Before I step in these muddy waters, I want to be clear that, even as a pro-lifer, I am not particularly excited about the opportunity to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat. Not only was her death literally minutes ago, I think it’s short-sighted to assume that hastily filling her seat will rescue or significantly advance the anti-abortion movement. The situation is complex and, as we know from past appointments, there are no guarantees. So this post is NEITHER an endorsement or a condemnation of the Republican Party’s attempt to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice before November.
This post is also NOT an endorsement of either Trump or Biden for president because neither of them would be my choice for president. I know this will make many of you (on both sides) angry, but it is what it is.
This post IS a clarification of why I have chosen to openly discuss the not-so-beautiful part of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy so shortly after her death.
(My opinion about whether or not now is the right time to appoint is largely irrelevant and many of you may just want to skip this part, but for those of you who would really like to know here it is: I acknowledge that, according to the constitution, it is within the President’s and Senate’s power to appoint and confirm. While I am moved by Ginsburg’s final wishes, I don’t see how, constitutionally, those wishes can be binding in any way. Ultimately, it’s the President’s and Senate’s call, no matter how we feel about it. Personally, while I 100% want to see a pro-life judge on the bench so we can save the babies and the mamas, I am concerned that trying to fill the seat now is so divisive that it may do more harm than good in the long run. As for the “hypocrisy” accusation dominating the internet, I think it’s important to point out that hypocrisy abounds on all sides, and even Ginsburg herself had a different opinion when Obama was in office.)
SHE WANTED IT THIS WAY
Typically, I would agree that it’s too soon after Ginsburg’s death to get political about her record, to talk about her replacement, and so on. BUT (and this is a big but) Ginsburg herself chose to politicize her life and death, as clearly evidenced by her last wish, apparently dictated to a family member. That final act reinforces what we already knew: Ginsburg’s work was her life mission; she was nothing if not passionate about and fiercely dedicated to that mission, even to the very end.
Let’s also remember a some other things that brought us to where we are today: Ginsburg chose not to step down during Obama’s presidency because she wanted a woman president, specifically Hilary Clinton, to choose her replacement. When Hillary lost, Ginsburg decided to try to hold out for Biden. (I kinda love this about her, by the way.) But alas, that didn’t work out either. So now, just weeks before a highly-charged, practically pre-contested election, America finds itself down a Supreme Court Justice. Suddenly, Bush Gore 2000 is starting to look as benign as an episode of the Andy Griffith Show.
As for Ginsburg’s family, Ginsburg clearly made no effort to shield them from the political drama, as she chose to dictate to them a dying wish about her replacement. The family then chose to step into the fray by publicizing said dying wish.
So no, I will not be silenced by those who argue that Ginsburg or her family deserve a less political response. We’re all adults here. We all know that Ruth Bader Ginsburg dedicated her life to political activism through the law. Even in her death she is still rocking our world. Ginsburg’s life and now her death are politicized because that’s exactly the way she wanted it to be.
Phew! And I’m not even to the part that really annoys people!
THE PART THAT REALLY ANNOYS PEOPLE
Please note, I make the following comments as a pro-life/anti-abortion feminist who deeply respects Ginsburg and also deeply disagrees with her on the issue of abortion.
As a woman who has had an abortion and lives with that choice every day, I am acutely aware of the fact that the responsibility of my baby’s death is ultimately mine. At the same time, I cannot ignore the effect our pro-abortion culture had on me. I was sold a lie – by our government, our leaders, the media, my teachers, my community, doctors, nurses and clinics – that abortion is a right, a symbol of freedom and strength; that abortion is an easy solution; that it would fix my problems; that my life would return to normal; that the fetus isn’t a baby and no one would be hurt.
Nobody – not the clinics, not the doctors, not the nurses, nobody – informed this 15 year old girl that nothing, not even abortion, would turn back time, make me “unpregnant”, make me “not a mother”; that my life would never go back to “normal”; or that I would bear the invisible scars of abortion for the rest of my life.
I thought I was having a procedure when I was actually killing my baby. I thought my problems would be over soon, when I actually fell headlong into PTSD. That is the just tiniest fraction of my story. I bought the lie. And the price was steep. Steeper than most can imagine.
Now, if you could pause for a moment…
take off your political armor…
And put on your empathy sweater…
(yes, your empathy sweater)
I think, if you genuinely try, you could understand how it might be difficult for me (and the millions of others like me) to watch Ginsburg be hailed as a hero of women and human rights without any acknowledgement of her radical stance on abortion.
Whether we like it or not, Ginsburg is complicit in the perpetuation of a lie, and the abortion industry it fuels, which have together led to the destruction of millions of babies (half of whom are female) as well as the suffering of countless women (and men).
Please remember that very few women are running into abortion clinics gleefully “choosing” to murder their children. Rather they are led there by people in positions of power who’ve convinced them that abortion is something other than what it really is. Because of the gravity of her position, Ginsburg is, at the very least, responsible for perpetuating this lie.
ABORTION IS ANTI-FEMINIST
Perhaps the biggest misconception about abortion is that it is somehow synonymous with feminism. Abortion is perhaps the least feminist thing about America’s feminist movement. First and foremost, approximately half of the millions of babies aborted each year in America are female. However, in some countries that allow sex selective abortion, preborn female babies are far more likely to be aborted than male babies. For this reason alone, abortion is inherently anti-female and therefore, anti-feminist.
As for the argument that abortion liberates women from oppression, consider just this one example of the contrary (we simply don’t have time for all of them): Abortion clinics and the pro-abortion lobby adamantly oppose showing women an ultrasound of her baby because, they say, it puts an undue burden on women. The truth puts an undue burden on women? Keeping women from the truth under the guise of protection is the height of manipulation, control, and dominance. There is nothing genuinely feminist about that. (Not surprisingly, most women, when they see an ultrasound of their developing baby, choose not to abort.)
And now, for the sake of time I will let this quote by Liz Hoskings sum up why abortion is indeed anti-feminist: “…mainstream feminism has sold out to what is a masculine worldview. Instead of fighting for equality on their own terms, women have been forced into adapting themselves to a wombless, male world.”
I am grateful for Ruth Bader Ginsburg the person, and I am grateful to her for the important advances she made for the equal rights of (already born) women. While I would love to ignore all the drama and just reflect quietly on Gingsburg’s life, I cannot. Her role as a Supreme Court Justice and her own choices surrounding her tenure have contributed to the current intensity surrounding her death, and therefore demand our attention.
As a pro-life/anti-abortion feminist, I will not ignore the fact that Ruth Bader Ginsburg failed to protect the rights of the most vulnerable women in our nation – the unborn. Nor can I deny that she was complicit in perpetuating a lie, and an industry, that leads women into bondage under the guise of freedom and empowerment.
So, yes, I am unapologetically questioning Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s record of protecting and advocating for “all” women. Yes, I am doing it days after her passing. That may shock you or bother you. But you know who I’m pretty sure is neither shocked nor bothered? Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Rest in peace, Ruth. I sure hope to meet you one day and talk together in the light God’s perfect love. I imagine there’s a few surprises in store for all of us.
© Nichole Q. Perreault