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Di Leo: Considering the Most Serious Complaint in the Outcry over Dobbs




By John F. Di Leo - 

On Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The Dobbs ruling was significant, for two reasons: It settled a question regarding abortion at the national level: that it’s not the federal government’s business, so it’s up to the states. Also, since it overturned a 50-year-old ruling, it reminds both the general public and future courts that our respect for precedent should not be so blind as to allow blatantly unfounded rulings to stand if a chance comes up to correct the error.

The outcry was loud and immediate, and no wonder: a multibillion dollar industry has grown up around the concept of “abortion on demand,” not to mention incredible behavioral changes, both micro and macro, as everything from individual dating practices to the nature of the pop culture were altered to accommodate the practice.

The United States has, by most interpretations, the seventh loosest controls on abortion on earth. That is, only a few countries, like Mainland China and North Korea, allow abortion as easily and as late as we do. In many countries, the practice is allowed in the first few months of pregnancy; only in a few could one get an abortion all the way up to the due date, when the child is fully viable outside the womb. Realists on both sides knew all along that, someday, Roe v Wade would have to fall and the practice would be at least partially curtailed in most states.

So, they should have been ready for some change, all along. And yet, it was seemingly a shock to many, and protesters and rioters poured into the streets over the weekend, shouting such slogans as

  • “Our body, our choice!” – as if the same people hadn’t claimed the right to force vaccines into other people’s bodies, to force other people to wear useless masks, and even remain an arbitrary six feet away from all humanity for much of the past two years,
  • “Protect women’s Constitutional rights!” – showing that they didn’t read the decision, as the whole point is that there never was any such Constitutional right; it is at best a privilege, and a terribly abused one at that,
  • And this brings us to the most severe charge of all: “Women will die!”

Now, pro-lifers usually respond to that last one with the point that death is the whole point of abortion, after all.  In any abortion, two living people enter the facility and only one departs. So, women have always died as a result of abortion; in the USA, where sex selection is rarely involved in the decision, the casualties of the process are roughly even: half women and half men. Generally, over half a million of each sex, each year, since 1973.

But the abortion activists aren’t concerned about those casualties. They are concerned about the mothers, and the fact that a tiny percentage of the ones who still buy abortion services after they are declared illegal just might have fatal complications.  It’s certainly possible.

But we must remember that only some states will ban the practice outright, other states will have modified bans, such as allowing it until viability, and some others will continue to allow it throughout all nine months (like China, Vietnam and North Korea do). Considering how much the number of abortions will drop  as the laws are changed, and the fact that there are lots of such painful and sometimes life-threatening complications today anyway, despite the practice’s legality, even if the odds of complications increase, the number of procedures will plummet, making a significant increase in these problems for the expectant mothers unlikely.

To be fair, society must always look at both sides of the issue in an evaluation.  We don’t expect to fully ban abortion anytime soon (however much many of us may want to); we just expect to reduce the numbers, significantly in some places, marginally in others.  But to use the all-or-nothing change that the abortion advocates want us to consider: a million babies saved, a few – certainly never more than one percent – of the mothers might die of complications.  Whether that figure is high or low, even, is immaterial; there is no doubt that far more innocent babies will be saved than mothers could die of complications. And in all likelihood, a return to the “back alley” providers of legend is unlikely, as infinitely better equipment and conditions are available today, even to lawbreakers, than in the days before 1973.  The entire argument is therefore as good as moot.

But it is worth noting that they make the argument at all, because it is an argument worthy of analysis.  One must ask oneself, why doesn’t the Left use that same argument in other public policy arenas where it would be relevant?

For example, the Left argues for open borders.

We know from the solid data of the past 60 years that open borders means more dangerous roads and more dangerous urban areas.  Gangs flow up from the southern border, bringing ever more drug dealing and gangland warfare to our inner cities.  Some percentage – not all, but a noticeable percentage of them – rob or rape young women, or recruit/groom them into prostitution, or abuse and kill them.  Inviting illegal aliens in guarantees more of this every single year. 

So, women will die with open borders. This is undeniable.  Again, it’s not all of them; it’s not 100% of the cases, but a statistical percentage of illegal immigrants is indeed responsible for killing women, either by intent or as a byproduct of their actions, from conscious crime, unconscious cultural differences, or even issues as “innocent” as bad driving.  Learning to drive in Central and South America doesn’t appear to be a great preparation for the roads of the United States, and different practices regarding impaired driving or even the general rules of the road, cause crashes and casualties that would not have occurred if the borders were secured.

