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To the Editor:
The purpose of my Letter to the Editor is to identify and address the misrepresentations contained in Kevin B. Sullivan’s letter dated May 15, 2022. Cited sources are provided as links.
For the sake of clarity, this author’s personal position on abortion is that 1) abortion should be safe, legal and rare and 2) at a certain point in development, the protections of the U.S. Constitution apply to fetal life.
- “In effect, women have no constitutionally protected rights”
The rights of women are forever enshrined and protected in our Constitution by virtue of the Bill of Rights and thevarious amendments, including the 14th and 19th amendments. The “right” to an abortion was invented by a left wing majority court in one of the most controversial decisions in Supreme Court history: 1973’s Roe v. Wade. The convoluted legal foundation of Roe was eroded in 1992 with Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Even Ruth Bader Ginsberg thought Roe was bad law, stating “Suppose the Court had stopped there, rightly declaring unconstitutional the most extreme brand of law in the nation, and had not gone on, as the Court did in Roe, to fashion a regime blanketing the subject, a set of rules that displaced virtually every state law then in force. Would there have been the twenty-year controversy we have witnessed, reflected most recently in the Supreme Court’s splintered decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey?” [Source: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Warning About Roe v. Wade Came True (newsweek.com)]
If the modern, right wing majority court wanted to seize Power like the Roe court, they would’ve engaged in mental gymnastics to justify outlawing abortion across all 50 states. Instead, they confirmed that abortion is not a federal issue, but a state issue, and that there is no constitutional right to abortion. In addition to passing laws (which Connecticut has already done) states and the federal government, can amend their respective Constitutions to include an explicit right to abortion. Why don’t Democrats argue for that? Because that would involve nuanced public debate and respect the principles of federalism and the Constitution.
- “Justice Alito calls it a moral choice … But for women, it really is no choice other than a return to suffering and death … “So much for ‘One nation under law’”
Firstly, Connecticut Democrats routinely ignore or refuse to acknowledge the role personal responsibility plays in the abortion debate (and many disgustingly conflate personal responsibility with slavery). Secondly, Connecticut Democrats and their voters either ignore pro-life women or dismiss them as submissive Puritans under the control of their toxically masculine husbands. This is ironic, because by supporting Roe, it is actually the Connecticut Democrats and their voters who want to restrict the ability of pro-life women to politically mobilize and support pro-life laws in their respective state.
Why do elderly white men in Connecticut insist on controlling how Mayra Flores, a young pro-life Hispanic woman and newly elected representative in Texas, wants to live her life? Why does anyone in Connecticut think they can declare as unacceptable the moral valuation she and others in her community have made, in a state with a far more religious and socially conservative culture? Why do a vast majority of Connecticut Democrats and their voters want to wield Total Control over how people live their life thousands of miles away, in states with different cultures and values?
- Congress can enact an “… enforceable nationwide ban or criminalize therapeutic abortion and reproductive choice everywhere in America.”
The whole point of the Dobbs decision is that abortion is a state issue, not a federal issue, which means that neither side can federally control this issue. Just as there is no constitutional right to abortion, there is also no constitutional prohibition federally banning abortion. The people of Mississippi and Missouri cannot and should not Control how the people of Connecticut and California want to legislate the issue, and vice versa. Connecticut Democrats would embrace totalitarianism and shred the principles of federalism if it meant that their side achieved Total Control over all 50 states on this issue; the Dobbs decision is simply a rejection of this anti-American mindset.
- “Our reluctance to believe ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ that things like this can happen here”
The Handmaid’s Tale” is a dystopian TV drama where a fascist Christian U.S. government subjects fertile women to child-bearing slavery following a second civil war. Mr. Sullivan references the show 1) because it helps reinforce the political propaganda of left wing politicians, and 2) because it’s a reflection of how the vast majority of Democrat voters view Republicans on social issues – if you are a Republican or conservative and you receive judgment from a pro-choice extremist, it’s because when they see you, they see the fascist villains of The Handmaid’s Tale, not a fellow human being, and certainly not a fellow American. Nothing spreads more division or hate than misleading Connecticut women into thinking they are or will be living in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The truth, which is that the Dobbs decision respects both pro-life and pro-choice populations in our 50 vastly different states, is the exact opposite of what Mr. Sullivan is claiming.
