View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ginsburg: Roe to rid us of "populations we don't want too many of"

In an interview in the New York Times Magazine, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg made some interesting admissions.

In response to one question, she indicated that her understanding of Roe was that it was to help address concerns about "population growth" - abortion as birth control? - and "particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of."

Wow, echoes of Margaret Sanger and the eugenics movement. Whom would these populations be? African Americans? Hispanics? Catholics? The poor? People with disabilities?

Q: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.


She also aparently believes that you can't be "a woman of means" without killing one's babies?

Q: If you were a lawyer again, what would you want to accomplish as a future feminist legal agenda?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back. So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.


So one path to becoming a woman of means is to make sure you don't have those inconvenient children holding you back?

Well, at least she's honest.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Todd said...

Your headline is inaccurate, Lee. She seems to be saying the Republican SCOTUS and others supporting the ruling thought that way. She doesn't explicitly endorse the opinion. She's only reporting it as her interpretation of what other people are thinking.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Todd, two ways to interpret her remarks.

Either she meant this was her own view as well - horrible - or she meant that others thought this. If the latter, she did not think this horrible view worth criticizing.

7:21 AM  

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