JUSTICE ANTAGONISM (III)
To whom a life belongs? The Totalitarian danger
The debate in NYT (12/01/21), “Four Times Opinion Writers Debate Abortion at the Supreme Court: ‘My Guess Is They Overturn’ ”, is hilariously high spirited as well as engaging in its parallel ending with heart beat opinions. Charles M Blow, Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg, and Lulu Garcia-Navarro exchanges their views.
Goldberg, progressive, stands for women’s rights which should not be deprived according to the change of political tides in the justices’ response to the public currents. She points out the Chief Justice Roberts’s possible turn-around judgment to be considered a wind pointer on the high roof. Goldberg brings out the issue as women’s lives and rights against the states’ interventions over most concretely among debaters
Goldberg replies to Douthat who says, “Michelle feels that overturning Roe would deprive her daughter of full citizenship; I don’t think the promise of full citizenship should depend on abortion”:
Goldberg: Ross, I’m not sure what that means. I know the anti-abortion side has lately made the argument that women don’t need abortion for equality, and that in the absence of legal abortion, society may be forced to adapt to the demands of childbearing. But none of that changes the existentially degrading and terrifying possibility of being forced to go through pregnancy and birth against your will.
Douthat, politically conservative and Catholic, is dodged also by Charles M Blow, compassionate advocate for black people.
Blow: Oh, Ross, the drama. Hah! You veered into the more philosophical question of what is a child, of when a group of cells becomes a child and therefore a person. Essentially calling every woman who terminates a pregnancy a murderer is wrong. I understand that people disagree on this, on scientific, philosophical and religious grounds, but here I strongly defend a woman’s right to choose. That’s what I want for my daughter.
This is a voice of a viable sense in full of strength according to me. But, not only Goldberg and Blow, Douthat has his own daughters too.
Douthat: And I suppose I would be grateful for the opportunity to build a society that does not assume that my three daughters’ status as equal human beings depends, practically or constitutionally, on their right to kill their own unborn children in utero.
Douthat, in fact, limits his position for this debate in a scope of the Constitution and its practical legality over specificities of cases. He, though, steps back.
Douthat: I don’t think we’ll settle the philosophical question here, Charles. And I don’t mean to be dramatic, I’m just trying to be responsive and distill the stakes[.]
I really wish the video version of the debate will come up to view.
The major issue taken in the debate is how the Supreme Court will go and into what direction. However, the details of each debaters’ words carry vitalities far beyond. Garcia-Navarro mentions:
Garcia-Navarro: I’ve lived in countries with no abortion access, including Brazil, and I’ve reported on what happens in places where there is no access to safe abortion. And what you see is that women are forced to have unsafe abortions, and primarily lower-income women bear the brunt of the outcomes for their health and safety. And it doesn’t actually stop abortions there.
Goldberg replies to her.
Goldberg: I’ve also reported from a lot of countries where abortion was illegal and visited hospitals where the obstetrics wards were full of women recovering from botched or septic abortions. And I’ve been to countries where unexplained miscarriages lead to criminal charges. Given that we already prosecute women for miscarriages tied to illegal drug use, I have no doubt that the end of Roe is going to lead to women going to jail. I do hope that the advent of the abortion pill means that self-administered abortions are safer than they used to be.
Two female debaters accord with each other.
Garcia-Navarro: I agree — we’ve very clearly seen the record on outcomes for women in societies without a safe and legal path for abortion. The argument that has been made by many, including you, Ross, is that abortion restrictions work.
Immediately, Douthat adds a fact based factual word.
Douthat: Laws restricting abortion in developed countries and in U.S. states do lead to lower abortion rates.
This is an engaging debate, because each of them has a stance distinctly different from others. Most obviously, the debate is not pre-scripted (I believe). Charles M Blow stands as usual for the black women at risk of health if abortion laws become states wide practice, for many of those who need abortions are poor and or young black women. At that point, Garcia-Navarro resonates her opinion for the women’s justice and rights in the South America. Goldberg shifts and connects the focuses and points from feminists’ historical achievements at a possible verge of collapse (my interpretive paraphrase) to how the Supreme Court moves forward (or not). Douthat sustains his Catholic position on the crucial question. When does a life begin as a life? He reintroduces the pro-life base of procreation regarded in general as sacred beyond individual woman’s will or choice. He forecasts electoral dynamics in the 2022 midterms elections which may evolve around abortion-laws as well. Overall, Douthat and Goldberg take quasi-philosophical or semi-theoretical approaches respectively as applicable, from each end opposite to the other, as conservative and liberal, also respectively. Blow holds black people and black women with him and never will he let them down. Garcia-Navarro comes both with Goldberg and Blow as a speaker for [non] white women in very disadvantaged conditions to live.
Abortion for pro or against is debated in public by public, activists, moralists, journalists, and politiciens as well of course. There is one obvious question like a clear cut . To whom does a conceived life belong? Adaption programs sponsored by governmental, states, or private organizations are a practical solution which does not address women’s rights and will, as Michell Goldberg indicates. Speaking of myself, I am against abortion. At the same time, that an idea such that a life belongs to a community or institutions or government could dangerously hold a totalitarian concept. On the line along with such thoughts, grown adults would be also seen as belonging to an entity regardless of their lives as how to live, their choices as what they want, their will as what they decide, to be disponible and disposable as if common properties. If this is the verge, the Supreme Court should look into the Constitution on that ground.