The Roe hysteria

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The Supreme Court’s recent hearing on the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization seemed to indicate some of the justices were leaning towards limiting or overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that somehow found a right to abortion in the Constitution.

Putting aside that even liberal legal scholars acknowledge Roe was a predetermined decision with poor reasoning and little actual constitutional basis, and the fact that should it be overturned, the issue of abortion will return to the state legislatures (where it belongs) and not be outlawed immediately (unfortunately), the pro-choice crowd proceeded to lose their collective minds.

The inchoate rage and frustration they felt reminded me of the mobs who recently tore down statues of American historical figures. These righteous actors felt sure they were entitled to rip down the images of men who owned slaves because their historical crime against humanity, and stain on our nation, were so egregious as to deserve such a fate.

I agree that slavery is a stain on our nation’s otherwise commendable history, especially since this same nation did, after all, fight a war to end the “peculiar institution.”

But I wonder if in several decades or a hundred years hence, the same types of social justice warriors will feel compelled to tear down statues of Nancy Pelosi, or Barack Obama, or Justice Harry Blackmun, the primary author of the Roe decision?

After all, if we are sure to condemn our forebears for the crime of slavery, which denied basic human dignity and rights to a whole class of people, then might we be even more incensed at current public figures who promote and even encourage the wholesale slaughter of unborn children in the womb?

In the first 60 years of our republic, many decent people who were otherwise virtuous in their actions and beliefs calmly and rationally defended slavery as a good for society in general, and even for the slaves themselves. The Supreme Court upheld the rights of slave owners in cases such as Dred Scott, and even people in the northern states acknowledged the legitimate right of slave holders to their “property.”

The wholesale dehumanization of African peoples and their descendants held in bondage was part and parcel of polite society. We were all, in a sense, guilty of slavery and had to pay a price for its abolishment, which was the Civil War and the 600,000-plus fatalities that resulted.

And yet, now we face a very similar situation where people in polite society routinely defend the practice of abortion as being better for society and for the poor children who, if born, would likely be miserable. The solution to the problem of “unwanted” children is just to kill them, say pro-choicers, especially since doing so benefits the mother so clearly.

Heck, even the Supreme Court has upheld this notion on several occasions, which is why so many supporters of Roe chant “stare decisis” as if it were a magical incantation that absolutely prohibits overturning “precedent” and “decided law,” which matches perfectly what pro-slavery advocates said about the Dred Scott case.

One reason slavery was allowed to exist was that few people outside of the practice really knew how horrible it was and how savagely the slaves were treated. Harriet Beacher Stowe changed all that with her seminal work, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Abortion is similarly losing support as women are seeing their unborn children in 3D sonograms that clearly show their humanity.

If you, like me, look into the practice and see how absolutely revolting it is, you too may change your mind.

But, in the end, the pro-life position is very simple: we should not kill children, unborn or born. Full stop.

And, we should not let the Supreme Court abuse its power to enforce an abortion regime on our country, and should instead let states and the people debate the topic and settle on laws governing the barbaric practice.

My dream is that we all will collectively see the horror that is abortion, just as the American people came to see slavery as the evil it truly is. Once that happens, those people furiously cheering for its continuation will hopefully be seen by future generations as no better than the slave traders of 200 years ago.

Trey Hoffman

Peachtree City, Ga.

13 COMMENTS

  1. The link between slavery and abortion is deeper than the fact that both black slaves and preborn children were dehumanized and not legally granted personhood. The woman who promoted abortion in USA and who founded Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a vile racist eugenicist. She believed firmly in expanding abortion as a means of reducing the population of African-Americans. Here are some relevant quotes:

    From “The Pivot of Civilization” (1922): “We are paying for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.”

    From “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda” (1921): “Today eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue in the solution of racial, political and social problems.”

    She was also in awe of the pre-WW2 German sterilization infrastructure. In a March 3, 1938 speech, Sanger said, “There are 1,700 special courts and 27 higher courts in Germany to review the cases certified for sterilization there,” and she assured her audience that “the rights of the individual could be equally well safeguarded here.” German “rights,” of course, were “safeguarded” by the likes of Dr. Josef Mengele.

    The tragic thing is that he legacy continues to this day. In NYC if you are a black baby in the womb you have a 50-50% chance of making it alive due to the high abortion rate. Is it any coincidence that the PP megacenters are disproportionately placed in communities with a high concentration of minorities?!

