Fight for your right

I was greatly heartened by the high school students who organized and ran the reproductive rights rally in Durango on May 14. They did an admirable job. They understand what’s happening to democracy and rights in the U.S.

So did the goodly crowd that attended – men, women, straight, gay, trans, young, old. Very nice.

The GOP has worked since at least 2000 to create single party democracy in the U.S. They’ve succeeded in many states. Republican candidates (Lauren Boebert, for instance) campaign on protecting freedom. But the opposite is happening in those GOP-controlled states.

They are canceling women’s freedom to control their own reproductive functions and take them back to the good old 1950s. First abortion access. Next access to contraception?

Following Texas’ lead, some red states are creating a culture to rat on your neighbor or even a family member as part of canceling reproductive rights. The health and even lives of women with natural miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies are at risk. In red states with “life begins at conception” laws, those women could face criminal charges.

Indications are that some anti-abortion states will try to criminalize what a woman does in another state, where the activity is legal. Next step? How about Gestapo checkpoints at state lines, bus and train stations, and airports where females ages 10 to 55 are forced to take a pregnancy test? If it’s positive, the female is detained, along with any adult companions.

Now we have the leaked Supreme Court draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on grounds that it’s based on individual privacy, which the draft says is not an enumerated right in the Constitution. Never mind the 3rd and 4th amendments, which suggest privacy rights. Maybe the drafters of the Constitution took privacy rights so much for granted that it didn’t occur to them to specify that in the Constitution.

So if the draft becomes final, you have no right to privacy. How many other rights that we take for granted are threatened by that? Let your imagination run wild.

Red states already target LGBTQ+ people for legalized discrimination and criminalize loving parents who support and provide necessary gender-affirming health care for their trans children. 

Next steps? Cancel the right to marry, same sex or interracial. Maybe go back to the good old days when LGBTQ+ people were rooted out for dismissal from the military and government jobs, and even when same sex or interracial relations were a crime?

Now, Mitch McConnell is suggesting that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and the GOP takes control of Congress this fall, they could pass a national ban on abortion – the opposite of what Democrats want to do. And the opposite of what polls indicate the majority of Americans want.

Let’s just say it. For the most part, all this is an effort by evangelicals and conservative Catholics, enabled by the GOP, to use government to impose their puritanical, patriarchal religious codes on everyone else.

Note that the Supreme Court is now controlled by conservative Catholics, thanks to the GOP. They also are Constitutional originalists. Only white male property owners were considered worthy to vote when the Constitution was written, and women had the status of chattel. They can never have true equality without being able to control their own reproductive functions.

We all will have to live with the results of this pending decision. Ignore your rights and they will go away.

Carole McWilliams, Bayfield