Friday, February 6, 2009

because having a uterus of ones own does count for something

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Pancreas and my right to an abortion - two things I never linked in the past.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (henceforth RBG), with her white lace color, so Elizabethen in that sea of old men, like the Virgin Queen herself, had surgery for pancreatic cancer. Ever the tough old broad that she appears, RBG vows to be back on the bench when the court reconvenes in three weeks. I really hope so.

The dissent she authored in Gonzales v. Carhart cut straight to not only the heart the stunningly paternalistic majority decision, but the weak legal reasoning on which Roe V Wade so precariously rests. Her stirring defense of women's reproductive rights as more than "some vague or generalized notion of privacy" but of "a woman's autonomy to decide for herself her life's course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature," was an articulate explanation by someone who, you know, actually has a uterus, and conceivably (get the pun?) could have had an abortion.

Sadly RBG's prediction years ago that she would be joined soon by sister justices proved overly optimistic. Apparently while women comprise the majority of the population of the United States, they need only a little more than 10% representation on the highest court in the land.


  1. I didn't know how to contact you aside from the screened comments, but my boss and I were curious-- what state are you in? We work at a clinic in Virginia, and one of her friends had to go to Maryland to get an elective second-trimester AB.

    If you don't feel like sharing, that's fine. We're just fascinated by the experiences of, and resources available to, other women. Thanks!

  2. thank you for this. i really love rbg and panicked for a minute when i read about the hospitalization yesterday. i relaxed a little when they said it was caught early and all that... but still. what a great person, i hope she is ok.

  3. eli c! can i get in touch with you somehow? i am curious as to whether i have coordinated with your clinic previously :) i already commented on your blog and don't want you to think i'm stalking... just excited. let me know!


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