  2. Interesting opinion piece. Even more interesting comments. I did not realize how many liberals live around me. Especially after the broad support for the Crabapple Lane closure. I thought walls are evil, or are they ok now in 2021? Any clarification is appreciated.
    Gracias

  3. Believe the science.

    The growth in our scientific understanding of human development has been remarkable over the past fifty years. Medical techniques now exist that were unfathomable just one generation ago. All of that science has pointed extremely consistently to the conclusion that the fetus growing in a mother’s womb is undeniably a human being.

    Believe the science.

    Can we agree on that? We either to believe the science, or stick to outmoded beliefs out of misguided faith.

    As long as we’re going to believe what the science tells us, we have to accept that an unborn baby is a human being.

    As long as we have that down, can we have agreement on one, small, teensy-tiny little point?

    Can we agree that in any human society that we want to live in…. can we agree not to kill innocent people?

    Yeah, I know it’s a tall order, but maybe, just maybe, killing innocent people is bad?

  4. The only person that has lost his collective mind and is in a perpetual state of hysteria is Trey Hoffman.

    Let’s be frank, Trey. It really doesn’t matter what the Supreme Court decides. If a woman wants an abortion here in the United States of America – she will get one and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. You know that. I know that. Everyone knows that.

  5. Trey is back and he’s better than ever!

    or maybe I am back — I got too busy to keep tabs on all Trey’s darkness during the fall, so I don’t know what all shenanigans he’s been up to. I should have known he wouldn’t be able to resist kicking the dead horse of abortion even when the current lawmaking is going all his way.

    I do appreciate his comparison with slavery, though. Forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term is, indeed, tantamount to slavery. So you would think Trey would be against it, as he is certainly against slavery in the abstract. But no, he somehow believes forcing women to bear unwanted children is NOT slavery, but allowing safe early-term abortions is? I am beginning to doubt that Trey is as anti-slavery as he likes to think.

    As he cannot get pregnant, I don’t think he should even have an opinion about this, and if he does, I don’t think it should carry much weight, as he will never be the one forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term (rather like a European-American slave owner back in the day, championing slavery because he knows he will never be enslaved, thanks to the color of his skin).

    In fact, Trey might be interested to know, abortion was common and not illegal in the 18th Century USA, and the tide turned against it, in part because of one crusader who saw that white women were having fewer children and immigrants were flooding in with lots of kids, and he feared white America would be overrun!

    “Shall these regions be filled by our own children or by those of aliens? This is a question our women must answer; upon their loins depends the future destiny of the nation,” said anti-abortion activist Horatio Storer, a 19th Century doctor and crusader. He was not worried about the “murder” of children — he was worried about losing his white privilege. Then, as now, white nationalism and white patriarchy want to control women’s bodies and keep white men at the apex of power. (But thank goodness Trey believes himself to be anti-slavery at least.)

    Also to Trey’s point about slavery: when states began outlawing abortion, an underground abortion service sprang up in Chicago, alá the Underground Railroad. They helped women get secret, safe, and affordable procedures. Indeed there is a history of heroism in the fight for freedom both for enslaved people and women.

    The whole anti-abortion movement from the 1850’s to today has never been about the plight of the unborn, but always about control of women’s bodies. In the 1980’s the evangelical Christianity machine finally united with Catholicism in condemnation of abortion (although prior to 1869 the RC did not condemn abortion before “ensoulment” either) —

    But again, the crusade against abortion wasn’t taken up by evangelical leaders out of concern for the embryo, but out of concern for their own coffers: Evangelical private schools could no longer legally operate as whites-only, and keep their tax-exempt religious status, so they were desperate for a banner under which they could unite white evangelicals to make contributions, and they chose abortion. Let’s hope the damage they have done is not irreparable.

    • Jax – You advance a solid argument that quickly negates Mr. Hoffman’s holier-than-thou, pseudo-Christian objections to abortion rights and stands his slavery argument on its head to boot. There are thousands of disadvantaged children in Georgia and millions worldwide who get only the back of the hand from all these “concerned” anti-abortionists who couldn’t give a fig for their well-being. As a single example, look at how stridently the Georgia conservatives blocked the expansion of Medicaid to ensure that poor children receive no health care benefits.

