Monday, April 23, 2007



I'm struck by Sarah's point about the Right's "New Paternalism," and its interplay with Justice Kennedy's opinion. Kennedy argued that that it is “self-evident” that “a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she did not know.” As Sarah explains, "his twisted remedy, though, is not to ensure that a woman has adequate information; it’s to ensure that she has no option. Her moral judgment is completely eviscerated."
It is hard, in all of this, not to grow increasingly enraged at the makeup of the Court generally and the conservative bloc specifically. Kennedy could theorize all he wanted about female reactions to abortion: Within the group that voted to uphold the ban, there was not one woman. Five men made this decision for 150,000,000 women. Five men obviated the moral judgment of 150,000,000 women. And it is no surprise, surely, that the retirement of the conservative bloc's only female -- O'Connor -- finally permitted the deemphasis of maternal health in abortion cases, and that not one of the conservatives had the humility to retain O'Connor's insight after her exit.
--Ezra Klein

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