Justice can be defined as conforming to truth, fact or reason. Furthering the concept would include such considerations as impartial or fair, righteousness or moral rightness. Supreme could be defined as the highest in degree or quality. Neither could be considered in the context of this country’s highest court as currently configured. This court would more appropriately be designated:
The Unjust Extreme Court. Justification for this designation will follow.
Ethicists speak of the right of autonomy for all human beings with capacity and dignity. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg supported abortion as a right. Abortion “is something central to a woman’s life, to her dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When government controls that decision for her, she is being treated less than an adult human responsible for her own choices.”
The Unjust Extreme Court has taken away that right for many and more so enabled states to criminalize doing such even in the case of rape. The civilized world has reacted with consternation regarding the decision and with support for women’s rights. Macron of France stated: “abortion is a fundamental right for all women. We must protect it.” He is doing just that as laws are being drafted to codify such. Sturgeon of Scotland stated: “one of the darkest days for women’s rights in my lifetime.” Even in China, abortion remains a matter of choice.
Judge Alito in his ruling alludes to the criminalization of abortion past and present. He repeatedly referred to those dedicated to the health and welfare of women choosing not to carry a pregnancy to term as “abortionists.” The State of Texas has made ordinary citizens bounty hunters, paying them for information regarding any citizen who in any way helps those choosing to secure abortion services. Most egregious and inhumane is making no exception for pregnancy following rape or incest.
Recently the tragic case of a 10-year-old child, raped and pregnant, was denied an abortion by the governor and state legislature in Ohio. Fortunately, the procedure was performed in Indiana. As soon as the story was published in the Indianapolis Star, the fabrications began. Congressman Jim Jordan (republican Ohio) stated “Another lie. Anyone surprised?” Sadly, the Wall Street Journal editorial page featured a piece entitled “An Abortion Story Too Good to Confirm” in which the claim was made that there is no evidence the girl exists and inferring the source was biased. Even more problematic from my perspective is the retraction the Journal made following the identification of the rapist by attempting in my view to shift the blame for their inadequate investigative reporting on other factors. Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota stated “I don’t believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy” The greater tragedy by any measure would be to force this pregnancy to continue. The increased risk to the life of a 10-year-old little girl during childbirth, the years of mental anguish for both mother and child leading almost certainly to shattered lives. She also stated, “those breaking her states abortion laws should be punished and that’s the DOCTORS and not the women.” Depravity- now the criminals are the doctors. The state of Indiana continues to harass the physician who bravely and humanely provided the essential care this little girl needed. Reiterating Alito’s musings– past and present physician abortion providers caring for their patients making autonomous choices to end their pregnancies are criminals. Where are the voices condemning the perpetrators of rape? Where is the outrage against the rapists of 10-year-olds? Where is the press stressing that rape is a crime punishable by prison or just maybe in today’s world of men again attempting to dominate women, they should just be determined to have a sexual addiction, receive psychiatric care and be released to again do what violent sex predators do. After all the real villains are now the physicians. Does that make governor Greg Abbott of Texas enlightened? His state has the largest number of reported rapes per capita in the nation. His solution to the abortion problem is that he will stop all rapes.
Lyndon Johnson in his Great Society address at the University of Michigan in1964 envisioned advancing the quality of our American civilization. “The purpose of protecting the life of our nation and protecting the liberty of our citizens is to pursue the happiness of our people. Our success in that pursuit is the test of our success of our nation.” The unjust supreme court has not only failed to protect liberty, it has removed one very significant freedom and is poised to do more harm.
Judge Thomas has stated his mission now is to stop contraception and same sex marriage among other rights. Yet he mentions nothing regarding interracial marriage– including his own interracial marriage. His hypocrisy and any semblance of ethics in governance should lead to his impeachment. Further, the courts willingness to review a case on state legislatures’ power over elections could lead to the popular vote being negated-in essence the end of our democracy as we know it.
Abortion illegal, physicians now criminals and the popular will being subverted by the minority, all portend the greatest democracy the world has ever known–- Regan’s conceptual “shining city on a hill” no longer.
Winston Churchill has said “To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often.”
We need to replace the bigots, the inept, the self-indulgent, the power-hungry, the isolationists, and the conspiratorial propagandists among our current representatives. We must have strong visionary leadership with the strength of purpose of The Greatest Generation.
In his inaugural address, President John F Kennedy challenged society to improve the public good. His words were never more sentient than now. “And so my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.”
Marshall Strome, MD, MS is a Professor of Bioethics and Humanism at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, an Adjunct Professor of Otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University and Professor and Chairman Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic Head and Neck Institute.