Hear that deafening suction sound? It’s the brain drain beginning.
Fact: the cynical, corrupt religionistas who just took away every American woman’s reproductive rights never thought for two seconds of the ripple effects their spurious actions would cause. They never thought about them and didn’t care. Unfortunately for them, those ripple effects will boomerang viciously. Physicians in states where abortion is no longer a right must now confront a host of legal jeopardies flying at them from all directions. The same goes for the women whose health problems those physicians now can’t treat. Their health problems aren’t going away!
At least there still remains large chunks of America where abortion remains legal. Where abortion will stay legal – in addition to LGBTQ rights and any other privacy right the right wants to take away. There remains a safe haven. The trick will be in getting all the women who need safe haven to it.
Good-Bye, Women, Hello, Proto-People!
The right have thrown down a challenge to the rest of us. They don’t care what the majority of us think. They don’t care what the majority of us believe; what matters to them is that it’s different from what THEY believe. And what they believe must dominate what we all believe. Who in their right mind would want to live in such a place? Who’d want to study there? Who’d even want to visit? Literally every woman could find her status instantly changed – from “free person” (whatever that would mean in such a place as this) to “sub-set-of-a-proto-person”. One minute they’re (sort of) their own person, the next minute, they’re somewhere between being a sperm receptacle and an incubator.
Before the dust from this disastrous decision had even settled, major corporations were telling their female employees – in the states effected – that the company would cover all costs incurred to go elsewhere for health care. That’s for health care they used to get but is now illegal. What those companies were actually saying to all their female employees in those states was “Please, don’t quit!”
“Please don’t quit” is what you say to employees just before they brain drain to somewhere more livable.
Evangelicism & Racism
This catastrophe was fifty years in the making. If we’re all honest with ourselves, we’d admit first that the last thing any “right to lifer” cares about is human life. If they really cared about human LIFE, they’d care about it after it got here as much as when it’s in the womb. For evangelicals and fundamentalists, it’s always been a question of whose life and whether it was white or Black.
American fundamentalism has always fellow traveled with racism. Fundamentalist churches in America used the Bible to justify slavery – and every other cruelty (this while conveniently picking and choosing which rules they like (having a sabbath!) and which they don’t (having to get circumsized!).
Putting all of Christianity’s bizarre contradictions aside, it’s simply a stone cold fact that the only reason fundamentalists and evangelicals changed their minds about abortion (they used to be for it) is because bussing died as an issue for them. The religionistas were all against bussing and for segregation. When that battle finally ended for them (with defeat) in the late 1970’s – after Roe was decided, evangelical leaders like Jerry Falwell, Sr. and Paul Weyrich insisted that whereas abortion hadn’t motivated conservatives in the past, with abortion now actually happening in America, it would be easier to message around and exploit. In other words, fund raise.
Mitch McConnell: Mission Accomplished
As Mitch McConnell proved, stacking the Supreme Court with reliable anti-abortion votes works. But, what will happen now that abortions are harder to get? Will that mean fewer abortions will happen? Will it actually mean the end of abortion? Of course not! Abortions have been happening forever! They were happening in Jesus’ time – and were quite ordinary. I bet that’s why he never brought it up and just let it go at “Do unto others”.
Like the dog that finally catches the car, the anti-abortion forces are realizing – as they slide behind the wheel – that they have no idea how to drive. All they really wanted was to punish people for having more and better sex than them. Okay – mission accomplished! Now what?
The religious right expected the vitriol coming back at them. But, they like the idea of the women they’ve hurt expressing that hurt. When cruelty’s your purpose, you like to see your cruelty’s having its desired effect.
The religious right didn’t anticipate raped ten year old’s actually existing. That really screwed things up for them. So long as the religious right could control the narrative – make everyone vaguely complicit in the cold blooded murder of imaginary babies – they had power beyond anything their argument deserved. They could even claim “life begins at conception” with a straight face. But an actual raped ten year old facing actual consequences of being raped and getting pregnant from that rape? That trumps everything.
It’s damned hard to compete for sympathy against an actual human you and your imaginary friend wrongly insisted didn’t exist.
With its Dobbs decision, the SCOTUS officially created two Americas. The first is a rational America (let’s call it “Blue”), guided in their decision-making by science, reason and the rule of law. the other is an irrational America (let’s call it “Red”) whose decision-making is guided by magical thinking, ooga-booga and a deep-seated hatred for “the other”. Even if the taking away of rights ended there – and SCOTUS left all other unenumerated privacy rights alone – What Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas set down in black and white is part of the very real counter-revolution being waged by the right wing against the rest of America.
Science does not agree that a clump of human cells – even with a beating heart in the middle of it – is a human being (let alone a child). Judaism agrees. Until that clump of cells can fully live apart from its mother, it’s no more than a glorified organ. Everything about Jewish teaching favors the woman and not the “potential life” growing inside her. The majority of Americans concur: we favor those already here over those who aren’t. And the majority of American women simply won’t live places where science and reason don’t exist and everyone is encouraged to rat women out because they might be pregnant.
Companies and countries need expertise in order to run and work properly. When you disincentivize people by 1) restricting their rights compared to other places and 2) threatening them with profound legal consequences for asserting bodily autonomy, they’ll leave. It’s not a matter of paying them more. I bet that Red America’s suddenly lack of expertise – in everything – will ripple at it like a freight train.
I give em six months before the power grid fails and because of the brain drain, no one knows how to turn the lights back on. Six months? Hell – I give em one.