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Monday, August 15, 2022
OpinionSupreme Court's Roe v. Wade reversal exposes conservative hypocrisy

Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade reversal exposes conservative hypocrisy

When The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this morning, eliminating American women’s constitutional right to an abortion while essentially making abortion illegal in half The United States, The Republican Party exposed a damning and critical weakness in its thinking, rendering itself ideologically irrelevant at best and authoritarian at worst. The Court’s 5-4 vote split near-evenly across partisan lines, with 5 conservative justices voting for, 3 liberal justices voting against, and conservative Justice John Roberts seeking to uphold Roe v. Wade while also backing Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. 

It was Roberts alone who voted like a conservative.

Central to conservative ideology is the notion that government should be limited. It’s not a casual or throwaway notion; quite the contrary, these guys are (or purport to be) dead-serious about it. Per conservative thinking, human governance is always but a hair’s breadth away from authoritarian rule. Reason being, the human animal is inclined toward self-interest, and as such is inclined to exploit, bully, and overtake his fellow humans. As such, it pays to limit governance: low taxes, scarce regulation, staying out of people’s way, leaving human beings alone to live out their ideal lives, per their own characters and their own natures, in maximum freedom. 

The principles of conservatism are so longstanding in American thought that they’ve seeped below the level of ideology and become a fundamental aspect of American culture. To wit: even the proudest Democrat you know doesn’t cheer while doing their taxes. Americans have a “don’t tread on me” mentality: left, right, in between. It’s part of our founding; it’s among our core assumptions about the way things should work, how things should be.

Conservatives hold freedom as their foremost value as the proud alternative to being ruled by kings. They deem America exceptional as they deem the country a radical experiment in human freedom. They thus cherish capitalism, fostering as it does an environment in which human beings can compete openly in pursuit of excellence, amassing fortune while accumulating greatness. Along the way, conservatives seek to limit government – government in any/every form – perceiving its presence as hindrance, not helper; enemy, not friend.

Unless of course government is being used to micromanage women’s bodies.

The hypocrisy would be comical were it not so harrowing. Here is a form of political ideology that’s convinced within an inch of its life that regulating human behavior never works, always backfires, helps no person, limits freedom, and contributes to a bleaker world, and yet that ideology is all too eager to harness regulation if it can attempt to stand between a woman and her right to choose.

Abortions will go on. Where they’re legal, they’ll now be harder to schedule, as a result of an influx of patients from other states. Where they’re illegal, they’ll be performed (less safely) underground. Conservative ideology presees this outcome. For conservative ideology, at its root, perceives the fundamental truth that human beings do not like to be controlled.

On this topic, however (and others, but we’ll stick here for now), they eagerly sell out their values. Religion plays a role, of course, but in general the anti-abortion mindset is fueled by a hyper-sentimentality surrounding fetuses. Per the mindset, full stop: fetuses are innocent and helpless beings. We must therefore suspend any notion of women – without whom fetuses cannot sustain, much less exist – bearing too much freedom. Better they bear children. Their choice? It’s meaningless.

The government can handle it.

It gets worse. The hypocrisy isn’t some mere footnote. We can’t say with a straight face, “Conservatives value freedom in almost every regard, although there are exceptions…” No, the point I make is scarier:

Conservatives are actually opting, in their hallucination of what it means to grant freedom, to induce life in the name of freedom. To impose upon women unwanted kids. To mandate the traditional family unit. To break lives, thwart futures, inhibit women’s talents and dreams, bog down American households in choices not their own. No, the state chooses. When they mock welfare, conservatives speak often of “the nanny state.” But in their world, we all deserve a “mommy state.” This state makes the decision as to who bears children, and it is every woman, everywhere, no matter the given circumstances of her pregnancy (rape, incest, broken condom – it’s irrelevant).

As to the fetuses compelled toward birth, their grant of freedom, as we know, begins expiring once they draw their first breaths. That’s when the state abandons them. No more services. No more governance. No more notion of the government actually being useful, let alone a protector. From Day One, the new babies are on their own. Their parents didn’t want them. The world won’t raise them. 

