From Politics to Tragedy

Few characters are more political and chameleon-like than Donald Trump. However, he managed to get gringo conservatives on his side, promising to fill the Supreme Court with ultra-conservative justices, especially those willing to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision (1973), outlawing abortion in half the country. Now they are preparing to comply and could put half the United States on the brink of tragedy, once again, treating women who have abortions as criminals.

Conservatives, who go by many names in the United States, have been trying to roll back the legality of abortion for almost 50 years. They have tried every possible attack, so far without success. Could the grand architect of this regression be the man with the toupee, who once said that every woman should have the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion and then, willing to say anything, contradicted himself for convenience? During his term, Trump replaced three justices of the nine who make up the Supreme Court. In interviews with elected senators, these justices claimed that Roe v. Wade was a solid standard, although, as so often happens, now that they have lifetime positions they can do whatever they please.

The American extreme right is furious about the leak of the draft of the decision that will be made in July, given the court’s great tradition of secrecy. But it can easily be understood why some liberal employee gave it to the editorial staff of Politico.* They undoubtedly sensed an impending mess, knowing that between 60% and 80% of the U.S. population (depending on the poll consulted) believes that abortion should remain legal — whether or not they elect presidents, senators or representatives who agree with them. In other words, the leak might just put pressure on at least one of the five justices who supported the draft to change his or her vote, and the ruling may be modified — who knows in which direction.

So legal abortion lasted 49 years in the United States? We shall see. I want to dedicate the rest of this column to pointing out that, for now, I think the response of the Democratic Party and liberals to the colossal attack on their values and the laws on which they are based is weak. At the end of this year, there will be elections for the entire House and one-third of the Senate; at this point, Republicans look like the favorites. Of course, the biggest prize will be the 2024 presidential election. If Trump does not win — and whether or not he swears it was because of fraud — the reactionary plan could collapse or at least falter. Given the old timer, the fight, either way, will be against Trump, for he is an old timer with a lot of baggage.

There is nothing unusual about right-leaning extremists behaving in this way. What is strange, however, is that the alleged majorities who oppose them are so lukewarm in confronting them. Priorities have been upended. What now touches the hearts of those known as American liberals are minority identities, gays, trans people, non-white races and so on.

By definition, abortion is the right of every woman, even if the possible prohibition of it in half the country especially affects those who do not have the means to travel to those states where it will continue to be allowed. In other words: a potential tragedy.

*Editor’s note: The person(s) who leaked the draft opinion remains unknown.

About this publication

About Patricia Simoni 103 Articles
I first edited and translated for Watching America from 2009 through 2011, recently returning and rediscovering the pleasure of working with dedicated translators and editors. Latin America is of special interest to me. In the mid-60’s, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile, and later lived for three years in Mexico, in the states of Oaxaca and Michoacán and in Mexico City. During those years, my work included interviewing in anthropology research, teaching at a bilingual school in the federal district, and conducting workshops in home nursing care for disadvantaged inner city women. I earned a BS degree from Wagner College, masters and doctoral degrees from WVU, and was a faculty member of the WVU School of Nursing for 27 years. In that position, I coordinated a two-year federal grant (FIPSE) at WVU for an exchange of nursing students with the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. Presently a retiree, I live in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I enjoy traditional Appalachian fiddling with friends. Working toward the mission of WA, to help those in the U.S. see ourselves as others see us, gives me a sense of purpose.

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