Erasing Roe: The Dobbs Decision and Sectional Warfare and the Women's Revolution to Come
The June 24, Supreme Court (6-3) ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson ending forty-nine years of women's abortion rights marks a dramatic escalation in the war on women.
New Black Nationalists foresee the political blowback and hardships imposed by Dobbs accelerating social disintegration and economic chaos in American Empires' already fractured polity. It will do so in ways not yet imagined, and on a scale previously unseen.
Cultural conservatives and the hard right will rue the day when Dobb's massive over-reach to punish women and put them in their place vis-a-vis the heteropatriarchal order of things, became the proverbial law of the land.
As we go to print, on Saturday state police tear-gassed pro-choice demonstrators at Arizona's state capitol. The Longmont, Colorado Life Choices Center was set on fire and a pick-up truck drove through a pro-choice rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, knocking people to the ground. This is just the beginning.
The fight for women's abortion rights and bodily autonomy has shifted to a new battlespace--one that is divided between Handmaid Red-States, Abortion Rights Blue States and Contested Purple States that could go either way. We are now engaged in a conflict of Sectional Warfare.
In Handmaid Red-States Dobbs didn't simply refer abortion rights back to the states to decide. The ruling triggered an immediate ban of abortion services in eight "red" states, with five more "red" states scheduled to ban abortions in the first 30-days. Another eight "red states" will likely institute abortion bans in the near future.
Pro-choice forces are in transition, creating overt and covert logistical hubs to establish Abortion Underground Railroads. Planning centers are springing up overnight to safely transport women to Abortion Rights Blue States for procedures and services. New countermeasures to combat Handmaid laws, security surveillance, and efforts to block access to online abortion pills are in full swing.
In the South, Dobbs has placed the most restrictive anti-abortion laws on the books. In 2022, Black women are averaging 785 abortions per day, most of them in the South. It is time to ask the Black Church and Historical Black Colleges, what role are you going play in the current crisis? Dobbs provides no exceptions for incest or rape. Under the ruling, women admitted to emergency rooms for a miscarriage may be subjected to criminal investigation. Please don't tell us you're waiting on the Democratic Party and the November elections?
Let's be clear: Democrats don't have a plan. They never bothered to develop one, despite knowing this uber-conservative Supreme Court was going to pull the trigger. Instead of Biden authorizing federal lands to house abortions service facilities or provide travel funds and stipends for lower-income women to access abortion services, he was out bike riding last week and tumbled off his ten-speed. How metaphorical was that? Democrats can only reverse Dobbs by packing the Supreme Court, something Biden opposes, and the Party is too servile to contemplate. Black women are under attack now. We can't wait until November.
As the two strongest resourced institutions with intimate connections to the Black Commons, Black churches and HBCU's need to respond. From revising Sunday School lessons to taking up collections dedicated to church and community members "in need," Black churches need to get in the moment.
We need Black womanists and Black feminists to give us their best thinking and guidance. We need National Black Women for Reproductive Justice to play a vanguard role in the period ahead.
In Abortion Rights Blue States, pro-choice organizations are straining to expand existing abortion service options to accommodate the demand from women in restricted Handmaid "red states." They are currently overwhelmed by demand. At the same time pro-choice activists are revising strategies to fortify existing abortion rights law and creating new legislation to meet future challenges imposed by Dobbs.
Contested Purple States like Michigan, Kansas, Virginia, and Montana in some respects are reminiscent of the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, where the territories' settlers would decide the issue of slavery. These states will become critical battlegrounds in the Abortion Wars. Resources, human and financial are going to be surged into these states on both sides of the issue to move the needle.
With so many young people entering the fray, training them as organizers over the summer to turn college campuses into powerful resource centers, and voting recruitment stations holds great possibility. Every college campus should be convening teach-ins for its students when fall semesters commence in August to advise students on what the Dobbs decision means for them. Campuses can also play a critical mass education role taking on research and advocacy of the next frontiers of the Abortion Wars like Fetal Personhood.
It is the immediate, totalizing, and draconian nature of the Dobbs ruling that has placed the fight over abortion rights on an emergency war footing. For two centuries women fought to liberate themselves from being the exclusive property of men. Dobbs now threatens pregnant women seeking an abortion in "Handmaid red states" with criminalization, state capture of their bodies, and targeting for invasive surveillance.
For decades women struggled to win their rights as fully vested citizens in the estate of the constitutional republic. Dobbs is a grim reminder that women's citizenship, much like the Black Commons is no more than provisional. As attorney Elie Mystal pointed out, "The issue at the heart of the case was a ban in Mississippi on abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. The conservative majority could have simply upheld the 15-week ban. Instead, they eviscerated the entire constitutional framework making abortion legal and revoked the right to bodily autonomy."
Instead, Justice Alito and his five hard-right ideologues did more than reverse Roe and Casey, they humiliated and dehumanized women as mere incubators pre-destined to fulfill biological reproductive functions inspired by divine providence.
