468 Comments

It seems important to know that an embryo is not a fetus. An embryo exists from the time of fertilization to 11th week of pregnancy (which is the 9th week after fertilization). At that point, it is defined as a fetus. What these judges have decided to call a child is not even a fetus, it is an embryo.

(And a fetus is not a child until it can survive independently of the womb.) The absurdity of this decision is gobsmacking.

Expand full comment

I suspect at some point in the not too distant future, embryos will count in the census to justify more legislature representation!

Expand full comment

Do you remember when Mitt Romney made the famous statement that corporations were "people?"

Here we are again.

Question - if these embryos are "people," will Social Security numbers have to be issued? May the "parents" deduct them on their taxes? I know I'm absurd but so is this ruling brought by people, in the name of Christianity. Justices who, Jesus would have tossed out of the temple, the same way he did the money changers.

Expand full comment

And until SCOTUS did way with Roe v Wade, Citizens United was the worst decision the Court ever made.

Expand full comment

Well, there are a couple of others. Dred Scott and Korematsu come to mind.

Expand full comment

As well as letting people carry guns all over the place.

Expand full comment

Yep, embryos must live but not children in school, people in places of worship, night clubs, watching parades, women in relationships, nor any other human endeavor.

Expand full comment

Hey! Something ALL Americans (men and women) can agree on, right?! Maybe with this "Right" it's time for women to get a backbone.

Expand full comment

You must be female. ONLY females can get this. Our earth's patriarchal-dominate existence will ALWAYS win... because the bible says ..... God is a male. Period. There is one passage that seems to apply -- Genesis 2.7. but I'm sure a male could/has rewritten this passage to their benefit .... no?

Expand full comment

For these "life begins at conception" people, how do they know when conception happens? Lots of people don't even know they're pregnant at 6 weeks. In IVF, it's possible to tell a sperm and egg have united, not as easy in a human body. Sometimes 3 embryos are implanted in a uterus, but only one develops into a fetus? What happens in that situation? Is an embryo frozen for 10 years still viable? Even frozen food has an expiration date. The Talabama Supreme Court has stepped into a place where angels fear to tread.

Expand full comment

Sperm frozen for a decade or more is supposedly still viable, so I would think a fertilized egg would be, too.

Expand full comment

And just would the law be if an IVF embryo is implanted then spontaneously aborts as I have read happens? Or, as you write, several embryos are implanted but only one survives being implanted? Would the woman be charged with having an illegal abortion?

My mother told me that she had had a spontaneous abortion when she didn't know she was pregnant until the fetus dropped into the toilet (first pregnancy, age 22).

Expand full comment

You must be female! No Good 'ol boy understands or cares! THAT is what Trump and the GOP are!

Expand full comment

Donna - I'm not sure who your comment is directed to, perhaps me. I agree with you about the so-called Good Old Boys, though that category doesn't include all men. There are many men, I'd like to think most men, including husbands who want children as much as their wives do, who do and will care.

Expand full comment

I don't think you are absurd at all. What you say follows from the holding. Since it isn't a FEDERAL holding, probably not a good idea to claim Jr. in Waiting as a deduction on your Federal Returns. But state returns---why not?

Expand full comment

Georgia allows a $3,000 dependent person income tax deduction for any unborn fetus with a detectable heartbeat. I kid you not. See https://dor.georgia.gov/press-releases/2022-08-01/guidance-related-house-bill-481-living-infants-and-fairness-equality-life.

Expand full comment

No detectable heartbeats in a blastocyst, the multicellular stage implanted in a woman’s womb. No heart actually. Not unlike those judges and legislators.

Expand full comment

Worth reading the FAQ's in the coverage of this bill. Absurdity is not considering the fallout and long-term consequences of ideology rapidly, thoughtlessly, heartlessly, ruthlessly becoming law across the land.

Expand full comment

I read the FAQ’s. Very interesting - no documentation of the pregnancy is required. Unless audited! Then you better have your medical records fully documented. The potential for an absolute invasion of your privacy is in the hands of the Georgia Republicans. No worries!

Expand full comment

Party of open carry gun policies, refusal to expand Medicaid, book banning…a

Expand full comment

Is Georgia one of the states that, when given $ for Welfare and children’s meal’s don’t distribute it, they keep for their own “causes”?? Disgusting

Expand full comment
founding

Carol-Ann - Your post is WONDERFUL. Thank You !!

Expand full comment

I came here to say the exact same thing! Thank you for expressing it so well!

Expand full comment

Yes. And, we can take out loans in their names using their identification as frozen people who are waiting to be born if some willing women puts them in their womb. Or, are we going to put money into petrie dish development. All of this state control of reproduction reminds me of Hitlers Lebensborn program.

Expand full comment

Amazing post. Thank you!

Expand full comment

You must be female. ONLY females can get this. Our earth's patriarchal-dominate existence will ALWAYS win... because the bible says ..... God is a male. Period. There is one passage that seems to apply -- Genesis 2.7. but I'm sure a male could/has rewritten this passage to their benefit .... no?

Expand full comment

Ok if these embryos are children, then they can be tax deductions, no? For every year they’re “alive”, all say, 9 of them count. If more than one harvesting is performed, could be 18 or 27. Allll these little tax deductions…

Expand full comment

And, in addition to claiming them as a tax deduction, can I carry those embryos in a cooler in my car, so I can drive in the commuter lane to & from work?