And in time, the babies will grow into adults, and they’ll come to realize that their country, despite its fantasies of freedom, is being run by hypocrites, and ruled by kings.



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Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer and filmmaker. He has won awards for journalism (CA Journalism Award) and screenwriting (Fade In Award), and has served as a ghostwriter, speechwriter, or script doctor for over 3,000 clients. His first novel is a dark political thriller called "Red Dennis" (2020). His first nonfiction book is a guide for helping writers be more productive called "Ass Plus Seat" (2020). He co-hosts the "House of Mystery Radio Show" on NBC News Radio. Eric's books can be purchased here.

49 COMMENTS

  1. While the author points out the hypocrisy of the Republican Party, I gave up expecting anything but hypocrisy from them years ago. They even gave up the pretense in the 2020 election by not writing the traditional Party Platform that says what they stand for. Since the right-wing dominated Supreme Court OK’d the bribing of politicians, they have self-grouped into progressives who follow the science in creating policies, corporate Democrats who maintain the status quo (e.g. Joe Manchin), and Republicans who work to move more power and money to their wealthy “contributors”. Using a divide and conquer strategy, the Court is issuing non-sense rulings on guns and abortion this week on top of the long list of suck-up-to-the-oligarchs rulings to limit the power of We the People over the decades since Reagan. For a deep dive, see
    The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America by Thom Hartmann, https://www.amazon.com/History-Supreme-Betrayal-America-Hartmann/dp/1523085940/

  2. Wow. Yep, it is predictable as wildfires in California. The perpetually outraged come out after this decision and throw a tantrum using words that inflame the right brainers, but hey, that’s easy to do because they get aneurisms if you use the wrong pronouns. He rants about conservative “hypocrisy” but touts the rights of women while forgetting the rights of the unborn. Conservative *are* about limited govt and this decision does nothing to change that. It just throws the decisions back to the states where it should have been in the first place. The original R vs. W argument was so flawed it should never have been passed in the first place and it was only a matter of time before this happened.

    So let’s check out what this mouthpiece for the radical left has to say. Remember, this is an opinion piece so it doesn’t have to be truthful or logical.

    Lie #1. “eliminating American women’s constitutional right to an abortion”. Where in the Constitution does it say that a woman has the right to an abortion? I’ll wait. Hint: it doesn’t.

    Lie #2. “essentially making abortion illegal in half The United States”. EVERY state allows abortion, but some states have more restrictions than others. If you have to kill your own baby there are plenty of Democrat run states you can go to that will encourage and let you.

    Lie #3 “conservatives seek to limit government….Unless of course government is being used to micromanage women’s bodies.” Throwing out R vs. W does eliminate Federal govt. oversight (which conservatives like) but how does it micromanage a woman’s body? I’ll wait. Hint: it doesn’t. Women still have the freedom to kill their own babies all over the USA. And don’t whine about rape, incest, etc. Those are still allowed everywhere but are less than 1% of abortions. The rest are for convenience. Smart women control their babymaker so they won’t have to worry about it.

    The rest is more transparent anoetic leftest parrot speak designed to inflame and not inform. Obviously it’s easier to appeal to emotions than logic and the left makes money and political capital relying on that. I’m sure we will hear responses from the radical left in the crowd, but of course, they use the same tactic of manipulating feelings instead of positing logical positions because, well, they’re right brainers.

    Bottom line is women can still get abortion in every state of the USA. This decision doesn’t change that and much as the left hates to admit it.

    Keep thinking people, before even that is illegal.

    • Gee, Donald, you throw so much right-wind disinformation out there it is hard to know where to start. How about your uninformed response to “essentially making abortion illegal in half The United States” which was “EVERY state allows abortion, but some states have more restrictions than others.” You apparently did not hear that 11 states now ban or severely limit abortion. 11 others have laws — not yet in effect — to do the same. See https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/06/24/1107126432/abortion-bans-supreme-court-roe-v-wade . Your flippant attitude that women seeking abortions in those states can simply go to another shows how ensconced you are in your middle-class, white, male privilege. Due to 40 years of Reaganomics, poor women don’t have the resources to do that.
      .
      The rest of your comments seem like right-wing “parrot speak designed to inflame and not inform.”

