Columns I Didn’t Finish

from Lynn Stuart Parramore, “cultural historian”…

Should conservatives on the Supreme Court strike down Roe v. Wade, they still won’t be able to blot out human nature and human history. They will just make life more dangerous and precarious for women in America today. Some refer to GOP politics as “medieval.” That’s an insult to medieval people — many of whom understood women’s reproductive and family planning needs far better than Justice Alito.


(ok, I cheated, I did make it to the end of the column to get to that paragraph, but only to save you from having to do it…)

24 thoughts on “Columns I Didn’t Finish

  1. Really badly written op-ed by Parramore (
    It kind of rambles along, correctly points out that social attitudes towards abortion have been more liberal than the written word of law. But Parramore falls into the trap of bad sociologists, she assumes society is one person with a single will. There was no single “Medival attitude towards abortion.” At the end she undercuts her own argument when she stresses how dangerous the Medieval folk remedy abortifacients were.
    And, like virtually all of the Dobbs decisions critics, Parramore does not address Alito’s argument. Her thesis, as far as I can tell, is that abortion has always been practiced by some women, abortion is good, therefore it must be a constitutional right.

  2. Compared to European countries, you know, the target to achieve utopia that progs say the U.S. should shoot for, have sane abortion laws compared to the barbaric versions that are present in many states.

  3. The Constitutional problem is with so-called “non-enumerated rights”: abortion rights —which were brought under a right of privacy that was read into the 14th Amendment — presented a particular challenge for the Court.

    The reason for this is because no one can say with scientific certainty when life begins. Anyone who does make such an assertion, whether on the left or right, is asserting an opinion or a belief. He or she is professing his or her faith and nothing more.

    With Roe v. Wade, the Court effectively threw up its hands by saying the only constitutionally appropriate way they could resolve the question was with reference to viability.

    It is this approach American theocrats cannot accept because Roe v. Wade was in essence an attempt to resolve a morally charged issue while still respecting the establishment clause.

    The thing about Roe that really chaffs the religious right is the fact the Supreme Court resolved the issue with reference to science, and not to moral or religious values (meaning their values, naturally).

    The putative constitutional issue — whether there is a right of privacy — only has masked the real issue, which was whether the Supreme Court should have respected the moral (really theocratic) impulses of a certain segment of society over the interests of others.

  4. ^^You will never read a poorer analysis of the issues surrounding abortion in the US.
    Not until the Dobbs dissenting opinions are published, anyway.
    There are many atheists who are opposed to abortion. There are many pro-choice Christians.

  5. That analysis is exactly and entirely wrong, E. The question is not ‘when does life begin’ but ‘what does the Constitution say about when legal protection extends to life,’ a completely different analysis. I laid it out for you in the earlier post (death penalty versus abortion).

    And ‘viability’ is no longer the test – that was the test in Roe, but Casey changed it to ‘undue burden,’ which is an even less objective standard. Relentless pushing the boundaries led us to Stenberg v. Carhart, a case involving partial-birth abortion in which Justice Thomas’ dissent included a graphic description of what actually happens during the procedure.

    And that led us to Kermit Goswell, letting live babies die after botched abortions because the mother didn’t want the baby to live. From there, it leads to Peter Singer, who suggested babies shouldn’t have rights for 30 days after birth, so killing them would still be legal ‘abortion.’ Stole the idea from Spartans, maybe? Long ways from ‘first trimester’ or ‘viability.’

    All the later expansions and refinements on baby-killing flow from Roe. Overturn the source, overturn them all, which is why Alito focuses on that case. Roe was not the bottom of the slippery slope, it was the top.

    I can see how you got confused. Blackman was confused, too. He confused himself with a state legislator, whose job it is to make this decision. Alito correctly points out that the Constitution gives no power to the Court to make social policy decisions. Overturning Roe sends the debate back to the people’s elected representatives, where it belongs.

    Look, this issue has been debated for five decades. Some of us have been involved at every step so we’ve read the arguments, found their errors, written and spoken at length on how to correct them. Skimming articles written by 20-something journalists pushing a specific agenda is no substitute for learning the material. Go read the source documents. You’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

  6. ^^ Thanks but your comment suffers from a logical flaw of completely missing the point.

