On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an abortion law in Indiana demanding facilities provide the dignified burial or cremation of aborted babies.
Clarence Thomas agreed with the 7-2 opinion, but he called it a mistake to decline ruling on whether Indiana could bar abortions for sex-selection or eugenic purposes. But a particular part of his language riled Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Clarence offered this:
“Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement. In other contexts, the Court has been zealous in vindicating the rights of people even potentially subjected to race, sex, and disability discrimination.”
In his written opinion, Justice Thomas also referred to pregnant women as “mothers.”
Ruth wasn’t much for the term, so she corrected her colleague:
“(A) woman who exercises her constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy is not a ‘mother.'”
“I would therefore deny Indiana’s petition in its entirety.”
In a footnote, Clarence countered that her “dissent from this holding makes little sense.”
She volleyed with a dismissal of his comment as “more heat than light.”
There’s probably a sense to Ruth saying pregnant women aren’t mothers. Asserting they are, I would imagine, may result in questions or challenges to other statements she’s made. Still, the fact that she was compelled to make the distinction is, in my view, a reminder that we’re living in very, very strange times.
And I think it’s gonna get weirder.
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