On the issues: Josh Harder and Tom Patti on abortion, the economy, homelessness and poverty—and on what to do about them.
I’m a liberal. A social-justice liberal, I mean. Not a liberal in the traditional conservative sense of the word.
When I heard about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans to make it legal, in all 50 states, for women to get an abortion, I was a liberal, a social-justice liberal, a progressive liberal, a liberal feminist. I was pro-choice. That I do believe in the principle of personhood.
I am pro-choice for a number of reasons, but chief among them, that I believe a woman’s right to autonomy, to bodily autonomy, should take precedence over any other political consideration—including the personal and social harm an unsafe birth could inflict upon a woman. I also believe that a woman’s right to self-determination should be protected by government.
So I wasn’t surprised at the announcement, one week ago, by Cuomo, that he would be taking the state of New York to the Supreme Court in a case known as Whole Woman’s Health vs. Heller, to decide whether or not it is constitutional—or legal, in the legal-speak—to prohibit the sale of most abortion-inducing drugs—the only drugs a woman in New York could legally use to end her pregnancy—from the state without her having to first get a court-approved prescription.
Now, I’m guessing that those in favor of New York’s law, who have sought in other ways to prevent women from making their own decisions about their own bodies, feel a little uneasy at the new law, because it allows—or better, encourages—women to make their own choices. After all, if you look at the state’s laws—and I have, because I’m a liberal who isn’t afraid to look at the state’s laws—there is virtually no state where a woman can make the choice to have an abortion up until the moment of her pregnancy. And yet when this law goes into effect, women across the state will now be able to make their own choices in that matter.
And let me say