    The thing about “rights” is that they’re supposed to be “inalienable”. It’s for the Courts to determine the limits of this. Legislatures can test the limits of rights, but Courts will have the final say as to whether a legislature has gone too far.

    The recognition of a right that is not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights has always been a challenge: interracial marriage, contraception, homosexuality, gay marriage — all of these were all recognized over decades in the courts under the 14th Amendment. The whole point of a right is that — once it’s recognized — a legislature can’t take it away altogether.

    But Courts can, as Justice Alito is demonstrating in his draft opinion — on the grounds that it isn’t specifically enumerated and there isn’t historical grounding in it.

    Alito claims he isn’t … but he has opened the door to challenge all other non-enumerated rights, too. One GOP Senator has duly followed through — saying it was mistake to legalize interracial marriage.

  7. Forgot to mention: the Constitution is not an ‘enumerated rights’ document, it an ‘enumerated powers’ document. All powers belong to the people, except those specifically delegated to one of the branches of government – legislative, executive or judicial.

    Find the place in the Constitution the power to regulate abortion is given to the judicial branch of the federal government and we can begin our conversation on the appriopriate limits for the court to impose on abortion. Until then, that power belongs to the states, exactly as Alito suggests.

    This is not difficult stuff, E. This is high school civics. It’s also required on the naturalization test. How can a US citizen not know this?

  8. It’s also required on the naturalization test

    I think you’d be surprised what is *not* asked on the naturalization test.

  9. Alito limited his opinion to the specifics of the case before him but you are correct: if the Supreme Court starts throwing out earlier cases of judicial over-reach and usurpation of legislative authority, it could lead to reconsideration of interracial marriage, contraception, homosexuality, and gay marriage.

    Which it should. When the court decides “You know what, we shouldn’t have stuck our nose into making social policy, we had no authority to do that,” then the court should over-rule it’s earlier mistake and return power to the people to act through their elected representatives.

    The fear you feel is that of the dictator being run out of office by the people justly angered by his dictatorship. Whether his decision to make the trains run on time was correct is not the issue. It was not his decision to make.

  10. You know what is even more democratic than your state legislature making this decision for women? Letting each woman and each family/couple make this decision for themselves. There’s nothing more democratic than that.

  11. I know some single fathers who would love that idea.

    Girl gets pregnant, dumps Boy instead of ‘doing the right thing’ to marry, has child, County Attorney adjudicates parentage, awards Girl custody, sets child support, denies visitation, distributes welfare.

    Boy pays 18 years’ child support for a daughter he’s never seen.

    Worse than Save The Children. At least with them, I get a monthly photo and letter from the child.

  12. The 14th is both tough and easy to find unenumerated rights in.
    Tough because it talks about rights to process, not a specific thing like free speech.
    Easy because it talks about rights to process, not a specific thing like free speech.
    You can make a 14th amendment argument for just about anything you want to do or want to stop others from doing. It has been used to defend the right of parents to attend private schools (successfully) and to attack the right of parents to attend private schools (unsuccessfully).
    Progressives love the unenumerated rights in the constitution and hate the enumerated rights in the constitution.
    Progressives were foolish in hanging something so important to them on a poor reading of the 14th amendment.

  13. A buddy reads SITD and sent me an email calling me out. “You don’t actually know single fathers like that, you’re making it up. When you use Leftist tactics to make a point, you demean yourself. Stop it.”

    Um, actually, I do. I lost that case. It was early in my career, probably the late 80’s, don’t recall exactly. And the facts were even better for me but I still lost.

    20-something woman living in trailer park invites under-18 boy to her home to party. Smoked some week, drank some booze, he claims he blacked out after making out, can’t remember having sex with her but plainly did, the DNA test confirmed it. She pled guilty to Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and got probation. Couldn’t go to jail, she had a baby to care for. Couldn’t pay a fine, she had no money which is why she needed child support from him.

