Abortion and the Court

Philip Green
3 min readApr 24, 2024

I was going to write about Columbia’s assault on civil liberties, and still intend to, but my attention has been totally taking over by an article in Talking Points Memo (TPM) today, April 24, 2024, that is so horrific, demonic, inhumanly loathesome–that is, what the article describes–I can’t think of anything else. It may represent the pit of the Republican Nazi assault on American life. Pardon my the outrage that I simply can’t deal with.

To wit: to quote at length, because there is no way to summarize monsters posing as humans:

“On Wednesday, the right-wing justices really preferred the safe world of legal abstraction, where they could pretend that Idaho’s abortion ban — which only has an exception to save the woman’s life — won’t inevitably leave women to gruesome suffering.

The Court’s conservative wing tried with increasing and atextual persistence to convince listeners that Idaho’s strict ban still allows emergency room doctors to provide abortions to women in varying states of medical distress, and not just when doctors are sure the patient is facing death. They crafted a kind of anti-abortion fantasyland where not only do exceptions work, but that the narrowest ones will amenably stretch to cover all the sympathetic cases.

They pushed this vision, even while hospital systems in Idaho attest that they are airlifting pregnant women in crisis across state lines, or waiting for them to painfully “deteriorate” before treatment, cowed by the fact that prosecutors could come after them with punishments including mandatory prison time for violating the state ban.

At the center of the case Wednesday was a federal statute requiring hospitals taking in Medicare funds to stabilize patients in crisis: the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). Idaho’s strict band should be preempted by that law in those emergency conditions, the Biden administration argued.

‘Is there any condition you’re aware of where the solicitor general says EMTALA requires abortion be available in an emergency circumstance where Idaho law, as currently stated, does not?’ Justice Brett Kavanaugh lobbed to Idaho’s lawyer Joshua Turner, trying to prompt him to say that Idaho’s ban can coexist with federal mandates.

“After trying to prod the struggling Turner to repeat the argument back, Kavanaugh got frustrated.

‘You’re the one who said it in your reply brief, that there’s actually no real daylight here in terms of the conditions, so I’m just picking up on what you all said,’ he grumbled, rhetorically throwing up his hands.

“Justice Amy Coney Barrett heroically tried to salvage the effort, asking Turner: ‘What the conflict?’’‘

“The conservatives’ effort to paint a world where federal emergency room guidelines are unnecessary due to the generosity of the Idaho abortion ban, one of the country’s most draconian, suffered as the liberals relentlessly brought in snapshots from the real world.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor flipped through her notes and told the story of a woman in Florida. The woman had experienced a gush of liquid in her second trimester and went to the emergency room.

“‘The doctors believe that a medical intervention to terminate her pregnancy is needed to reduce the real medical possibility of experiencing sepsis and uncontrolled hemorrhage from the broken sac,’ Sotomayor said. “This is the story of a real woman — she was discharged in Florida.

“Not under imminent threat of death, the woman went home,’ Sootomayor said. The next day, she started bleeding and passed out. She was brought back to the emergency room where she’d been turned away. …’There she received an abortion because she was about to die,’ she said.”

“…“Leave it to the states” is the kind of messaging anti-abortion activists and their judicial helpmates love: It sounds clean, neat, reasonable. But when states enact near-total bans, when the federal government somehow loses its authority to block those bans even when they threaten women with serious illness — as Idaho is pushing for here — the reality for all to see is women bleeding out in emergency rooms, pregnant women loaded onto helicopters, doctors sitting back and watching patients writhe in pain until death is closer.

That’s a reality the right-wing justices tried their best Wednesday to both perpetuate and paper over. If they come down like they sounded inclined to during arguments, prepared to take abortion off the table even for the small sliver of women in medical distress who desperately need it, it’ll be fresh proof that women’s suffering again bows to the furtherance of the mission to ban abortion everywhere. “

Their misogyny, their sadism, is relentless.
I don’t know of any curse tht’s deep enough to apply to them.