This week, the Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling and upheld an Indiana law that had been signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence. The law, according to the Supreme Court ruling, "excluded fetal remains from the definition of infectious and pathological waste, thereby preventing incineration of fetal remains along with surgical byproducts. It also authorized simultaneous cremation of fetal remains, which Indiana does not generally allow for human remains."
The Supreme Court decided not to rule on the second question of the case: "whether Indiana may prohibit the knowing provision of sex-, race-, and disability-selective abortions by abortion providers." This was also struck down by the 7th Circuit. The high court noted that it is awaiting rulings from "additional courts of appeals" before taking up the question.
The ruling comes at a time of intense action by state legislatures on abortion. Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota and Ohio have all passed recent laws that are pro-life, placing restrictions on abortion.
On the opposite side, Virginia and New York have discussed the possibility of and the right to commit infanticide for infants who have survived abortion efforts and are born alive.
In his concurring opinion, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas not only addressed the question ruled upon but opined about the one left unanswered. By reviewing the birth control movement from its beginnings and then presenting results of current-day abortion practices, he addressed his concern over "preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics."
"Abortion can easily be used to eliminate children with unwanted characteristics," Thomas wrote. "Indeed, the individualized nature of abortion gives it even more eugenic potential than birth control, which simply reduces the chance of conceiving any child." Thomas noted that prenatal screening has led to high abortion rates for "children diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero." Abortion rate by country: Iceland near 100%, Denmark 98%, United Kingdom 90%, France 77% and 67% in our country.
It's not only genetic issues that are used for selection. Thomas cited the high rate of female fetal abortions in India over the past few decades, resulting in "50 million more men than women in the country" today.
This also happened in China, where there are 34 million more men than women as a result of China's now defunct one-child policy.
In the United States, there is a huge racial difference. "The reported nationwide abortion ratio — the number of abortions per 1,000 live births — among black women is nearly 3.5 times the ratio for white women," wrote Thomas.
In some geographic areas, the racial gaps are almost incomprehensible. "In New York City ... black children are more likely to be aborted than they are to be born alive — and are up to eight times more likely to be aborted than white children in the same area," wrote Thomas.
The Democrats would shout about any other issue with such a great racial disparity, and they would be right. Instead, they are framing this issue by sex.
Just last week, Rep. llhan Omar, D-Minn., spoke from the floor of the House of Representatives against recent pro-life bills passed by various states. She articulated the view of the current pro-choice movement: that it's not about whether the unborn child has a right to life but that the right for a woman to choose abortion is the only right that need be addressed. The argument reframes the issue as an attack by "religious fundamentalists" against women.
Omar claimed that "the recent efforts like those in Alabama, in Georgia are only the latest in a long history of efforts to criminalize women for simply existing, to punish us when we don't conform to their attempts to control us."
What? For existing?
This argument would make sense only if existing equaled abortion — which it does not.
From her perspective, it's about how to emotionally charge up a woman "no matter her age, her race, her political affiliation, to stand with me, to stand with us, to stand up and tell those who challenge our voice and our place and our right to decide for ourselves to not be silent, to speak up and to reclaim their right to choose."
The reality is that, most of the time, women can choose. They can choose to abstain, they can choose to use birth control, and they can choose to give their child up for adoption. Yes, I know that birth control does not always work and that accidents happen, as unfortunately so do rapes, but there is a lot of work that can be done to minimize the number of unwanted pregnancies.
Maybe it would make sense for both sides to work together to increase the availability of and access to the above choices before pushing abortion as the choice we want.
To find out more about Jackie Gingrich Cushman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
Photo credit: RitaE at Pixabay