Tag: abortion

What Thomas’s opinion about abortion today tells us about his jurisprudence as a whole

I’ve been getting a lot of queries about Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion in Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. Briefly, Thomas spends all but a few paragraphs of his twenty-page opinion outlining what he sees as the eugenicist dimensions of abortion and birth control. This, as many have noted, is a new turn in Thomas’s abortion jurisprudence. Thomas essentially argues here that abortion is the way that women select and de-select the kinds of children they’re going to have. What’s more, while much of the discussion on the right in this regard focuses on how considerations of the sex of the fetus or the presence of Down syndrome may influence the decision to have an abortion, Thomas focuses overwhelmingly […]

One Bernie With One Stone

There really is something rotten about the discussion of abortion and the Democratic Party. In a Washington Post oped, the leader of a reproductive rights coalition calls out Democrats who would sideline abortion rights in the effort to build a big tent. Oddly, the author doesn’t cite or link to statements by Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking elected official in the Democratic Party, who, within the last several weeks, came out against making abortion a litmus test not once, but twice. Not does the author cite or link to the statement by Tom Perez, the official head of the Democratic Party, chosen by the members of the Democratic National Committee, who supported Mello for the sake of electing Democrats, even if […]

Have You Never Been Mello? On Bernie and Abortion in Omaha

I think Sanders’ defense on NPR of supporting candidates who are anti-abortion is completely wrongheaded. The bottom line commitment of the left is to freedom, to emancipation from all manner of domination, and reproductive freedom is a critical part of that program of emancipation. I simply don’t see how the state or a parent or a husband or a boyfriend or anyone can force a woman to carry a fetus to term and bear a child against her will. I don’t think the left should compromise on that. At all. (Though the left makes all manner of ugly compromises all the time, so it would be a big mistake to cast this entire discussion as strictly about political morality. Like […]

Tim Kaine, and Other Faith-Based Politics

1. Christ on a stick, this is what I didn’t count on with the Kaine pick as VP. The problem isn’t the pick itself: it is what it is (see #2 below). The problem is the ejaculations of joy it prompts among the pundit class and the Twitterati, who now have to sell it to us as the greatest choice of a second since Moses appointed Aaron. And not because the pundits are on the Clinton payroll: I’d have a lot more respect for them if they were. No, they do this shit for free. Out of love. Rapture. And bliss. 2. I’m not one of those people who cares much about a VP pick. I don’t think it tells you […]

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles: On the Left’s Ideas about Money and Freedom

There’s a whole essay or dissertation to be written—probably has been—on how liberals and leftists interested in explaining the relationship between money and freedom—namely, that without money, we cannot be free; that we lack liberty if we lack the economic means to pursue our ends—so often resort to metaphors of, or make reference to, travel and transportation. The Marxist philosopher G.A. Cohen does it in his classic essay, “Freedom and Money,” where he shows how not having money is an abridgment of freedom. Not having money does not mean simply that I lack the resources to do what I want to do. Not does it mean that I lack the capacity to do what I want to do. Without money, says Cohen, I […]

What Donald Trump Can Learn From Frederick Douglass

As a scholar of conservatism, I’m finding this Trump-wants-to-punish-women-who-get-abortions moment fascinating. At its heart, I’ve argued, “conservatism is the theoretical voice of this animus against the agency of the subordinate classes.” It provides the most consistent and profound argument as to why the lower orders should not be allowed to exercise their independent will, why they should not be allowed to govern themselves….Submission is their first duty, agency, the prerogative of the elite. Though certainly hostile to women’s agency, Trump’s position recognizes it. He’s saying women make the choice to get an abortion, abortion is a crime, so do with women who get an abortion what we do with anyone who commits a crime: hold them accountable, punish them. Trump’s detractors in […]

Probing Tyler Cowen, or: When Libertarians Get Medieval on Your Vagina

In case you were wondering why I spent so much time nattering on about Ludwig von Mises’s retrograde views of women—and a great many libertarians did—here’s why: Those views haven’t gone away. Responding to the Virginia legislation that requires all women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound—as Dahlia Lithwick points out, because most abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy, most of the women affected by this bill would be forced to have a probe stuck up their vaginas, as that’s how ultrasounds in the first trimester are done—libertarian luminary Tyler Cowen tweeted the following: All of a sudden requiring consumers to be informed is extremely unpopular on the “pro-regulation side.” Is Cowen serious? If he […]