With gas prices on a runaway train and corporations making record profits during a recession, there isn’t really much for voters on the left to get fired up about this next election.
Or, at least, that was the case until the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Now even Republicans are ready to march in blue.
It’s not going to make me too popular to say this but, as an Independent voter who knows how these games are often played, I’m not too worried about the Roe v. Wade reversal. I see it as an open door to move a woman’s access to reproductive healthcare into this century — rather than relying on the dated, and somewhat problematic, Roe v. Wade case.
Progress is a pendulum. As a society, we rarely get things right out of the gate and it is typical to overcorrect one way – then the other – before we find homeostasis and a communal balance in the middle.
And sensibilities have definitely changed in the decades since Roe v. Wade made history. So have perspectives on what it means to be Pro-Life and Pro-Choice.
Pro-Life & Pro-Choice in the 20th Century
Once upon last century, you could get away with voting “Pro-Life” if you were voting for your own conscience. If you would never get an abortion, it was considered fair to vote accordingly to express your values as part of a community standard.
Back then, if you voted “Pro-Choice,” the social assumption was that you were a person who might want to get an abortion at some point and were voting for your right to do so.
Those standards are gone.
Pro-Life in 2022
Today, if you are “Pro-Life,” you believe that any healthy woman who gets pregnant should be required to carry the baby to term. Full stop.
You believe you have the right to make moral choices for your neighbor.
You argue that a pregnant woman made her choice when she had sex (or had sex forced upon her) – even if:
- the contraception she used at the time failed
- she isn’t ready to be a mother
- the father isn’t one she’d choose for a child
- she just had a night of fun that didn’t turn out as planned
- the child has a medical condition that indicates and short, challenging life
- … whatever
If you are Pro-Life today, the position you must defend is that any woman who finds herself pregnant has lost her right to not be a mother. She must carry the child to term and either raise it herself or grant the child to an agency to sell to someone else through adoption.
She cannot choose to terminate the pregnancy.
If you are Pro-Life, you consider voluntary termination unethical and unnatural, even though the child in her womb might naturally self-abort during any stage of the pregnancy – first trimester … second trimester … third trimester … stillborn.
All of these are outcomes that might be chosen for the mother by natural selection but, if you are Pro-Life, you believe that the mother has no right to make this decision herself.
Only God or nature can terminate a pregnancy. Not her.
That is the ground you must defend if are Pro-Life in 2022: That you’d never do it so neither can anyone else.
If a woman becomes pregnant and is capable of carrying a baby to term, she must. Period. If she doesn’t, she is a criminal and subject to prosecution.
Pro-Choice in 2022
If you are Pro-Choice, you believe that a woman should have a choice in if she becomes a mother, when, and with whom.
Perhaps you would never personally get an abortion yourself, but you acknowledge that as your choice and allow that the world is a diverse place with people in all types of circumstances.
You understand that women become pregnant under all sorts of scenarios– some desirable and some less desirable. You believe a woman has a right to a “Reset” button when it comes to whether or not she is tied to a man, a child, or a memory for the rest of her life.
You allow for all sorts of scenarios when determining whether it’s the right time for a woman to have a baby. Maybe:
- she went out for a night of fun and walked away with more than she planned for
- she’s being abused and doesn’t know how to stop it
- she tried to break up with a guy and he got her pregnant to lock her in
- she’s madly in love but not ready for parenthood
- she already has children and doesn’t have the ability to support more
- … anything
If you are Pro-Choice in 2022, you believe that a woman has a right to look at her own situation, say, “Not now,” and receive professional, safe, respectful care.
Those are the lines in the sand.
Current Community Standards are Overwhelmingly Pro-Choice
Anyone is welcome to stand wherever they like on the issue but if you imagine that the majority of U.S. citizens don’t believe in a woman’s right to say “Not now” when it comes to having a baby, you are incorrect.
Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z are all overwhelmingly Pro-Choice. It is a majority-held cultural value now.
This is why I’m certain that the reversal of Roe v. Wade is simply setting the stage for a massive pendulum swing away from anything that looks like a Handsmaid’s Tale.
When history looks back on this moment, I feel confident it will say that the Supreme Court Justices actually did the Pro-Choice movement a huge favor. Why?
Because the U.S. Supreme Court just swung the pendulum back to the 1980s in the middle of a generation that was raised by Gen X.
And no one raised in the 1980s wants to go back to those talking points. They’ve seen how they play out and are not interested in a replay.
The course correction on allowing a woman to decide when and if she becomes a mother will be swift. I’d argue that the only thing democrats have to worry about is that it will be so swift that it won’t impact the upcoming elections in the way they prefer.
Not that it should anyway.
Democratic leadership has had more than enough time and opportunities to solidify Roe v. Wade into law over the past half century. But they haven’t – mostly because they still like it as a single-voter-issue bargaining chip.
And their voters know it.
I personally don’t know a single democrat who doesn’t see the Left’s failure of leadership in this area as intentional manipulation of a hot-topic issue. They’ve lost faith in any politician — except maybe AOC — doing anything and are simply ready to make the change themselves.
They’ll do this in many different ways, but one of the ways I’m most interested in watching is how they’re going to start making Jury Nullification a thing.
Because it’s totally going to start being a thing if women and doctors start getting prosecuted in restrictive states.
If you’re unfamiliar with jury nullification, it’s the finding of a jury that a law shouldn’t be a law and, therefore, even if the person on trial is technically guilty of breaking every letter of it, the accused is not in the wrong.
The law is.
Jury nullification puts the law on trial, not the person. And you’d better bet it will become a rampant phenomenon if mothers and doctors start getting prosecuted for terminating pregnancies according to unforgiving state laws.
Today’s generation waits for no politician. They are more than willing to subvert the system themselves. In fact, they’re chomping at the bit to do it.
Change is Coming
So if you are Pro-Life and you’re celebrating, you can stop now. The U.S. Supreme Court did your cause no favors this summer.
The good news is that you still have a right to carry all your pregnancies to term. The bad news is that community standards no longer support you making that decision for your neighbor.
If you are Pro-Choice, congratulations. It may not look like it, but the winds just shifted massively in your favor.
If current, impotent leaders don’t step up, it doesn’t matter. Community standards are on your side and you can rewrite the laws yourself without wasting your time, money, and effort marching for the attention of politicians — only to have them workshop your talking points into rallying speeches intended to draw your support as they continue to avoid taking action.
That old-school merry-go-round is a dying model and the new model is to replace anyone not taking action.
Be bold, or get out.
And a women’s right to choose just might be the issue that gets this new model organized and ready to take on an entitled establishment.
We shall see.
Regardless, the future will be Pro-Choice.
The good news is that anyone can still be Pro-Life – they just can’t make their neighbor be Pro-Life … just like their neighbor can’t force them to be Pro-Choice.
Because who wants their neighbors deciding if they have a baby or an abortion?
And that’s why the future is Pro-Choice.