      • Rob, you should really read the citations you post, particularly the footnotes for the chart. NO states have banned abortion. The most restrictive is Texas with a 6 week limit, but Texas still allows it up to 6 weeks.

        So, show me any state that has “banned abortion”. I’ll wait. It’s either true or you’re at best a useful idiot, or at worst a liar.

        • Even that chart isn’t completely right, like Mississippi will still have the condition of approving an abortion to save the mother’s life. All the “illegals” do.

  3. Well written article. The Supreme Court has become a tool of the ultra conservative Catholics with the Federalist Society calling the shots. Hypocritical, yes absolutely.

  4. Killing babies in the womb is outrageous. Over 63 million babies have been killed since R vs W. The original person to bring Planned Parenthood into the abortion business wanted to eliminate all inferior people according to her and destroy the family unit, disgusting.

    • Althea, you and Donald seem to share a religious belief that babyhood starts at conception or impregnation. The Bible and scientists disagree. If you choose to believe that, fine, but don’t impose your religious beliefs on the majority of us who believe that a woman’s right to control her own body outweighs any “rights” that a fetus may have. Your put down of today’s Planned Parenthood based on beliefs of a founder nearly 100 years ago is about as relevant today as pointing out the the Republican Party was anti-slavery 150 years ago. Stop cherry-picking your data.
      .
      BTW, “Killing babies in the womb is outrageous.” seems like right-wing “parrot speak designed to inflame and not inform.”

      • No Rob, the Bible has nothing to do with it, (though it does say you shall not murder. You should read it sometime.) Your strawman argument doesn’t work. it’s a scientific fact that life begins at conception. It’s murder to kill it. Nice try.

        • Are you saying that because you believe it is murder to kill life, even if that “life” is a fertilized egg that has not yet implanted itself properly? Unless you restrict your regard for life to just the human species, you seem to be advocating for vegetarianism.

          • We’re only talking human life in this instance. Once fertilization has taken place, it is life and murder to kill it.

  5. As I understand it, the Pro-Life movement wants forced pregnancy dictated by the government (We the People) to overrule a woman’s decisions about her own body, but they don’t want to support the fetus once it is born and legally a person. Whereas progressives like myself want abortion to be safe, legal, and rare while supporting women and their children with a strong social safety net that includes what most or all developed countries provide: universal healthcare (including prenatal), free education through college, getting money out of politics so they live in a democracy (not the oligarchy we currently have), responding to our Climate Crisis so children have a civilized future, and ending systemic racism. When I put it like that, it makes me think that the Pro-Life people are not very pro-life, but are rather narrow in what they think makes for a healthy society.

  6. Hey Donald Duck Mercado, go kill yourself, you pathetic piece of right wing propaganda. Maybe you should volunteer to support all the babies you think should be forced to be born. Or better yet, go research how many people in red states murder, abuse and rape children. Seriously, just Kill yourself and donate your organs, because you’re clearly a waste of them

  7. Donald, thank you for the references. The first is good enough for our purposes because it says “Violent crime rates vary greatly across the country, and some cities experience higher than average rates. Areas that see the highest crime rates have poor housing conditions, larger families with small incomes, bad health problems, and homes with parents who have previously been in trouble with the law. These impoverished areas also see the formation of gangs. The motivation for violent crimes can also include a lack of police funding.” So, those are causes, not whether the current Mayor is a Democrat or Republican.
    .
    You seem to be making a common mistake by mixing up correlation and causation. You seem to believe that Democratic mayors cause crime to happen. Another more likely explanation is that Democrats get elected after Republicans have screwed things up (e.g. Biden following T****). You also ignore other factors like which party has most influenced the state in which these cities exist. Republican policies include denying ACA’s Medicare extension to residents in nearly every state they control. That reduced health care leads to bad health problems in poor people — one of the factors that leads to higher crime rates. Forced pregnancy is another. We can go down the list of factors and the Republican policies that exacerbate them if you like.
    .
    So, tell me, which “Democratic policies have ruined most major cities.”

