A ruling on Indiana’s abortion law banning the procedure on the basis of the race, gender, or disability of the fetus was struck down by the SCOTUS on Tuesday, but conservative Justice Clarence Thomas made statements indicating that the fight is far from over. In fact, Thomas used a common misperception to argue that the Supreme Court “will soon need to confront the constitutionality of laws like Indiana’s.”
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 28, 2019
His basic argument was that abortion and birth control movements are racist and intended to curb the population of black people. It’s a common right-wing argument, generally brought up by Trump supporters who don’t care in any other circumstance about discrimination and will fight tooth and nail to argue that racism doesn’t exist until using arguments on race suit their purposes. Thomas’s argument did not just extend to abortion rights, but the right to birth control. In fact, he mentioned birth control no less than 36 times in his argument.
For a Supreme Court justice, however, relying on these tropes and indicating that the argument has merit not only denies women’s agency, it indicates that black women are so unintelligent as to be duped by racist movements purporting to support their right to choose.
The Daily Beast writes:
‘This law and other laws like it promote a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics,” Justice Thomas wrote, proceeding to teach a 15-page lesson on the movement, which extended Darwinism to the human species and led to decades of hideous programs of forced sterilization, “social Darwinism” and justifications for racism.
‘Since Justice Thomas agreed that “further percolation may assist our review of this issue of first impression,” his opinion is judicially meaningless – what lawyers call “dicta.”’
In his morbid and disturbing abortion opinion today, Clarence Thomas railed at length about the "eugenist" origins of birth control.
In fact, he used the phrase "birth control" 36 times (!!!!) in his opinion.
— Dan Lavoie (@djlavoie) May 28, 2019
While the history of Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, certainly indicates that she had problematic views of racial equality, the same can be said of the founders of the United States and the U.S. Constitution being used to decide these laws, and a review of Planned Parenthood’s and other abortion clinics mission statements indicate that Sanger’s views influence nothing today. The same cannot be said for U.S. law.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg slams Clarence Thomas in abortion ruling footnotes https://t.co/s4szldUTXf
— AlterNet (@AlterNet) May 28, 2019
The Guttmacher Institute’s study on reasons why women seek abortion services indicates that the reasons vary but center mostly on a woman’s economic status and ability to care for a child, quite often when the women in question already has children. Women are granted the right to make those decisions for themselves as human beings with agency over their own bodies.
‘In fact, there is simply no evidence of large numbers of women terminating pregnancies because of race or sex. And of course, when disability is part of a mother’s consideration in whether to carry a child, it is part of a difficult, personal decision that, once again, is hers, not the state’s, to make. Who dares to put themselves in the shoes of a mother facing such an agonizing choice? And worse – who dares to put the state in her place, making such a difficult decision for her?’
Well, we now know what took so long to hear what the court was thinking on the Indiana abortion law: So Clarence Thomas could write 20 pages on abortion as eugenics even though they won't hear that law, and so RBG could dissent https://t.co/iMdnlbX8EZ
— Irin Carmon (@irin) May 28, 2019
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