Why is a clump of cells in a woman’s womb deserving of greater protection by the US Supreme Court than children who actually exist?
On June 24, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalised abortion nationwide. The so-called “pro-life” crowd in the US has entered into a predictable state of ecstasy following the decision, which will severely complicate life for tens of millions of women across the country – particularly poor women of colour, as is inevitable under the system of racialised patriarchal capitalism that Americans call “democracy”.
By coincidence, the Supreme Court action took place exactly one month after the May 24 massacre of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas – the latest in a never-ending series of national horrors that ultimately benefit the gun lobby and the arms industry, and that serve to highlight where American priorities lie in terms of human existence.
In a recent hearing before Congress, Texas paediatrician Dr Roy Guerrero described the scene at Uvalde Memorial Hospital in the aftermath of the massacre: “Two children, whose bodies had been so pulverised by the bullets fired at them, decapitated, whose flesh had been so ripped apart, that the only clue as to their identities was the blood-spattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them. Clinging for life and finding none.”
Which brings us to the conundrum: Why is a clump of cells in a woman’s womb deserving of greater protection by the US Supreme Court than children who actually exist?
Exactly one day prior to the evisceration of Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court ruled on June 23 that the right to carry a gun outside the home is enshrined by the US Constitution – a “major decision on the meaning of the Second Amendment” concerning the right to bear arms, as NBC News put it. Already, states like Texas had legally exempted handgun owners from possessing any sort of permit or training.
In other words, there is presumably no shortage of weapons-based pulverisation, decapitation, and ripping apart of flesh in store for US elementary schools and other public venues in the future – not that such activities haven’t long constituted the US modus operandi abroad, from Vietnam to Iraq and beyond.
Anyway, given such an auspicious panorama, what woman in the United States would not want to have kids?
Enter the Supreme Court.