One Feminist’s Perspective On How The Transgender Agenda Harms Women & Girls

Estimated Reading Time: 15 minutes

The following is the transcript for the She Thinks podcast:

And welcome to She Thinks, a podcast where you’re allowed to think for yourself. I’m your host, Beverly Hallberg. And I’m so excited about today’s guest. Kara Dansky joins us to share why she is furious with her party, the Democrat party, for pushing gender identity or what she refers to as gender insanity. Her premise is that the redefining of the meaning of the word sex and gender victimizes women and children. In our conversation, we’ll discuss things that often aren’t allowed to be said in mainstream media. We’ll get into how gender identity has seeped into our laws and the resulting implications, how parental rights are being ignored, and what it has meant for her to speak out on such a controversial issue.

Now to Kara Dansky. Kara Dansky is a feminist, attorney, Democrat, and public speaker. She serves as the chair of the committee on law and legislation for the global human rights campaign, the WHRC, and is president of the WHRC’s U.S. chapter. She has a 21-year background in criminal law and criminal justice policy. Having worked at the mayor’s office of criminal justice in New York, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Stanford Criminal Justice Center at Stanford Law School and the Society of Council Representing Accused Persons in Seattle. She’s also the author of the new book, “The Abolition of Sex: How the Transgender Agenda Harms Women and Girls.” Kara, thank you so much for joining us on She Thinks.

Kara Dansky:

Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Beverly Hallberg:

There’s so much I want to get into on this topic, but I’d first like to start with why you decided to spend your days fighting for women in an area that is so controversial? Many people don’t dare to touch it. What made you brave enough to not just deal with this issue but put yourself out there in the spotlight?

Kara Dansky:

Thanks for the question. It doesn’t really feel like bravery to me to just stand up and say that women are female and men are male. But the answer to the question is that in 2014, I was talking with a friend and I’ll say, I’ve always considered myself to be a feminist. And as you mentioned in my bio, my career trajectory took a little bit of a different turn. I went into criminal justice, but I still considered myself a feminist. And in 2014, a very good friend of mine brought my attention to the danger of the so-called transgender agenda or gender identity, as we like to say, and I started paying attention and I looked into it and in 2015, I joined the organization Women’s Liberation Front. And in 2016, I joined the board of that organization. That year, Women’s Liberation Front or WLF sued the Obama Administration over a policy memo that the administration had put out. And I’ve been doing the work ever since.

Beverly Hallberg:

Now you talk a lot about how the redefining of the words sex and gender makes victims of women and girls. First of all, explain to us why the words matter so much and what the implications have been?

Kara Dansky:

So the words are absolutely critical. And so I will never use the word transgender without putting it in quotes. And I make the case in my book or at least I try to make the case. I don’t know how well I do it but I make the case that the word transgender was simply invented. And the reason it was invented is that it comes from so-called queer theory, which is an academic theory that essentially obscures the meanings of words that point to material reality. But if the queer theorists had tried to sell Americans on the idea that sex isn’t real, it wouldn’t have worked. Americans know how babies are made. We all know the basic facts of biology. And so they had to make up a word. And the word that they made up is transgender.

Feminist Janice Raymond wrote a book in 1979 called “The Transsexual Empire,” which predicted all of this. And she re-produced it in 1994 with an introduction that talks about the invention of the word transgender and how it’s going to harm women and girls in particular, though we need to be clear, it harms everybody. The abolition of sex harms everybody. We can talk a little bit about that. But I just refuse to use the language of the opposition. And I think it’s really important that feminists and conservatives who are in this battle for material reality and of the right to privacy and safety of women and girls to not use the language of the opposition ever, I think that’s absolutely critical.

Beverly Hallberg:

And so let’s talk about what these words, where they have seeped into. So we may say, it’s fine if people want to use these words on their own, but we are talking about word choice. You were mentioning the Obama administration that has seeped into executive orders, how government agencies work, government departments, that is in pieces of legislation, especially under the Biden administration. Is there a concerted effort to try to change the meaning of words within legislation and bills that come to Capitol Hill?

Kara Dansky:

Literally yes. So, a little bit of history on this, in 2004, the United Kingdom enacted a new law called the Gender Recognition Act. And what that did was provide a legal mechanism for people who underwent a certain amount of hormone change and surgical change to get what in the UK is called a gender recognition certificate. Fast forward to today and we have the United States Congress inserting new language to literally redefine the word sex. So for example, in the Violence Against Women Act, I think it was 2013, Congress redefined the word sex to include the words “gender identity,” which are essentially just made-up words that have no coherent definition. They did it again this year in the Infrastructure Bill and they are seeking to do it in the so-called Equality Act, which would literally redefine the word sex in civil rights law to include things like gender identity, even though the definition of gender identity in the Equality Act is completely vague and incomprehensible.

So that’s what’s happening in Congress. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration for the first six months or so of this year, literally ordered federal agencies to redefine sex to include gender identity throughout federal administrative law. Those orders are the subject of a lawsuit that was filed by 20 states and in which my organization, the Women’s Human Rights Campaign’s U.S. chapter, has filed a brief arguing that in fact, the complete redefinition of the word sex to include gender identity violates numerous provisions of the U.S. Constitution, federal law and several provisions of state law.

Beverly Hallberg:

And what has really surprised me when I think about the women’s movement, feminism, often people think about the decades-long work to try to get women thought of as equal in the workplace. There are a lot of things that we could think of. I even know today, myself as a small business owner, I’m thankful for the strides that women made before me, so that I could be where I am today. And then when we see where it’s gone, it’s now to the point where people are saying somebody who is a biological man, that if he identifies as a woman, then he can break the glass ceiling for women. It’s really just shocking whether it’s in sports or in careers, how they lift up biological men as women and say that this is shattering the glass ceiling. I find that offensive, do most women find that offensive?

Kara Dansky:

I think so, certainly, feminists do. Literally, yesterday was the anniversary of a massacre of 14 women at a school in Montreal and a Canadian news program decided to acknowledge the anniversary of that massacre. And we need to be clear a man murdered 15 young women because they were women, several decades ago. And yesterday was the anniversary and a Canadian broadcasting corporation decided to acknowledge that anniversary by having a man who identifies as a woman speak on their behalf. And it’s just grotesque.

Beverly Hallberg:

Well, you talk about the abolition of sex, it’s the name of your book. When we hear people want to use the terminology “gender identity,” it’s usually under the auspices that they’re trying to prevent discrimination, that we don’t want to discriminate, we want everybody to feel welcome and we want to be inclusive. Tell us how dangerous it is to abolish sex.

Kara Dansky:

Well, part of the problem here is that really across the political aisle, it seems to have been generally accepted that the phrase “transgender people” or “transgender athletes” or “transgender students,” that all of these words describe a coherent category of people for whom sex is irrelevant. That’s not true. And if we’re going to win the battle to fight for the right to privacy and safety of women and girls, we have to be very clear about that. So one implication that I think is not well understood is the phenomenon that we are literally seeing playing out today in prisons in the United States is that convicted rapists and murderers who are men are being housed in women’s prisons. A lot of people know that this is happening in California thanks to the Women’s Liberation Front for filing a lawsuit, challenging the law that allows that, mandates that. It’s also happening in Washington State but it’s also happening across the country.

And most Americans are kept in the dark about this because the media will not talk about it. So again, thank you for allowing me to talk about it here. Something else that I think most Americans just don’t understand because they don’t have a way to know this, is that the FBI tracks crime statistics by sex. And to the best of my knowledge the latest data available is from 2020, and it tracks crime according to male and female. And of course, as we all know, the overwhelming majority of violent and sex crime is committed by men against women. If we’re not allowed to acknowledge the reality of biological sex, we can’t talk honestly about the phenomenon of male violence against women. And that’s really, really dangerous.