Dobbs took a sledgehammer to women's privacy and due process rights. It smashed them to smithereens not with a legal argument, but with a Christian fundamentalist interpretation of conception in a secular state. It was a brutal display of masculinist heteropatriarchal arrogance.
As Ty Ross, of Occupy Democrats noted in a recent article, "Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the enabler of the two worst SCOTUS evils, dug deep in his decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — 17th century deep. Alito cited jurist and marital rape supporter Sir Matthew Hale, who under his jurisdiction also saw two women executed for witchcraft. In the draft opinion, Alito highlights the centuries-long-dead jurist’s position on both rape and witchcraft in defense of his SCOTUS reasoning."
Abortion rights in this country are grounded in the Fifth and 14th amendments’ right to due process. Alito contends the people who wrote those amendments did not think they were conferring upon women a right to bodily autonomy.
In the dissenting opinion on Dobbs, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan gave the following response to Alito's charge, "But, of course, ‘people’ did not ratify the Fourteenth Amendment. Men did. So it is perhaps not so surprising that the ratifiers were not perfectly attuned to the importance of reproductive rights for women’s liberty, or for their capacity to participate as equal members of our Nation.”
As Elie Mystal said, "Alito says, quite rightly, that the people who wrote those amendments did not think they were conferring upon women a right to bodily autonomy. For Alito and the conservative majority, that is enough: If dead white men didn’t grant it, we can’t have it...Conservatives (regardless of what party they happen to belong to) think that the 14th Amendment can only do what the white men who wrote it and ratified it thought it could do."
If necessity is still the mother of invention, New Black Nationalists believe Dobb's vicious attack to eviscerate women's reproductive rights, is already forcing women and all abortion rights supporters to act anew and with a profound sense of urgency. New thinking, new organizing methods, new interactive tools, new legislation, and new blood are being infused into the movement.
Complacent white feminists have their last shot to renew their credentials as forward leaning change agents. After 50 years of activism, they failed to persuade fifty percent of white women not to vote for Trump--a cereal adulterer, groper, and purveyor of women of easy virtue, who packed the Supreme Court with pro-life urchins.
For hard-right conservatives, Republicans and white nationalists, the Dodd reversal of women's reproductive rights codified by Roe and Casey represents a half-century of hard-fought industry. Agitation, propaganda, creating 501-C-3s and PACS, demonstrations, intimidating and terrorizing women at reproductive clinics, torching, firebombing and shooting women at abortions centers: they did it all to get to June 24, 2022.
An elated Republican Congresswoman cretin Mary Miller said on Saturday, "President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday.” As we point out in our article on Replacement Theory like most stupid ass white nationalists, she has no idea that the Dobbs reversal is going to double the rate of Black, Hispanic, and Asian new child births over whites. She is oblivious to the fact that Dobbs is going to exponentially speed up the timetable that America's settler state will become a majority Black, brown, and yellow space.
Nor does she have any idea of the fury Dobbs has unleashed among the majority of women and men. Dobbs will prove to be a pyric and short-lived victory that has only brought the collapse of American Empire that much closer, but we have to do the work.
DEVILISH PRECEDENT: Justice Alito cites Salem witch trial judge in opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade
by Ty Ross
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the enabler of the two worst SCOTUS evils, dug deep in his decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — 17th century deep. In Alito’s 60-page draft opinion that would end the precedent set by Roe v. Wade to give women reproductive freedom, he cited jurist and marital rape supporter Sir Matthew Hale, who under his jurisdiction also saw two women executed for witchcraft. In the draft opinion, Alito highlights the centuries-long-dead jurist’s position on both rape and witchcraft in defense of his SCOTUS reasoning.
Here’s an example of Sir Matthew Hale’s own outdated and reactionary school of thought in regard to marital rape.
Sir Edward Coke's 17th-century treatise likewise asserted that abortion of a quick child was “murder” if the “childe be born alive” and a “great misprision” if the “childe dieth in her body.” 3 Institutes of the Laws of England 50- 51 (1644). (Misprision” referred to “some heynous offence under the degree of felony.” Id, at 139)
Two treatises by Sir Matthew Hale likewise described abortion of a quick child who died in the womb as a “great crime” and a “great misprision.” See M. Hale, Pleas of the Crown: Or, A Methodical Summary of the Principal Matters Relating to that Subject 53 (1673) (P. R. Glazebrook, ed., 1973); 1 M. Hale, History of Pleas of the Crown 433 (1736) (Hale). And writing near the time of the adoption of four Constitution, Black- stone explained that abortion of a “quick” child was “by the ancient law homicide or manslaughter” (citing Bracton), and at least “a very heinous misdemeanor” (citing Coke)." 1 Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England *129— *130 (7th ed. 1775) (Blackstone). English cases dating all the way back to the 13th century corroborate the treatises’ statements that abortion was a crime.