But we don’t see the Left abandoning their support for sanctuary city status and a porous southern border, just because some American women will die at the hands of these illegal aliens, do we?

Or we could consider the Left’s advocacy of abandoning legitimate energy sources in favor of so-called green sources like wind and solar power.  Wind and solar, while functional backup sources, are notoriously undependable due to the effects of weather, as well as being infinitely more expensive than traditional sources such as oil, nuclear, natural gas and coal. 

If we remove successful, traditional sources, and make a region dependent on solar and wind, there will be rolling blackouts, causing the failure of refrigeration and therefore the spoilage of food, causing the failure of critically important air conditioning in nursing homes, causing the failure of medical equipment in hospitals and longterm care facilities. Electric cars that depend on the electric grid for power are grounded until power comes back up; these could be the cars, service vans or ambulances necessary to bring patients to a hospital.

What happens when these power outages cause food poisoning, malnutrition, or an inability to get or maintain medical care?  Women will die. 

This is no exaggeration; we see reports all the time of these blackouts affecting large institutions – the very weekend that Roe v Wade was overturned, Stanford University was closed down for lack of power, due to California’s green-above-all energy policies. It’s only a matter of time before the casualties of these policies become too numerous to keep out of the papers. Yes, women will die (and men too), in service to the popular but ineffectual god of Green Energy.   But we can’t say that; the small number of people (so far) injured or killed by these manmade power shortfalls are not taken into consideration in the Left’s march to eliminate nuclear, coal, oil, and natural gas.

As long as we have brought up hospitals, we cannot leave out the issue of Obamacare, which was shoved through Congress twelve years ago.  Hundreds, possibly thousands, depending on how you count them, of hospitals and clinics, particularly in now-underserved rural areas, have closed since the passage of Obamacare, which was designed to force closures and consolidations, without regard to how hard such changes would hit rural America.  How many people have died, both men and women, because Obamacare made decent health insurance unaffordable for them, or because people couldn’t make it the additional 30 or 50 miles to a now-more-distant hospital in time, and their cancers went undetected or their heart attacks went untreated or their injuries from simple falls or accidents were lethal only because of distance?

We don’t know.  Some of these statistics, like the ones about so-called “back alley abortions”, are unknowable, because there is no agency tracking them.

But we know it is happening.  People have died because of Obamacare.  Democrats decided it was worth it, because they felt its positives outweighed its negatives, in their view. And when they’re in the majority, as we know, only their view matters.

We could go on. 

The Left wants us to ban concealed carry, or even ban firearms outright, the very firearms used by law-abiding citizens to thwart or deter a million crimes a year.  Women will die if we take away their protection, their equalizer; that doesn’t stop the Left from calling for them to be left defenseless.

The Left shut down the economies of whole states in 2020, in response to the appearance of Covid-19.  More reasonable heads warned that such lockdowns were counterproductive, that women (and men) would die if they stopped seeing their doctors for regular checkups, missing early diagnosis of cancer and other ailments, causing discoveries of such only after they were beyond treatment.  Reasonable heads counselled that man is a social being, that we need human interaction, that these lockdowns would cause mental illness such as forms of depression to spike. Some increase in the suicide rate was sure to follow.  But the Left wasn’t interested in this argument either.  “The greater good,” they would say. 

And sometimes that is true; sometimes in public policy, we must choose the path that helps the greater good, even if some are harmed, odd though it is that the Left and the Right always seem to measure these choices so differently.

In those states where abortion’s legal status is changed, then, yes, we would advise some changes in habits – abstinence, for example, or a combination of two forms of birth control (while none is 100% certain alone, couples who properly use both the pill and condoms have a virtual 100% success rate). Marriage, or giving up the child for adoption, are also wonderful options if an unexpected pregnancy occurs.

Because it’s true, we don’t want any casualties at all.  We don’t want any grown women to suffer from a “botched” abortion.

But even more importantly, we don’t want those little not-yet-born women… or those little not-yet-born men either – to be cut down before they’ve ever even had a chance.

The Left’s fear about “women dying” is, at least, somewhat exaggerated, when you think about it.

It’s the Right’s concern that makes sense here: that no innocent people die – young or old, rich or poor, born long ago or not yet quite ready for labor – in college dorms or nursing homes, in city or countryside.  None at all.

It’s the pro-life side that doesn’t want women to die.  If only these protesters would sit still and think about the issues long enough to recognize that.

Copyright 2022 John  F Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer, and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009.

 A collection of John’s Illinois Review articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes One and Two, are available, in either paperback or eBook, only on Amazon.

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