Beverly Hallberg:

What do you say then — let’s take a specific example or a hypothetical example about a young biological boy, let’s say 13, 14 years old, feels that he is a woman, is bullied in the men’s locker room and wants to be able to use the females’ locker room because that is how he identifies. What do you do with these individual cases where somebody does feel bullied? Because these are the stories we often hear as the reason we need to change. Even the way locker rooms and schools deal with their policies.

Kara Dansky:

This is not a girls’ problem. If boys are bullying stereotypically effeminate men, young men, if boys are bullying gay boys, if boys are bullying other boys who like to wear stereotypically feminine clothing, then that’s a problem for the boys to solve. They need to stop doing that. They need to stop bullying young homosexual boys. They need to stop bullying boys who adopt stereotypically feminine characteristics and just accept these boys for who they are. But the solution is not to subject girls to having boys in intimate spaces. We know, for example, in Loudoun County, Virginia, the school district adopted a policy of allowing young boys into girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms.

And a young girl was sexually assaulted in a bathroom in a high school in Loudoun County, Virginia. And there seems to have been a concerted effort on the part of the school district to cover that up in order to justify its policy of allowing boys, in this particular instance, the boy wore a skirt, and he was allowed access to the girls’ bathroom on that basis. And he has been convicted of sexually assaulting a girl. The answer is not to allow these young men into girls’ spaces. The answer is to persuade boys to stop bullying them.

Beverly Hallberg:

And when it comes to young people and we think about education, it’s also what they’re being taught, the curriculum, trying to encourage teachers. There have been reports of teachers or counselors at schools trying to encourage young people to embrace a gender identity that is different from their biological sex. And also leaving parents out. The parental rights are not part of even having this discussion with their children. There’s also the cult, as we have seen. Abigail Shrier has written about this, about young girls wanting to or identifying as the opposite sex. So there seems to be almost a way for young girls to become popular if they talk about themselves as being a boy versus their biological sex. So do you see that there is an agenda at schools within the schooling system, education system, to try to encourage young people to identify as something else?

Kara Dansky:

Absolutely. And it’s deliberate. And we know this because there’s documentation of the deliberate nature of this industry, as I describe in the book, to indoctrinate children, to confuse them into thinking that there’s some kind of identity that is unrelated to their actual sex. We need to understand that there is a tremendous amount of money behind this movement to persuade young people to disassociate from their bodies. This is all documented for example, in Jennifer Bilek’s blog, the 11th Hour Blog, she tracks the industry. She has done an incredible job of investigative journalism in understanding the power and the money behind this movement.

I want to get to your question about Abigail Shrier’s book but first I just want to make very clear, as you alluded to earlier, there seems to be an assumption that the movement to abolish sex is a bottom-up, grassroots movement to secure civil rights for a defined category of people. That is not what’s going on here. This is a very top down, top heavy, heavily funded industry that is pushing this into our schools, into our boardrooms, into our living rooms. It is capturing almost all aspects of American society. It’s extreme-

Beverly Hallberg:

Yeah, it’s damaging young people in the process. I just wanted to ask you this question about the fallout of this, there is a woman, 23 years old, who’s been very brave in talking about her story of taking hormone treatments, testosterone in her teens. It was encouraged by people in her school. And she’s now talking about the harms of that. Are we hearing more stories from young women talking about what the harms have been, whether it has been through different pills, medicines they took, or even those who did go as far as to have surgery?

Kara Dansky:

Just curious, are we talking about Keira Bell?

Beverly Hallberg:

We are not. It’s someone else, I’m trying to remember her name offhand, but she started to become outspoken on this.

Kara Dansky:

Yeah, we are definitely hearing more and more. To its credit, I want to give 60 Minutes credit for having a segment that did cover some stories of young people who did go through hormonal and surgical procedures and came to regret it. We’re hearing more and more stories about this. I have personally spoken with a young woman who contacted me for help because she was having trouble at her place of employment. And she had thought she was a boy. She had a double mastectomy and she regretted it. And we need to talk about how heartbreaking this is, especially for girls, and all credit to Abigail Shrier for writing about the phenomenon. It’s very difficult in many ways to be a teenage girl, to start developing, to feel the physical discomfort that comes with that, to feel the discomfort of all of a sudden men starting to pay more attention to our bodies.

It can be a very difficult adjustment and it’s especially hard now because it was hard when I was growing up but today with the total onslaught of pornography, we’re seeing boys watching pornography at younger and younger ages. Of course, it’s hard to be a girl. Of course it’s easier in many ways to be a boy. And it’s understandable why some young women would want to find their way out of being hypersexualized in a society that hypersexualizes young women. But we have to also understand that all of these children, girls and boys both, are receiving hormones that are highly likely to result in permanent sterilization and potential lethality. These are very dangerous drugs that children are being permitted to take and young people, there’s a reason that we don’t allow young people to buy cigarettes or alcohol or vote or drive.

And even though in our society, reasonable people can disagree about what age it’s appropriate to allow children to buy cigarettes or drive, we can have those policy conversations, but if we’re going to limit the choices that young people can make, why on earth would we allow children to make the decision to permanently sterilize themselves? It’s horrible. And yes, the answer to your question is more and more young people are coming to regret their decision. They are also coming to understand, the vast majority of them understand, that what they were dealing with was sexuality and that they were same-sex attracted. And they were struggling with realizing that they were same-sex attracted. And so they made decisions to identify out of their actual sex.

Beverly Hallberg:

I think so much as we start to uncover more and more, as you were saying, the money, the power behind this, the agenda behind this, we find that so much about this is to cover up what they’re really trying to do. So the less that people know, the better it is for them to be able to move forward with their agenda. One area where I think it’s been hard for the transgender movement to gain traction, or at least there has been pushback, has been in the area of women’s sports. For example, there is a recent story that was widely circulated this past week, where a biological boy who identifies as female, name is Lia Thomas, 22-year-old transgender swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, has been shattering women’s records, no surprise, because Lia is a biological man. Do you find in the area of women’s sports that this is where people can really look at what the agenda is and say, “Hey, this isn’t fair. This is absolutely not fair.” Do you find traction in this area for those who view this as we do?

Kara Dansky:

Yes, and shoutout to my friend Beth Stelzer at an organization that she founded called Save Women’s Sports. She’s done a tremendous amount of work in helping lawmakers, especially at the state level, but also at the federal level, succeed in getting legislation passed to protect women’s sports for women. I just want to pause for a second and ask what you mean in your question, you used the phrase, “transgender swimmer,” that’s the kind of language I’m trying to get away from.

Beverly Hallberg:

No, teach me, teach all of us. That’s helpful.

Kara Dansky:

Yeah, I really… So, as you said in the introduction, I’m a feminist, I’m a lifelong Democrat. And I have been spending a lot of time, or the past couple years, working across the political aisle because I think this is very important. I think that this should not be a partisan issue and the media has done a tremendous job of framing it as a partisan issue. And I’m very frustrated with most media outlets for doing that. But one of my frustrations is that the Republicans, that I am very happy to work with, often use phrases like transgender athletes or transgender swimmer or transgender students. That’s hurting us. It’s hurting the movement to push back against gender identity, using their language makes it much more difficult for us to gain ground in the movement to push back against the enshrinement of gender identity in the law. So I appreciate you letting me say that.

Beverly Hallberg:

Yeah. So out of curiosity then, is the correct thing that you would always encourage people to say in that specific example would be biological boy, just say a boy?

Kara Dansky:

Boy. Yeah.

