Justice Alito: Welcome back to the 1600s!

Lydia O’Connor, a Huffington Post reporter (profile here), writes a brutal takedown of Alito here. And why not? He deserves it. A condensed version, lightly edited for clarity, is below.

“Alito repeatedly argued that Roe v. Wade was a mistake because, until 1973, banning abortion was simply the American way.”

O’Connor: Alito is right: Abortion was widely banned throughout the centuries of U.S. history when women were legally regarded as second-class citizens, kept out of medical institutions and public office and banned from owning property. They didn’t gain the right to vote until 1920, and Black women faced barriers to voting until Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965 ― just eight years before the court decided Roe. Not until after Roe was decided did all women in the U.S. gain the rights to apply for a credit card without a man’s permission, demand protection from being fired over a pregnancy, and sue workplace sexual harassers. Until the 1990s, several states did not recognize marital rape as a crime.

“Alito cites Sir Matthew Hale, an English jurist born in 1609, a half-dozen times as proof that abortion bans are an indispensable part of our country’s heritage.”

O’Connor: It’s not surprising that Hale was opposed to abortion, given what else reporters dug up about him. He had two women executed for “‘witchcraft” and defended marital rape. Though Alito holds him up as the authority on the criminality of aborting a fetus, he advocated for the death penalty for children as young as 14. For most of his lifetime, doctors didn’t even have a scientific understanding of where babies came from.

“Alito wrote that abortion should be a matter of state law. If people want access to it, they simply need to elect people who support it.”

O’Connor: Voting rights are under siege like never before and the Supreme Court made it clear last year that it will not act to stop voter suppression laws. Alito himself was nominated to the high court by a man who became president without winning the popular vote. So were Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch.

Alito claims “being pregnant and being a mother aren’t as difficult as they used to be.”

O’Connor: The U.S. is one of only six countries without paid family leave. Pregnancy and childbirth are not free. The average cost to have a baby in the U.S. is nearly $11,000 without any complications. Care needed before and after delivery can raise the bill to $30,000. Costs also vary wildly from state to state.

In short, Alito drew his inspiration from a guy in England who hanged “witches” 400 years ago, and didn’t know where babies came from. His reasoning is about to become the law of the land. This won’t merely make 69% of Americans angry, it will make the Supreme Court a laughingstock.

Alito: “Welcome back to the 1600s, America!”

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