Mary Elizabeth Coleman of the Missouri House of Representatives has introduced a provision that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps a Missouri resident obtain an abortion out of state.
It is my belief that modern society is dependent on full reproductive freedom for women, and as such, Coleman is an enemy of our way of life and an enemy of civilization. This is a proposed law in a state that most of us don’t live in, so there’s not much we can do right now except boo and hope. If you do live in Missouri, spread the word about her, and vote against her if you are in her district.
A few years ago I would have believed that such a law is clearly unconstitutional and would never be anything more than empty posturing. The world has gone crazy though, so I’m not nearly so certain anymore.
This highlights a few things to me. First, the American Constitution is badly outdated in this regard. This right is as important as any of the rights protected in the constitution, and is in the top three most important rights in my opinion. As soon as it is feasible, the constitution must be amended to include abortion rights. I know this won’t be any time soon. Which brings me to the second highlight.
The nation is insanely divided. Such an amendment could incite many states into secession. The moral absurdity of this cannot be understated. People would risk civil war in order to uphold laws that morally reprehensible and destructive to society. This is what people who saw states seceding in order to retain slavery must have felt like.
It also revealed a number of things to me about myself. In my linked post explaining my position on abortion, I state that this is my number one issue on all political questions “until the point that something else becomes a bigger threat to our way of life. I get the feeling it’ll be a long time before that happens.” Earlier in the post I identified “Freedom of Speech” as one of the other fundamental rights our society rests on. I still think abortion rights are more threatened, and equally vital, so it remains my primary concern. But I am no longer at all sure that it’ll be a “long time” until another right is as threatened. What even worse is that neither of the two major political parties care about freedom of speech anymore. There is no longer a win condition that is simply “support the side protecting vital freedoms,” now the win condition must also include “help reform the side you are supporting so it’ll return to protecting all vital freedoms.” This is much harder.
I used to think people trying to destroy freedoms were Bad in some fundamental way. Now that I’ve seen many people I care for turn against one of the fundamental freedoms, it’s made me rethink that. I cannot think they are bad people, because I know them, and I know they aren’t. They’re just wrong about certain things that have led them into massive moral error. I hope to get them back some day (or to discover that *I* am wrong, and I should join them, of course). If that’s the case for people who are working to destroy freedom of speech, it may be the case for those working to destroy reproductive freedom. If I hope to reach one group, I should hope to reach both.
I also, nine years ago, said “the government is supposed to pass laws for the good of the society is governs.” At the time I thought the government was fundamentally Good, and trying to do its best for The People. This perspective is now so foreign to me, that I didn’t remember holding it. I had to read those words, be shocked by them, and really dredge up the memories of those emotions and that mindstate. I feel naive now. I feel betrayed by those who taught me this. I regret that the world isn’t how I thought it was… the world of my imagination was a better world. I’m glad I still have this blog to look back on, and see the ways I used to think, and track how I’ve changed. It’s eye-opening.
A public service reminder – mifepristone and misoprostol are safe abortion pills that will induce an abortion up to 10 weeks into pregnancy. They are safe enough that they’re sold over the counter in many foreign countries, and you can get them mailed to you door with a bit of Googling. As of this writing, AidAccess is available to make this even easier. And services like ipostal1 will forward mail from other states.