Beverly Hallberg:

That makes sense. That makes sense. And so I’m glad you brought up the media. I wanted to ask you just a little bit about what it has been like for you as a Democrat, talking about these issues. I read your piece that you had published in the Federalist, it was entitled “Democrats Like Me are Furious with Our Party for Pushing Gender Insanity.” So first of all, can I ask you why as a Democrat, you chose to submit your piece to a conservative outlet, would more left-leaning outlets not publish your opinion?

Kara Dansky:

Absolutely not. So I mentioned the 2016 lawsuit that WLF filed against the Obama Administration, Tucker Carlson invited WLF to appear on his show. And I was happy to do it. That happened in early 2017. I’ve been on the show several times since. I was very grateful to the Federalist for publishing that piece. I was very grateful to the New York Post recently for publishing another piece. Feminists like me, who publish in conservative media, get a lot of pushback for it. We get in trouble with a lot of radical feminists who don’t think we ought to be doing that, but we have a story to tell.

And we’re grateful to the outlets such as yourself, who are willing to give us a platform to tell our story. What a lot of Republicans, I think, do not know because there’s no way for you to know this, is there are countless Democrats, rank and file Democrats all over the country who are furious at our party leadership for what they’re doing. You have a lot of allies in a lot of rank-and-file Democratic communities, but the reason you don’t know that is because the media won’t say it.

Beverly Hallberg:

Final question I have for you before, well, actually our final, final question will be about your book but the final question I have for you before we get to that, is something that we often hear. And this goes back to the language and the words that we use, we often hear people using different pronouns than the biological sex of a person. So if you, let’s take that athlete, the male athlete competing against women, do you ever use the pronoun “she” for a biological boy or even if one, let’s say, you could take Caitlyn Jenner, do you refer to Caitlyn Jenner as a he or a she?

Kara Dansky:

“He,” of course, because he is. But we should say there are efforts around the world to actually criminalize the use of accurate sex pronouns. And it’ll be very interesting to see whether our first amendment protects us in a way, for example, that Canadian law does not protect Canadians. There’s an effort right now to make the use of accurate sex pronouns a hate crime. And it’s also happening in the UK. It’s happening in Scotland. It’s happening in a lot of places. It may not happen here. Our first amendment may protect us from that but we’ll see. The district attorney of San Francisco has recently issued an order, all of the staff in his office are now required to use so-called preferred pronouns in court, which could potentially mean that a rape victim might be required to refer to a male alleged rapist as “she” on the witness stand, which I would argue would constitute perjury.

But we haven’t seen any of this play out quite yet in the legal system, but it’ll be very interesting to watch. There is one case in the Sixth Circuit coming out of Ohio, where a professor refused to use so-called preferred pronouns. He was disciplined by the public university, his employer, but he was vindicated in court at the appellate level. So that’s a good sign that our first amendment might protect us in a way that, for example, Canadians aren’t protected.

Beverly Hallberg:

Final question for you. You tell us about your book. I know we’ve talked about it here but who is the book for? What can people expect if they read it?

Kara Dansky:

So the book is called “The Abolition of Sex: How the Transgender Agenda Harms Women and Girls.” And I wrote it really for average rank and file, across-the-political-aisle Americans who either might be very confused about what is going on here. And it’s completely legitimate to be confused about what is going on, on topics of sex and gender because there’s a deliberate effort to confuse us or Americans who see what’s going on and want to speak out about it but may not quite feel comfortable doing so for the reasons you laid out in your introduction. These topics can be hard to talk about but it’s not impossible. And I really want Americans to have the tools to talk with one another. If you’re a Republican talk with other Republicans, embolden other Republicans to speak out about this using accurate language. If you’re a Democrat and you agree with me but you’re scared to speak out, I understand that, that’s very understandable but we’ve got to do it if we’re going to make headway here.

Beverly Hallberg:

Well, we thank you for your bravery. Kara Dansky, author of “The Abolition of Sex: How the Transgender Agenda Harms Women and Girls.” We so appreciate you joining us on She Thinks today.

Kara Dansky:

Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

*****

This interview was conducted on December 10, 2021, and the transcript was reproduced with permission from  The Independent Women’s Forum.

Dobbs V. Jackson: An Easy Opinion

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The rejection of a “compelling state interest” test will remove abortion from national politics.

A simple Baltimore lawyer here tenders a short opinion to dispose of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the abortion case from Mississippi in oral arguments before the Supreme Court today.

This case presents the question: “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” It involves a limitation of abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Similar limitations are found rational in many nations including France and Germany with their 12-week cutoff point. In Roe v. Wade, we said that states could limit second-trimester abortions if there was a rational basis to do so, but in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton, decided on the same day, we effectively applied a “compelling state interest” test.

We can dispose of this case by overruling Doe v. Bolton and Casey, but the avoidance of further controversy and confusion makes it desirable that we dispose of Roe also, thus withdrawing the Court from an area of public policy that we should not have entered in the first place and allowing further discussion to be divorced from claims of absolute right not inducing tolerance.

Five tests are conventionally used to justify overrulings: quality of reasoning (ever-shifting in this case); workability (belied by the constant flow of litigation over the “undue burden” test); inconsistency with prior law (patent in light of state legislation as of 1973); reliance (scarcely present, despite Casey, in view of Casey’s concession that “reproductive planning could take almost immediate account of any sudden restoration of state authority to ban abortions,” a conclusion reinforced by the two-thirds drop in births to teenagers following the withdrawal of 18 years of guaranteed AFDC payments by the Welfare Reform Act of 1996); and finally, and most importantly, as stated in Casey, “whether Roe’s premises of fact have so far changed to render its central holding irrelevant or unjustifiable” and whether an overruling decision would provide “a response to facts that the country would understand but which the court of an earlier day as its own declarations disclosed had not been able to perceive.”

These standards for overruling are now more than fully met. The Roe court did not even consider the potential effect of abortion-on-demand on sexual mores, unwanted pregnancies, and births out of wedlock. It recognized that anti-abortion statute might be the “product of a Victorian social concern to discourage illicit sexual conduct” but declared “Texas does not advance this justification in the present cases and it appears that no court or commentator has taken the argument seriously. The appellants and amici contend moreover that this is not a proper state purpose at all.” So much for the mostly religious lawgivers memorialized in the frieze at the top of the Supreme Court building and Justice Holmes’ observation that “the law is the external deposit of our moral life.”

It is nonetheless the duty of the Court to consider not only the state’s actual arguments but those it might have made, lest the inadequacies of a single lawyer deform the Constitution. As stated in Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S.603 (1960): “we cannot with confidence reject all those alternatives which imaginativeness might bring to mind save that one which might require invalidation of the statute.”

Instead, the Roe court, excluding the possible effect of its decision on promiscuous sexual behavior and increased pregnancies and births out of wedlock, made opposite assumptions. It alluded to “concerns about population growth, pollution, poverty, and racial overtones.” The Second Circuit, invalidating a Connecticut statute, postulated that “population growth must be restricted not enhanced and thus the state interest in a pro-natalist statute such as this is limited,” citing the Rockefeller Commission report on “Population Growth and the American Future” (1971).

Subsequent research by the present secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, and her Nobel-prize-winning economist husband, George Akerlof, which appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Brookings Review in 1996, made clear that Roe had dynamic effects on American society, legitimating free love and the hookup culture by providing what looked like an assured back-up to birth control pills.

Thus the percentage of births to unwed mothers increased from 5.7 percent in 1970, when birth control pills were already in wide use, to 29 percent in 2018. Among black Americans, whose out of wedlock births were of great concern to “birth controllers,” the percentage of births out of wedlock increased from 38 percent in 1970 to 71 percent in 2018. Similarly, the “deal with it” syndrome that abortion-on-demand produced among consorts caused the percentages of marriages to those pregnant out of wedlock (“shotgun weddings”) to fall from 43 percent in 1970 to 9 percent in 2018.

