More troubling, but unsurprising, is the book’s easy acquiescence to modern feminist dogma, in which abortion means everything, soulless corporations block hapless women from the most basic forms of birth control, and the government serves as the ultimate father figure. In this lens—and, largely, in Ginsburg’s—partial-birth abortion bans are merely a ruse to keep women in the kitchen, not an act against brutality; the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case had nothing to do with religious liberty, meanwhile, and everything to do with The Man.
Ginsburg’s most infamous elephant in the room never fully hoists its trunk in “Notorious RBG”—which, I suppose, should also surprise no one. In a 2009 interview with New York Times Magazine, Ginsburg set the Internet ablaze with the following comment, which seemed to come straight from Eugenics 101, as taught at Eugenics Community College in Eugenicsville, USA: “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”
Yikes. Three years later, at the concerned prompting of the same interviewer—Slate’s Emily Bazelon—Ginsburg assured the world that nothing sinister was afoot. She was merely referring to the global craze for general population control that surged in the 1970s, she averred, and nothing more. Unfortunately, this doesn’t explain the second part of Ginsburg’s quote—“and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of”—and it certainly doesn’t clarify her unfortunate choice of the word “we.” It also doesn’t explain why she gave that particular answer when discussing abortion access for, you guessed it, the poor.