage of its evolution.

Kitty921 said...

Agreed. On all counts.

Peroxide said...

I realize this is an older post, but I just saw it. Dceiver, usually I love you with a fervor typically reserved for snobby music and TV dramas, but the bolded segment of your last comment pushed me from irritated to horrified. 800 women without access to choice are not an "opportunity"--they're people denied their constitutional right. To wish, essentially, that they would just take one for the greater womanhood team is grossly misinformed and scarily Bentham-esque. PP will take on this case and they should, because they don't share 1) your defeatist assumptions that action = federal ban, or 2) agree that 800 women is just a small number of people who might "have their lives made more difficult" (quoting PK).

And mentioning gender as a reason for some posters' ignorance is "playing a card"? Please. Go ask 10 random women if "rideshares" are an acceptable alternative to access to choice. Excusing your ignorance because of your gender is actually quite kind.

The Deceiver said...

I was perhaps being too loose with my references: "opportunity disguised as an insoluble problem" is a saying attributed to John Gardner, the founder of Common Cause, and I have a feeling he'd know what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

I have a uterus, and I agree with you Dceiver. The women of South Dakota will not be "taking one for the team." They are going to spend some time with this ban in place no matter what anyone does. The only question is what the best strategy is to contain the damage and, ultimately, reverse it. You have made a good case for why getting this to the Supreme Court is not the best strategy.

Kitty921 said...

DCeiver didn't make the "playing a card" comment, pk did. What you wrote addresses what I actually meant to say when I made my ill-fated blanket gender statement, which is this- many lefites feel like certain issues need to be pushed under the rug so we can win some elections, like abortion and gay marriage, because they are so incredibly divisive. When it comes to abortion, I notice that- in my LIMITED PERSONAL EXPERIENCE- those willing to shelve abortion for the time being happen to be men. That's all. No wonder. Lots of straight people are willing to shelve gay marriage. It's a perspective thing.

Anonymous said...

Challenge the law on 14th Amendment grounds; it violates the Equal Protection Clause!
I mandates that a doctor who performs an abortion get 5 years in the slammer, but the woman, who presumably solicted the "crime" of abortion is specifically exempted from any punishment.
That's because all the anti's know damn well they will never get a law passed that includes an equal penalty for the woman. Check out this video made at an anti abortion rally. They are flummoxed on that question.

AlanSmithee said...

That's the most loathsome, wretched, spineless, jellyfish of an article it's been my displeasure to read in a long time.

Sacrificing women in SD for crappy little political points? Playing with women's lives like they were chips in a penny-ante poker game? Disgusting!

Is there any principle that this DLC clown won't sell for cheap political advantage? Anything at all? With pundits like this on their side, no wonder the donks are turning into the Whigs of the New Millennium.

The Deceiver said...

Not sure what you're talking about Alan. I have always supported a full-throated, aggressive defense of the women who will be affected by this pernicious new law in South Dakota, so long as this battle is not fought in the Supreme Court--right now, it's impossible to tell how the SCOTUS will rule. Doing so would be playing penny-ante political poker with the lives of EVERY WOMAN IN THE UNITED STATES.

If you've confused me with a DLC hack, however...well, that's really cute of you. Seriously. That gives me the giggles! It would be the first time THAT's ever happened.

Joan Dandy said...

Yeah, right. So how many women are going to be sacrificed for this carefully nuanced, triangulated, chickenshit position on choice? How many states? How many backalley deaths before the mighty "progressive" wing of the democrats actually take a stand? I can hear the rationalizations starting even now -

"Oh, but we have to be reasonable. We have to be realistic. Let's not make waves! Let's not offend our brothers on the other side of the isle. I'm sure they'll see reason in 20 or 50 years or so. Just be patient, girls."

"Oh, and by the way, we've allowed the repeal the 19th amendment in exchange of them letting us keep the filibuster (which we'd never dream of using, of course.) Now get back in the kitchen!"

Well that's it. I'm done with this party. The democrats can kiss my ass next time they want my vote.

The Deceiver said...

I couldn't agree more Joan. The Democrats have hid behind the fig leaf of murky court decisions and have FAILED to take their case and actually engage actual Americans on this matter. I myself felt a little bit vomitous listening to Kerry hem and haw his way to safety on the abortion issue during the debate--he may as well have said: "I don't have to have a position on this issue because the SCOTUS exempts me." Now, our Democratic representatives want PP to wade back into the courts on a fools errand, all the while standing by and doing nothing.

As I advocate, they need to get out on the hustings and fight for the things they presume to believe in. Lock up REAL abortion rights legislation in as many states as possible, build coalitions in other states that can stand up and say, "This is about letting individuals make their own decisions. This is about letting individuals have their own say in their lives."

And once they've locked up abortion rights in certain states, they need to pimp the proof: that communities that respect a woman's right to choose prosper, while those that succumb to the pressure of the religious right fail.

And, like the Abolitionists did before them, we need something like the Underground Railroad to help women in rapist rights states get access to the health care they need.

I totally agree. No more judicial half-assery. Let's lock it up legislatively and lead by example. Let's make waves, and let's OPPOSE our OPPONENTS for once.