      The salient issue here has nothing to do with unborn children and everything to do with controlling women. The Trey Hoffmans of the world enthusiastically supported a President who gleefully admits to grabbing unsuspecting women by their genitals, Supreme Court justices who harass women at work and drunkenly attempt to rape them, and a congressman who is a pedophile. Like their monotheistic brothers, the Muslims, they are terrified of any woman who controls her own sexuality. Instead of requiring burqas, the Trey Hoffmans prefer to restrain women’s autonomy and power by keeping them barefoot and pregnant (literally). The specter of a woman having the least bit of agency terrifies them. Evangelical and fundamentalist Christians prohibit women from church leadership positions and relegate them to insignificant duties for fear of any threat of empowerment.

      Let no one be deceived. The only reason the religious and conservatives oppose abortion is the wholesale control and denigration of women. One would have to be a rank simpleton to think otherwise.

      • That’s a bit over the top. Most Christian people will counsel unmarried women to abstain from sex and not to get pregnant in the first place. No sex, no pregnancy. Also, while many chose abortions because they do not want to be tied to an unwanted child, and our laws allow them to abort an unwanted unborn child. Our laws still show personal life value to unborn children. Murder a pregnant woman and you get charged for murdering the pregnant woman and you get charged for murdering her unborn child. Seems fickle to me.

        • “Most Christian people will counsel unmarried women to abstain from sex and not to get pregnant in the first place. No sex, no pregnancy.”

          The problems with this mindset are obvious. Sometimes women don’t have a choice — not only rape, but also in a good Christian marriage. Patriarchal/complementarian Christian views of marriage insist the wife submit to the husband, case closed. And for fertile women, married and unmarried, there’s another choice besides “don’t have sex,” there’s birth control. But it’s not always 100%. And finally, why is this advice from “most Christian people” only directed to unmarried women? If men didn’t have sex, there would be no pregnancy also, right?

          That aside, the bones of my argument above are well documented as regards the “Christian view” of abortion. The Southern Baptist Convention, for instance, never had an official stance on abortion until 1971 when they resolved that the SBC would “work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.”

          When Roe v. Wade passed in 1973, the SBC’s “Baptist Press” said the decision “advanced the cause of religious liberty, human equality and justice.”

          So Christians in general, and evangelicals in particular, saw the right to an abortion as part of equality and justice until the Moral Majority needed a cause celebre and suddenly decided life begins at conception. It’s sheer hubris to pretend this has anything to do with the fate of the unborn. And particularly outrageous for Bible literalists to object to abortion when God Himself gives a recipe for it in (Numbers 5:11-31) — if you suspect your pregnant wife of adultery, you make her drink this poison, and if she miscarries, you know she was unfaithful. If God believes life begins at conception, why would he believe it’s OK to abort the product of infidelity — isn’t that child alive, too?

          Abortion has been with humanity for as long as women have been at risk of unwanted or dangerous pregnancies, and it was only when white men in America felt their supremacy slipping away that it was first condemned.

          Christians who say they oppose abortion because they believe it is murder must contend with what Stranger says above:

          “There are thousands of disadvantaged children in Georgia and millions worldwide who get only the back of the hand from all these concerned anti-abortionists who couldn’t give a fig for their well-being. As a single example, look at how stridently the Georgia conservatives blocked the expansion of Medicaid to ensure that poor children receive no health care benefits.”

          Christians who are worried about abortion have certainly not proven they care at all about the living children they demand be brought into the world, wanted or unwanted.

          I do agree that it is a double standard to charge someone with murder for the death of a fetus in the course of murdering a pregnant woman, but I think the law should be changed, not abortion outlawed.

          • I agree, some men want to, and do, dominate “their women.” Some men are rednecks and drag their knuckles when walking. Some men abstain from sex. Some men are mentally ill. Some women lure men into sexually wanting them. Some women are modest. Some women want the security of a man. Some women are gay. Most Christians are not Southern Baptists or politically referred to as
            evangelicals.” Sex with someone other than a committed partner, is risky conduct.

        • “Sex with someone other than a committed partner, is risky conduct,” says Doug Tucker in response to a clear presentation of why abortion has become politicized and a tool of the white male patriarchy.

          Spoken by a cis-hetero man FFS. HE isn’t at risk of getting pregnant, so he has no problem with forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term and bear an unwanted child. After all, SHE engaged in risky conduct! (By herself, I guess?)

          it’s so difficult for men in a patriarchy to see their own privilege or how misogynistic they sound. Sad.

          • Online today, CDC reports, “In 2019, 629,898 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC …” and “In 2019, 42.3% of all abortions were early medical abortions.” I gather from these statistics 363,451 of the legally induced abortions were the result of unwanted sex.