Friday, July 15, 2022


What is minimalism?

The case of the raped Ohio child I talked about yesterday very clearly shows one big specific problem with the overturn of Roe (and there's more to it than that, which I'll get to in a minute), That clarity is why conservatives are screaming about it. Several of them follow the example of David Harsanyi of The Federalist, who portrays those of us who were properly horrified by the story when it was revealed -- while conservatives were chortling that it was a "fanciful" fake -- as "gleefully dunking" on those conservatives when the story was amply confirmed, as if we were crouched by ESPN hoping things would break our way and erupted in cheers when it turned out a 10-year-old had indeed been forced to flee for her life because of insane post-Dobbs abortion laws. 

(Harsanyi continues to look for loopholes: "Besides, there are still reasons to be curious about certain aspects of this story. Did the victim really have to go to Indiana to be treated by a nationally known abortion activist? " Jesus, this guy's an even bigger piece of shit than I knew.)

Harsanyi's cynical interpretation notwithstanding, the fact is there is no suspense or element of chance about this: Anyone could have predicted (and in fact many of us have predicted) that atrocities like this would follow because that's what the anti-abortion movement promises. They say abortion is murder, and when you point out the corollaries -- So will women who try to have them be prosecuted and locked down until they give birth? Will they be forced to give birth even if it kills them? -- they phumpher about how they only want to protect women but never answer the question. 

At its silliest this leads to simple logical absurdities like the anti-abortion activist Catherine Glenn Foster telling Congress that an abortion is not an abortion, basically, if it makes anti-abortionists look less insane. At its worst, it causes the Ohio nightmare and many others we can very reasonably expect.  

That's why, as I mentioned before, their strategy has been, at least at first, not to arrest women -- as one would imagine any serious anti-"murder" intervention would require -- but to drive them underground to desperately seek dwindling remedies; that way it just seems like abortions are disappearing rather than that women have been deprived of their basic human rights. But some of these women -- or, in the present case, little girls -- will become visible and reveal the inhuman viciousness of the whole rotten charade. That's why conservatives are freaking out now.

Which brings me to another point: Hard cases like this always get attention, but we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that they're only the most extreme examples of the injury to everyone who can give birth and wants to be in control of whether and when they do. Anti-choicers are hypocrites, but their hypocrisy is purposeful: like Foster, they're willing to deny a few principles if it keeps their real mission on the down-low. Not only every scared kid but also everyone who's denied abortion care because their local politicians made it illegal -- or who is denied even legal abortion care because conservatives scared off the people who could give it to her -- or will soon be prevented by getting that care even in places that want to give it because Republicans, at their own admission, want to prohibit her from crossing borders or make abortion illegal in all 50 states -- is also an atrocity and should not be stood for. 

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