    • We were talking about crime in Dem cities, and you questioned my stats. When I provide them, you cherry pick (something I know you hate) some words in the article which fits your agenda. Not surprising from you or a leftest group like NPR. Here’s another: Analysis: Democrats at the helm of 11 of the 15 deadliest cities in U.S.https://katv.com/news/nation-world/analysis-democrats-at-the-helm-of-11-of-the-15-deadliest-cities-in-us. One more: The 10 most dangerous cities in the U.S. are all run by Democrats. https://www.logically.ai/factchecks/library/d9648ab2. I told you how to find others showing the same thing. But this article is way off the OP topic, so I’ll end it here.

      • Donald, you don’t seem to understand the difference between causation and correlation. An example of causation is when there is a huge spike in demand for vasectomies and tubal ligations as Americans react to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade (which is happening). An example of correlation is the fact that most corrupt politicians ate mashed potatoes in their past. Statistics also show that strict anti-abortion laws result in (i.e. cause) more self-induced abortions with their higher likelihood of maternal death. For those of us concerned about public health, SCOTUS rulings for more guns and forced pregnancies will cause worse outcomes.

  8. This has become rather pathetic gentlemen. This constant bickering, griping, and complaining produces no savory results for either side. This accomplishes nothing, no personal satisfaction can be gained other than to prove their opponent wrong and, even so, what does that prove. This debate is endless and pointless.

    I will be the first to proclaim how grateful I am that the dreadful decision known as Roe vs. Wade was made right. Abortion is a moral evil of the worst kind and I do believe one day God will hold this nation accountable for this heinous crime. I am proud to be a conservative Christian, to call myself pro-life. No woman should ever be granted the license to kill in my humble opinion. Ultimately, I think those who violently and loudly declare themselves “outraged” over this legal decision do so out of selfishness. Roe vs. Wade was a selfish decision and even the woman at the center of that decision decades past regretted her decision and became an avid proponent of the pro-life movement. As Americans, we need to lay aside our selfish wants and do what’s right.

    However, argument and insults do nothing. We need to come together in civility. I disagree highly with the author of this article, but resorting to name-calling and argument does nothing. I respectfully disagree and I am happy to have a productive debate on the subject. The devil craves contention, we need to be better than that.

    • Progress is only made through calm, rational debate and discussion. Hiding how you feel is counterproductive, and stifling other’s right to free speech is facist, or woke. I stand behind my statements and use my actual name because I’m not afraid of accountability. Yes, I do risk retribution from the violent left, but you have to stand for something. I agree that name calling is childish but it’s a great way to divert attention from the main topic when you are losing the debate. Appealing to emotions is easy; rational thought is hard. I just wish there was more of the latter in this country. However, aint it great that we live in a country where everyone has a right to freely express their opinions? Isn’t that why we have the 4th of July? God bless those who fought and died for our right to do that.

    • Christian, thanks for the warning that you are another religious zealot: “Abortion is a moral evil of the worst kind and I do believe one day God will hold this nation accountable for this heinous crime.” This country was founded upon the separation of church from state for darn good reasons. “At the founding of our republic, “father of the Constitution” James Madison was worried about government influencing and corrupting churches as had happened in Massachusetts before the Revolution. On the other hand, his mentor, Thomas Jefferson, was worried that churches and their religious leaders could corrupt politicians and government itself. It turns out both were right.” https://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2021/01/shameless-radical-religious-leaders-have-now-corrupted-government
      .
      “And yet the true faith of our Founders — the faith in a secular political system uncontaminated by grasping religious leaders — is under attack once again, this time by six Catholic Republicans on the Supreme Court.” https://hartmannreport.com/p/scotus-has-dissolved-into-a-blur
      .
      Attempting a coup to violently overthrow the government of the United States is un-American. So is using the power of the state to impose religious beliefs like yours.

