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  • Reverend James Squire

Roe, Wade, and Fitch

It may take more than one post to cover the issues regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling to overrule Roe V. Wade. There are so many ethical issues regarding this decision and the unintended consequences. Let’s start with Lynn Fitch, Republican Attorney General of Mississippi. She was the person who brought the court case challenging Roe V. Wade that overturned the 50 years precedent.

She based her perspective that this would be good news for women because she wanted to confront a “false choice between family and career.” Fitch raised a family as a single parent, and others can do it as well.

What is not as well-known is that her father inherited the Galena Plantation that covers 8000 acres of prime land in Mississippi where you could hunt quail among other things. You could also stay in the living quarters where a former head of the KKK stayed or even Justice Scalia. She has lived a charmed life, riding horses, hunting quail, and doing the southern elite thing. She also makes the claim that she could have a career and raise a family at the same time. What she failed to mention is that her daddy partly funded her career and she had hot and cold running people in a support system. She brags that she always got to her children’s games. I wonder who was cooking dinner that night. I know who wasn’t.

She has operated her entire life through the eye glasses of the few who assisted her in living her charmed life. What escaped her was that her state of Mississippi has the highest infant mortality rate and the most children living in poverty.

There are some numbers that people should know the day after this shocking decision. There have been 60 million abortions in the 50 years history of Roe V. Wade. That is a staggering number. Regarding those 60 million abortions, 40% have been from a black or brown populations who were often poor. Another staggering number. Consider those numbers because there are no good men or women or bad men and women involved in this ethical dilemma. There are people with strong convictions. Based on those numbers you can make a case for or against Roe V. Wade.

Notice what is missing in the emotion of it all of the above paragraph. It is a win or lose, for or against, right or wrong dichotomy with nothing that could be seen as in the middle. Roe V. Wade is on the one side and the Fitch Factor of no Roe V. Wade is on the other.

There is something else that is missing, trust and faith in an institution known as the Supreme Court. Even Justice Ginsberg is under fire for not retiring quicker giving Obama the time to select a more liberal candidate. You can’t help feel betrayed when they play over and over the evidence that the conservative justices that were appointed by Trump clearly declared that Roe V. Wade involved a long-standing precedent that should stand. Yep, we have the evidence as the cameras were rolling. Who could possibly trust this gang who couldn’t shoot straight when they are declaring nothing else in the privacy domain will be touched like gay marriage, interracial marriage, or other givens in our society? It doesn’t help that Justice Thomas said that “he wants to look at those issues” and that Former Vice President Pence said that “we ought to have a national ban on abortion.” Everyone fears, justifiably so, that the ethical slippery slope could be in play here.

There is more. Recall that in the recent January 6 Committee Presentation, Jeffrey Clark, was raked over the coals because he wanted to be Attorney General when he never tried a case or even knew how to get to the FBI Director’s office. He had no direct experience. This is important enough that they thought he needed experience not just his limited experience of the law.

The abortion issue is about as personal an issue to women as you could have. Is it just the fact that the women were liberal that they voted against the court’s ruling or is it more that they are women? Here you have men deciding what women should be doing about their bodies treating abortion as though it is like getting your gall bladder out. The men at least think that they know the law, but they have never sat with someone who was making this painful decision. I have. For them it is purely an academic decision. For women it is deeply personal. I will get to Justice Barrett next time.

I think that there is one thing that Justice Alito said that was correct at one level. He declared that “Roe V Wade was wrong from the beginning.” It was, but for a different issue than what he is addressing. Abortion shouldn’t be decided by the Supreme Court in the first place. It belongs in the hands of men and women bioethicists who can combine the personal, the human, the legal, biological and the medical. We had the wrong group of people making this decision. That’s the problem. What can be done now that the horse has been left out of the stable and the door closed. Get some bioethicists to work with the states who want to heal and not to hurt. Winning is great in horseshoes and sports but not in this sensitive matter. There is legal precedent in bioethics as well. Bioethics didn’t exist at the time of the writing of the Constitution, but there were no abortions either.

We have a small group of people, the Supreme Court, who are politically motivated. However, they protest too loudly that they are not. They are not neutral. Neither are both the Democrats and the Republicans when they say that abortion is on the ballot for the midterm elections.

I have another ethical barometer. When Trump goes on social media and declares that he made the overturning of Roe V Wade possible with HIS appointments to the court, I know that it is time to run for the hills because his fuel will be added to an already too partisan nation.

Next time I will look at the ethical issues that should have been considered before all the unintended consequences lead to more confusion about what it means to be pro-life and pro- choice. How come they are not one and the same?

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