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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Well, Guess That's Settled. . .

Yesterday the Supreme Court overturned a highly restrictive Texas abortion law, emphatically reaffirming the constitutional right to abortion.  Now that the abortion question has been settled once and for all, I guess we need discuss it no further.

Well, it would be nice to think so....

Disingenuously promoted as protecting women's health, Texas' law mandated among other things that abortion clinics meet onerous physical-plant requirements that had nothing to do with making abortions safer.  The actual purpose of these laws, of course, was simply to ensure that very few clinics could meet the enhanced standards and would consequently be forced to close,  And the law was very effective in this regard, as the number of abortion clinics in Texas has been roughly halved since the law's enactment. 

The Supreme Court's decision yesterday reversed an appeals court ruling upholding the law, a ruling, by the way, that summarizes the fundamental flaw behind much anti-abortion legislation.  The appeals court judges upheld the law, claiming that they "had to accept lawmakers’ assertions about the health benefits of abortion restrictions."  Because, after all, who is more knowledgeable about women's health needs than right-wing politicians?

Hillary Clinton seized on the ruling to emphasize the importance of electing a candidate who will choose well-qualified Supreme Court justices--justices who will uphold abortion rights and other liberal concerns.  Donald Trump "made no direct public comments on Monday’s decision."  So in addition to reaffirming women's right to abortion, SCOTUS actually managed to make Drumpf shut the hell up for five minutes.  On the whole, then, a positive--if not miraculous--ruling.

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