“Inability to provide for the nurture and care of the infant is a cruelty to the child and an anguish to the parent,” the well-intentioned Justice Harlan stated in concurring in Roe. But after 50 years, there is much more such cruelty and anguish.

This Court, like the president and Congress, is subject to checks and balances. The confirmation process is one of these and can be given effect after 48 years. Several decisions have been overruled after long periods, including Lochner v. New York (work hours) after 50 years; Adkins v. Children’s Hospital (minimum wage) after 14 years; Plessy v. Ferguson (segregation) after 58 years; Bowers v. Hardwick (sodomy) after 18 years; Baker v. Nelson (homosexual marriage) after 43 years; and Korematsu v. United States (racial distinctions) after 74 years.

The public will now understand what the Court did not in Casey when it, echoing Justice Wayne’s concurring opinion in Dred Scott, called “the contending sides to end their division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution.” Dred Scott failed because the fugitive slave provisions of the Constitution and the Compromise of 1850 rendered Northern states complicit in the permissiveness of the South. Casey failed for the same reason, by imposing coastal rules on “flyover” country.

Our decision reversing the Fifth Circuit judgment is of little direct consequence. Some four percent of abortions per year are performed after the 15th week, many in states that will continue to have liberal abortion laws. But our decision will send a powerful message to young women and their consorts that abortion is no longer a sure thing and that they should choose sexual partners more carefully than at present. The rejection of a “compelling state interest” test will remove abortion from national politics as in Western Europe and will restore the American judiciary to what Aristotle and Aquinas regarded as judges’ proper function: “corrective justice” vindicating agreed settlements, not “distributive justice” changing agreed rules, which is the prerogative of the ruler in authoritarian states and the legislatures in democratic ones.

In Ferguson v. Skrupa, 372 U.S. 726 (1963), Mr. Justice Black stated for a unanimous court: “We emphatically refuse to go back to the time when courts used the Due Process clause ‘to strike down state laws, regulatory of business and industrial conditions, because they may be unwise, improvident, or out of harmony with a particular school of thought.’” To “business and industrial” we add “social,” thus definitively repudiating Dred Scott, the first adventure in substantive due process. We justify this overruling decision not merely by the prolix five tests of the legal academy, but in the words of Fiorello La Guardia: “When we make a mistake, it’s a beaut.”

The judgment is reversed.

*****

This article was published on December 1, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

Dispelling 3 Common Myths About Abortion

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

With the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case before the Supreme Court and the ongoing litigation over the Texas heartbeat law, the issue of abortion looms large in our national discourse.

Too often, pro-abortion actors make claims that are simply not true, and those claims are repeated without challenge in the media. Therefore, it’s vital that the American public be made aware of facts that challenge the pro-abortion narrative.

Here’s the truth you need to know about three core claims of abortion activists:

Myth 1: Abortions Are Safer Than Childbirth

Abortion activists claim that abortions are safer than childbirth. But that’s the exact inverse of reality—and for a number of reasons.

First, this framing of the debate denies the humanity of the unborn child from the outset. Because every fetus is a human possessing fundamental dignity, their health and safety must also be taken into consideration.

No procedure that destroys life can be considered safe. By definition, abortion is always fatal for at least one party involved; namely, the unborn child. Therefore, by definition, abortion is never “safe.”

Second, besides the fact that abortions necessarily involve the killing of unborn children, abortion is not necessarily the safer option for women.

After getting an abortion, women have approximately an 80% higher risk of experiencing mental health issues, including suicidal tendencies and substance abuse.

According to Dr. Ingrid Skop, an obstetrician-gynecologist, potentially fatal complications from abortions include “vaginal or intra-abdominal hemorrhage … infection … incomplete removal of the remains of the aborted baby, damage to the cervix, uterus, or other pelvic or abdominal organs … anesthetic reactions or overdoses, amniotic fluid, septic, or thrombotic embolisms, cardiac, or cardiovascular events.”

Such complications hardly render abortion safe for women.

Third, the assumption that abortion is the safer option for women ultimately rests on incomplete data.

The federal government as well as 22 states do not require abortion providers to report critical data on postabortion complications. This inevitably skews abortion activists’ numbers, especially when a state like California, one of the states that doesn’t require abortion providers to report data, is estimated to have over a quarter of all abortions performed in the U.S.

Likewise, according to data collected in  2019, there were no states that required doctors, coroners, or emergency rooms that don’t provide abortions to report abortion-related deaths. So, if a woman goes to an emergency room with abortion-related complications and dies, the hospital is not required to report it as an abortion-related death. That skews abortion-related mortality rates.

Therefore, abortions aren’t safe for unborn children, and they aren’t always safe for women.

Myth 2: Abortion Is a Woman’s Only Practical Option

Studies show that most abortions are chosen for reasons related to factors such as finances or personal relationships.

According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, 74% of abortions are chosen out of a fear that the baby would interfere with education or work, or that the baby would make it difficult to take care of dependents.

An overlapping 73% claimed they could not afford a child, and nearly 50% had relationship issues or did not want to become a single mother.

Even among third-trimester abortions, as reported by Dr. James Studnicki, “most late-term abortions are elective, done on healthy women with healthy fetuses.”

It’s clear from these numbers that medical emergencies do not motivate most abortions.

In contrast, the pro-life movement stresses providing the resources women need to give birth and raise their children.

Pregnancy resource centers help pregnant women and their families navigate challenges such as the pregnancy itself, financial management and needs, threats to job security, unsupportive partners and family members, and more.

According to one study, in 2019, pregnancy centers performed ultrasounds for 486,213 mothers-to-be free of charge and provided mothers and families with material resources such as diapers, baby clothes, and the like.

In total, they provided $266,764,916 worth of services, and 9 out of 10 people working at pregnancy resource centers do so on a voluntary basis.

Despite activists’ claims, abortion doesn’t solve any of those problems. By reducing “care” for women to the elimination of the unborn life, the mother is not helped.

Myth 3: Most Americans Support Abortion

The claim that most Americans support abortion is misleading when checked against data from a 2021 Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll.

Despite a slight majority (53%) of Americans identifying as “pro-choice,” 55% of pro-choice individuals are in favor of abortion restrictions.

According to the poll, 76% Americans support significant restrictions on abortion, with 70% of Americans in favor of restricting abortions after the first trimester—which would bring U.S. law in alignment with the rest of the world, including 47 out of 50 European countries.

Likewise, when asked if they support abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome, 70% of participants opposed such an abortion. Additionally, 58% opposed taxpayer money going to abortions.

Ultimately, these numbers reflect a nation that wants to do more to protect unborn children and is not remotely aligned with the abortion lobby’s position of abortion on-demand, for any reason, through all nine months of pregnancy.

Sadly, that hasn’t kept Democrats from calling for the elimination of the Hyde Amendment, which would clear the way for taxpayer-funded abortions.

Conclusion

The facts indicate that abortions are not safe for unborn children and carry significant risks for the mothers who receive them.

Most abortions are not done for cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. Lastly, most Americans do not support radically permissive abortion policies. In fact, most Americans support policies that further protect unborn children than what is currently permitted under Roe v. Wade, which allows for elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

We are being presented with the greatest opportunity of our lifetime to turn the tide for life. We must tell the truth about abortion and not allow pro-abortion arguments to rule the day unopposed.

*****

This article was published on December 1, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

Horrific Waukesha Deaths Preventable Result of Ill-Considered Bail Policies

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

After a summer of wildly destructive civil unrest followed by the looming shadow of the high-profile trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, residents of Wisconsin suffered another blow in the form of unspeakable tragedy.

Five people were killed and more than 40 injured when a driver plowed through participants of an annual holiday parade, appearing to intentionally speed up and swerve into lines of marchers, before speeding off.

