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Wonkette Weekend Live Chat Vs. The US Supreme Court Part II

We’re going full Scarlet Witch!

Robyn and I welcome special guest Wonker Jamie Lynn Crofts, who will help us figure out why in the year 2022, we’re facing the end of Roe v. Wade.

Expect some anger, frustration, and slightly fewer musical theatre references (though I’m not promising anything). Join us at 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET. Don’t forget to like, share, subscribe and all the goodies on YouTube.

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Abortion

Roberts Weeps For Supreme Court, Destroyed Because You Saw That Roe Opinion Six Weeks Early

Cry harder.

Chief Justice John Roberts is big mad. How very dare someone violate the sacred body of the nation's highest court by leaking a draft of the opinion that will force thousands of women and girls to carry their rapists' babies to term! These are the justices' private thoughts about the non-existence of a constitutional right to privacy. Have these people no shame!

"A leak of this stature is absolutely appalling," Roberts told a conference of lawyers and judges from the 11th Circuit, CNN reported. "If the person behind it thinks that it will affect our work, that’s just foolish."

And perhaps he's right. It certainly appears that the Republican appointees are about to lay waste to women's civil liberties, blissfully unbothered by the effect it will have on half the population. They're certainly unaffected by the rage they're stoking in the 80 percent of Americans who support the right to abortion in at least some cases.

But the leak will affect women's work.

Because they'll have to leave their states to access abortion care. Or miss out on educational and professional opportunities if they are forced to carry children they don't want and cannot take care of. Or are stuck in hospitals while doctors debate if they are really sick enough to deserve an abortion, or if they have to get just that much closer to dying before the "life and health of the mother" exception kicks in. Or are forced to carry non-viable fetuses to term, only to watch them die in pain. Or can't access IVF or common birth control methods like IUDs because pig ignorant legislators are ramming through gobbledygook legislation without consulting anyone with a rudimentary understanding of female anatomy, much less a gynecologist.

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Abortion

Louisiana Fixin' To Redefine Abortion As Murder, Because That's What The Bumper Sticker Says

Can 'Particicutions' be far behind?

With the Supreme Court preparing to eliminate the right to abortion (and far more) by overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Republicans in state legislatures are rushing to pass new laws criminalizing abortion. But just outlawing abortion isn't enough for many in the GOP: They also want to underline their hatred of abortion (and anyone who'd perform or have one) by imposing harsh criminal penalties, not solely for doctors who perform abortions or prescribe medicine to induce an abortion, but also anyone who has an abortion. After all, if abortion is murder, then you need to send the murderers to prison, if not the gallows.

Charging enthusiastically into the race to the bottom, Republicans in Louisiana are advancing a bill that would classify abortion as homicide and grant full constitutional rights to "all unborn children from the moment of fertilization." Louisiana HB 813, called the "Abolition of Abortion in Louisiana Act of 2022," starts with the Book of Genesis and gets worse from there:

Acknowledging the sanctity of innocent human life, created in the image of God, which should be equally protected from fertilization to natural death, the legislature hereby declares that the purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Fully recognize the human personhood of an unborn child at all stages of development prior to birth from the moment of fertilization.

(2) Ensure the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all unborn children from the moment of fertilization by protecting them by the same laws protecting other human beings.

(3) Recognize that the United States Constitution and the laws of the United States are the supreme law of the land.

Yr Dok Zoom is not a lawyer, but I assume the religious language about zygotes being "created in the image of God" wouldn't formally violate separation of church and state because it's only a prefatory flourish.

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Abortion

If The Right Is Going To Criminalize Abortion, We Should Damn Well Use The Word

Shout it if you need to.

You may have noticed that in the last few days, Yr Wonkette has made a bit of a stink about the term "choice" as a euphemism for "abortion." We've praised Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams both for talking about the right to abortion, and Yr Editrix, in Thursday morning's Tabs, said it's high time we "stop with the focus-grouped, mealymouthed 'right to choose.' (Choose what, choose Jif?)"

A number of folks took issue with that in the comments we don't allow, while others also were none too happy with New York magazine's Rebecca Traister for taking Democratic leaders to task for their seeming unwillingness to say "abortion." (To be sure, a number of comments focused more on how it might be bad strategy to criticize Dem leaders in an election year, also too.)

So we figured this might be a job for a Doktor of Rhetoric. Words matter, language matters, and Crom knows that ever since Frank Luntz and Newt Gingrich teamed up in 1994 to talk about the "death tax" and to make "liberal" the dirtiest word in politics, Republicans have made a dark art of finding terms that will set off electric storms in the amygdalae of rightwing voters, inflaming their emotions with language that will move the base to support policies that help the party's big donors.

A quarter century later, it's starting to feel like framing abortion rights as the "right to choose" is perhaps tainted by the same defensive reflex that led Bill Clinton to proclaim that the "era of big government is over," as he caved to the Right on "welfare reform," ushering in a regime of harsh new barriers to helping people who needed help. Speaking of a "right to choose" almost feels like a concession to the Luntzians: Instead of whole-heartedly saying abortion is essential to freedom and bodily autonomy, "choice" seems to euphemize, as if accepting the Right's insistence that abortion is shameful, a moral failing, the choice of people who should have kept their legs shut and not gotten in trouble.

This isn't to say that "choice" or "pro choice" is a bad term in itself; it's a convenient shorthand that will likely stay around for some time. But it's also good to see the shift toward people talking about abortion without hesitation or guilt, too.

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