- “… the Mississippi law upheld by the Supreme Court embraces what is the equivalent of a fugitive slave law that extends the punitive reach of that state to women who may come to Connecticut”
The Mississippi law explicitly exempts the pregnant woman from punishment. [Source: Some States Are Ready To Punish Abortion in a Post-Roe World – Center for American Progress]
- “… the cynical assurance of Trump’s nominees that this was ‘settled law’”
At their confirmation hearings, the only concession Kavanaugh, Barrett or Gorsuch granted Democrats was that Roehad been precedent for a “long time”. They did not go any further. Barrett explicitly stated that she did not regard Roeas “super-precedent”. Kavanaugh explicitly stated he would be open to arguments that precedent is wrong. Gorsuch explicitly declined to give a direct answer when asked if he considered Roe “super-precedent”. At no point did any Trump-appointed justice assure anyone that Roe is “settled law”, as Mr. Sullivan claims [Source: Conservative justices didn’t lie about Roe at confirmation hearings (nypost.com)]. It should come as no surprise that originalist judges are not activist judges who invent new “rights” or prohibitions because of political convenience.
- Roe v. Wade represented a “…long line of precedent”
For 197 years there was no constitutional right to abortion. Roe was one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions of all time. The majority of those who graduated from law school in the last 50 years were educated to be aware of the very real possibility that Roe could be overturned in our lifetimes. 50 years is a long time, but as indicated by the majority, not enough time for one of the most controversial decisions in U.S. history to become settled law or “super-precedent”. It took 58 years for Brown v. Board of Education to override Plessy v. Ferguson and end the disgraceful and racist “separate but equal” policies, so how exactly can Democrats and their voters argue 50 years is enough time to make a law “settled”?
- Arguing Rape, Incest or the Health of the Mother
These situations account for around 2-3% of all abortions [Source: Rape and incest account for few abortions, so why all the attention? (usatoday.com)]. It is incredibly disingenuous to make this a central argument when the vast majority of abortions do not involve rape, incest or the health of the mother. Moreover, the vast majority of pro-life laws will contain various exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother. Nobody is forcing you to live in Missouri.
Career politicians, even if retired, cannot resist the allure of misrepresenting and sensationalizing hot-button political issues in order to aid their preferred political party. As evidenced by a recent CT Mirror article, Connecticut Democrats are fear-mongering on this issue, spreading hysteria and confusion, which can particularly affect Connecticut’s youth [Source: CT’s young adults shaken by reality of living in a post-Roe America (ctmirror.org)]. This leads to not just division, but also radicalization. It is incredibly saddening that many of the same people watching the January 6th hearings aghast in horror are either entirely ignoring or cheering the illegal protests outside the conservative justices’ personal residences and the attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers.
There will be no hope of unity on this issue until Connecticut Democrats and their voters fairly address the arguments of pro-life citizens. Currently, they constantly and disingenuously frame their opponents as “anti-woman” or wanting to control women, instead of “pro-life” (while calling themselves pro-choice instead of anti-life). They also intentionally withhold important additional context, such as how pro-life states have safe harbor “Baby Moses” laws that allows parents to leave babies they cannot care for at designated places like fire stations. Finally, Democrats in Connecticut ignore and sideline their own pro-life voices, such as Rep. Treneé McGee (D-West Haven) [Source: A voice of dissent as CT House passes new abortion protections (ctinsider.com)], while ensuring the focus is shifted entirely on their sanctimonious shaming of pro-life non-Democrats.
This article is written for any civically responsible independent thinkers from any or no political party. Dobbs forces every American citizen to ask themselves what “right” they value more, the fetal life’s right to life or the woman’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. The reason Democrats and their voters reject Dobbs is because it exposes them to the possibility that they do not have the moral high ground on this issue. The reason voters are fed misrepresentations is because politicians know that if enough of their voters learn the truth, they will unable to run on abortion as a national and local election issue. To the Washington, D.C. and Hartford elite, this confusion is about Power and Control, nothing more, nothing less.
Kyle Zelazny, Esq.
The Connecticut Civics Institution is a registered non-profit organization committed to strengthening government transparency and accountability, and encouraging informed and spirited public debate. Please email any questions or comments to [email protected].