The 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is clear – forced adherence to any religious edict is not allowed, but no sane human being expects either religious fanatics or Republicans to adhere to the Constitution. This week, the religious fanatics on the Supreme Court demonstrated in grand fashion they do not adhere to the Constitution or judicial legal precedent.
The Texas law the religious advocates on the High Court let stand bans all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which is allegedly around six weeks before many women even know they are pregnant.
However, it is curious that at around six weeks it appears to be impossible to detect a “fetal” heartbeat. Because according to medical science, at six weeks there is no fetus. There may be an embryo, but a fetus begins after about the 8th week following the formation of a single-celled zygote – not the sixth.
It is noteworthy to mention that this restrictive religious law has no societal value whatsoever. It is religious in nature to serve the whims of religious control freaks and it is founded on a 1968 Roman Catholic religious edict and Papal-fabricated construct. A construct, by the way, with no foundation whatsoever in the evangelical’s so-called “Holy Bible.”
it is noteworthy to mention that the religious right and Roman Catholic god’s immutable words say there is “no living being” until the fetus exits the womb and breathes the “breath of life” under its own power.
The Texas religious law is an abomination because it grants any religious fanaticthe state-sanctioned vigilante authority to sue anyone suspected of helping a woman obtain an abortion; whether it is a doctor, nurse, family member, or Uber driver who drove the woman to the clinic. And to make it profitable for the faithful, the law awards at least $10,000 in bounty to the vigilantes who are successful in civil court.
It is also an atrocity that the $10,000 bounty is not paid by the state or the religious fanatics abridging a woman’s personal medical right; it is paid by whoever the religious vigilante claims is “suspected” of helping a woman obtain a constitutionally protected and legal medical procedure.
The creeps in Texas spent no small amount of time and effort making the law extremely difficult to challenge; primarily because it is not clear who can be sued since it authorizes private religious vigilantes to enforce it and collect at least $10,000 in bounties.
Chief Justice John Roberts dissented from the religious majority’s decision writing:
“The [Texas] legislature has imposed a prohibition on abortions after roughly six weeks, and then essentially delegated enforcement of that prohibition to the populace at large. The desired consequence appears to be to insulate the State from responsibility for implementing and enforcing the regulatory regime,
I would grant preliminary relief to preserve the status quo ante—before the law went into effect—so that the courts may consider whether a state can avoid responsibility for its laws in such a manner,
The consequences of approving the state action, both in this particular case and as a model for action in other areas, counsel at least preliminary judicial consideration before the program devised by the State takes effect.
We are also asked to do so without ordinary merits briefing and without oral argument. These questions are particularly difficult.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote:
“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.
Because the Court’s failure to act rewards tactics designed to avoid judicial review and inflicts significant harm on the applicants and on women in Texas, I dissent. [The] law is clearly unconstitutional under existing precedents.
In effect, the Texas Legislature has deputized the State’s citizens as bounty hunters, offering them cash prizes for civilly prosecuting their neighbors’ medical procedures.
Today, the Court finally tells the Nation that it declined to act because, in short, the State’s gambit worked. … It cannot be the case that a State can evade federal judicial scrutiny by outsourcing the enforcement of unconstitutional laws to its citizenry.”
Of course these dissenting arguments are valid and the faithful on the Court know that is the case. However, regarding the constitutionality of the atrocious law, the aspect the dissenters are not mentioning is that it is, in effect, an establishment of religion; and a violation of the 14th Amendment.
The legislation serves no useful purpose. All it accomplishes is authorizing religious fanatics state power to punish and profit off of their long dreamed of lust to force compliance to their religious beliefs on the rest of the population. And it interferes with what Republicans claim is “individual liberty” to make their own medical decisions.
Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican Senator and dyed-in-the-wool pro-life advocate stated less than a month ago that:
“in America we get people the freedom to make decisions about their own health, even if we don’t approve of the decisions. I believe in individual freedom. I believe in individual responsibility. I think you ought to have the choice to make your own medical decisions with your doctor. “
Other Republican politicians have uttered the same sentiment that medical decisions are strictly personal – except where women are concerned; and that is where the legislation violates the 14th Amendment. It plainly states that
“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The Texas religious law does, in fact, deprive women of their liberty and privilege to make their own medical decisions, and it deprives medical professionals of their property by forcing them to pay religious vigilantes a bounty for suing them in civil court. Plus, it denies women the same equal protection of the laws that it grants men as a matter of course.
No doubt there will be a major fight over this religious Texas law. What seems almost certain is that the religious fanatics on the High Court allowed it to stand to set a precedent for other Republican states to follow granting that there is a clever way to restrict a woman’s right to choose without judicial review.
It is time for the clever legal maneuvers to stop and for advocates for women’s rights to target the source of these barbaric control measures – religion as defined by the extremist and fanatical religious right.
As noted at the top of this piece, the U.S. Constitution forbids forced adherence to any religion. There isn’t a soul in America who doesn’t know that this Texas law is founded and driven by religious fanatics and that it serves no societal good. What it does do is deprive women of their basic human right to control their own bodies, and creates a class of religious vigilantes that now enjoy the full support of Texas Republicans, evangelical extremists, and now the Supreme Court.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.