Archive for the ‘Reproductive Rights’ Category

‘Neurotic Democrat???’

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

The other day, I received an email from a friend, slugged: ‘Neurotic Democrat???’

He wrote:

You’ve been slacking on your blog updates. Not one single solitary post since 2/2/09?

It’s been a busy four months. Among many, many other things, I’ve been working on a novel. I’ve also found it more difficult, since the election, to find my voice. During the election, things seemed fairly black and white, no pun intended. We’ve entered a political world — thank god — where the defining characteristic seems to be shades of gray.

To wit, this headline, currently leading the NY Times Web page: “On Sotomayor, Some Abortion Rights Advocates Show Unease.”

Did anyone ever think that a few months into Obama’s term, we’d be reading this:

Some liberal leaders are quietly expressing unease that Judge Sotomayor may not be a reliable vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision. In a letter to supporters, Nancy Keenan, president of the National Abortion Rights Action League, urged them to pressure senators to demand that Judge Sotomayor reveal her views on privacy rights before any confirmation vote.

To be sure, most abortion rights backers — myself included — believe Sotomayer will support a woman’s right to choose. But there’s another dimension to this. My sister, an attorney and ardent supporter of a woman’s right to choose, has long tried to explain to me that Roe v. Wade is in fact not a well argued or solid foundation for those rights. Might Sotomayor support a woman’s right to choose, without supporting Roe v. Wade? And, an equally important followup: Is there any way at all for this court to sustain a federal right to choice, while at the same time striking down Roe?

As I say, shades of gray.

In any event, thanks, Michael, for the kick in the ass. It’s good to be back.