Expand full comment

You guys are thinking too small. Get yourself 750,000 of those embryos in an annex on your home. Your home is now has enough people to be its own congressional district and you are the only registered voter in the district. You get your own congressman.

Expand full comment

🤣🤣🤣

Expand full comment

Have to admit, I stole this idea from my son.

Expand full comment

And let’s not forget that child support must be paid and medical insurance provided and/or contributions to insurance be required.

Expand full comment

OMG, don't hold your breath. These ninnies would change their tune in a, pardon the expression, heartbeat.

Expand full comment

Are women due child support for their embryos?

Expand full comment

The white christian zealots don’t see the need for outside child care to exist. The zealots want the woman at home having babies and tending her husband and family needs. No need for child care, work, college, activities, credit card, voting…

Expand full comment

Change your address to Afghanistan!

Expand full comment

They can't even get it for their actual children, which is the real question. Can a DNA paternity test be done on a microscopic blob?

Expand full comment

It seems that the original cases were filed so that the people could get money the state offers for loss of life through fetal or embryo loss. Not sure what the deal is on that. So, these definitions being monetized just adds to the craziness. Unfortunately the crazies have planned and organized and are taking over. Thus we have things in common with the people's in authoritarian nations.

Expand full comment

I don't disagree, but most assuredly only " white" embryos!!

Expand full comment

Only the Republican embryos can vote, though.

Expand full comment

Don’t give them any more crazy ideas. They’ll jump on it!

Expand full comment

Or as tax deductions.

Expand full comment

I totally agree with you of course - that the decision is gobsmacking - but I totally disagree that there is a useful, legal, or moral distinction between an embryo and a fetus. This is not for grumpy old male judges to decide, and it is not a distinction that is valid for women who wish to control their reproduction.

Women must have the total and unfettered right to decide when to have an abortion - whether one week, 20 weeks or 39 weeks ... full stop.

Expand full comment

Only clarifying the language, not implying anything about limits to abortion.

Expand full comment

Noorillah, I wish there was a way to get your educated words through to those who are stripping this country of our rights, but it can't be done. The far right men making these terrible decisions (and women, too) are drunk with power. They are uneducated, cruel, and will never listen to facts...that has been clear for the past 7-8 years. Our only recourse is to vote them out, to appoint educated individuals to judgeships, and ensure that the word god has no place in our government. Before it's too late.

Expand full comment

In Alabama, it's good luck with voting out our radical low information legislators. We do not have a viable state Democratic party to serve as a counterbalance; they're too busy wrangling and arguing among themselves over who's gonna hold the gavel during what passes for meetings. Add to that, Alabama's republican legislators do not want to hear from the experts, let alone the constituents that do not share their extreme, ill informed opinions. Too, in Alabama judges like those on the ALSC are elected, not appointed. Our system of electing judges is rotten to the core and driven by a strict political agenda. It's already too late IMHO but I hope I'm wrong.

Expand full comment

I’m so sorry! Just VERY glad I live in a Democratic state. Hang in there John.

Expand full comment

Thanks! I'm doing my best but it ain't easy being a blue dingy in and deep red roiling sea.

Expand full comment
Feb 23·edited Feb 23

Some are educated but it never took. Disantis received regular instruction but he, like the maga judges and 🤡💩🎃, live in their own bloviated world without ethics, morals and common sense. I think of their world as a golden submarine where every one of them has all they need. Maybe that’s not what the Beatles intended but it works for me. Magnuts ignore the real world.

Expand full comment

What worries me more are the ultra right wing wealthy guys who are putting these pols into office (yes DJT, and SCOTUS, too). They deliberately choose low-intelligence automatons who do their bidding for a price. They are neo-Nazis and/or Christian Nationalists.

Expand full comment

Gilead 10

Former American women 0

Expand full comment

To me, this just shows the lack of education on the part of these people. They don't even know WHAT they don't know. I wonder if any of the judges reviewed the biology of reproduction prior to making this ruling.

Expand full comment
Feb 23·edited Feb 23

And don't you just wish they would legislate male reproductive responsibility first?

Expand full comment

No, they already know it all (not!).

Expand full comment

And the notion that life begins at fertilization is inherently absurd. The sperm and ovum are living cells before they meet. If they weren’t alive, they couldn’t conjoin. Life is a continuous process that began with something like algae and evolved into all the forms that have ever existed. But these guys don’t believe in evolution. Consequently, by proclaiming an absurd proposition as given truth, they have opened a huge can of worms instead of foreclosing the argument. Can’t even.

Expand full comment

Wonderful observation, thank you. This comes from the ability and inclination to observe, reflect and learn from what is real. One might expect (and demand) that judges on any state supreme court could, and would, do likewise.

Expand full comment

Are the worms alive or dead?

Expand full comment

Oh, I believe the worms are very much alive.

Expand full comment

Until a fetus can survive outside the womb it isn't entitled to anything. Following to its illogical collision, the supposition otherwise would require us to convert the entire military budget to pre-term infants.

Of course, once it's there, we don't really give a damn.

Expand full comment

...try telling that to a low information Alabama legislator. They reject science in favor of their radical religious convictions.

Expand full comment

Indeed...well said. 💯🎯 Thank you for this clarification.