  9. Like the comedian Bill Burr said recently, “I still think you’re killing a baby, if we’re going to be honest, that is the whole purpose of the procedure”. A woman walks into a abortion clinic with a baby in the womb, and walks out without one. What happened to the baby?

    https://youtu.be/qjUD8uXH4dc

    • Paul, that is a religious belief, not a scientific one. The term “baby” can only be seriously considered once the fetus is viable outside the womb. Women who abort in the first trimester (the vast majority of cases), and especially those that use chemicals rather than mechanical means, are not killing babies — no matter how badly to you want to paint them as baby killers.
      .
      What is particularly absurd about this comment string is that nearly all is from old white men who have never had — or had to worry about — an abortion.

      • No Rob, you’re wrong again. The Bible doesn’t address abortion because that wasn’t known at that time so you can shelve any Biblical references. The fetus in the womb is considered alive by science and you can label it anything you want, but it’s alive. Purposely ending life is murder. Murder is addressed in the Bible.

        • Don, I am not a biblical scholar, but I do know that many men had a hand in selecting what did not get into the bible, what did, and what wording was selected. Thus, it is all suspect to those of us who do not subscribe to a paternalistic iron-age, monotheistic religion.
          .
          One woman familiar with the Bible called into the Thom Hartmann Program to point out the reference to the bitter water abortion plan in Numbers 5:19-24. Wikipedia says this about it:
          Several commentaries on the Bible maintain that the ordeal is to be applied in the case of a woman who has become pregnant, allegedly by her extramarital lover.[13][21] In this interpretation, the bitter potion could be an abortifacient, inducing a purposeful abortion or miscarriage if the woman is pregnant with a child which her husband alleges is another man’s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordeal_of_the_bitter_water
          .
          Even if that reference is untrustworthy, clearly abortifacients have been known and used for thousands of years as described in https://jezebel.com/the-history-of-abortifacients-1658993381
          .
          As for what a fetus is, here is a reasonable definition: In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as distinguished from the earlier embryo.
          .
          So, you and your other religious believers can say that an embryo is a baby, but science does not agree with you. (Science also does not agree with you view of our Climate Crisis.)

          • I agree: you aren’t a bible scholar. And of course, Thom Hartmann isn’t either and will interpret it in a way that will arouse his audience, increase market share, and his paycheck. Turn to a Christian station and you’ll get a completely different, and more accurate interpretation. Numbers is a history book documenting the reality of Jewish society. It’s a documentary, not theology. It’s like recording what actually happens in the football game, score numbers, both good and bad. But that’s old testament history. Since Jesus Christ came, there’s a new covenant in town based on love and forgiveness. That’s the doctrine Christians live under today. There’s plenty of scripture that is theology addressing the taking of life, as you know, and have probably heard of. Aside from that, science says life begins at conception and purposely taking a life is murder. Here’s were morals come into effect. Do your morals allow you to take a life for convenience?

          • It is good we live in a somewhat functioning democracy here in California so that the laws reflect the majority opinion of the electorate rather than your Christian fundamentalist views.

          • It’s great we live in a Constitutional Republic where the extremists still have a voice, but the mob doesn’t rule.

  10. Abortion should never be an accepted method of birth control for irresponsible men and women in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd trimester. The human being growing inside the womb deserves the shot at life outside the womb.

  11. Roe was horribly bad law from the get go, not at all grounded in the U.S. Constitution. It is therefore not constitutional law and is indefensible. It has correctly and rightly been kicked down to the states where it belongs.

  12. Democracy for Leftists is codespeak gobbledegook for Leftist mob majority rule. America’s founding father’s whole mission in writing the Declaration of Independence was in preventing this from occurring in America for all time to come. They had just escaped the tyranny and totalitarianism of the king. What they crafted was the most brilliant document written by man in history.