Hours later, police arrested 39-year-old Darrell Brooks as the suspected driver of the vehicle. He is charged with five counts of homicide.

Investigators are still looking into possible motives, including, according to some reports, the possibility that Brooks did not necessarily target the parade but was instead attempting to flee from a knife fight.

Whether the act was intentional or merely reckless and without regard to others, one thing is already clear—what happened in Waukesha was entirely preventable.

Darrell Brooks should have been in jail several times over. The devastation he wrought happened only because grossly reckless bail policies touted by local officials enabled the release of an unrepentantly violent man whose actions routinely placed members of the community in serious danger.

Brooks is a career criminal with a long rap sheet. His history of violence—including violence toward women—is well documented, and wide-ranging.

In 1999, Brooks pled guilty to felony battery with intent to cause bodily harm, and was sentenced to six months in jail and three years’ probation. Over the next seven years, Brooks had a series of short stints in jail for various drug and obstruction charges.

In 2006, he was convicted of felony statutory sexual seduction for impregnating a 15-year-old girl. Brooks was 24 years old at the time. He was sentenced to probation and required to register as a sex offender.

In 2010, Brooks pled no contest to felony strangulation and suffocation charges, as well as to violating the terms of his probation. He was sentenced to 11 months in jail and three more years of probation.

Brooks spent much of 2011 and 2012 in jail, serving two separate 180-day sentences for charges of drug possession and bail jumping, and a 37-day sentence for misdemeanor resisting arrest.

In 2016, Brooks was arrested and charged with failing to obey Nevada’s sex offender registration laws. He posted bail, then fled the state and never returned to court. He still has an active warrant out for his arrest in Nevada.

In July 2020, Brooks was again arrested after allegedly getting into a fist fight with his nephew over a cellphone and then firing a gun at the nephew’s car as the nephew drove away. Arresting officers found Brooks still in possession of the firearm as well as a small amount of meth. He was charged with a slew of serious felonies, including possession of a firearm as a firearm and two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering public safety with the use of a firearm.

Brooks’ bond was initially set at $10,000 but was quickly lowered to $7,500. He remained in custody until his Feb. 9 trial was postponed. His attorney then successfully argued for Brooks’ bail to be dropped even lower, and on Feb. 21, Brooks posted $500 bond and was released.

On Nov. 5, with his 2020 charges still pending, Brooks was again arrested and charged with several serious felony offenses after a woman—reportedly the mother of Brooks’ children—told police that he purposefully ran her over with a vehicle after an argument. According to reports, the vehicular assault left tire marks on the woman’s pants and injured her so severely that she was hospitalized.

Incredibly, despite two decades of violent behavior, an open felony warrant in Nevada, routine failures to abide by his probation or bond conditions, and an active case involving the violent use of a weapon, Brooks was allowed to post $1,000 cash bail. By Nov. 11, he was back in the community.

When all relevant information comes to light about possible motive or premeditation, it seems incredible that no one could have reasonably foreseen that Brooks would commit this specific type of violence and leave this amount of carnage in his wake.

Brooks’ propensity for violence and his lifetime spent disregarding the safety of others made a violent tragedy anything but unforeseeable.

It also could have been foreseen that this kind of tragedy would inevitably occur as a result of the well-intentioned but ill-thought-out and poorly executed bail reform policies that progressives are putting into effect across the country.

In fact, John Chisholm, the rogue George Soros-backed prosecutor in Milwaukee County who released Brooks when he should have sought no bail, issued a prophetic statement in 2007. He said: “Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into [a] treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody? … You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen.” He went on to argue, though, that “does not invalidate the overall approach.”

We disagree. And now that the dire consequences of these rogue prosecutors’ policies are sparking public backlash, Chisholm has called for an investigation into Brooks’ “inappropriately low” bond.

Unfortunately, this is emblematic of the rogue prosecutor movement more generally. They take a criminal-first, victim-last, passing-the-blame approach.

And while the consequences here were undoubtedly tragic, it’s far from the only example of rogue prosecutors’ lax bond policies wreaking havoc on their communities.

In Philadelphia, for example, rogue District Attorney Larry Krasner’s policies led to the murder of Philadelphia Police Cpl. James O’Connor by an individual whom Krasner released through his lenient policies. Former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain said, “The murder was the direct result of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s pro-violent defendant policies.”

In Chicago, police have pointed to the “skyrocketing use of electronic monitoring as a key factor in the city’s shocking 50% rise in killings” last year.

And no wonder. In Kim Foxx’s Chicago, there are apparently no consequences for violating bail terms. According to the Chicago Tribune, “About 400 people are charged every year with felony escape. During [her predecessor’s] last three years in office, she dropped a total of 55 such cases, compared with 420 for Foxx.”

And then there’s San Francisco’s Chesa Boudin. As two of us (Cully and Zack) have previously written, “Since taking office, Boudin has also been criticized for releasing suspects with long criminal records who have gone on—surprise, surprise—to commit other crimes.”

The events in Wisconsin were tragic. But the nightmare was a completely avoidable consequence of a criminal justice system run by Soros’ rogue prosecutors.

*****

This article was published on November 23, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

If Kavanaugh And Barrett Betray Pro-Lifers, We Must Blow Up The Conservative Legal Movement

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Editors’ Note:  We share the concern of the author. One of the great failures of the Trump Administration was the reliance on executive orders, largely because he lacked clear majorities in the House and Senate and was also opposed by many Republicans. The latter may have been a product of his successful but bruising tactics during the primaries leading to his nomination. These executive orders were quickly reversed by the incoming President Biden, showing the weakness in relying on executive orders. His other failures had to do with personnel choices for many executive positions. There was an uncommon amount of turnover among cabinet positions and those that remained were often ineffective. It is in the area of judicial appointees that it was hoped for a long-lasting reversal of liberal policies. Now coming before the Supreme Court are major decisions about abortion, the Second Amendment, immigration, and the overreach of the administrative state with policies relating to the Covid crisis. The court has already shown significant cowardice on issues of election integrity and religious liberty. It is not saying too much to suggest coming Supreme Court decisions will determine whether history will judge the Trump Administration as a successful  Presidency or merely a spectacular reality show that failed to deliver a significant shift in the historical trend. The reliance on a particular organization, The Federalist Society, to vet judges, may prove to be his most consequential decision.

If we don’t have justices who are comfortable overturning outrageously unconstitutional abortion rulings, it will be proof of the conservative legal movement’s utter failure.

 

Less than a handful of years after their hard-won elevation to the Supreme Court, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are sending a chill down the spines of conservatives with a string of bad signals from their seats on the court.

In July, Kavanaugh and Barrett joined the court’s leftist majority in declining to hear Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington, a critical religious liberty case. They again sided with the court’s left in a similar decision to turn away a religious exemption challenge to Maine’s vaccine mandate — which Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas took pains to note was staggering in its hypocrisy.

“A State may not assume ‘the best of individuals engaged in their secular lives while assuming ‘the worst’ about the habits of religious persons,” the trio wrote.

Just this week, Barrett and Kavanaugh embraced a theory of judicial supremacy out of step with a more conservative tradition when they both appeared openly skeptical of the construction of the Texas abortion law, which bans the practice after six weeks of pregnancy.

All of this should make the guts of conservatives churn in the leadup to next month’s oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the biggest abortion case the court has heard in decades. I’ve written about the importance of this case before:

While abortion cases post-Roe have trickled up to the Supreme Court on rare occasions, none have presented the clear and fundamental question that Dobbs now brings: whether or not bans on pre-viability elective abortions violate the Constitution.

In ruling on this case, the Court will have the opportunity to overturn both Roe and Casey, which together form the architecture for a constitutional entitlement to abortion.

