Saturday Morning Open Thread: Anti-Abortion Senator Endorses Roe v. Wade ReasoningPosted: February 23, 2013 Filed under: just because, Republican politics, U.S. Politics, Women's Rights | Tags: abortion, Charles Grassley, Indiana State Senate, Mike "Two Times" Pence, right to privacy, Roe v. Wade, transvaginal ultrasound 23 Comments
I’m getting a slow start this morning, so I thought I’d put up an open thread to get us started. This story is a couple of days old so you may have heard about it already, but I just had to take note of it anyway.
On Wednesday at a town hall meeting in Chariton Iowa, Senator Charles Grassley got a strange question about some wingnut conspiracy theory from one of his constituents: From the Atlantic Wire:
Constituent: They’re saying that they’re going to start, in 2013, putting microchips in government workers and then any kid that enrolls in school, starting in pre-school, will have a microchip implanted in them so that they can track them. Is that true?
Senator Grassley’s response was absolutely priceless:
Grassley: No. First of all, nothing can be done to your body without your permission….It’d be a violation of the constitutional right to privacy if that were to happen.
Here’s the video:
In case Grassley hasn’t thought about it that carefully, forcing a woman to have a baby certainly qualifies as doing something to her body without her permission. Actually, there is no right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution, but the Roe v. Wade decision created one; and Roe could certainly be used as precedent in any case relating to violations of body integrity.
In fact, the majority opinion of Roe v. Wade clearly states:
The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, going back perhaps as far as Union Pacific R. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251 (1891), the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution…
Roe v. Wade, of course, established the right to privacy — the kind that might spare you from a government conspiracy to embed microchips that might reveal your entire health history. Or, you know, the kind of privacy that allows women to obtain a legal abortion in this country:
This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.
Grassley is a long-time opponent of abortion rights and advocate of overturning Roe v. Wade, and Naral gives him a zero rating on pro-choice issues. If Roe were overturned, where does Grassley think he’d find a constitutional “right to privacy”?
And let’s not forget the recent Republican obsession with forcing women to undergo vaginal probes before they can have an abortion.
Not to be outdone, the Indiana State Senate has passed a new law that requires a woman to have two (2) ultrasounds–before and after her “abortion”–even if she is just taking RU 487, or the morning after pill! The bill doesn’t specific intravaginal ultrasounds, but they would, in effect, be required, since most abortions are performed when the embryo or fetus is too small to be detected by a traditional ultrasound.
I’m not sure what Grassley’s position on these ultrasound laws is, but someone should definitely ask him. If forcing a woman to have two transvaginal probes in order to get a pill doesn’t qualify as the government doing something to “your body without your permission,” what does Grassley believe would qualify as a violation of a woman’s privacy? Maybe because the town hall questioner was a man, he was suggesting that only Americans with penises have privacy rights?
As the inimitable Charles Pierce once wrote about Senator Grassley in a different context:
This is also funny because, you see, if there’s one thing that Chuck Grassley is noted for, it is that he is the most spectacular box of rocks, the most bulging bag of hammers, in the history of the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. If brains were atom bombs, he couldn’t blow his nose. If his IQ was one point lower, they’d have to water him. As the great Dan Jenkins once put it in another context, if the man had a brain, he’d be out in the yard playing with it.
Good morning all! I don’t know what’s wrong with me today. I woke up at 6:30, but I’m still struggling to get going.
The good news is the winter storm seems to be fizzling in New England. Yesterday, the prediction was down to 3-5 inches of snow, and this morning it’s 1-3 inches. Phew!
I’m so glad this storm was a bit of a dud.
Sounds like a much nicer storm. Grassley is a real clown. He just makes it up as he goes along but I would like to hear him asked about Roe in that context.
I am just awaiting another “Letter From Rome” from one of the cross dressing prelates declaring contraception a violation of “god’s will” before he is exposed as one of those being blackmailed for dancing on a table at a private party.
Can this stuff get anymore tawdry and despicable? Whoever ends up being chosen as the next pope better have a pair of hip boots in his wardrobe since he will be up to his waist in even more scandal coming out of Vatican City.
These hypocrites are deafened by their own echo chambers. The connection between a woman’s body being violated by her government and a man’s body being violated by his government escapes them.
This is a really interesting piece. I might add though, when Grassley talked about a constitutional right to privacy, he might have been referring to the fourth amendment, which protects against “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” It’s not exactly a right to privacy, but there is some overlap. The same point citation can still be thrown back in his face on his pro-life stance: in the case of an intravaginal ultrasound, it’s easy to see how this would be an, “unreasonable search” of one’s “person”.
TP: Montana Bill Would Give Corporations The Right To Vote
Corporations are people, my friend.
SteveM: HOW ANTI-AUSTERIAN ARE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE? VERY, VERY ANTI-AUSTERIAN
We need a much better press corps!
space.com: Is Millionaire Space Tourist Planning Trip to Mars?
Rich serious people spending their money for a cause. I love it.
Hartford Courant: Malloy Has Taken Sandy Hook To Heart
Good for the Gov of CT. Some things should be life altering.
Wow BB, great post for someone who says they can’t seem to get going this morning.
I’ve got a couple links for you:
McConnell Staffer Falls For Stupid Parody Blog Post | Crooks and Liars
BBC News – Give horsemeat-tainted food to poor – German minister
I’m in the middle of a war zone. Some guy was trying to rob the
Vietnamese storeDollar Ghetto down the street a few blocks and a cop responded and was shot. I’m in the middle of a man hunt zone. There’s a helicopter flying low all around and cops are going door to door and searching under everyone’s houses and backyards. I’ve never see the cops do so much in my life. I thought it was a movie shooting at first. So, I’m grounded. We’ve been told to stay inside.
Keep your head down!
There are so many helicopters buzzing my street that I feel like I’m having a Vietnam War Flashback. I thought it was a movie filming at firsts. They’ve told us to stay inside and lock down.
That sounds like good advice. Everytime I heard a helicopter it used to make me jumpy as could be. Luckily that didn’t last forever 🙂 Hang in there.
I had a friend who was in the marines in Vietnam and he dove under the table once during a meeting when the hospital helicopter for the hospital came too close to our buildling. This was back in the early 80s.
I’ve almost done that before. It’s downright embarrassing.
When finished with Brill’s long piece in Time, I was flabbergasted to see him make only “tinkering” suggestions to fix the problem. Matt Yglesias comes to the same conclusions that I did here.
Slate:Steven Brill’s Opus on Health Care
What’s the Swiss Health Care System Really Like?
Great post by Aaron Carroll. I’m certain it doesn’t matter what the Swiss system really is, Holtz-Eakin and Roy are just lying for political purposes.