• Donald V. Watkins

Roe v. Wade Is Gone; Women Are "Property" Again

Updated: May 16

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on May 5, 2022


An Editorial Opinion


According to a draft opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court that was leaked to Politico this week, five justices on the Court have agreed to overturn Roe v. Wade. This 1973 landmark case recognized a woman's right to an abortion. This Constitutional right has been affirmed by the Supreme Court in several subsequent rulings.


The draft opinion is authored by Samuel Alito, a right-wing George W. Bush appointee to the Supreme Court. He leads a "Gang of Five" who banded together to get rid of Roe v. Wade.


When the final Court ruling is issued, within the next month or so, in a case involving the state of Mississippi's recently passed restrictive abortion law, Roe v. Wade will be gone. Along with it will be the end of a woman's right to a legal abortion.


For the first time in its modern history, the Supreme Court is dominated by far right-wing Republican Party hacks who have no respect for a woman or her body. Once again, the Court views women as "property" that is to be enjoyed by men, as they see fit.


America and the Court entered this zone when presidential candidate Donald J. Trump bragged on a secret audio tape that men like him can "grab [women] by the pussy" whenever they want, and he subsequently won the presidency in 2016. Of the five justices who agreed to overturn Roe v. Wade , three are Trump appointees. All three of them assumed office with a political mission to end abortion rights in America.


Women Came to America as the "Property" of White Men


When the group of 55 men that Americans revere as the "Founding Fathers" wrote the United States Constitution in 1787, the only people who enjoyed the rights enunciated in the Constitution were white men. The Constitution was written by these 55 white men for the benefit of all white men.


Native-Americans, who were the original Americans, had no rights under the Constitution. They were so despised that, by 1776, the Declaration of Independence denounced them as "merciless Indian savages."


From the nation's beginning in 1612, African-American slaves had no rights under the Constitution because they were another form of "property." We could be bought and sold, insured as "property," and transferred to family members in wills and trusts. Slaveholders treated slaves just like horses, cattle, and other livestock.


Many of the Founding Fathers Were Slaveowners and Misogynists


In 1857, the United States Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case held that African-Americans, whether freed or slaves, had no rights that white men were bound to respect.


Women had no rights under the Constitution because they were considered "property" by misogynist white males, including many of the Founding Fathers.


For almost one hundred years after the Constitution was passed by Congress and ratified by the states, American women were not allowed to own real estate in their own names. If they were married, their husbands had a legal right to rape and beat (or chastise) them. And, women did not have the right to vote.


Women Are In Trouble Today


The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in 1865 to outlaw most forms of legal slavery. The Fourteenth Amendment was adopted in 1868 to afford blacks equal rights under the law. The Fifteenth Amendment was adopted in 1870 to guarantee blacks the right to vote.


However, these Constitutional rights were rarely enforced. Even when they were enforced, it was only for a brief ten-year period of time.


Slavery is still legal under the Thirteenth Amendment, as long as it is administered as punishment for a crime by state and federal authorities. America is the only country in the Western Hemisphere with legalized slavery embedded in its constitution.


Women did not get the right to vote until 1920 when the Nineteenth Amendment was adopted. Even then, their efforts to exercise this right was met with massive and sustained resistance from white men.


Efforts to adopt an Equal Rights Amendment for women failed in the 1980s. While the legislative measure passed Congress, it was not ratified by the number of states needed to become law.


In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Congress attempted to elevate the legal status of African-Americans, women, Asian-Americans, Native-Americans, and other ethnic minorities by passing various federal laws that were designed to guarantee them equal protection under our state and federal laws and greater access to voting rights.


While these laws helped to improve the plight of these historically disadvantaged groups for the past 50 years, many white men across America never gave up on the political and legal fight to return the members of these groups to their original status of having no rights that white men are bound to respect.


As we entered the 21st Century, the white men who dominate the National Republican Party, along with a large body of weak and subservient white women who are controlled by them, used their political strength to weaponize the United States Supreme Court for the purpose of subverting and undermining the Constitutional rights that all women have enjoyed in the modern era.


The Samuel Alito-controlled Supreme Court gutted equal rights and voting rights for African-Americans with ease. By 2013, blacks had no voting rights that were capable of enforcement in federal courts, despite the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The same is true for their Fourteenth Amendment equal rights under the Constitution and laws of the land.


What is more, Native-Americans lost the right to control Reservation Lands that were given to them with a treaty promise of sovereignty and self-governance. The only reason Native-Americans are living on reservations, in the first place, is because the U.S. Army and white vigilantes took by force nearly 1.5 billion acres of tribal lands from more than 500 Native-American tribes in America between 1830 and 1906.


Women's Rights Are Doomed


Today, women in America are the target of a planned return of their legal status to the one the Founding Father's codified in the original version of the U.S. Constitution.


For the first time in 50 years, women will lose the Constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion that was recognized in Roe v. Wade.


The Court's "Gang of Five" justices, led by Samuel Alito, is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade soon. Included in this "Gang of Five" with Samuel Alito are Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Clarence Thomas.


Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh are partisan hacks and longtime beneficiaries of white male privilege. They are male chauvinists who obviously have no respect for women's rights.


Based upon a February 27, 2022 article in the New York Times Magazine titled "The Long Crusade of Clarence and Ginni Thomas," we now know that Clarence Thomas' vote on the Supreme Court can be bought by any right-wing conservative advocacy group that pays his wife a healthy consulting fee. I discussed this "Pay-to Play" scheme in my April 7, 2022 article titled "Clarence Thomas: A 'Pay-to-Play' Scheme at the U.S. Supreme Court."


Amy Coney Barrett, who is a staunch Catholic and who is the mother of five school-age biological children and two adopted Haitian children, appears to be the only justice who based her vote to overturn Roe v. Wade on religious ideology, rather than pure political dogma. This view would be fine if Justice Barrett were a member of a supreme court in a nation that is a theocracy like Iran, but she is not.


Epilogue


I am a pro-choice Independent political activist. However, I believe that a woman's right to choose an abortion rests solely within her private discretion.


I despise the hypocrisy of male Republican leaders in Washington and in state legislatures who publicly rail against abortions on FOX News, but privately paid for this medical procedure for their young mistresses.


The Supreme Court is re-entering a dark period in the Court's history that started with the Dred Scott case. It continued with Korematsu V. United States, where the Court approved, on a 6 to 3 vote, the round up and deportation of 70,000 American citizens of Japanese origin from their homes on the West Coast to concentration camps during World War II.


In 1954, the U.S. government, under Republican president Dwight Eisenhower, rounded up 1.3 million Mexicans living in the United States in "Operation Wetback." Sixty percent of these people were American citizens who were living in the U.S. legally. They lost everything. The Supreme Court did nothing to protect these American citizens of color from this nightmare experience.


Today, the Supreme Court's public approval rating stands at 40%. It is certain to drop further after the Court overturns Roe v. Wade.


American women are in for a long period of suffering. The Republican Party is the Party of angry white men who want to make America white again, by any means necessary. The abolition of abortions rights is one of their tools to accomplish this goal.


America's white population is declining. Whites will be a minority group by the 2030 or 2040 census. This Republican Party-led trampling of Constitutional rights for women and racial minorities will not end until the Republicans have firmly installed the legal apparatus for white "minority rule" in America.



IMAGE: Front row, left to right: Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Back row, left to right: Associate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett.



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