Is there a more pathetic state in the Union? I mean, does anyone know of a state that is more regressive in terms of income, health, education, baseball teams? Indeed, can you name a Third World country that is as bad as Mississippi?
And, now, to push the state even further into the dark ages, their voters on Tuesday will probably pass a resolution that will totally outlaw abortion. The specific question that the voters will be asked to approve says: “Should the term ‘person’ be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the equivalent thereof?” Now I can’t imagine anyone in that state who knows what the term “thereof” means, but the gist of this measure is there will be no more abortions and lots more kids to add to the misery that is life in Mississippi. Indeed, the person who is spearheading this effort, a guy named Les Riley, is the founder of “Personhood Mississippi” and he is the father of TEN children. I guess old Les is hoping that others in his neck of the woods will bear the same number of kids, if not more, so they can get the classroom sizes up to at least 50 kids per room which would push their rate of academic achievement below that of Somalia. Quite a role model, that Les!
The interesting thing about this resolution is that many “mainstream” pro-life groups actually oppose it because they are smart enough to realize that it is too extreme. But, it ain’t too extreme for the Bubbas in Mississippi. Indeed, outlawing abortion ain’t enough for these folks. An analysis of the resolution shows that certain forms of birth control would be outlawed (thus creating even more children living in poverty) and it would limit in vitro fertilization. But, for now, let’s stick to the abortion side of the equation.
When the measure passes, the next day Planned Parenthood will challenge it in court and the lower courts will grant an injunction prohibiting the measure from going into effect. Here’s the thing, however. Let’s say Mitt Romney (or one of the other Republican nominees) becomes President in 2013. Despite his previous support for the right to choose, he has now courageously “seen the light” and is all of a sudden pro-life. What a guy, a true Profile in Courage. As President, he would be beholden to the pro-life movement and
sooner or later some more Supreme Court judges are going to kick the bucket. That means that Romney (or, conversely, Obama) might get to make 2 or 3 appointments. If it’s Romney, you know damn well he is going to appoint judges who are pro-life and that could tip the scales.
Yes, many lawyers suggest that the court could not uphold a measure like this because of “legal precedent.” That’s garbage. It might have been the case years ago when our judicial system, not to mention the executive and legislative branches, were more deferential to their body’s previous actions but not anymore. I am convinced that when the Supreme Court gets this (or any other) case, the justices, with the possible exception of Justice Kennedy, make up their minds immediately, then instruct their clerks to construct their rationalization. If you think they sit there objectively, listening intently to the arguments of the learned counsel then come to a decision, you’re in La La land. I mean, think about it. Do you really think Clarence Thomas and Anton Scalia would NOT find a way to uphold the Mississippi law?
So, this case will ultimately make it to the Supreme Court in a few years. And that makes the next Presidential election so extremely important when it comes to abortion rights. I feel like we’ve been through this drill before, but this time it’s extremely serious.