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Rumination on a Post-Dobbs World

Robert Franklin

Posted on July 13, 2022 04:01

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In November, my daughter will be born into a world where she had, just recently, lost significant bodily autonomy, and she will be none the wiser.

My wife is about halfway through her pregnancy with our daughter, and while she and I are both over the moon for this girl's imminent arrival, there is still something that nags at the both of us, keeping us awake at night, and following us through this pregnancy like a specter unwilling to stop its haunt.

My daughter, to whom we are currently referring as FranklinBaby2_girl.exe, is going to grow up in a world where she will enjoy fewer rights and bodily sovereignty than her mother did at a comparable age. The worst part of the whole thing is that she won't know any different.

Whatever your view on abortion may be, the fact remains that the Court's decision in Dobbs will create a ripple that stretches into subsequent generations, altering the relationship between girls and their bodies. Dobbs will create an entire generation of American girls born into a culture war where women are forced into pregnancy with a slew of potential baggage, including, but not limited to:

  • Arrest and prosecution for seeking an abortion in a sanctuary state or jurisdiction,
  • Attempts at forcing pregnancy tests to be submitted to cross state lines,
  • Lack of access to pharmaceuticals that inhibit implantation,
  • Criminal proceedings for miscarriages,
  • Forced pregnancy without caveats for women and girls who are raped or are victims of incest, as well as the additional conclave of consequences specific to these scenarios.

At the same time, it still will not be difficult for men to find a urologist willing to snip them at their own request. Health insurance will still cover Viagra. But women, despite the aforementioned baggage, still won't be able to file for child support while the baby is still in utero, won't be able to claim the fetus on their taxes, or list it as a dependent.

No, life only begins at conception and/or implantation in the context of rooting out abortion--nothing more. Consistency is unreasonable, I guess, which is why the Texas woman challenging a ticket she received for driving in an HOV lane without a visible passenger is such a captivating story. She is, after all, nine months pregnant, and if the laws are consistent, she was legally driving in the HOV lane.

But again, consistency is unreasonable, especially in matters ideologically charged to the point of cultism. Dismantling the network of abortion access in the United States has been a lofty dream for too many for too long, and now that those efforts have come to fruition, it makes the "pro-life" crowd's continuing failure to do much of anything that's actually pro-life just that much worse.

Despite the science, despite the ethics, despite the legal precedent, in certain parts of the country, from now until an undetermined time in the future, life begins at conception and/or implantation... and presumably ends in the next school shooting.

Robert Franklin

Posted on July 13, 2022 04:01

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Source: Al Jazeera

Rights activists see partial decriminalisation of abortion as a positive step for women's reproductive rights.

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