Angry Caturday Reads

It’s day 2, post-Roe.

colorful-catWhat we long feared has finally happened. Women in the U.S. are once again second class citizens. Young women no longer have ownership of their own bodies. A disgraceful right wing Supreme Court has decided that women are first and foremost breeders, not people with the right to make their own life decisions and plan for their futures. Frankly, I’m still in shock. I’m very angry and I’m heartbroken for the women who will suffer and die because of what these cruel SCOTUS judges have done. 

Americans will also pay an economic price for the SCOTUS overturning Roe and Casey. Shawna Chen at Axios: Fall of Roe will have immediate economic ramifications, experts say.

The U.S. will see devastating economic consequences from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, experts warned on Friday.

Why it matters: The landmark Turnaway Study found that women who have to carry an unwanted pregnancy were four times as likely to struggle with poverty years later. Raising a child costs over $230,000 on average, according to the Department of Agriculture.

What they’re saying: “This decision will cause immediate economic pain in 26 states where abortion bans are most likely and where people already face lower wages, less worker power, and limited access to health care. The fall of Roe will be an additional economic barricade,” Heidi Shierholz, president of the Economic Policy Institute, said in a statement.

—  “Abortion rights are economic rights, and this decision means the loss of economic security, independence, and mobility for abortion seekers. Low- and middle-income people, especially Black and Brown women, will bear the brunt of the impact.”

—  “On the heels of the most recent economic downturn, where women experienced tremendous job and income losses compared to men, the Supreme Court decision makes it more difficult for women to regain their economic footing and to plan for their futures,” C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said in a statement.

—  “Further, the lack of access to the full range of reproductive health care services in the states, including abortion care, will have a devastating effect on women’s short-and-long-term earnings and income, job security and career advancement, and increase the likelihood they will become impoverished.”

shutterstock_1075355216The majority of Americans support abortion rights, so it’s not surprising that demonstrations have erupted around the country. And there has already been violence directed against the protesters. HuffPost: Truck Driver Rams Into Abortion Rights Demonstrators At Roe Rally In Iowa.

A truck driver careened into a group of demonstrators in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday as they crossed the street during an otherwise peaceful protest of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The unidentified male driver of a Ford truck rammed into several protesters — all of them women — at the tail end of a procession, rolling over one woman’s ankle and sending her to the hospital, witnesses said.

“He tried to murder them,” said a local journalist and witness to the attack, Lyz Lenz. “These women see him coming and a bunch of people put their hands out to stop him. And he just keeps going.”

Multiple witnesses, including one of the victims, described the scene in interviews with HuffPost: The male driver was waiting behind several cars at a red light downtown as a throng of protesters crossed the street.

He became “impatient,” as several witnesses said, and hit the gas, maneuvering around several cars to ram protesters.

I expect we will see more violence over the abortion issue, especially since the right wing SCOTUS justices have also made it easier for angry, disturbed people to carry guns in public.

Yesterday on Twitter, I noticed a number of women discussing their fears of state surveillance in Republican controlled states. Here’s an article about that from Grid: It’s not just period trackers: The post-Roe digital data dragnet is bigger than you think As states move to ban abortion, digital footprints could prove a new risk to people seeking to terminate pregnancies.

Social media has been awash in warnings that apps created to help people track menstrual periods can also reveal if someone is pregnant, or a pregnancy has ended. But experts told Grid the potential risk is much broader and deleting a single app won’t help much. Police and prosecutors commonly seek search histories, location data and even text messages while investigating suspected crimes.

The risk now is that noncriminal behavior — such as searching for information on abortion services or simply enduring a miscarriage — will be criminalized using a technological apparatus that did not exist in 1973 when the Supreme Court handed down its Roe verdict. The human costs of widespread data sharing and the weaponization of data are likely to become clearer as states begin to enforce their new laws.

frowning-catThis era of crumbling privacy has already started. In 2018, a woman spent two years in jail because she had a miscarriage after Googling abortion pills. And anti-abortion activists are already using digital techniques to target people at clinics with anti-abortion ads on their phones.

“This ruling is devastating for the privacy rights of people seeking reproductive care,” said Alexandra Reeve Givens, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, in a statement. “In the digital age, this decision opens the door to law enforcement and private bounty hunters seeking vast amounts of private data from ordinary Americans.”

Read the details at the link above.

And from STAT: HIPAA won’t protect you if prosecutors want your reproductive health records.

With Roe v. Wade now overturned, patients are wondering whether federal laws will shield their reproductive health data from state law enforcement, or legal action more broadly. The answer, currently, is no.

