How a Decision on Abortion Means So Much to So Many Different People
Hello. I’m Paul Thornton, and today is Saturday, May 14, 2022. Let’s take a look back at the week in Opinion.
There’s a saying among climate scientists and activists that has a sort of ‘always look on the bright side of life’, with a sunny twist: however miserable and dry and hot this summer will be, enjoy it, because it’ will be one of the coldest summers of the rest of your life. We can say something similar for abortion rights and personal freedom in this country: enjoy the next month or so, because it will be the most free month we have for generations to come.
How we experience these declining freedoms of course differs greatly depending on our position in life. Take me, a middle-class, middle-aged white man of all things finished having children: The Supreme Court’s likely overturning of the Roe v. Wade case next month doesn’t bother me. materially affect beyond the extreme distress of my fellow Americans who seek to access it. to the full spectrum of reproductive health care. There are people who can get pregnant but don’t want to, and who live in states that would ban abortion as soon as a court order allows them to do so – they, of course, have deeply different.
Then there are those who stand at the intersection of so many realities in this country, with so much more to lose under the watchful eye of a Supreme Court unwilling to protect their rights. Columnist Jean Guerrero has identified Latinos in particular as an extremely vulnerable group – think of the undocumented women already wary of internal immigration checkpoints who are unlikely to be able to cross state lines to have an abortion. , children of immigrants targeted by unrestricted Republican leaders from far-right court, and LGBTQ people (as Guerrero notes, Latinos are the millennial group least likely to identify as heterosexual) feared that the The same reasoning used in the leaked draft opinion overturning Roe would soon be applied to the 2015 Oberfell decision which recognized a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Guerrero encourages President Biden to recognize the exceptional threats against Latinos and to use his executive powers to protect immigrants, barring any congressional action.
Guerrero’s column about the impending court decision is worth highlighting because of the very personal nature of abortion rights – in other words, on something like this, people often struggle to understand something. something they cannot experience themselves. This is especially true for those who dishonestly reassure people that they could always get an abortion in another jurisdiction with fewer reproductive restrictions, since all the court will do is refer the case to the States. I’ve read these and other arguments in letters from readers who think this is all much ado about nothing, since abortion will still be legal somewhere in America.
To which I say: Well, why not let cities and counties set their own abortion laws? How far are we prepared to restrict people’s rights based on where they live? (Maybe don’t answer that, because we’ve seen what happens with things like local election commissions and county sheriffs.) This gets to the heart of why the Constitution gives personal rights to people. individuals in this country, not subject to the whims of leaders who do not see why people need them. And if you don’t understand how the Supreme Court revoking abortion rights means a lot of things to a lot of different people – and how the best option is to just leave Roe in place and enforce it – then read the column of Guerrero.
Conservative Christians will regret overthrowing Roe. Sheila Briggs, a religion and gender specialist at USC and a board member of Catholics for Choice, warns that Catholic bishops in particular are blundering on abortion: “Ordinary Catholics feel condemned for their opinions and for the decisions they and their families make around abortion, same-sex marriage, and even contraception, coverage that U.S. Catholic bishops have sought to exclude from the Affordable Care Act. Bishops have fought against women’s control over their own bodies, so it’s no surprise that the pews at Sunday Mass are empty.
Abortion rights activists are targeting the homes of Supreme Court justices. Fine. It’s hard to get upset about the protests outside the homes of conservative judges over abortion given the history of deadly violence by anti-choice extremists, writes columnist Robin Abcarian: “In 1986, the clinic of abortion doctor George Tiller was set on fire. In 1993, an anti-abortion protester shot Tiller in both arms as he walked to work. In 2009, he was murdered by a religious extremist in the hallway of his church. I also remind you that in the last 45 years, according to the National Abortion Federation, there have been 10 other murders, 26 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 194 arson attacks and thousands more directed “incidents of criminal activity” among abortion providers, their staff, and clinic attendants. Los Angeles Time
This drought has evaporated my sense of “normality” so much, that when I look at the official government map delineating the parts of California that are catastrophically dry from those that are just not wet enough, my reaction is, “Hey, not really that bad!” It reminds me of the permanent altered state of reality mentioned in one of the best commentaries on drought in recent memory, the 2021 Times editorial board article, “There Is No Drought.” What there is instead is year-round fire danger, as evidenced by the fire affecting Laguna Niguel in mid-May (check the calendar). In California, we’ve already made adjustments to prolonged drought, including Los Angeles, which has added more than a million new residents since 1970 without increasing its water use. For the rest of the state, though, it looks like our shrinkage capacity has reached its limit, so maybe we should cram as many of us as possible into this little corner of the far northwest of the California listed by the US Drought Monitor. as simply “abnormally dry”.
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Vets are in a suicide and financial crisis. Your pets pay the price. Dr. Karen Halligan wrote us a heartbreaking letter about the economic and emotional burdens facing veterinarians today, causing many businesses to close or even suicide. She took part in our “Hear Me Out” series, allowing us to follow her to her clinic for a hard-hitting video. She writes: “Veterinarians take an oath after graduation to use our scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the alleviation of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge. Unfortunately, the profit motive is bringing down the profession. And in the end, it is the animals that suffer. Los Angeles Time
If Rick Caruso becomes mayor, will Los Angeles be all dancing fountains and streetcar rides? Columnist Nicholas Goldberg thinks the billionaire leading the race to succeed mayor Eric Garcetti is selling a trouble-free vision of Los Angeles based more on its successful outdoor malls than on reality: “None of that means that Caruso couldn’t be a competent mayor or that he doesn’t have the best intentions for the city, though I didn’t find much to like in his recent interview with The Times. (I also object to a billionaire jumping in late and buying support by outspending his rivals.) My point is this: insofar as there is a subliminal message that if you elect Caruso , you will get the grove, be skeptical . It will not arrive. And you wouldn’t. The grove is good for three hours, including a Caruso salad. But it’s not Los Angeles. Los Angeles Time
We have more mentions. More recently, the editorial board recommended Dulce Vasquez for Los Angeles City Council District 9, Hydee Feldstein Soto for Los Angeles City Attorney, and Tina McKinnor for the State Assembly. Notable mentions for the upcoming June 7 primary also include Karen Bass for mayor, Kenneth Mejia for city comptroller and Robert Luna for Los Angeles County sheriff. For the full list of endorsements to date, visit latimes.com/endorsements.