Thursday, November 17, 2005

Alito's Outrageous Claim

All the hoopla now surrounding Judge Alito’s dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey 14 years ago, which stated that a woman should be required to inform her husband prior to getting an abortion, is missing the point entirely. And does so deliberately.

For an example of how twisted the arguments are, check out this column in Slate by William Saletan. Saletan claims that because Alito referred to the simple fact that the Court found no undue burden in requiring a minor to get consent from her parents prior to getting an abortion, it should also be assumed that it would not be an undue burden for a wife to inform with her husband first.

All the usual hysterical claims are made in this column and all of the others as genderists attempt to fan the flames that would burn Alito’s nomination. Saletan makes the specious argument that since Alito referred to parental consent, he must think that all adult women are nothing more than girls.
Now, here's my question, Judge. Do you really think an undue burden for a grown woman is the same as an undue burden for a teenager? Do you think a woman deserves no more deference than a girl?
Well, no. This is an example of the logic errors made deliberately by the genderist crowd in order to confuse intellectual debate. They count on the reader to be ignorant or at least incapable of understanding the logic of an argument.

Alito was using the Court’s finding regarding the “burden” required for teenagers to consent their parents in order to have a means of measuring the possible burden placed on an adult woman. There is nothing in this line of thinking that equates the treatment or “deference” of society towards a woman with that of a mere girl. Moreover, the requirement of a woman seeking an abortion was simply to “inform,” while that of a teenage girl was to acquire “consent.”

In spite of himself, Saletan touches on the real reason that a woman should be required to inform her husband (or even lover, in my opinion) that she will abort a fetus that is formed partly of his genetic material.
And the other argument is that the husband has such a profound interest in keeping the fetus alive—and his wife has such a small interest in controlling what happens to her body—that the government can force her to consult him even if she's so afraid of him, or so certain she can't have this baby, that she won't talk to him unless we threaten her with criminal charges.
Why, yes. Perhaps the husband does have a profound interest in keeping the fetus alive. Perhaps the husband believes that he should take responsibility for creating a life. Perhaps the husband – now hold on to your chair – believes that he has some rights with regard to a fetus that he played a 50% role in creating. Perhaps the guy just wants to have a baby and thought, at the time of conception, that this was the plan. Maybe he should at least be informed when his wife has changed her mind.

And, what is so horrible about that? From the genderist perspective, the simple idea that a husband or a man would have any rights at all is abhorrent. There is nothing in Alito’s decision that diminishes the status of a woman as an equal to her husband. It simply says that a woman is equal, but not more equal, than her husband and the father of the fetus. In fact, it does not even go that far. The woman is still more equal, because all she needs to do is inform her husband and does not require his consent. She still has all the rights she had before, including the right to make the abortion decision, and with that right comes a simple obligation to let another obviously and rightfully interested party know what she has decided.

If anyone is equating women with girls, it is Saletan and other genderists like him. Using his stretching of logic to make unintended inferences, he is suggesting that women should never have any obligations. How far should we take that? Should women not be required to pay taxes because they have a right to their income, but not an obligation to report it to the IRS?

Worse, we keep children in the dark about some things in order to protect them or simply because they have no role to play in adult decisions. So, are the genderists saying that men are really just boys and should be kept in the dark about such important matters? Does an adult man have no role in making an "adult" decision? In fact, by keeping the truth from a man, they are conspiring to take away his ability to make a choice - the choice of whether he can remain married to a woman that would abort a fetus he played a role in creating. If abortion is all about choice, why shouldn't he have a choice too?

Alito’s argument is about providing at least a smidgen of rights to fathers. What an outrageous idea! If anyone in this debate had any gumption at all, or if they cared one iota about the most basic rights of men and fathers, they would point out that the least a wife can do is inform her husband that she is aborting their child. In fact, as a prelude to Hillary Rodham running for President on the Democratic ticket, Republicans should corner her side into admitting that they believe men and fathers in fact don’t have rights. Really, there is no other reasonable interpretation of their position on this matter and many others.

But, alas, with the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), we know that Republicans too do not believe that men or fathers have all of the Constitutional rights that women have. Or, at least, they are willing to trade away these rights for political expediency or simply to avoid being labeled as misogynists.

This is one of the reasons that the country is cooling to conservatives. That cooling is coming from men who thought they were voting for a political party that would uphold their most basic rights and put up a defense to genderist forces that would tear down their families in order to re-engineer society. In the wake of VAWA, and the weak defense of Alito’s opinion, we now know that is not the case.

So, who will we vote for now?


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