Saturday, April 16, 2022

the last book I ever read (Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution, excerpt thirteen)

from Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution by Elie Mystal:

Yet some conservatives argue that Roe v. Wade is the intellectual doppelganger of Dred Scott. They argue that the Court in Roe found that the unborn had no rights that (actual) people are bound to respect, and they argue that the ruling is every bit as erroneous as the one upholding slavery. They think that the same amendments that functionally overturned the Dred Scott decision can and should be used to overturn Roe v. Wade, or they’re willing to introduce an entirely new amendment to do the work.

To quote TV president Josiah Bartlet: “Your indignation would be a lot more interesting to me if it wasn’t quite so covered in crap.” How dare the fetal personhood brigade, last seen ripping breast-feeding children away from their mothers at the border, lecture me about the rights of the unborn. How dare they equate the bondage, rape, and torture that was American human chattel slavery to the failure of a clump of cells to implant in a uterus after a woman takes a drug cocktail a few weeks after accidental conception? The supposed rights of the unborn hold no moral suasion in a society that is willing to consign children who are born alive to poverty, malnutrition, and toxic air and water. I am unmoved by the alleged moral clarity of people who throw around the term anchor babies and are willing to deport children who have lived in this country for decades because they were brought here “illegally” as babies. These hypocrites want to make rights attach at conception, but not citizenship and representation in the census. These would-be moralists can fuck all the way off.

Their legal arguments are no better than their moral ones. Because fetal personhood amendments aren’t really about one kind of theoretical right “to become life.” If they were, activists would be busy trying to bring the hundred of thousands of embryos lying abandoned in frozen stasis at our nation’s fertility clinics to life, which they’re not. No, what the conservatives want is forced incubation of fetuses by women who are unwilling to perform the work.

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