Option-speak

America, the land of ‘options’ and home of the disaffected

Photo courtesy of NYTimes

December 1

During the presentation of arguments in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (“Mississippi”) before the US Supreme Court, 45-appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar defined ‘for the record’ the political alignments of abandonment, a root of disaffection.

After the “smoke” cleared, with head spinning diatribes on ‘bodily autonomy’ (Justice Thomas) and ‘safe havens’ (Justice Barrett), the major ‘meta-discussion’ was a three-way riff between Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Chief Justice John Roberts and the US Solicitor General, Elizabeth Prelogar.

‘Translated’ and cleansed of ‘legal-speak,’ the discussion went kinda’ like this:

Kavanaugh: Gee whiz, guys, this is complicated… I mean there’s a lot going on here, so… let’s not do anything. Let’s leave it up to the people…let’s leave it up to the state legislatures… they make the laws don’t they? Let them decide what’s right for women in their state. I mean women can cross state lines can’t they?… Heh, thanks Amy, for reminding us that women can drop off babies at the police station. (Aside whisper) That’s a good one.

They (women) have options. They can choose.

Roberts: We can’t argue that. We have a Supreme Court here. We need to look above the fray… you know — not look ‘political.’ We need something better than state lines. What about stare decisis? What do we do with Casey? With “Roe-vee-Wade?”

(Kavanaugh and Roberts pause deliberation for a quick round of “head of the class,” as each recite the previous Supreme Court cases that demonstrate — or don’t — the argument for precedence.)

Kavanaugh: See, John, it’s complicated. We have the choice women can make and we have the choice of supporting life. Women have options that fetuses don’t here. That’s all that these fine folk from Mississippi are saying: just not in my state.

Roberts: But ‘viability?’ That’s a ‘sticky wicket.’

Prelogar: Okay boys, here’s the deal. I’ll save you the effort of threading a legal needle that doesn’t exist. This is not about state lines or heart beats, not about “now you see it, now you don’t.”

it’s not about choice.

Sorry.

For women there is no ‘choice,’ as you say. Your babbling runs counter to social current, to the changing dynamics of a women’s life. To her health, to her livelihood.

“Life changes for women after 15 weeks.”

Observation: we have heard this discussion before, haven’t we?

It’s ‘option-speak’ versus reality-claiming.

Why does one hear the term “options,” mentioned just at the moment of realizing ‘what’ freedom is lost?

Consider that for the moment — ‘gas-lighting politicizing’ aside (1) — we are hearing the same opinionated discussion about abortion that we have heard about capital punishment, the same discussion we have heard about gun rights: those who argue against abortion are in favor of expanding capital punishment (2). Those who argue against abortion can be relied on to cherish their right to carry weapons.

How can this be?

Because both opinions reduce life as both marginalize one’s livelihood, one’s freedom to live — the ‘sacred right’ that is stipulated in the US Constitution.

Thanks, Elizabeth.

December 4

1-Linda Greenhouse, “Do Gun Rights Depend on Abortion Rights? That’s Now Up to the Supreme Court,” Opinion, NYTimes, November 4

2-I am indebted to Heinz Von Foerster, Professor and Director of the Biological Computer Laboratory (U. Illinois-Champaign), who first shared this insight.

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Rodney Clough

Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.