Published on
The Times Herald-Record

So Girls, Did You Notice You Were Raped Last Week?

Beth Quinn

Here's the part that's got smoke coming out of my ears. The part that makes me so mad I could spit nails. The part that's got me purple with apoplexy.

The five boy justices on the Supreme Court who voted to take away our reproductive freedom last week were treating us like silly girls who can't be trusted to make our own decisions.

Worse than silly girls, really. Cows with no more brains than to find the right stall in the dairy barn.

In his written decision allowing the federal government to criminalize a certain kind of abortion procedure, Justice Anthony Kennedy explained in simple words that even we girls could understand that the court's decision was actually good for us.

Why? Well, gosh and by golly, because he wanted to protect us from having a procedure that we might not fully understand and would probably come to regret. Well, duh! I surely am grateful to those boy justices for assuming I can't read or follow the words when my doctor 'splains things to me.

For the record, the other boy justices who signed onto that 5-4 decision were Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito. As far as I know, not one of them is a doctor. And not one of them has the faintest idea, really, what he's talking about. I can hear the mutterers now, claiming I have no respect for these Supreme Court justices. You're right, mutterers! I don't. You know why? They have no respect for me — or any other woman in this nation. We're not morons, you know. We're grown-ups. We even get to vote! For now, anyway.

For the record, a federal ban on the dilation and evacuation abortion method is what the court upheld last week. It is commonly referred to as partial birth abortion — cleverly so-named by the anti-abortion crowd to make people go Gasp! What a horrible kind of abortion that must be! It was an easy procedure to target because it's used in later stage abortions for "¦ oh, you know, those flighty women who just can't plan ahead.

The kind who might say, "Oh golly gee, I've got a high school reunion coming up and I just can't go looking all pregnant and stuff!" I gather that's how the justices assume abortion decisions get made.

In fact, it's often women who don't even want an abortion who end up needing this procedure when things go horribly wrong. Maybe a sonogram in the fifth month reveals that the fetus' brain is outside its body. Or maybe the woman has developed a dangerous heart condition. These women are often bereft that the pregnancy has to be ended. In a later stage abortion, D&E is often the only safe procedure because the uterus could easily be punctured during a standard abortion. And that would be the end of all future pregnancies as well.

But — and here's the worst part — the justices ruled that there are NO cases except imminent death of the mother in which a D&E abortion can be legally performed now. Not to preserve her health. Not to save her uterus. The justices have replaced your doctor's judgment with their own. This is the boy president's Supreme Court, of course. It's his gift to the Religious Right for helping put him into the White House. He appointed the ultra conservative Alito and Roberts to the court to tip the balance against women's reproductive rights.

Bush is happy as a clam that the court voted to uphold the law — passed during his first term — banning this procedure. His law. His court. And he vows to keep stripping us girlies of our rights.

"We will continue to work for the day when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law," he said last week after the court issued its decision. As usual, his syntax was as faulty as his reasoning.

So this is what we can expect from the Roberts court. The matter is settled. Five against women. Four in favor. Majority rules.

The chief justice is young. His job is for life. And now we know. His court will eventually overturn Roe.

Every woman should be angry. Even if you're against abortion, you should be angry.

You know why? Because even if the justices are making decisions you agree with, they're not your decisions. Those boys are in charge of your body now.

Those boys have hog-tied your freedom now.

Those boys are your rapists now.

* * *

There are 638 days left 'til Jan. 20, 2009.


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