Sunday, November 06, 2005

Legislating morality

Okay, my panties are in a wad. Last night before I went to bed, I read this column by Eleanor Clift where she tells me that I shouldn't get my panties in a wad over Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court. After all, she says, the public wants women to be required to notify their husbands before getting an abortion:
The votes aren’t there, and moderates don’t have the stomach for an all-out war over spousal notification. By a margin of nearly 3-to-1 according to a Pew Research Center poll, the public sides with the position Alito took in 1991 when he upheld as constitutional a provision in a Pennsylvania law that required women to notify their husbands before obtaining an abortion.
I think the public doesn't quite know the slippery slope such a notification could lead us to.

Then, this morning, Krauthammer weighs in on the issue. He, too, thinks we're being silly to protest this. Both Echidne and Amanda at Pandagon have taken him to task. They both point out the way he equates women with children and ignores the idea that women are supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law.

I am so tired of the way people in power don't comprehend the way a system keeps them in power. Krauthammer assumes that most people have a marital relationship based on equality and free from abuse, physical or psychological. There are a million scenerios I can imagine where a woman might not want to inform her husband that she's getting an abortion. Obviously, in the best case, an abortion decision for a married woman would involve her husband, but it doesn't have to. And people like Krauthammer should quit trying to put into law their own sense of morality. The message a spousal notification law sends is simple: women are not able to make their own decisions.

Every time I get into an argument with someone over abortion, I remind them that abortion is a medical procedure. Did I get permission from my husband to have thyroid surgery? No. That decision was made by me and my doctor. I realize that abortion is slightly more complicated than that to most people. But I think we are better off thinking of abortion as a medical procedure than some kind of moral issue. That's why people like Krauthammer follow the logic they do. They're attempting to impose some kind of moral code on us. Same goes for issues like gay marriage. Instead of thinking in terms of personal rights, they think in terms of their own morality. They don't see a problem with it because if their wife wanted an abortion, they would either a) let her have one because they're such nice guys or b) beat her into submission. Either way, they get to be morally superior.