    The single mother/child abuser/sex criminal was on welfare so the County Attorney represented her in the paternity/child support matter. I argued my client was the victim of statutory rape, that the sex was non-consensual, that the child might be his child but the decision to create the child was not his decision so the obligation to support the child should not be his obligation.

    The County argued the mother’s crime was irrelevent to the case. The right to receive support from the father is the child’s right, the money is paid to the mother solely for administrative reasons. Since he’s the father, he owes support. And since he’s a lousy father – trying to get out of paying support – he shouldn’t be allowed visitation with the child at all. Ever. Judge agreed. Client couldn’t afford to appeal and probably would have lost anyway. There’s was no ‘gender equity’ in family court back then. The anti-man bias was palpable.

    Letting each couple make the decision for themselves whether to have a child? That would be wonderful. That should be the law. But it’s not.

  14. There’s was no ‘gender equity’ in family court back then. The anti-man bias was palpable.

    Back then? Has it changed now? Surely you jest!

  15. The thing about “rights” is that they’re supposed to be “inalienable”.

    This is what happens when an 80 IQ nitwit attempts to debate using his own empty brain pan.

    The founders included just 3 inalienable rights: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Period.

    Those are God given rights, that no government can give or take. It’s why the ghouls work so hard to deny that a developing child is a human being. Human beings have the right to life.

    It’s ironic, in a moron of way, that many of the ghouls who deny a dividing human cell is alive would be celebrating the discovery of bacteria on Mars as proof of life in the universe (I saw that elsewhere and stole it).

    Fuck these ghouls. Let them slither back behind the borders of their shit hole states and wet the soil with the blood of their offspring. Less of them to have to deal with later.

  16. As Ronald Reagan once said; “I can’t help noticing that everyone that is pro abortion, is alive.” True then. True now.

    Face it, Emery. You alleged pro-choice zealots, are all racists. Abortion/Planned Parenthood was the construct of racist eugenicists. The majority of deaths in black communities, are from abortion. I’ll finish with this very telling video, taken by a black man.

  17. …it could lead to reconsideration of interracial marriage, contraception, homosexuality, and gay marriage.

    Which it should.

    Hear him!

    (Well, with the exception of contraception which is solely based upon the whim of the Catholic Church, and therefore a clear violation of church/state predicates).

  18. In the end the question is whether abortion law should be made through the democratic processes or by a bunch of unremovable judges. This decision may be bad for women, but it is good for democracy.

    For the avoidance of doubt, I support a woman’s right to choose. But nobody believes that right should last up to the moment before birth. It is a question of striking a balance, and that is what democracy is for.

  19. The reason Roe is sacrosanct to the Left is because the pro-baby-killing movement found the democratic process too slow and unreliable; getting the SCOTUS to “settle” the matter and declare abortion an inalienable right was supposed to end the argument. Yeah, that worked. Now it goes back to the states and the slow and unreliable democratic process.

  20. Now it goes back to the states and the slow and unreliable democratic process

    Maybe up there. Our legislature has a bill on the backburner, warmed up and ready to go.

  21. One interesting aspect if Roe V Wade is overturned is that state law will now govern abortion.
    Wisconsin’s Abortion law, dormant for a half century, makes it a felony for a health care provider to assist in an abortion, no exception for rape or incest, etc.
    No doubt that will change. Wisconsin is redder than Minnesota, but not that much redder.
    I am curious to see how the pro-abortion legislators and activists deal with this. They believe in abortion on demand, up to the moment of birth. They are also trapped in absolutism & cancel culture. Will they offer a reasonable compromise or not?
    I’m guessing “not,” because Milwaukee and Madison are liberal bubbles. The word “compromise” is not in their vocabulary.

  22. Joe Biden, demonstrating his Alzheimer on Cinco de Mayo:
    “25 out of every 100 children in grades kindergarten through senior in high school speak Spanish…and we’ll conquer and honor and lift up all those folks who in fact, are, have gotten in the way.”

    This is ridiculous.

  23. OK, back the article, so apparently the medievals are the judge of what is right and just in a society? Mmmkay….somebody obviously has not read much medieval literature, to put it mildly.

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