If there’s a warrant, court order, or subpoena for the release of those medical records, then a clinic is required to hand them over. And patients and providers may be made legally vulnerable by the enormous trail of health-related data we all generate through their devices every day.

As far as health records go, the most salient law is HIPAA — the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It’s possible that federal officials could try to tweak it, so records of reproductive care or abortion receive extra protection, but legal experts say that’s unlikely to stand up in the courts in a time when many judges tend to be unfriendly to executive action.

While abortion will remain legal in many states, 22 have laws on the books that will ban the procedure or lead to severely restricted access to it, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

It’s hard to know exactly how state authorities will react to this ruling. Many anti-abortion groups oppose the criminalization of abortion patients. Experts have serious concerns about how holes in privacy laws might potentially open clinicians and patients up to legal action, but the issues discussed here are possible, not certain, consequences of Friday’s decision.

Again, read more details at the link.

Yesterday’s stunning decision by the right wing justices will further damage the credibility of the Court. A couple of opinion pieces from The New York Times:

Linda Greenhouse: Requiem for the Supreme Court.

With the stroke of a pen, Justice Samuel Alito and four other justices, all chosen by Republican presidents running on successive party platforms committed to overturning Roe v. Wade, erased the constitutional right to reproductive autonomy that the Supreme Court recognized more than 49 years ago. As the dissenting opinion — written by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — observed, never before had the court rescinded an individual right and left it up to the states whether to respect what had once been anchored in the Constitution.

Angry-cat-sound-and-body-language.jpg.optimalThe practical consequences of the decision, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, are enormous and severe. Abortion, now one of the most common medical procedures, will be banned or sharply limited in about half the country. Excluding miscarriages, nearly one in five pregnancies ends in abortion in the United States, and one American woman in four will terminate a pregnancy during her lifetime. Two generations of women in this country have come of age secure in the knowledge that an unintended pregnancy need not knock their lives off course. “After today,” as the dissent pointed out, “young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had.”

What the court delivered on Friday is a requiem for the right to abortion. As Chief Justice John Roberts, who declined to join Justice Alito’s opinion, may well suspect, it is also a requiem for the Supreme Court.

Consider the implication of Justice Alito’s declaration that Roe v. Wade was “egregiously wrong” from the start. Five of the seven justices in the Roe majority — all except William O. Douglas and Thurgood Marshall — were appointed by Republican presidents. The votes necessary to preserve the right to abortion 19 years later in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Roe follow-up decision that the court also overturned on Friday, came from five Republican-appointed justices.

In asserting that these justices led the court into grave error from which it must now be rescued, Justice Alito and his majority are necessarily saying that these predecessors, joining the court over a period of four decades, didn’t know enough, or care enough, to use the right methodology and reach the right decision. The arrogance and unapologetic nature of the opinion are breathtaking….

The dissenting justices wrote on Friday, “The majority’s refusal even to consider the life-altering consequences of reversing Roe and Casey is a stunning indictment of its decision.” They observed, “The majority has overruled Roe and Casey for one and only one reason: because it has always despised them, and now it has the votes to discard them. The majority thereby substitutes a rule by judges for the rule of law.”

Adam Liptak: June 24, 2022: The Day Chief Justice Roberts Lost His Court.

In the most important case of his 17-year tenure, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. found himself entirely alone.

He had worked for seven months to persuade his colleagues to join him in merely chipping away at Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion. But he was outflanked by the five justices to his right, who instead reduced Roe to rubble.

In the process, they humiliated the nominal leader of the court and rejected major elements of his jurisprudence.

disappointed-catThe moment was a turning point for the chief justice. Just two years ago, after the retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy made him the new swing justice, he commanded a kind of influence that sent experts hunting for historical comparisons. Not since 1937 had the chief justice also been the court’s fulcrum, able to cast the decisive vote in closely divided cases.

Chief Justice Roberts mostly used that power to nudge the court to the right in measured steps, understanding himself to be the custodian of the court’s prestige and authority. He avoided what he called jolts to the legal system, and he tried to decide cases narrowly.

But that was before a crucial switch. When Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative appointed by President Donald J. Trump, succeeded Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal icon, after her death in 2020, Chief Justice Roberts’s power fizzled.

“This is no longer John Roberts’s court,” Mary Ziegler, a law professor and historian at the University of California, Davis, said on Friday.

Read more at the NYT.

At The Cut, Rebecca Traister argues: The Necessity of Hope Things are bad. They will get worse. But despair has never been an option.

Today is the day that this nation sees, with eyes that are briefly clear, exactly how bad things are, and exactly how bad they will become. No clouds today where I live. Only a stark and chilling truth in a bright blue sky: Roe is overturned, and so is Casey.