Expand full comment

Make them all start paying child support for blastocysts, and they'll reverse this ruling in a New York second.

Expand full comment

If the criteria is embryonic viability, is there a difference between a “viable” implanted embryo and “viable” fetus? What is “viability” if not the ability to survive outside womb? Test tube-not viable, implanted embryo- not viable, pre 23 week fetus- viable? Should be interesting to see republican pretzel logic on this one.

Expand full comment

I don't think they are concerned with viability, and i didn't mean to imply that they were. Viability is about biology, which is in the realm of reality, and these guys seem to have a very tenuous relationship with reality, if at all. Their concern is CONTROL, and they are using their delusional, toxic theology to assert this control, in blatant violation of the First Amendment. Every Constitutional fire alarm across the nation should be wildly clanging right now...

Expand full comment

I don't disagree. My perspective has more to do with the legislative hole they are in. How to rationalize when the embryo is "a child". When it's in the uterus therefore its viable as opposed to test tube where it's not? if viability is the condition then it seems to me they've lost their entire argument. Embryo not viable in test tube, not viable in uterus, not viable as fetus till mol 23 wks. Of course, hypocrisy never stops these characters. The fact that they WANT and NEED to control others is pathological. They do not understand a women's choice its none of their GD damn business. My alarms have been clanging for 8 years!

Expand full comment

You must be female. ONLY females can get this. Our earth's patriarchal-dominate existence will ALWAYS win... because the bible says ..... God is a male. Period. There is one passage that seems to apply -- Genesis 2.7. but I'm sure a male could/has rewritten this passage to their benefit .... no?

Expand full comment

And if I was a betting woman, I'd bet a big pile that these same legislators spirit their daughters out of the state if their unmarried daughters wind up pregnant, especially if the daddy is not a white man.

Expand full comment

Hell if the daddy is not a white man, some of these goons would see that their daughter had some kind of accident or miscarriage. Tom Cotton seems the sort, for one.

Expand full comment

Tom Cotton should have been fragged over in Iraq.

Expand full comment

👍👍 Cotton Is a nasty piece of work.

Expand full comment

This touches a nerve with you.

He and Gooberville

Expand full comment

I have a subterranean pain threshold for morons.

Expand full comment

Actually they get to show they are not "racist"...I live here. They turn everything into a talking point for themselves.

Expand full comment

OF COURSE THEY DO.

Expand full comment

That's an interesting point, any of these who try to pull the bait and switch from "let the states decide" to a nationwide ban need to understand the potential cost to their bank account to find a doc willing to risk their license in that case, even their "concierge docs".

Expand full comment

I resisted this idea for a long time, but we must expand the Supreme Court. Of course this must be done under a Democratic president and with a Democratic Senate. I dearly hope we will all vote Blue in November.

Expand full comment

It took me a while too but there's reasons aplenty for it.

And term limits to serve asSCJ as well they can rotate back down to the appellate system 18 years

Expand full comment

Term limits has to be done!! 💙💙💙💙

Expand full comment

Honestly, age limits too, and require cognitive testing every 2 years after 75. Do that for Congress and POTUS/VP. Pass law requiring pres candidates to submit 10 years of tax returns first, though.

Expand full comment

I have always thought we should expand to the number of districts which is 12.. Fair and simple and it gets us 3 more seats.

Expand full comment

Also Puerto Rico and DC should be states.

Expand full comment

13 is my favorite number.

Expand full comment

🗳️🗳️🗳️🗳️🗳️💙💙💙💙💙

Expand full comment

I am unsure of the process, can it be done while Biden is in office or does it take eons for something of this caliber.

Expand full comment

Congress.

Expand full comment

Don't resist. Give in. It will feel good. ⚖️

Expand full comment

These ludicrous buffoons need to be stopped—as if women were cattle to be impregnated and forced to give birth because their God says so (and I don’t know where it is said). Is this a patriarchal backlash against women who seem to be “threatening” the boys’ club mentality?

Expand full comment

They’ve never forgiven Hilary Clinton for having a brain.

Expand full comment
Feb 23·edited Feb 23

I heard Little Tommy T. on TV saying we need a lot more babies. Why? So they can grow up to become Government workers or --- heaven forbid (being sarcastic) --- soldiers? So he can make sure they all go broke because he doesn't believe in raises, except for those in the House?

Expand full comment

And to think that this cretin, this semi-literate hominid replaced a decent and thoughtful Democrat, Doug Jones...I hope that those people in this benighted state - with respect, Joyce - actually see and feel the consequences of their vote.

Expand full comment

Wrath was invented by a woman.

Expand full comment

. . . . . because of men like him!

Expand full comment

They have no idea what is coming.

Expand full comment

I hope Alabamans come out in protest too large to ignore.

Expand full comment

SO DO I. 🗳️💙💙

Expand full comment

So do I!

Expand full comment

Not "gonna" lie... Tuberville's comments that "we need more kids", creeped me the heck out! He said it at least twice. Seeing the daily posts on Twitter (now "x") about pastors, youth pastors, police officers, coaches, educators, camp counselors etc who are being arrested each day for possessing child porn or worse - for the rape of a child accompanied by their social media posts about their loyalty to trump, is heartbreaking. They aren't drag queens as DeSantis would have you believe. They aren't gay men. They are the authority figures who place themselves into organizations where children are. And far too many of them (based on their social media history) are not Democrats. So to hear an empty suit like Tuberville emphasize that "we need more kids" makes me ask the question why? You won't give them free lunches, you'll ban their books, you'll decide what they'll be taught in school, you'll legalize them going to work at age 14 in Arkansas more than 8 hours/day, 6 days/week and, as of yesterday (I can't remember which state it is), you'll also decide the length and style of their hair and more. "We need more kids". Because cruelty is the point.

