Just two days ago, a federal judge in Mississippi, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, struck down a Mississippi law that outlawed abortion starting at 15 weeks. Practically, this law had very little impact. In Mississippi, 94% of all abortions would still take place. It would save babies that are on the cusp of viability under current technology and which are indisputably human even to the most hardened, anti-science pro-abort out there:
Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she’s likely to move away from the beam. There’s not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. If you have an ultrasound coming up, you may be able to find out whether your baby’s a boy or a girl!
That the judge struck down the law is sort of unsurprising. Abortion is one of the few things leftwing judges swoon over. They can give ground on free speech, and illegal searches, and firearms ownership, but when it comes to killing babies, they are on the front lines of the struggle. What was extraordinary was the opinion that reeked of racial and religious bigotry.
No, the real reason we are here is simple. The State chose to pass a law it knew was unconstitutional to endorse a decades-long campaign, fueled by national interest groups, to ask the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
This Court follows the commands of the Supreme Court and the dictates of the United States Constitution, rather than the disingenuous calculations of the Mississippi Legislature.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but if Judge Reeves had been on the bench when Brown vs. Board of Education was tried, we’d still have segregated schools. Segregation was the law of the land, codified by the Supreme Court in Plessy vs. Ferguson, and the same, exact argument could be make about every civil rights lawsuit filed from the end of Reconstruction until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Reeves’s crocodile tears for the minuscule expense of litigating this case is grotesque given the short-shrift he gives to the lives of the babies he has said must be snuffed out for the convenience of the mother (there is virtually no medical condition that requires an abortion at 15 weeks to cure it).
The fact that men, myself included, are determining how women may choose to manage their reproductive health is a sad irony not lost on the Court. As Sarah Weddington argued to the nine men on the Supreme Court in 1971 when representing “Jane Roe,” “a pregnancy to a woman is perhaps one of the most determinative aspects of her life.” As a man, who cannot get pregnant or seek an abortion, I can only imagine the anxiety and turmoil a woman might experience when she decides whether to terminate her pregnancy through an abortion. Respecting her autonomy demands that this statute be enjoined.
And there is this footnote:
In that spirit, this Court concludes that the Mississippi Legislature’s professed interest in “women’s health” is pure gaslighting. In its legislative findings justifying the need for this legislation, the Legislature cites Casey yet defies Casey’s core holding. The State “ranks as the state with the most [medical] challenges for women, infants, and children” but is silent on expanding Medicaid. Ryan Sit, Mississippi has the Highest Infant Mortality Rate and is Expected to Pass the Nation’s Strictest Abortion Bill, Newsweek, March 19, 2018. Its leaders are proud to challenge Roe but choose not to lift a finger to address the tragedies lurking on the other side of the delivery room: our alarming infant and maternal mortality rates. See, e.g., Lynn Evans, Maternal Deaths Still on the Increase, The Clarion Ledger, March 31, 2018; Danielle Paquette, Why Pregnant Women in Mississippi Keep Dying, Wash. Post, April 24, 2015.
No, legislation like H.B. 1510 is closer to the old Mississippi—the Mississippi bent on controlling women and minorities. The Mississippi that, just a few decades ago, barred women from serving on juries “so they may continue their service as mothers, wives, and homemakers.” State v. Hall, 187 So. 2d 861, 863 (Miss. 1966). The Mississippi that, in Fannie Lou Hamer’s reporting, sterilized six out of ten black women in Sunflower County at the local hospital—against their will. See Rickie Solinger, Wake Up Little Susie 57 (1992). And the Mississippi that, in the early 1980s, was the last State to ratify the 19th Amendment—the authority guaranteeing women the right to vote. See Marjorie Julian Spruill & Jesse Spruill Wheeler, Mississippi Women and the Woman Suffrage Movement, Mississippi History Now.
It is hard to imagine a more bizarre or racially tinged statement ever appearing in a federal court decision. Reeves goes full-metal Social Justice Warrior in signing onto the trope that men have no right to decide if their children are killed. He essentially endorses rewriting the constitution to prohibit men from having a voice in some issues. The irony of Roe being decided by an all-male court…or abortion being more popular among men than women…seems to have escaped him.Does he also feel that whites shouldn’t have a vote on “black” issues? (Given his track record on the bench, that is probably a rhetorical question.) His point about Mississippi being the last state to ratify the 19th Amendment is bullsh**. Pennsylvania, Florida, and Utah are among those states that never ratified the 16th Amendment. Georgia, South Carolina and Utah, among others, have never ratified the 17th. Nevada, Kentucky, and North Dakota haven’t agreed that 18 year olds can vote in federal elections. This is just the worst sort of sophistry. (Chart here.)
And, of course, there is race-baiting out the wazoo…again, the irony of citing black sterilization when the abortion industry in the form of Planned Parenthood was a proponent of sterilizing lesser peoples and killing their babies seems to have escaped him. And equating the state legislature to Klansmen is simply disgusting.
Of course, Mississippi is trying to get a case before the Supreme Court to test Roe. That happens all the time. It is difficult imagining Reeves unleashing this barrage of sewage on any other cause–well, maybe gun rights–that was pursuing the same strategy.
And, even though Chief Justice Roberts won’t want to hear it, this bigot was appointed by Barack Obama.
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