It’s not often that a liberal Democrat comes out and says that it’s time to end the culture war over Roe v. Wade, especially one that is a public figure. If you listened to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett you heard the Democrat members accuse ACB of making a deal with President Trump to reverse Roe v Wade and end Obamacare, too.
It is not a secret that ACB is a pro-life Catholic. There is no guarantee, however, that she will vote one way or the other if a time comes that she must do so once she is a member of the highest court in the land. She, like other nominees before her, did not answer questions on how she will vote in the future. ACB took advantage of The Ginsburg Rule. This is the rule established by RBG 27 years ago during her own confirmation hearings. “A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process.” There was not any doubt, though, on which side of the argument RBG came down on over abortion. She was an extremely liberal pro-abortion justice.
Here’s Ginsburg on abortion in 1993, shortly before the Senate voted 96-3 to confirm her: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”
On Tuesday, MPR’s Garrison Keillor spoke with writer Hannah Jones about a Facebook post he published. He came out and said that it’s time to let individual states make the decision if abortion is legal or not. Since when are liberals big fans of states’ rights? It seems Keillor’s surrender comes from the weariness that the battle just isn’t worth it anymore. He posted some thoughts and then quickly took the post down when the blowback began.
“It seems clear that Judge Barrett will sit on the Supreme Court and this will mean the reversal of Roe v. Wade and some deep dents in the Affordable Care Act,” he began. “I don’t think Roe v. Wade is worth fighting for anymore.”
Keillor thinks guaranteeing the right to a safe abortion has “torn the country asunder,” and wondered,“to what good?”
“We can accept a system of states’ rights, whereby abortion is legal in some states, illegal in others, same as you have a death penalty in some states, not in others,” Keillor wrote. “…Let South Dakota be South Dakota and if they wish to criminalize LBGTQ, then they can deal with the consequences. Let’s give the cultural war a rest and focus on the economy and tax policy and environment.”
After taking down the first post he published a second post which tried to explain the first one. He took a shot at President Trump so as to keep his cred among his liberal followers and then tried to explain how it is better for states to make the decision about the legality of abortion. He says if a woman is in an anti-abortion state, she could just go to another state. This, by the way, was how it was done before Roe v. Wade so he is advocating going back to the past. For example, pre-Roe v Wade, a pregnant woman could not get a legal abortion in Louisiana but she could travel to New York if she had the means to do so and get an abortion there. He accused politicians of publicly opposing abortion but not so much in private life. Apparently, he is saying that pro-life politicians are hypocrites. He inadvertently makes the case that Roe v Wade is an unconstitutional ruling from the Supreme Court, which is what pro-life people have said all along.
“But the Court is not able to make abortion illegal, only states can do that,” Keillor wrote. “So abortion will be legal most places and not others. Meanwhile, we need to focus on providing health care and support for women, that will lessen the number of women who feel forced to abort… Meanwhile, R v W is a toxic issue that has poisoned our politics for almost 50 years and succeeded in electing a great many cynical and corrupt men to public office who oppose abortion publicly but would provide it for their daughters without question.”
He goes off on tangents, though, which makes his line of reasoning confusing during the interview. He assumes all states have laws that would allow abortion, and he assumes women can just pick up and move to another state if necessary. Then when all else fails, he says his Facebook account was hacked. It’s his wife that is the political person, you see, not him. And, his wife doesn’t like ACB.
He says abortion is a religious issue of which people will not compromise. That’s not true, though. Democrats like Joe Biden call themselves practicing Catholics and support abortion up until the time of delivery. Ted Kennedy was the same way. Keillor supports abortions but says the subject has led to some “terrible, terrible things over the last 40 years.” He doesn’t, however, address the “terrible thing” that is ending the life of an unborn child. He means woke ideas on topics like climate change (hurricanes), homelessness, hunger, and wildfires. No, really. I had no idea that the battle to protect the unborn was responsible for hurricanes or any of those other things.
When Keillor was asked what a person should do if they live in a small town and found themself without the availability of abortion or if the townspeople are anti-LGBTQ people, he says that is why people have been moving to big cities for hundreds of years. Silly me. I thought people left small towns for economic opportunities when jobs weren’t available. The irony of Keillor’s contempt for small-town populations – that he assumes they are some kind of religious extremists – when he has made a career of the small-town life of Lake Wobegon – is not lost on the interviewer.
So, Keillor hasn’t had a change of heart about abortion. He supports it. For some reason, he weighed in on the topic because of the ACB hearings. Roe v Wade is the law of the land, as every Supreme Court nominee says, conservative and liberal, so as not to cause controversy. ACB was not willing to announce how she would vote. It seems that Keillor’s self-inflicted controversy was just a way to inject himself into a big story in the news – the filling of a Supreme Court seat by a Republican president. We keep hearing conservative politicians talk about overturning Roe v Wade but decades later, it remains in place. It remains a litmus test in judicial nomination hearings. Keillor would have been better off just sitting this one out.