Expand full comment

I keep thinking what ever happened to ZPG? (Zero Population Growth) The mantra when I was growing up and a few smart and educated people recognized the huge negative impact of the exploding human population on Gaia - the Earth’s ecosystem. Now we have even more evidence that human activity has put our planet into serious trouble. What we don’t need is even more people.

Expand full comment

Marian, "What we don’t need is even more people." I was a member of ZPG in NYC in my 20's as it made enormous sense to me, and still does. I lost a few friends who felt it was directed at them (it was not) when they were getting married and having babies.

Expand full comment

Republicans always need there to be more kids because they're not interested in dating anyone of legal age.

Expand full comment

I know there have to be some good Repubs somewhere but, when I read about charges of sexual assault, rape, incest and porn it is overwhelmingly white Republicans who are the perps. What is it that makes them so obsessed with sex and cruelty? What were their upbringing, parents, churches, schools like that made them this way and of course they scream about the Dems lack of morality and family values!

Expand full comment

I wasn't on social media much but became active on Twitter in 2018 before the 2020 election as I was actively working to get Democrats elected. Candidly, that's the first place where, now after years of engagement, I learned how rampant child abuse in our society and our country is. As a (now former) Catholic, I was familiar with it in the church, but had no clue how far reaching and extensive it is. If you are on "x" (formerly Twitter and yes, I still am because I just don't have the time to be on other apps), there's an activist @antifaoperative or Beks who has been tracking arrests of these pedophiles. It's gone from her posting weekly to daily and recently she said it's almost becoming hourly because of the number and permeation of the abuse. She always attaches the links if you choose to read the articles behind the arrests or the sentencing. And you are 100% correct, Sally; they are overwhelmingly white Republicans, some even current and former elected officials. The travesty for me as well is that I had to learn about it on social media. How many people are like me previously and have no clue? 💔

Expand full comment

OMG, Ema, I knew it was rampant in current and former lawmakers among others from the reading I do but this is heartbreaking. I can’t bear to imagine the agony of those children. I don’t like social media and am only on FB with my friends, not public, and even that takes up valuable time. I am working with Third Act, The Civics Center and other groups. Thank you for your response which does not make me happy but I applaud the person who has taken on this terrible list and sources so we know who they are. The more of them who are arrested the better!

Expand full comment

Here's a list of links from atAdvocacy News 2/23/24. They're not live because copied/pasted from an email but you get the gist here. All articles are dated between Feb. 20-22, 2024. The Bobby Leonard about shorts is a video on Xitter.

"Really starting to see a pattern here but not any drag queens

---Kansas church camp assistant director charged with indecency with a child

---Former youth pastor charged with molesting fourth teen boy in Orange County, California

----More victims sought as pastor charged with child sexual assault in Riverside County, California

----North Carolina Pastor Bobby Leonard tells congregation that he'd free any man who raped a woman wearing shorts because "a man's a man"

----Jasper County jury convicts former youth group leader of child rape"

Expand full comment

Mostly a combination of sexual repression - willingly or otherwise - and lack of education. Oh and no women actually want to date conservative men unless they have deep seated emotional issues of their own.

Expand full comment

It just occurred to me that there IS a reason why the Trumpublicans don't want sex education taught in schools anymore. Their way of thinking is that the LESS kids understand about what we used to call "the birds and the bees," the better chance some may become teenage parents, with no way to stop that from happening.

Sorry for being so gross, but I cannot un-see or un-hear those comments made by Little Tommy.

Expand full comment

Sadly.... I agree. They can't "control", manipulate or gaslight an adult partner. BTW, many of those arrested are married with their own children.

Expand full comment

🤣🤣

Expand full comment

(This is such a serious issue, but I admit that I absolutely LOVED your comment!)

Expand full comment

Ema, excellent comments. What you've said about Tommy never even occurred to me. Now I'm ALSO creeped out by him. I don't go on "X" anymore because of a hacking issue, so I'm glad that you mentioned this. You're right about authority figures. Seems to me that as each day goes by, one more authority figure "likes children" more and more (if you get my drift),

Expand full comment

Subjugation: Decades to change in the 20th Century. Two decades to regress in the 21st Century. Is this truly by the people when left in the laps of appointed judges?

Expand full comment

Tubrville proves that mulltiple generations of hillbilly incest means the brain is always the first to go.

Expand full comment

Tuberville proves you can't fix stupid.

Expand full comment

Well - a football coach is no more "equipped" to be an elected official than - say a celebrity tv "star"! They both prove that every time they open their pie-holes.

Expand full comment

Smile emoji.

Expand full comment

That - and footballs to the head

Expand full comment

🤣

Expand full comment

No. It's Tuberville, he's still back in the antebellum south. He believes in low wage workers to fill all those jobs that the better classes won't do. Of course, only the better classes can afford this procedure, so he is doubly off base.

