Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the consequences of the Supreme Court’s abortion decision in Dobbs v. Jackson. The Democratic majority called three pro-abortion witnesses, and the Republican minority called two pro-life witnesses. I watched most of the hearing and listened to sworn testimony from all five witnesses. You would be hard-pressed to find a more stark expression of the division in our nation than what is on display in this testimony.
Three witnesses lamented the overturning of Roe and argued in favor of new federal legislation to ensure abortion rights through all nine months of a woman’s pregnancy. They also argued that restricting abortion rights in any way is an expression of racism and misogyny. An abortionist from Planned Parenthood testified that she is angry and made the incredible claim that the Court’s overturning Roe is “a stain on our history as a country” and that “Abortion is normal. Abortion is an act of love. Abortion is health care.”
The crisis in access to abortion care in the United States highlights the need for a bold, holistic, and intersectional policy response… This response must address the systemic conditions of inequality that disproportionately affect black people and compound the harms of abortion restrictions… The overruling of Roe v. Wade inflicts a racial injury and necessitates the exploration of other avenues to ground federal constitutions protections for the right to abortion… Until that happens, we are left with the devastating consequences of a politically motivated Supreme Court decision that will affect the health and lives of people across the country and disproportionately impact black women and black people who can become pregnant.
The subtext of the professor’s testimony is clear. If you are pro-life, not only are you a misogynist, but you are also a racist.
You’ll notice that the professor’s testimony ended with a reference to “people who can become pregnant.” Throughout her testimony, the professor avoided the use of the term “woman” and used phrases like “people who can become pregnant” instead. It was an obvious nod to transgender propaganda, so Senator Josh Hawley pressed her on the question. It led to one of the most memorable exchanges of the entire hearing. Watch below:
My read on these exchanges is that I don’t think it helps the progressive side of the culture war. On both abortion and transgender issues, the left is insisting that people cannot even have questions about woke ideology. The left won’t tolerate any discussion about the humanity of the unborn, and they won’t answer questions about it. They won’t even entertain the suggestion that it’s impossible for a man to get pregnant. And if you cross them on this point, they will berate you as a bigot.
This posture on the left makes their position look brittle and indefensible. I don’t see how it wins anyone over to their side—especially since common sense is working against their position. No reasonable person believes that a person’s right to life is based on their location vis a vis the birth canal. Their right to life relies entirely upon whether or not they are a person. But many on the left cannot tolerate a reasonable discussion about that. They want to sneer and emote as a substitute for reasoned arguments in defense of their position.
That may be compelling for ideologues who have already drunk the illiberal Kool Aid, but it is not going to work for everyone else. The question is how successful the illiberal left will be in shaming reasonable people into silence. How many decent people will buckle under the pressure, deny their own conscience, and live by lies? That’s a question that only reasonable people can answer and indeed must answer very soon.