What’s next?

So I’m watching all the news of the attempts by politicians across the country trying to erode women’s rights, in particular women’s right (or the right of any person with a uterus) to an abortion. Whether or not you personally, spiritually, or religiously agree with abortions or what you personally would decide to do if you or your partner were pregnant and in a bad situation, I want to remind everyone of the freedoms that we have that are protected by the Constitution.

1-Freedom of religion. This also means freedom from religion, to an extent. We are not a Christian nation. If you don’t believe me, read the Treaty of Tripoli. In particular, see Article 11. This was written shortly after the founding of our country. It was also written at a time when some states still had religious requirements to hold office. Religion, the founders thought, was something best left to the states. As a nation, however, we would not be Christian. Of course, this fell apart when, around the time of the Civil War, we realized that we could not live our values as stated in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and have an unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness if we allowed some states to deny these rights to some citizens. The short of it, this means that we cannot base our laws–state or federal–on your religion.

2. Freedom to have an abortion. Don’t look for the word “abortion” in the Constitution. It’s not there. The Constitution does not give us our rights. The Constitution limits what the government can do. I am dismayed by how many people forget this. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court determined that people who are pregnant have a right to an abortion if exercised within a certain time frame. They found that this right was Constitutionally protected by the ninth amendment, which states that just because a right is enumerated in the Bill of Rights does not mean we as citizens or persons living in the United States do not have other rights. It is also found in the 14th amendment which carries in it a right to privacy. I think it’s very important to remember this: when the right wing seeks to take away our right to an abortion, they are trying to take away a constitutionally protected right. It’s not something less sacred, like the right to a cup that will hold 32 ounces of soda.

If politicians are trying now to take away a constitutionally protected right, what right will they attack next? We’ve seen them move on to contraceptives, which is already constitutionally protected. What is next? A tubal ligation? A vasectomy? What about plastic surgery? Or maybe it won’t be a medical right. Maybe it will be a woman’s right to work. Already in this country there is opposition to the idea that women are entitled to as much money for performing the same work as men. How long will it be before, in this bad economy, politicians realize that to fix the unemployment rate, women should get out of the work force. Traditionally, fathers are the providers for their family. And the Bible tells us that wives must honor and submit to their husbands. Women should not hold jobs outside the home. It’s bad for the family and bad for the economy. It has already happened where a religious awakening caused women to lose their right to hold a job. How many more rights will be challenged–or will we lose–before we realize that we cannot base laws that will govern a diverse populace on one religion?

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About emmawolf

I'm a freelance writer living in Baltimore with my husband, son, and two cats. I'm working on editing my first novel. I love reading, traveling, and the cello.
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4 Responses to What’s next?

  1. ytakery says:

    Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion. Consider the implications- you are saying religious individuals should not be free to vote for what they want. Essentially, if you are a member of a disfavoured religious group you would be a second class citizen. That would be blatantly illegal. People are free to vote for whatever policies they so desire for whatever reasons. Due to freedom of religion they can vote to ban or legalize abortion for religious reasons, within the constraints of privacy determined by the supreme court.

    Judge Blackmum, the judge who authored Roe vs Wade, didn’t have an especially constitutional justification for the right to privacy on this law.

    “This holding, we feel, is consistent with the relative weights of the respective interests involved, with the lessons and examples of medical and legal history, with the lenity of the common law, and with the demands of the profound problems of the present day.” 410 U.S. at 165.

    I.e. it was based on his reading of what he felt was right, his reading of medical history, his view of legal history, his view of the issues of the day.

    It’s rather more abitrary than most constitutional supreme courts rulings which tend to be based on the constitution. I wouldn’t expect people to respect it any more than I’d expect people to respect that corporations are people. People generally don’t respect the supreme court that much when it invents new rights based on its whims.

    Republicans do respect the actual constitution more, and thus women are going to continue to be free to work. Abortion and contraceptives will continue to have heavy restrictions in heavily republican areas but won’t be banned outright. No need to fear about things that stand no chance of happening.

    I imagine if the supreme court hadn’t ruled as such some sort of equal rights amendment would have been made, and there would be a more defensible ruling on the right of women to have equal healthcare. Abortion would be legalized and there would be less endless culture wars.

  2. emmawolf says:

    Consider what I wrote: “This also means freedom from religion, to an extent.” I qualified it for a reason. Additionally, I never implied that people cannot vote however they want. They can vote to ban abortion on religion grounds, but that will not pass constitutional muster. Please read about the Lemon test. Additionally, we do not live in a direct democracy.

    The Supreme Court does not create new rights, and I’m sorry you don’t expect people to respect Supreme Court precedents.

    The remainder of your comment is reminds me of how little you understand reality.

  3. Raunak says:

    great post! the reasoning is very strong indeed. I shall not comment any further because after loads of heated arguments last few days, I have decided not to make any political comments this weekend đŸ™‚

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