Expand full comment

He's been off base for a long time. Wish his constituents would stop voting for him. Can you imagine being married to such a male chauvinist?

Expand full comment

Nightmares aren't part of my scheme.

Expand full comment

It’s be a very short marriage

Expand full comment

I just wouldn't show up for the wedding. Humiliate him in front of everyone in the churcch,

Expand full comment

But not if they’re immigrants.

Expand full comment

Actually, one half of an embryo is.....I'm being facetious, but the sperm did have to leave "home."

Expand full comment

Worse, he's a senator. But from Alabama. Sorry Joyce, I sometimes think you're the only evidence of intelligent life there.

Expand full comment

More white children is what he means. White children to be raised in good *Christian* families to embrace the Christian nationalist government they want.

Expand full comment

He's obsessed (or possessed) with this, and we know he's serious.

Expand full comment

It's for your own good. Now, where's my dinner?

Expand full comment

And why aren't you barefoot?

Expand full comment

So you can’t run away.

Expand full comment

I suspect you are correct! Fear makes men do the irrational.

Expand full comment

Especially when they’re irrational to begin with.

Expand full comment

Amen!

Expand full comment

I thought e were out of the Middle Ages.

Expand full comment

It really seems that medical progress is only allowed to benefit men in GOPland now. Amid all the creepy Heritage talk about the evils of "recreational sex" (!) where is any discussion of banning Viagra? Something's wrong with this picture.

Expand full comment

Yep

Expand full comment

Thank you Joyce. "Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion," [emphasis, mine] These are the first words of the first Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Per Article VI, section 2, "The Constitution and the laws of the United States.....shall be the supreme law of the land; and Judges in EVERY State shall be bound thereby" [again emphasis is mine] The Constitution nowhere says except for Alabama, or except for the extremely devout to their personal religion.. The second phrase of the first Amendment: "or prohibiting the free expression thereof" does not extinguish the first phrase. YOU MAY NOT ESTABLISH YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AS THE LAW OF THE LAND. If I were a citizen of Alabama I would be picketing that Supreme Court, emailing each justice every day with the threat of impeachment if they do not defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States as per their oath of office. Our founding fathers were adamant that we not face the kind of religious persecution exhibited in the European countries from which they or their previous generations had fled. Yes, some of those people did have religion. but just as many did not. Like me they respected a person's right to their own religious beliefs, but they did not extend that right to enforcing those beliefs on others. It's past time for lessoning this conduct to all States and all Legislators ad members of the Judiciary.

Expand full comment

Geez, I learned this as a young kid sitting around the dinner table having discussions with my parents during meals. We always talked about civil rights, politics, and what was going on in the world and I knew about this stuff before we ever got to it in school. I can't believe our government representatives just ignore this!! :(

Expand full comment

Note that this isn't Congress or a Legislature establishing a religious point of view. It's the judiciary. How does the First Amendment fit in, I wonder. How will the Extreme's view it?

Expand full comment

The Constitution IS the supreme law of the land. "and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby" The Constitution in Article 3 assigns the Supreme Court the judicial law of the land UNDER THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND. All Justices at any level of the judiciary are subject to impeachment if they do not uphold and defend the Constitution. It is up to us, their constituents, to see to it that all elected officials obey the Constitution as it was written, not as they choose to invoke their particular beliefs (feelings not facts) upon the Constitution.

Expand full comment

(Note I am being devil's advocate in my question and argument here)

I agree with all that, but it doesn't really answer the question. If the decision in question isn't about the constitutionality of a law passed by Congress or Legislature, facially the decision that goes on and on about religion isn't unconstitutional ITSELF. Because the legislature didn't include any religious test.

I suspect one could--and probably will--argue that the interpretation MAKES the law unconstitutional (on its own it's just an ordinary tort law)--there are a bunch of cases against laws passed after Dobbs that make that claim, because they rest on a definition adhered to by one part of one religion. I don't know if any have won but I think there are some injunctions in some places while it is decided.

But those are challenges to laws MADE by the legislature after Dobbs. In this case, the Alabama legislature did not itself "make" a law that established/favored religion. It is a knottier problem, therefore.

An analogy (rather out of date now as dogma): A legislature passes a school lunch law that requires protein in every lunch. A deeply conservative Catholic court decides that on Fridays that lunch cannot include meat, only fish. (I know, absurd analogy, but I am trying to distinguish here between what the LEGISLATURE passed --a perfectly OK law-- and how a court decides to interpret it without any input from the legislature.

Expand full comment

I think I understand your concern, Susan, and in the case of Alabama, especially, it is realistic. The Court, the Legislature and the Governor who signed the legislation into law are al;l out of compliance with the Constitution. So there will probably be no outcome, unless enough citizens can make their lives uncomfortable by demanding impeachment (which I don't see happening in Alabama) Maybe in Texas which has a larger population many of whom are intelligent citizens who want to adhere to the Constitution. But in smaller States where religion holds the intellect of the citizens in disorder, I doubt anything will happen.

Incidentally, Dobbs was one of the few decisions that was within the Constitution. There is no mention of abortion, or any other medical procedure in the Constitution, Therefore, per Amendment ten the decision lies with the States or the People.

Expand full comment

not sure I agree with last paragraph. Particularly for things not named in the constitution because they were not an ISSUE when it was written. There are LOTs of things not mentioned in the constitution. Contraception, sodomy, interracial marriage, I always thought the penumbra doctrine made sense. Context is important for understanding anything.

