.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ginsberg on Abortion

A column in the LA Times today discusses Justice Ginsberg dissent in the recent partial birth abortion case. In her dissent Ginsberg argued that abortion was about equality and not about privacy.

It defies social reality to approach the abortion issue as a mere matter of privacy, as if it could really be divorced from questions of sex equality. Some proposed restrictions on abortion, such as requiring the consent of the father of the fetus, are plainly an effort to revive discredited notions about women's proper place, and they violate equality principles for that reason. True, men cannot become pregnant, and it is tempting to think that, for that reason, abortion restrictions cannot possibly create a problem of discrimination. But perhaps this argument has things backward. In our society, isn't there an equality problem if laws target only women's bodies and leave men's bodies alone?

It is interest comparing Justice Ginsberg's view on abortion and equality to Susan B. Anthony who opposed abortion on the same grounds:

She blamed men, laws and the "double standard" for driving women to abortion because they had no other options. ("When a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is a sign that, by education or circumstances, she has been greatly wronged." 1869) She believed, as did many of the feminists of her era, that only the achievement of women's equality and freedom would end the need for abortion. Anthony used her anti-abortion writings as yet another argument for women's rights.
If in Ginsberg's opinion that abortion is required to give women equality, doesn't that mean that men should also be allowed to force a woman to terminate a pregnancy? Because men are required by law to provide child support, the only way to maintain equality between men and women in this area is to either give men the right to terminate the pregnancy or to not require any financial assistance from men.

Maybe in her next case, Ginsberg will force the government to give free steroids to women so that they can have the opportunity to grow beards just like men.