It is not an understatement to say this is the case pro-life conservatives have been waiting for. It’s why many in our movement willingly shed blood in the vicious fight for the confirmations of Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Gorsuch. The prospect of a majority conservative court was a key reason millions of Republicans turned out to vote for Donald Trump.

So the trepidation conservatives now feel about where Kavanaugh and Barrett may end up on Dobbs is both unexpected and unwelcome. There is a distinct possibility that Barrett, Kavanaugh, and possibly the George W. Bush-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts will find a way to hedge; to “both sides” their way into a narrow and distorted opinion in a case that, as Mississippi’s Attorney General Lynn Fitch has laid out, demands a clear imperative with regard to the dubious constitutional standing of Roe and Casey.

To be clear, with a 6-3 allegedly conservative court, anything less than a decision ringing with clarity on the dismissal of Roe and Casey should be viewed as a failure. Despite the goal-post-shifting going on in establishment Republican legal circles, there is no “long game” here. Although some will argue that any ruling that chips away at Casey is good enough, Roe is the case that created the constitutional entitlement. It is the architecture upon which the legal abortion structure is built. Both Roe and Casey must go.

As Notre Dame law professor Sherif Girgis argued recently, “Upholding the Mississippi law without overruling the court’s previous abortion cases would lack support in any legal source, send even more abortion cases to the court and curb the justices’ ability to overrule Roe down the road.”

We have played the long game for the last 50 years. And we have finally arrived at the decision point, with a case that demands a clear accounting of rulings that Justice Thomas has criticized as “creat[ing] the right to abortion out of whole cloth.” Here to litigate it is a Supreme Court that doesn’t again require “just one more justice,” but is finally positioned to address the question.

If the outcome of Dobbs is indeed a hedge that splits the court’s conservatives — or, to put it more bluntly, if the conservative legal movement has failed to produce Supreme Court justices who are comfortable overturning two outrageously constitutionally defective rulings on abortion — we will be left to justifiably wonder what the whole project has been for.

The Judges Are Our Politicians Now

That we are even in the position to openly speculate where Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Roberts might end up on such a foundational conservative legal question should itself prompt reflection, not only about the expanded role the court now plays in our self-government but also about how we select our judicial masters.

The court has become an extension of our politics, and that is just as much a choice from Republicans as it has been from Democrats. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The American founders envisioned a judiciary that was largely subject to a muscular legislature, not the branch that ruled it. But this inversion is what the modern Congress has come to prefer.

The profound questions of our social order — immigration policy, questions of human dignity and the sanctity of life, of marriage, religious liberty, and civil rights — are no longer determined by the legislature, but by unelected and thus unaccountable jurists.

As a case study in congressional preference for judicial decisionmaking, view the collective shrug that resounded from Republicans in Congress when Gorsuch tossed sex and gender identity into the 1965 Civil Rights Act in 2020. Or consider the lack of comprehensive effort among congressional Republicans to challenge President Joe Biden’s sweeping and unprecedented vaccine mandate, now that the Supreme Court has repeatedly sidestepped it.

Also consider the limp non-response from congressional Republicans to the court upholding President Obama’s clear abuse of rulemaking in creating the illegal amnesty program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Add the one pro-life vote Republican majorities allow each year in lieu of an energized campaign to persuade, expose, defund, and actively legislate on one of their key platform issues.

Republicans in the Senate, in particular, will huff about not having 60 votes as a reason none of these policies would be possible. But such a position ignores the actual work of lawmaking: using a majority to vote relentlessly on priority issues, messaging constantly toward a specific policy end, and creating a voting record unfavorable to the opposition.

The last legislative pro-life victory, the ban on partial-birth abortion in 2003, invoked nearly all of these methods. Today, it’s a rarity for the Senate, regardless of party control, to show up for work more than 2.5 days a week.

A New System of Judicial Vetting

In 2018, this largely implicit preference to outsource policy-making to the courts became explicit when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to forgo using the Senate GOP majority to try and legislate, but rather to confirm as many judges as possible.

There were pros and cons to this choice, but the clear upshot of asking judges to make every consequential determination about how the country will be ruled is that judges become, effectively, our politicians — unelected politicians with lifetime appointments, but politicians nonetheless. Yet on the right, we do not vet them as such. Not even close.

I’ve addressed the contradictory and self-defeating aspects of this position before:

…expecting judges to rule on matters of policy and politics while simultaneously refusing to vet them for their beliefs in those matters is both contradictory and unsustainable. A party cannot on one hand expect judges to issue the correct policy decrees while on the other hand studiously fail to take any steps to guarantee that outcome.

While the left has not been shy about their practice of nominating stone-cold activists, the right has always held to the norm that judges should be interpreters of the text in front of them rather than ideologues who use the bench to invent new values-driven legal theories that impose their own views on the country.

This is, of course, the prudent and correct standard of judging and of judicial interpretation, writ large. But it fails to account for the intentional shift of expectations that have taken place from the “judge-as-textualist-interpreter” to our current conception of the “judge-as-legislator.” In many ways, the right’s ideological position of applying the normative standard of restrained judicial vetting seems out of step with the current post-normative reality of how the country is actually ruled.

The left accounted for this shift long ago, and it is why they never suffer a surprise decision from their nominees. They already know exactly where their judges stand on every issue, minuscule to monumental. But since the right is now a regular and active participant in placing the burden of self-government onto the judiciary, it would seem as though we should do more to ensure that the people we place in those positions will actually uphold our interests.

For starters, this should mean that the imprimatur of the Federalist Society requires more questions, not less. We should applaud, not condemn, Republican senators who do their jobs and vigorously question the nominees of both the right and the left, and who hold exacting standards for nominees on constitutional questions. Also, the conservative movement as a whole, not just a select few, should be welcome to offer input into the selection process for nominations to key judicial positions.

If Congress is going to continue passing off the questions of self-government to the court — that is, if they are going to force judges into making choices that are inherently political — then perhaps the cleanest response is to simply put the politicians on the court.

Among Republicans in the Senate, there are three former Supreme Court clerks: Sens. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley. If another vacancy presents itself under a Republican administration, perhaps it’s time we skip the backroom Federalist Society coronation of some pre-selected circuit court judge and simply elevate a senator to the Supreme Court.

At least senators have a record of votes we can examine. Unlike Kavanaugh, Barrett, and even Gorsuch on transgender issues, there will be mercifully few surprises about where they actually stand. The conservative movement cannot afford bitter surprises, at least not when the Supreme Court has taken for itself, with the willing encouragement of the legislature, a dual role of interpreting the law as well as making it.

*****

This article was published on November 6, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Federalist.

Fossil Fuels Form The Basis Of Our Medical And Food Supply Chains

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Under Biden’s plan to rid America of fossil fuels, such a plan would eliminate the medical industry that is totally reliant on the products made from petroleum derivatives, and eliminate oil-based fertilizers to grow the crops that feed the 8 billion on planet earth. Surprisingly, Biden must be oblivious to the consequences of his plan as efforts to cease the use of oil could be the greatest threat to civilization, not climate change.

Biden supports the end of fracking, oil exploration, and oil importing which cuts off the supply chain of crude oil to refineries. Without any crude oil to manufacture, the elimination of the supply chain to the 131 operating refineries in the U.S. would eliminate that manufacturing sector.

Without refineries, there will be none of the oil derivatives that are manufactured from crude oil that are the basis of more than 6,000 products in our economy and lifestyles.

Without the supply chain of crude oil, not only is the refining industry history, but the domino effects are the destructive impacts on the medical, food supply, electronics, and communications industries as they are all totally dependent on the products made from oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil. Any grade school-educated kid can understand that breezes and sunshine, can only make weather-dependent intermittent electricity.

