Alito’s opinion shows America’s misguided priorities
Protestors gather outside the United States Supreme Court on May 3, 2022 after a leaked draft court opinion appears to show the high court overturning Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion in 1972 (Photo by Jane Norman of States Newsroom).
The tremors from the early leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s brutal opinion attacking the long-settled right of women to determine if and when to end a pregnancy are shaking the nation like an earthquake. After four long years of Trump’s widespread denigration of women, we now bear further denigration by his judicial appointees. And once again, it illustrates the sad condition of America’s misplaced priorities.
Make no mistake about it, Alito’s blunder has ignited a wildfire of fully justified anger, not just in the women who see their most personal decision taken away from them, but in the more than 70% of the nation’s population that supports a woman’s right to reproductive choice.
As citizens are being financially exploited by oil and gas megacorporations raking in record profits by falsely blaming the war in Ukraine, our politicians claim they can’t interfere in the so-called “free market.” But they can demand that a woman who has been raped must carry her rapist’s child to term.
These same faux leaders can’t control the destruction of the climate due to highly-polluting fossil fuel use by mandating higher mileage vehicles, claiming it would take away “consumer choice.” But they willingly take away a woman’s choice of what to do with her own body.
They wail at the invasion of the Supreme Court’s privacy by Alito’s leaked draft decision. But they have no problem invading the privacy of a woman’s most private personal decision.
They raise their religion as if it were a flag and demand that all abide by its artificial strictures on who one can or can’t love. But they ignore the very explicit separation of church and state in the Constitution they claim does not support the individual right to privacy of one’s own body.
They can’t manage to keep our air or water clean enough to provide a livable environment for our children and their parents. But they can outlaw a safe and effective medical procedure to end an unwanted pregnancy.
They can’t provide affordable health care, housing, or income equality for increasingly financially-stressed citizens. But they can demand women deliver unwanted children — and then turn their backs on them once born.
They can wave the false flag of “personal freedom” to stop businesses from providing a medically safe working environment for staff and patrons during a pandemic. But they can rule that personal freedom ends at the womb.
They can’t outlaw the toxic and carcinogenic herbicides, pesticides and chemicals running rampant in our food chain. But they can tell a woman it’s illegal to order a medically-safe abortion-inducing pharmaceutical through the mail.
They have no trouble dictating which books can or can’t be read or what schools can or cannot teach about history because it might make white children feel guilty about slavery. But they can tell transgender kids which bathroom they can or cannot use despite the severe emotional damage that might inflict.
They can’t tell us what happened to the billions of dollars that disappeared from the Pentagon’s incredibly bloated budget. But they can access your phone records to see if you were searching online for an abortion provider or drug.
The simple truth is that our nation’s priorities have been out of whack for a long time and are getting worse, not better, as our so-called “leaders” continue to kowtow to wealth and power while ignoring the masses crying for help.
If there’s anything good about Alito’s twisted ruling, it’s that perhaps Americans will finally stand up and say “we won’t take it anymore” — and it’s long past time we did just that.
George Ochenski writes from Helena. His column appears each Friday in the Daily Montanan.
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