Thursday, August 24, 2023

Consensus is good, self righteousness and fascism is not

Roe v. Wade established a constitutional right to abortion in this country but allowed states to regulate abortions after 24 months of pregnancy. The Dobbs decision on June 24, 2022 ruled that there was no constitutional right federally and threw the issue back to the states to do as they saw fit.

When people in these various states put the issue to a vote, the right to reproductive choice won, now it stands as seven to zero. Polling shows support for abortion rights at a record high in our country.

So the conservatives in this country, who are not content to let the issue be between a woman and her doctor and are scared stiff of ballot propositions, are now talking again about a 15 week federal ban. But that is after reading the tea leaves and and imposing the most draconian bans on abortion, even in the cases of rape and incest. Many women have been physically damaged after medical boards in red states refused to allow abortions and jeopardized their lives.

This is a rehash so let me get to the point. Last night at the Republican debate Mike Pence said this in reaction to Nicki Haley; 

...consensus is the opposite of leadership," Pence said. "When the Supreme Court returned this question to the American people, they didn’t just send it to the states only—it is not a states-only issue. It is a moral issue."

Pro lifers thought that they had it in the bag when SCOTUS sent this to the states and now they are scared, because red states like Kansas was unequivocal on the right to choose and it looks like Ohio will be next. So they want to change the rules again and adopt a national ban. Well, people like Mike Pence do, others like Graham and Haley favor a national fifteen week ban.

All of a sudden they don't care about states rights anymore.

But what struck me was Mike Pence's line, consensus is the opposite of leadership. I don't think that is correct in a democracy. I think leadership is about obeying the will of the people, the majority, even a 51 % majority. I am one of those people that think that abortion, at any point in the term, is a matter between a woman and her physician. And make no mistake, late term abortions are very rare. 

...abortions performed after 20 weeks are rare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data on abortions conducted in the United States, the most recent data for which cover 2020, before the reversal of Roe. That year, less than 1 percent of abortions were performed later than 20 weeks into a pregnancy. Eight in 10 were performed before the 10th week. In New Jersey, less than 2 percent of procedures were conducted after the 20th week.

So called leadership in this case is really about self righteous people like Pence who think they can make moral choices for the heathens and heretics in his midst that he shows so much open disdain for. People that assert their will like this are rightly called fascists. It is not leadership to substitute your personal theology for our constitutional rights.

“After I gave my life to Jesus Christ as my lord and savior I opened up the book and I read ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. And see I set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life,’” Mike Pence intoned from the debate stage Wednesday. “I knew from that moment on the cause of life had to be my cause.”

Great Mike, I didn't grok the book the same way you did. I have a different set of spiritual values. It shouldn't be winner take all. It's not the WWF. Why do the rest of us have to dance to your tune? I do not think that American women are immoral but I damn sure think they know if they are capable of raising a child better than you do.

In Judaism, a person is born when they take their first breath outside the womb. I still think that is a better moral place to start from on this issue than the rights of a fertilized zygote. And I hope that our Senators do their utmost to not allow a national fifteen week ban. We have seen what conservatives have tried to do when they have had the power to do so and it has not been good for women or children. People need to rise up and be counted and take back our freedoms from the puritanical minority who would subjugate us.

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