The most idiotic response from activists and news media this week to Alabamas recently passed fetal heartbeat bill has been to underscore that it was approved by male lawmakers. And not just any male lawmakers, but ones who are white, as if that somehow has something to do with the issue.
Just wait until these same people learn about who decided Roe v. Wade in 1973.
Alabama just criminalized abortions and every single yes vote was cast by a white man, read a headline this week from CBS News.
The Huffington Post went with this: Every Senate Vote For Alabamas Abortion Ban Was From A White Man.
These 25 Republicans all white men just voted to ban abortion in Alabama, said a headline published by the Guardian.
This refrain, pushed first by political activists and partisans in the press, has been amplified tenfold by actual celebrities, including model Gigi Hadid, who tweeted a photo bearing the repeated phrase, MEN SHOULDNT [sic] BE MAKING LAWS ABOUT WOMENS BODIES."
Yes, Alabama has some male legislators many of them, in fact. But newsrooms like the Guardian are lying. The bill was voted for by women, too, in the state House. And it was authored by a pro-life woman, Republican Alabama state Rep. Terri Collins, and then signed into law by a female governor, Kay Ivey. The law also has the support of Alabama state Republican Party Chairwoman Terry Lathan, also a woman.
It is weird how these sort of details keep getting lost in the mix.
Still, the main problem with complaining about the demographic makeup of Alabama's state legislature is this foolish notion that the writing and approval of laws ought to be restricted and/or decided according to color and gender. Should all of the men have recused themselves including those voting against it? At the very least, ten out of ten Alabama legislators are former fetuses. Everyone has a right to an opinion, and by virtue of their election, everyone has a right to vote on whatever bill comes before the legislature.
Moreover, if we are going to go down this dangerous road of saying the process of legalizing and restricting behaviors laws ought to be decided according to gender and race, then we must at least remain consistent. That means directing our ire at the Supreme Courts 1973 decision legalizing abortion. For those who do not know it, Roe was decided 7-2 by a Supreme Court made up entirely of men.
The majority opinion was written by Justice Harry Blackmun, a white man. He was joined by six other white men on the court, including Chief Justice Warren Burger and Justices William Douglas, William Brennan, Potter Stewart, and Lewis Powell. The only minority Supreme Court justice at the time, Thurgood Marshall, who was the first African American to sit on the court, also joined the majority opinion that has since resulted in the abortion of approximately 19 million black children.
Everything the identity-obsessed critics have said this week about Alabama's fetal heartbeat bill can be applied also to the Supreme Courts 1973 decision. Yet I am having a difficult time finding similar arguments from the same crowd concerning Roe's lack of representation.