The dissent, co-authored by the Supreme Court’s three liberals, is explicit: “Whatever the exact scope of the coming laws, one result of today’s decision is certain: the curtailment of women’s rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens.” They write that, in the wake of this decision, “from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A state can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs.”

So that, as they say, is that. Where we are. We can all see it, and so much more: Clarence Thomas, in his concurrence, openly declares that same-sex marriage and contraception are next. Gender-affirming health care, LGBTQ protections, voting rights, labor and environmental regulations — they are all prey to this ravening court and the party of malevolent ideologues and cynical tacticians that stands behind it.

f2099ab7aa48240b8da2b8e618068023Today also makes indisputable, thanks to Representative Jim Clyburn (who called today’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization “anticlimactic”) and his fellow House Democrats (who had the gall to stand outside the Capitol and sing “God Bless America” as protesters gathered at the Court and troops in riot gear marched to meet them), that those with the most power in the Democratic Party are as inept as their fiercest critics have claimed.

Today is wretched and plain. And it is not the bottom, as many people may feel it is. It will get worse; we will go lower. As the Court’s dissent insists, correctly, “Closing our eyes to the suffering today’s decision will impose will not make that suffering disappear.”

And so, with all this laid out, ugly and incontrovertible, the task for those who are stunned by the baldness of the horror, paralyzed by the bleakness of the view, is to figure out how to move forward anyway.

Because while it is incumbent on us to digest the scope and breadth of the badness, it is equally our responsibility not to despair.

So far, Traister isn’t convincing me that we have a lot of hope, but she’s right that we have to go on trying.

Take care, Sky Dancers. I wish you all a peaceful weekend. 

18 Comments on “Angry Caturday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

  2. bostonboomer says:

    • RonStill4Hills says:

      Those are some of the grumpiest cats ever!

      Marriage equality is in the cross hairs, but so is so much else we take for granted. The right wing will try to reinstate sodomy laws, miscegenation laws, and even Jim Crow ideas like the “right” to decide who is and is not welcome at businesses and clubs. Wrong color , wrong religion, wrong sexual orientation, why should government be able to tell white heterosexual male Christians who they have to associate with? It seems to me that the philosophy is, we can do whatever we want , and you have to do whatever we say, and if we have to cancel democracy guarantee that , so be it.

      I don’t know whether we will end up with a King or a President for life, but that is what the MAGAts have in mind for our future.

      If we do not turn out massively in every election going forward we will soon pass the tipping point. If we haven’t already.

  3. bostonboomer says:

  4. dakinikat says:

    Thread from congressman Kim from NJ watching the Republicans celebrate Roe’s demise then returning to his district to join the marches.

    • dakinikat says:

  5. dakinikat says:

  6. dakinikat says:

    When my daughter graduated from Med school and announced she planned on specializing as an OB/GYN I bought her an autographed copy of “This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor Paperback” by Susan Wicklund. She told me she didn’t plan to make abortion central to her practice. I told her that made no difference. Learn how to do it. Realize it is necessary. Read up on the experiences of abortion providers and know that’s part of your responsibilities. When the draft leaked, I asked her if she’d read it yet. She said no. I said well maybe now would be a good time.

    • dakinikat says:

      She just recently spoke to me about one of her patients who was entering her third trimester and now had end-stage renal disease. If there wasn’t an abortion, both would be dead within the week. The only chance the woman had was an early delivery that was not likely going to be successful. These things happen. I’m just really glad she’s in a state where Roe is enshrined in its Constitution but I can only imagine the stories that will shortly hear about pregnancies that end with dead women shortly.

  7. dakinikat says:

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. dakinikat says:

  10. quixote says:

    The only thing to do now is get our Underground Mailroads working: get millions of us providing information and miso-mife medication abortion drugs to the women who need them. Enough to overwhelm the spies and bounty hunters. And we need to get actual Underground Railroads working for women whose pregnancies are too far along for drug induction.

    I use that terminology on purpose. We’re not second-class citizens. People who suffer from vote suppression are second-class citizens. If you don’t control your own reproduction, you’re livestock. It’s body slavery. It’s not any kind of citizenship.

    And another point about the economic effects: how many doctors do they think are going to be willing to live in those states? It’s going to affect the access to all kinds of medical care for the people there.

    I could put “mood” as my caption for every one of those cats.

  11. roofingbird says:

    I imagine Thomas thinks

  12. dakinikat says:

    I am so tired of reading about this shit.

  13. NW Luna says:

    BB, the cat photos are so apt!