Again, I'd agree that the abortion law itself can be challenged as unconstitutional. But not the torts against minors law. At least that one judges decision didn't seem to rely on the abortion law. It just flat out said the Bible rules and the Bible "says" life begins at conception. Actually, I don't think it does. What the zealots are doing is applying the penumbra doctrine to the Bible. Ironic, yes?

I admit I haven't read the whole opinion. On my TBR list now.

Just looked at it. Basically the decision itself doesn't get into overt religious ideas. It goes on and on and on about what a "child" is without contemplating the complication that these embryos are not implanted--a requirement for someone to be pregnant. It creates a scenario where an embryo brought through full gestation and concludes it would be silly to say that baby isn't a "child." But I don't think that such is possible. So it is a strawman argument. So the court doesn't "hold" that life begins at conception--it just assumes it by applying all its prior definitions of "child" to one that is not implanted.

A concurring opinion goes at great length into the need for implantation but says the legislature has to decide whether that is part of the application of the wrongful death act. Basically, he sees the problem, but goes along with the majority because of the past decisions on the meaning of "child"

In law school, in the back of beyond, we looked at a case of wrongful death for a fetus not yet viable; the California court said nope, not yet a child within the statute. The professor asked why the court ruled that way--obviously, it considered the implications of such a law for anti-abortion advocates though it didn't talk about it; this was when Roe was in effect.

Apparently Alabama has "long considered" a pre-viable fetus to be a "child" under the statute, though the court gives no cite so no way of telling how long "long" has been. So apparently pre-Dobbs a woman could abort a pre-viable fetus but if someone else caused the loss, wrongful death was available.

Expand full comment

First: Abortion - this is a medical procedure and like an appendectomy should concern only a patient and their physician. The only time the law should be concerned is malpractice.

Second: The Constitution does not mention a lot of things that the framers purposely left to the States whether they were issues of the day or not. For instance assault, murder, and theft were deemed to be local concerns and left to the States and the People.

Third: The viability of the fetus is determined by at which stage in the pregnancy the fetus could live independently outside the uterus. In Home sapiens that is NEVER in the first two trimesters and iffy until parturition in the third trimester. Which brings to another reason why anyone other than physician and patient should have any say in aborting a dead fetus. As that fetus decomposes, the toxins produced can kill or permanently disable the putative mother. Lawyers and religious practitioners should butt out.

As to frozen embryos: to date no Homo sapiens has ever come to life in any laboratory condition. The embryo must be implanted in the uterus of a living healthy female Homo sapiens. Therefore, by no stretch of the imagination can a frozen embryo live in a test tube so it cannot be considered as murder, except in the confused mind of some extremist religious practitioner.

The Constitution sets the three branches of government, the duties of each,. somethings which are only the concern of the Federal government. Such as the minting of money, treaties with foreign governments, the forming and management of military forces (although they allowed and encouraged the formation of well-regulated militia in the States. Immigration. Interstate Commerce.

Anything they could leave to State legislators they did

Expand full comment

Well let’s impeach them all then because a lot of judges are flouting the Constitution (I’m looking at you, US Supreme Court).

Expand full comment

Unfortunately many people in this country only know the 2nd Amendment and part of the 1st Amendment that empowers them to say what ever they want, the rest be damned.

Expand full comment

More unfortunate is that many who scan these amendments do not read the complete amendment nor understand it. The first Amendment is complex, although it is referred to as freedom of speech it refers to three topics. "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion," This clearly defines the separation of church and State. reflecting their dislike of State established and sponsored religions from which many had fled Europe. On the other hand they did not want the government to interfere with anyone's right to their own beliefs "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" The freedom of speech was more difficult. They wanted citizens to feel free to discuss and disagree with the government, but at the same time not to be able to instigate an insurrection. "or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." I think the word peaceably is their indication that dissent is acceptable, but not insurrection.

The 2nd Amendment is even more maligned today, purposefully to sell more guns. "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," you will notice the reference to well-regulated militia - this is more aligned with the National Guard as we know it today than say the unruly thugs in the Oath Keepers or Proud Boys. We did not have a large standing Army at that time. America was spreading westward, and while I fault them for attacking and stealing land from the indigenous people, this is in hindsight. At that time they feared the tribes. The only phrase people think of is "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" These two phrases make one sentence. They were not intended to be separated - but what the hell! we need to sell more guns, so, in the 1970's onward, the NRA with the encouragement of the weapons industry simply dropped the first phrase. And we let them get away with it.

Expand full comment

My husband brings up the point - "a well regulated militia" all the time, and rightly so. I feel our constitution is being bastardize of peoples own personal beliefs. Disregard how it effects everyone else. It is obvious we are not teaching Rousseau and Dickens in schools anymore. This is what happens when you ban books.

Expand full comment

But we do have a well-regulated militia all the time i all 50 States. It's called the National Guard. The only reason they were not there to protect and defend the Congressional Building on January 6, 2021, is twofold. Washington D.C. is NOT a State (again 2 reasons, it is more populous than two States BUT, the majority of it's permanent residents are persons of color and the permanent residents in total register Democrat) so, DC does not have a National Guard unit; and the sitting President, the trumpster, refused to call the Virginia and/or Maryland Guard or their State Police - both of which were offered by the Governors.