The medical industry is reliant on the products derived from the derivatives manufactured from oil that produce all the critical medical equipment like ultrasound systems, defibrillators, exhalation valves, inhalation valves, CT systems, X-ray, medicines, masks, gloves, soap and hand sanitizers for hospitals, and protective gowns, gloves and face shields gear for doctors and nurses.

Is Biden oblivious to the fact that all those medical products begin from crude oil, or as the Wall Street Journal states – Big Oil to the Coronavirus Rescue? Vaccines need refrigeration, and refrigeration need electricity, especially in the hospital sector where redundant generation capacity for continuous uninterruptable electricity is a mandate.

While Biden attempts to lower emissions at any cost, in favor of some weather-dependent electricity from breezes and sunshine that can only survive with massive subsidies, coal imports and exports continue to increase internationally to meet the electricity generation needs of developing countries as reflected in the Merrill Lynch Global Energy Weekly report.

At least 80 percent of humanity, or more than 6 billion in this world cannot subsidize themselves out of a paper bag as they are living on less than $10 a day. To reduce emissions in the developing countries that control most emissions, the wealthy countries would need to step up and subsidize electricity generation from breezes and sunshine, to replace more than 3,000 coal fired power plants in developing countries like China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Africa, and Vietnam with billions of people seeking affordable electricity.

The oil that reduced infant mortality, extended longevity to more than 80+ and allowed the world to populate to from 1 to 8 billion in less than 200 short years, is now required to provide the food, medical, communications, and transportation infrastructures to maintain and grow that population.

A key question for President Biden before America attends the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Conference in Glasgow, Scotland in November:

How dare pro-humanity individuals and governments support the banishment of fossil fuels, when their banishment would be the greatest threat to civilization resulting in billions dying from starvation, diseases, and weather-related deaths?

Getting off fossil fuels would reverse most of the progress humanity has made over the last few centuries. The inventions of the automobile, airplane, and the use of petroleum in the early 1900’s led us into the Industrial Revolution and victories in World Wars I and II. The healthier and wealthier countries of today now have more than 6,000 products that did not exist a few hundred years ago, all manufactured from fossil fuels, the same fossil fuels that Biden wants to eliminate.

Under Biden’s plan to rid American lifestyles and economies of fossil fuels, such a plan would ground the military, space program, and Air Force 1. It would also mothball the huge energy demands of airlines, cruise ships and merchant ships, as well as eliminate the medical industry, electronics industry, and the communications industry that are totally reliant on the 6,000 products made from petroleum derivatives.

The first use of oil-based fertilizers took place in 1946, and today our food supply is dependent on hydrocarbons. The world’s population of 8 billion souls depends on oil-based fertilizers to grow the crops and feed the animals that are consumed each year. Any cessation of hydrocarbons will immediately result in the annihilation of billions of souls, returning the globe to a 1950 population count of approximately 2.5 billion souls.

How can a pro-humanity President Biden support COVID injections to save thousands of lives, and simultaneously support ridding the world of fossil fuels that would be the greatest threat to civilization resulting in billions dying from starvation, diseases, and weather-related deaths?

*****

This article was published on October 19, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from CFACT, Committee for A Constructive Tomorrow.

More Radical Than Roe: House Abortion Bill Would Repeal Existing Laws, Prohibit Future Pro-Life Laws

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

In response to pro-life policy victories like the Texas Heartbeat Act and an upcoming Supreme Court case asking the justices to provide a constitutional course correction to America’s arbitrary and unworkable abortion jurisprudence, pro-abortion legislators in Congress are advancing a deceptively named piece of legislation called the Women’s Health Protection Act. The radical, far-reaching proposal would entrench unfettered access to abortion in federal law.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her congressional allies—as well as the media —have characterized the Women’s Health Protection Act as simply “codifying Roe v. Wade.”

That’s an egregious mischaracterization that understates just how radical the proposal actually is. The Act goes far beyond the already permissive regime permitted under America’s existing abortion jurisprudence.

If enacted, the Women’s Health Protection Act would endanger essentially all state-level abortion restrictions, existing state and federal conscience protection laws, and various provisions limiting taxpayer funding for abortions. Congress should reject this radical proposal.

More Radical Than Roe

The Women’s Health Protection Act would expressly prohibit existing laws that regulate abortion and the abortion industry. The bill bans informed consent requirements, reflection periods, and provisions that give women the opportunity to view an image of their unborn child or listen to the child’s heartbeat.

The proposed federal policy would also preempt policies like the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which currently protects women and their unborn children in more than a dozen states from inhumane late-term abortions performed after 20 weeks. The scientific evidence suggests that a baby can feel excruciating pain during an abortion procedure performed after 20 weeks.

Bill Ignores Pro-Life Policy Consensus

The Women’s Health Protection Act would imperil policies like the Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayer dollars from paying for elective abortion in federal programs like Medicaid. Over the past four decades, the Hyde Amendment has saved more than 2.4 million lives.

It would also jeopardize longstanding policies that protect conscience and religious freedom, ignoring America’s proud tradition of respecting individuals and entities’ right to not participate in abortion.

These pro-life policies enjoy broad support across the political spectrum. A majority of Americans oppose using taxpayer dollars to fund elective abortions, including 65% of independents and 31% of Democrats, according to a January Marist poll commissioned by the Catholic organization Knights of Columbus. Likewise, a majority of Americans support conscience rights for individuals and entities that object to abortion.

States have enacted more than 500 life-protecting policies in the last decade. Congress would do well to remember that such policies are in in place precisely because elected representatives did what their constituents asked them to do: protect unborn human life and women’s health and safety.

Congress Must Reject Pro-Abortion Extremism

Americans broadly support policies that the sweeping Women’s Health Protection Act would disallow. Rather than prohibit pro-life policies where they exist, Congress should pursue policies that protect innocent unborn human lives—including those not yet born—and society should support women who face challenging or unplanned pregnancies.

*****

This article was published on September 19, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

Supreme Court Refuses To Block Texas Heartbeat Law Which Virtually Bans Killing Babies

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Texas law that protects babies who have a detectable heartbeat from being aborted in the Lone Star State.

In a 5-4 decision, the highest court in the nation declined to block Texas’ newest abortion law despite protests from Planned Parenthood, other abortion activists, and even journalists.

Radical pro-abortion facilities and activists first brought an emergency petition to the Supreme Court with the hopes that the justices would at least temporarily block the law from going into effect on Sept. 1. The court passed on acting on the petition on Aug. 31, meaning the law, which gives private citizens the power to file civil suits against anyone who performs abortions after six weeks or assists a woman in obtaining an abortion, went into effect on Wednesday. Violators of the law could be forced to pay $10,000 to the plaintiff.

Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s three leftist justices, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, each wrote a dissent lamenting the final decision to oppose a block on the law.

“Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand,” Sotomayor wrote. “The Court’s failure to act rewards tactics designed to avoid judicial review and inflicts significant harm on the applicants and on women seeking abortions in Texas.”

In the majority opinion, the rest of the court argued that the request for a temporary stay did not meet the qualifications necessary to get judicial relief.

“The applicants … have raised serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law at issue. But their application also presents complex and novel antecedent procedural questions on which they have not carried their burden,” the opinion stated. “In reaching this conclusion, we stress that we do not purport to resolve definitively any jurisdictional or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit.”

*****

This article appeared on September 2, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Federalist.

Mississippi Abortion Law Gives Supreme Court Opening to Overturn Roe v. Wade

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

At least one case slated to be heard in the Supreme Court’s next term promises to be very controversial: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.

In Dobbs, the Supreme Court must answer a question it has never addressed; namely, whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional. And Mississippi has just submitted its first arguments to the court on why the answer should be “no.”

