Thursday, September 8, 2022

Let Roe Go: Winning Abortion Rights

 Let Roe Go: Winning Abortion Rights

Jim Kavanagh

With Roe v. Wade overturned, and multiple states rushing to institute draconian abortion bans, the abortion-rights movement faces the task of winning—anew, but effectively for the first time—a right many of us mistakenly thought was secured. To do that requires, I think, recognizing and abandoning the diversionary legal-constitutional and partisan-political paths in which confidence was misplaced, and sharpening the tools needed for a strong and irreversible victory in the wider political sense. 

Judge Not

Of course, the abortion-rights battle must be waged on all fronts. But legal and legislative victories will only be won securely as a result of winning broad and deep political support—persuading a majority of people of the justice and necessity of the cause. That is the kind of political work that created the conditions for Roe v. Wade—independent, risky personal and collective political action, including civil disobedience, that highlighted the plight and right of pregnant women, and the hypocrisy and cruelty of criminalizing abortion.

Though it was, at the time, a punctual victory that resulted from such work, Roe also turned out to be Pyrrhic. Roe has arguably weakened the abortion-rights movement, which centered itself on defending the decision, searching for Supreme Court nominees who would support it, and engaging in partisan battles about it—at the expense of building wider and deeper popular support for the substantive right throughout the country.

Roe pre-empted an offensive strategy of growing a mass political movement for abortion rights, and channeled it into defensive, system-reaffirming, judicial and partisan “politics.” The abortion rights movement complacently placed its trust in an alliance with sympathetic magistrates and Democratic politicians and forewent the task of non-partisan persuasion—continually making its case and strengthening its support among masses of people whose support cannot be taken for granted or written off. While “pro-choice” liberals were playing with their RBG dolls, 15-year-old girls (and their parents) throughout the country were being talked to, and shown pictures of dead fetuses, by conservative pastors. Who’s approach was more effective?

Thursday, July 7, 2022

The Wrinkle: Abortion Rights, Vaccine Passports, and Bodily Autonomy

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade marks an enormous defeat for women’s rights in the United States. We must not underestimate its importance, and how difficult it will be to overcome. There is a slew of things to consider about how this defeat occurred, and about how supporters of women’s rights and abortion rights can best organize to win a decisive and irreversible victory for a right that so many of us, mistakenly, thought had already been secured.

I’ll go over a number of those considerations in another essay. But here I want quickly to break out and discuss one wrinkle that has developed during the past two years—one that is of serious consequence for the abortion-rights argument because it directly touches on its essential element, and one that has enmired many leftists and abortion-rights supporters in confusion and contradiction that have weakened their abortion-rights position in ways they do not want to acknowledge.

That wrinkle is the dominant leftist attitude toward the mandatory covid vaccination policies, an attitude that is based, I think, on a strange and increasingly common epistemological stance—an inability, or stubborn refusal, to think things through honestly and consistently, considering all the arguments without pre-ordained conclusion.

Failing to have a consistent position based on bodily autonomy in regard to the forced intrusions of vaccine mandates/passports and abortion criminalization is a mistake of grave consequence, politically and epistemologically. Those who don’t recognize that mistake are undermining their political position in support of abortion rights, fooling themselves, and confusing and harming the movement.

And here’s the proof:

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Important News for Subscribers. Last Media Appearance Posting on This Page

Important News for subscribers: I now have enough email subscribers that my email service (MailChimp) is starting to charge me for excess mailings per month from this page. This has become an issue since I've been posting so many media appearances--usually 2-3 per week. As a result,  from now on, I will only post my media appearance on my Substack page (where I have also been posting them). I will continue, for now, to post my original essays on this page. So, please go over to that page and subscribe. You can take a free subscription and get all the posts, though I would greatly appreciate your support. Thanks for following my work. Here again is the link: 

Jim Kavanagh’s (The Polemicist) Substack

Below are the links to my appearance on The Critical Hour with Wilmer Leon and Garland Nixon on Thursday, June 23rd, discussing the dangers of narrative vs. reality discrepancies regarding the Ukraine War, Lithuania’s block of Russian transit to Transnistria, US/NATO/Ukraine's motivation to prolong & widen the conflict.

Critical_Hour_1001_Seg_3 (23 Jun 2022) (Google Drive)

Critical_Hour_1001_Seg_3 (23 Jun 2022) (One Drive)

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Critical Hour Discussion of Assange Extradition, Military Budget, End of Unipolarity (6/17/2022)

My discussion with Wilmer Leon. Garland Nixon and Steve Poikonen on the Critical Hour weekly panel on Friday, discussing Priti Patel’s disgraceful decision to extradite Julian Assange, the lingering, delusional US assumption of superiority that is running into the wall of reality, the self-sacrifice of poodle European counties tagging along with it, and other delights.

Critical_Hour_997_Seg_4 (17 Jun 2022)

Friday, June 17, 2022

Critical Hour Discussion of U.S. "Walkback" on Ukraine

 My Critical Hour discussion with Wilmer Leon and Garland Nixon yesterday, discussing the U.S. "walkback" on Ukraine. Or is it "run forward"? Walk this way? Every which way but sane.

Critical_Hour_996_Seg_8 (16-Jun-2022)

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