Expand full comment

The National Guard is awesome. I've seen them in action during hurricanes and more recently the Covid pandemic. However "organizations" like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys think they are well regulated militia. IMO they should enlist.

Expand full comment

“Human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destruction of His image as an affront to Himself." This quote from one of the concurring judges highlights how this far-right religious ideology conflicts with the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of freedom of religion, which should protect the right of women to invoke their own religious belief that life does not begin until the baby is born.

Expand full comment

And we have too many far right or ultra conservative religious justices on our Supreme Court!

Expand full comment

How is it they just seem like bitter old men with axes to grind.

Expand full comment

They can’t ’grind their axes’ without Viagra. That’s the problem. (I’ll see myself out.) 🙃

Expand full comment

"Human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destruction of His image as an affront to Himself."

IANAL (thank god) - but can't this argument be shot down in five minutes at the Supreme Court? I understand that the US Supreme Court can't hear appeals against state supreme courts in general, but this is such an affront to the First Amendment that surely it must be vigorously challenged.

Expand full comment

The Supreme Court can hear appeals from state courts if their decisions violate the U.S. Constitution.

Expand full comment

Who are they to say what God wants or knows?

Expand full comment

They can make up anything since there is no magic sky daddy. Which is exactly why religion is so dangerous.

Expand full comment

Dude has no business on the court

Expand full comment

And how do they “know” what “god” looks like? Maybe she looks like a cat or a dolphin.

Expand full comment

Who defines ‘wrongly’? And how?

Expand full comment

I hate when women lump all men together.

I am personally fed up to the max with white males forcing their primitive religious views on all of us. Christianity has become detached from any Christian intellectual tradition. The narcissistic "personal relationship with Jesus" has decoupled religion from religious expertise. And so instead of the Gospels, modern bubba Christianity is about nationalism and authoritarianism. Dominance of a self-righteous minority ala the Puritans that founded New England and populated it by schism and exile. By the time of the Founders we see them (like Madison) recoiling from such an idea.

Women have the bodies being fought over, but millions of men who are fathers, brothers, husbands, friends and lovers are in full agreement with the right to body autonomy. It's not just women on the defensive here. Men do care greatly.

Expand full comment

Thanks for adding this point of view. The women of Alabama need all the allies they can get, and men will also be harmed directly by this ruling. A lot of couples suffer together going through the tough IVF process. However, as the ruling was made by men, and the physical impact will be on women, I understand where the emotions come from. It’s like saying that all white people in Southern states are racist Christian nationalists. Even though there are many who are not. Like Joyce.

Expand full comment

This: modern bubba Christianity

Expand full comment

"bubba Christianity" ✅

Expand full comment

We know that, Tom. I think sometimes it’s easier just to use “men” as a general term than to point out that there are exceptions.

Expand full comment

Just wondering, do state sponsored executions incur the wrath of God as much as the destruction of a zygote?

Expand full comment

I've always wondered, too,Yolanda, how they can justify that! It makes absolutely no sense at all and I've been asking that question since I was a kid.

Expand full comment

Depends on who you ask. Moses says yes, Jesus said no.

Expand full comment

Tommy Tuberville is a single issue wonk.

And that issue is "fuck the rights of anyone who so much has ever considered what it might like to be a woman."

How soon can he be voted out?

Expand full comment

"How soon can he [Senator Tommy Tuberville] be voted out?"

Not until a sufficient number of Alabama voters undergo a religious conversion. It is difficult for many Americans who have never had a personal relationship with faithful Southern Baptists to understand just how deeply they have come to believe that personhood is bestowed by their supreme being at conception. Actually, their concept of personhood might see it as timeless and eternal, but that won't be at issue until contraception bans make it to the theological courts.

Expand full comment

Sad to hear that, but I'm not too surprised, having worked a long stint in Montgomery, AL.

Could Tuberville be nailed for corruption? I ran across this site recently, https://www.quiverquant.com/congresstrading/, which tracks all stock trades made by our Representatives and Senators (they are required to report, although we all know of examples of them failing to...). Which doesn't mean they are corrupt, but it does show what they are investing in these days.

Scroll down to Most Active Traders, sort by the highest. Note that Democrats are just as heavily involved, such as Pelosi--but dig in a bit. Note that Tuberville is in the top three. Drill down on Tuberville. For sheer volume of trades, he's way up there, he really plays the market a lot. And sort his trades by whether it went up or down after he sold, and an awful lot of these stocks took a very sudden downward pitch just after he sold. Compare him to others on the list. He really does stick out for volume of trades and how many went South just before he sold...he's at the very least a gambler.

Finally, take a look at the graph above that showing trading profits (overall) for our Representatives and Senators over the past four years. Really startling. Almost $200 million jump, at least 60-75% growth, eyeballing it.

I know the more cynical faithful will probably dismiss their representatives reaping such rewards as 'gifts from God for a Godly man'.

But looking through the site also convinces me all Representative/Senators and Judges must invest all their assets into blind trusts, we need to isolate them from the money, and we may need to pay them all a LOT more to insulate them from bribery and instant jail when they are caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Make them at least think twice before doing something for their little buddies.

Expand full comment

Time for Alabama voters to take a LEFT TURN. Vote Blue

Expand full comment

He doesn’t even reside in Alabama—how the hell did he qualify as a candidate, anyway?

