From the Left



The home of the free a little less free for my daughter

John Micek on

Ever since she was old enough for me to tell her anything, I’ve been telling my daughter that she could grow up to be whatever she wants to be, that no obstacle, big or small, would ever stand in her way.

I’ve told her that she’ll set her own destiny — that she’ll write the story of her life, and that only she can determine the way it turns out. I’d always believed it to be true. And after watching her grow and become the amazing young woman that she is, it’s always seemed like she believed it too.

Then last week happened. In a ruling that speaks not for the majority of Americans who want abortion to remain safe and legal, but for a tyrannical minority that’s spent decades working toward this moment, the Supreme Court blasted a hole right through that narrative. Five people - four of them men - all of them accountable to no one, struck down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that provided a constitutional right to abortion, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 ruling that codified that right.

Because fundamental to the belief that you set your own destiny is the freedom to control your own body, to make decisions about how, when, and whether you choose to have a child — if at all.

And when my brave, proudly out child looked at us and told us she feared for her own safety, for her own future, the faces of millions of people nationwide fearing the same thing, looked back at us.

If the state can force you to give birth, if it can take away that fundamental control, then it’s entirely possible for the state to take away other freedoms that Americans have taken for granted for generations.


Indeed, in chilling terms, Justice Clarence Thomas opened the door to just such an eventuality, arguing that high court precedents establishing rights for LGBTQ Americans, along with the right to access contraception, now also are fair game.

Thomas wrote that those rulings “were demonstrably erroneous decisions,” once again speaking for a tyrannical minority, not the majorities of Americans who both support access to contraception and equal rights for LGBTQ Americans.

And if that’s the case, are all of the high court’s super-precedents, from Brown v. Board of Education, which desegregated the public schools to Loving v. Virginia, which struck down bans on interracial marriage, now also vulnerable? It’s not hard to conceive of that being the case.

If we’re to follow the logic of Justice Samuel Alito, none of those rights conferred by those historical rulings were specifically enumerated by the slave-owning, landed white men who were conspicuously silent about women when they crafted the young nation’s foundational document.


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