The Supreme Court sequestered in its shadow docket after midnight has on Sept 1 in Whole Women’s Health v. Austin Reeve Jackson made several things clear. First, the court has zero credibility. They no longer decide legal cases based on the Constitution, the law, precedent, science or facts. They decide solely on politics.
Based on politics, not science or public health, they decided that people who oppose vaccines and masks have “my body, my right” to continue to harm others, exhaust medical resources, and prolong economic damage for religious reasons. But women whose decision does not impact public health or exhaust medical resources or prolong economic harm do not have a right to make their own medical decisions about their own bodies. For women, it’s “my body, somebody else’s right.”
The Texas law the court upheld authorizes complete strangers, abusive husbands, rapist fathers, religious extremists, and mentally ill people – fully armed – to attack women’s private, personal, health-care decisions. They can sue and be rewarded with $10,000. We have had bounty hunters before. We had the Fugitive Slave Law where bounty hunters chased Blacks to return them to slavery. We had the KKK that were set lose by the government to enforce Jim Crow Laws and beat, burn, and murder formerly enslaved people or those who tried to help them. For centuries we said husbands were not state actors so they could freely beat and rape their wives. None of these actions turned out well for democracy or freedom or equality or decency or human rights. Yet this is the hell the Texas legislature wants to return to and the Supreme Court condones.
While some of these same people bemoan the fate of the Afghani women and blame the Democrats (Republican President Bush started the war), they themselves seek to impose a regime on women as drastic as the Taliban. They want to let strangers spy on women’s every movement, report on where and when they are going for medical care, monitor medical staff, harass and sue counselors and friends. They have already set up a website to report women’s suspicious behavior – like Stalin in the Soviet Union. The Morality Police in Iran arrested women for wearing headscarves too short and the “morals police” under the Taliban in Afghanistan beat women for wearing the wrong shoes – the only thing that could be seen under the head-to-toe black covering. Today armed men are roaming around Texas policing women’s behavior. When does the airlift start to get the women to safety?
Some in Arizona have already praised this ruling and said we should do it here in 2022. Those claiming to be “pro-life” are not – or they would get a shot and wear a mask, oppose the death penalty, leave water in the desert, pay for maternal health care etc. They do none of that. They only seek to impose their religion on the rest of us. We won’t let them.
Dianne Post is legal director for Secular Communities for AZ.