Expand full comment

Republicans cheat?

Expand full comment

Great question.

Expand full comment

Ya mean the resident of FL?

Expand full comment

We can see for ourselves that, in practice, being “pro-life” means "Let the women suffer, let the women die" — even if they deny it, it’s what is happening and will keep happening until it is fixed. Voting out all the Republicans would be a good start.

I know it’s hard to believe that anyone who knows the consequences would still take the actions we see anti-abortion folks taking. We don’t want to believe they are willing to harm pregnant women and girls. We give them the benefit of the doubt and keep saying legislators and judges don’t know, but they do know. For example, Joyce said there was an amicus brief filed with the AL SC about IVF issues. The justices knew. THEY. DON’T. CARE.

The state legislators also know the abortion restrictions they enact will harm, and could kill, women because they have been informed by medical experts. The legislators are ignoring the experts (and the stories we all hear) because (insert nonscientific but sincerely held belief here). They’re willing to let women suffer and die. THEY. DON’T. CARE.

If they cared they would have fixed the laws and stopped agitating for national bans and more restrictions.

Until the Republicans come to their senses, I see only one choice: vote for Democrats who whole heartedly support women’s reproductive rights.

Abortion on demand and without apology. We trust women to raise children. We can be trusted to decide when, and if, we have children. The legislators and certain justices have shown us they cannot be trusted to protect women.

Expand full comment

I will die never understanding why a man has any right to decide a medical decision by a female.

Expand full comment

Toxic, evil patriarchy is why

Expand full comment

"Can women safely vote for any Republican?" No, they can't. Apparently, Mike Pence's son was born via IVF. Heather Cox Richardson had a great essay this evening on some of the history behind the First Amendment and the previous attempts by some to add Christian wording into the Constitution. It's interesting that as soon as their so-called Christian principles end up with a result they don't want, they're willing to to manipulate the language.

Expand full comment

The ex-governor of SC also used IVF yet she said embryos are children!

Expand full comment

I heard that tonight. Not surprising as she's no better than Rump on abortion rights. She's always been a nasty piece of work.

Expand full comment

I believe she’s already changed her opinion about this.

Expand full comment

Multiple times. It is now Saturday.

Expand full comment

Talibama sounds right. I never realized how backwards the south really is until I started paying attention to politics.

Expand full comment

It is not just the south: look at Iowa, South Dakota, Utah!

Expand full comment

Yes, but look who's running for US Senate in Utah -- Caroline Gleich! Young, ambitious, humanitarian, a climate activist and pro-democracy. Change is possible anywhere... Don't give up on places that are, to date, dominated by regressives!

Expand full comment

I wish Ms. Gleich the best! Let me know if she gets elected.

Expand full comment

I would normally put Kansas in the mix but we were the first to keep abortion rights after ROE decision. Our Supreme Court has been chosen by Democratic governors.

Expand full comment

Oh my, the South (not all, but many) is still fighting the Civil War legislatively and culturally, in major denial that they lost.

Expand full comment

Come to Shasta County CA, or most anywhere away from the cities, Alabama has nothing on the reichwing stupid on display there..

Expand full comment

Yes, and put the "State of Jefferson" peeps in that basket of deplorables as well.

Expand full comment

In high school(1975) I visited Tennessee and was shocked to learn they still argued for succession and how they should have won the Civil War. I went back on business in 2005 and found even more support for their earlier views.

Expand full comment

I have 4, beautiful, healthy great- grandchildren who were conceived through IVF. Four in just under four years with a set of split twins in the mix. There was a single egg left so my grandson and his wife figured he could afford one more and THEY decided, “now or never.” As luck would have it, she became pregnant with her final child.

Alabama’s Not so Supreme Court can go “have sex with itself.”

Expand full comment

Tubby Tommy, we do NOT need more kids. There are too many people on the planet!

Expand full comment

Tubbs is really saying, "we need more WHITE kids".

Expand full comment

White Christian kids …

Expand full comment

Honestly, that did not occur to me. But you are right. That is what he means.

Expand full comment

What a selfish self-centered thing for Tuberville to say.

Expand full comment

I'm so sorry for the girls, women and parents in Alabama where these (bleeps) have made these laws. But it's appalling that we're dealing with this issue in ANY state.

Religious zealots who say life begins at conception are conveniently avoiding all of the Biblical references to life beginning with the first breath, and ending with the last breath.

But the fact that they feel entitled to speak for "God" means they'll have a lot more things they'll want to rule on, and none of them will be based on the rule of law or healthcare for women. Or common sense, for that matter.

Expand full comment

What about embryos that have a defect but are not allowed to progress to being frozen? How will those decisions and procedures be impacted. Will women be required to have embryos with defects implanted and then be forced to carry them to term and deliver them?? There are multiple other possibilities that will need to be addressed in the scenario that court decision has opened the doors to. Will decisions be criminalized for only the woman?

Expand full comment

No scenarios need to be addressed! These embryos are the property of the person who owns them and no one else. Who’s to say that one of them might be the second coming of Jesus, then?!! It’s all so absurd!

Expand full comment

It's downright sickening.

Expand full comment

Or perhaps they will just force the woman to have all her frozen ‘children’ implanted at one time and we will start to see legions of -tuplets.

Expand full comment