    • Agreed. That’s one of the main reason for the electoral college: to get away from pure democracy (5 wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner = mob rule) and create our current, more fair and equitable Constitutional Republic.

      • Paul and Donald, you both are bad-mouthing democracy, which is simply We the People acting through our constitutionally-limited democratically-elected representative government. Base on previous conversations, I get that you are Climate deniers and religious fundamentalists. Now, I see you are opposed to democracy, the foundation upon which our country was built. So, I can only conclude that you are un-American also. Do you also, like Trump, condone the J6 insurrection?
        .
        The U.S. Constitution was a prototype for real democracy because it tried to do 2 things: create a government that includes democracy (a revolutionary idea at the time) while still maintaining the status quo (government of, by, and for the white, male land owners).
        .
        A more representative form of democracy – the parliamentarian system – wasn’t devised until the mid-1800’s. Since then, no nation has chosen our first-part-the-post, winner-take-all system that devolves into a 2-party system where 1 party is the party of the oligarchs and the other tries to represent the people. Since the Supreme Court said that bribing politicians is OK with them, money has flooded into – and corrupted – our political system.

  13. Donald Mercado you have that exactly right. The electoral college was designed and implemented with people like Means in mind, as he represents exactly what the Founder’s tried so hard to prevent from ever taking the reigns of government power in the newly formed representative republic. Never a pure democracy ruled by the elites on the coasts and large cities, or would-be totalitarians, nor a parliamentarian system.

    • Agreed. The pilgrims were running away from King George’s parliamentarian form of govt. which Mr. Means (who really should study more history) promotes, with all it’s weaknesses and problems. We still see those problems in them today. Fortunately a Constitutional Republic, which still has it’s own less severe and correctable issues, so far is working better.

      • Paul, which Constitutional Republic are you talking about, the one in Sweden? If you are talking about the U.S. Constitution, you cannot is all seriousness believe “it is still by far the best system in the world.” Constitutional republics are created to promote the general welfare for We the People. Due to the vast corruption of our government by big money, our government no longer responds to what We the People want, just what the oligarchs who bought the politicians want. Surely, you don’t need me to point out the specific study that concluded that. It is apparent all around us in the environmental destruction, historic inequality, huge student debt, over-priced and under-performing health care system, and corporate media complicit in elevating Trump to the presidency (and still coddling that grifter).

      • Donald, the way I heard it the Pilgrims were essentially Christian fundamentalists that couldn’t get along with others, so they left for someplace new. Also, since the parliamentarian form of government was not devised until the mid-1800’s, how do you conclude they were escaping something that did not yet exist?

  14. Donald Mercado “Fortunately a Constitutional Republic, which still has it’s own less severe and correctable issues, so far is working better.” Yes, that’s the focal point right there. With all it’s weaknesses, it is still by far the best system in the world. We must not condemn, or hold the founders responsible for all the real issues of that time period by the standards of what is acceptable or not acceptable now. The Founders knew they had failings, but were very great men that knew the system when implemented as they intended was the best chance possible for the republic moving forward. They fought and died by the 10,000’s to achieve it.

    • Whatever adjectives you want to use to describe it, it works pretty well, which is why LOTS of people all over the planet want to come live here, even illegally if they have to. We are the most generous country on the planet and present opportunity for anyone who wants to work at it. Hard work prospers. Sounds pretty good, and fair, to me. We don’t know how good we have it.

      • Donald, where do you get your information? “It works pretty well” – compared to what? Yes, the U.S. still works better than most undeveloped countries, but clearly worse than the governments of Europe. Are you deliberately ignoring the situation?
        .
        Evidence of our Big-Money corrupted government is apparent all around us in our destruction of the environment our species relies upon, historic levels of inequality not seen since the Gilded Age, huge ($1.5T) student debt while students in all other developed countries have none or very little, our over-priced and under-performing health care system, and corporate media complicit in hiding our Climate Crisis and oligarchy from public comment.
        .
        You are probably old enough to remember when our government worked for people instead of against them back in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s — back before the Reagan Revolution that has screwed people in this country ever since.

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