At issue is Mississippi’s 2018 Gestational Age Act, which prohibits abortions after 15 weeks with exceptions for a medical emergency or a severe fetal abnormality.

The state’s argument is straightforward. Contrary to the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, nothing in the Constitution’s text, structure, history, or tradition supports a constitutional right to abortion. As a result, Mississippi has just as much authority to legislate on abortion as other subjects, and the prohibition of abortion after 15 weeks ought to stand.

Here is how this case challenges Roe. In Roe, the Supreme Court established the “viability rule,” that a state may prohibit abortion only after a child can survive outside the womb. In 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey affirmed that this is Roe’s “essential holding,” adding that a state may not impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to have an abortion.

Even liberal constitutional scholars who support abortion rights have conceded that Roe has always been on shaky constitutional ground for many reasons. Its defects include choosing viability as the critical line without any analysis or justification. Until now, however, the court has never reexamined the viability rule on its merits.

According to the brief Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch filed with the Supreme Court, that rule is fundamentally unworkable. While often placed at approximately 24 weeks, viability is inherently subjective and depends on many variables. Medical advances have made stories like that of preemie Micah Pickering — born at 22 weeks and thriving today — possible in ways that the justices of 1973 could not have imagined.

By replacing Roe’s three-trimester, strict-scrutiny standard with a new “undue burden” standard, Casey may have appeared to modernize Roe, when in reality, it actually created just another subjective, unworkable standard that ignores important state interests rather than accounting for them. As Fitch points out, there “is no objective way to decide whether a burden is ‘undue’” and in case after case, the court has been deeply divided “not just over what result Casey requires … but also over what Casey even means.”

In Roe, the court emphasized the “detriment” prohibiting abortion would “impose upon the pregnant woman.” Mississippi’s brief shows how this has changed. From the rise of independent and flexible work opportunities, laws preventing pregnancy discrimination, sick and family-leave time, access to child care, accessible and affordable contraception, and “safe haven” laws, modern women can avoid the detriment more than ever. Indeed, as the state reminds the court, women have reached “the highest echelons of economic and social life independent of the right bestowed on them by seven men in Roe.”

Mississippi also reminds the court how the law protects unborn children, women, and the medical profession. By nine weeks, all of a baby’s physiological functions are present. By 10 to 12 weeks, a baby has developed neural circuitry to detect and respond to pain. By 12 weeks, a baby can sense stimuli from outside the womb. A pregnant woman’s risk of death from an abortion procedure at 16 to 20 weeks’ gestation is 35 times higher than at eight weeks. For each additional week of pregnancy, the mortality risk increases by 38%.

Abortions performed after 15 weeks’ gestation are gruesome procedures that demean the medical profession charged with doing no harm. These procedures put women at risk of pelvic infection, blood clots, hemorrhage, injuries to internal organs, depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems.

The United States is out of step with 75% of other nations prohibiting most abortions after 12 weeks. While some polls show that many Americans oppose abandoning Roe v. Wade, others show that more Americans think that abortion should be significantly restricted after the first trimester, suggesting that Americans misunderstand the breadth of the Supreme Court’s decision in that case.

Additionally, most Americans say that abortion should not be permitted in certain circumstances, such as sex selection or a Down syndrome diagnosis. In other words, most Americans don’t support the radically permissive abortion scheme that Roe and its progeny permit.

The Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence has distorted our Constitution, done nothing to settle the abortion debate in our country, and poisoned our laws, courts, and culture. The courts have articulated vague and unworkable standards that do not account for advances in science, public sentiment, and the status and independence of women.

Mississippi’s arguments are compelling. The Supreme Court should avail itself of this opportunity to make a long-overdue course correction on abortion.

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This article was published on August 10, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

Medical Professionals And School Districts Are Denying Girls Access To Mental Health Services

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Social media floods our culture with tales of celebrities’ personal struggles. “I suffer from binge-eating disorder, a disease in which I’m not only addicted to food, but I eat it in large quantities,” transgender activist Jazz Jennings shared in June. Singer Demi Lovato, who recently announced a non-binary identity, continues to battle a years-long struggle with bulimia. She wrote about her obsessive thoughts in May, “I still struggle. Daily. There are periods of time where I forget about my food struggles and other times it’s all I think about. Still.”

Unfortunately, Jazz and Demi aren’t alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that the isolation, heightened anxiety and school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in eating disorders among adolescents. Doctors acknowledge that social media, absence of activities, and loneliness exacerbated the growing number of disorders. Stephenie B. Wallace, M.D., observed, “we’re seeing a lot of young people who are facing all kinds of mental health disorders that are on the rise, as our young people have been in the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year, and eating disorders are included.”

Eating disorders and body dysmorphia are fueled by an obsessive preoccupation with body image and an overwhelming feeling of a lack of control. Similarly, the growing number of adolescents, predominantly girls, captivated by gender dysphoria experience anxiety and obsessive thoughts about their bodies. Their body image preoccupation manifests as obsessive ruminations about their gender.

A 2020 study, Gender Dysphoria, Eating Disorders and Body Image: An Overview, found on the National Institute for Health’s (NIH) National Library of Medicine, concluded that, “gender dysphoria and eating disorders are characterized by a serious discomfort to the body and the body suffers in both conditions.” The research found that, “rates of pathological eating behaviors and symptoms related to a disordered diet are high in patients with gender dysphoria.” The NIH website includes numerous additional studies documenting the link between gender dysphoria, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating.

During the eating disorder recovery process, parents are empowered by medical and mental health professionals to take control of their child’s eating routines. To help the child recover, parents are instructed to oversee how much the child eats and when. School counselors support this parental oversight by having the children, predominantly girls, eat lunch in the counseling office. The counselor emails the parent a daily food consumption report.

And yet, parents with daughters who have historically struggled with anxiety, body image, obsessive thoughts, and eating disorders are being told that any expression of gender dysphoria, commonly known as a transgender identity, must be affirmed and validated. Rather than partner with parents, doctors, mental health professionals, and public school staff ignore the child’s mental health anguish, and focus only on validating their gender confusion.

A growing number of detransitioners—people who have stopped affirming a transgender identity—are sharing how desperately they wish they had received help for their mental health issues. Helena Kerschner, who has detransitioned, explains:

“There’s a lot of comorbid mental health issues. There’s a lot of depression, anxiety, self-harm, OCD, eating disorders. I think that we should treat these young people the same way we would treat any other young person who’s struggling with mental health issues. We should be caring and loving to them. And we should get them help, and we [should] pay attention to the root causes of why they’re feeling the way that they’re feeling.”

In stark contrast to the partnership formed during an eating disorder, Virginia’s state-recommended transgender policies do not require school staff to notify a parent when a child requests affirmation of their gender identity. In situations “when their families are not affirming,” schools are encouraged to report concerns to Child Protective Services. By keeping the child’s gender dysphoria from parents and focusing on gender affirmation, rather than the mental health issues that may be fueling their feelings, schools are blocking the child’s access to vital mental health services.

An alarming number of adolescents, especially girls, are emerging from the pandemic unhappy and unhealthy, with mental health issues that could quickly metastasize into dangerous eating disorders and obsessive gender dysphoria. With activities still restricted due to COVID concerns, girls are not getting the exercise, skill acquisition, and social interaction vital for healthy development. Even before the pandemic, their rates of depression and anxiety had spiked due to social media and the isolating impact of a life spent predominantly on screens.

These vulnerable girls deserve society’s full attention, and the recognition that the mental health issues related to their eating disorders and gender dysphoria must be diagnosed and treated. Doctors, mental health providers, and schools must partner with parents to help these vulnerable girls get stronger and overcome the deceit of their obsessive thoughts—not make them a permanent fixture in their lives.

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This article was published on July 20, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from Independent Women’s Forum.