Trump's legacy denies reproductive justice for women-in-crisis

The best of America won't take the recent Supreme Court decision lying down, so says Colette Sheridan
Trump's legacy denies reproductive justice for women-in-crisis

HITTING BACK: Olivia Rodrigo performing at Glastonbury. On stage she slammed the Supreme Court juedges who overturned the Roe V Wade. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

THE odious Donald Trump (whom I had hoped to stop mentioning in columns) has, unfortunately, left a legacy that will blight the lives of many American women. Twisting the Supreme Court to the right with his appointments of reactionary judges, who are now in the majority, the former president achieved what he wanted. He is responsible for ending America’s constitutional right to abortion. This, from a turncoat who in 1999 in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, described himself as “very pro-choice.” But Trump, in his shameless expediency, became something of a hero for the socially conservative and Christian evangelicals, with the overturn of Roe v Wade, the groundbreaking 1973 decision legalising abortion.

While Trump would now bluster on, largely incoherently about being pro-life, he actually doesn’t give a damn about children. Like so many in the pro-life camp, his concern is that all babies - regardless of chronic life-limiting disabilities or their conception through rape and incest - be delivered. And to hell with the consequences. 

It’s a numbers game, a tired old acting out of that Christian tenet - go forth and multiply. (Because the church needs a strong body count.)

Proving that Trump doesn’t have the wellbeing of children in his heart, he presided over the separation of kids from their parents, in CAGES, after illegally crossing the border from Mexico. Not all children are equal in his view, particularly if they’re not white. What a cruel excuse for a man he is.

But the best of America will not take the Supreme Court decision lying down. The troops are rallying. They should look to this country to see how a formerly deeply conservative populace was moved to actually think about women with crisis pregnancies. As the then Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said, there would be no more lonely journeys across the Irish sea. (As it happens, some women still have to travel because the existing legislation is too restrictive for dealing with cases of fatal foetal anomaly for example. The twelve week gestational limit is too rigid for some cases.) However, Ireland fought a successful campaign with a focus on real women’s often devastating experiences, having to deal with nightmare scenarios. Skulking off to England was an Irish solution to an Irish problem. America needs a solution to a Trump-delivered problem.

At the Glastonbury Festival, Olivia Rodrigo and Lily Allen joined the chorus of musicians expressing their anger over the court ruling that overturned Roe v Wade. 

During her performance, Rodrigo invited Allen on stage to song a resounding version of Allen’s 2009 number, ‘F*** You’. Written originally as a protest against former republican president, George W Bush, its lyrics are hard-hitting and well-written. The song was dedicated “to the five members of the Supreme Court who have showed us that at the end of the day, they truly don’t give a shit about freedom.”

While Allen raised her middle fingers, Rodrigo name-checked justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavaunagh.

“We hate you!” she declared before she and Allen belted out Allen’s song. It includes the lyrics: “ Do you get, do you get a little kick out of being small-minded?/You want to be like your father, it’s approval you’re after/Well, that’s not how you find it/Do you, do you really enjoy living a life that’s so hateful?’/’Cause there’s a hole where your soul should be/You’re losing control a bit, and it’s really distasteful./

Those lyrics were clearly pointed at George W Bush but there is a line or two that could be prescient: “ So you say it’s not okay to be gay, well, I think you’re just evil/you’re just some racist who can’t tie my laces/Your point of view is medieval. /

President Biden has warned that LGBTQ+ children could be the next target of the Republican ‘Maga crowd.’ (That would be the ‘make America great again’ bunch.) ‘Great’ as in backward, the kind of America where First Ladies stand behind their man baking apple pie and being supportive of the most illiberal views.

Olivia Rodrigo and Lily Allen weren’t the only Glastonbury performers to address the Supreme Court decision overturning federal protection for abortion rights that have been in place for fifty years. Phoebe Bridgers led her audience in a chant of ‘F*** the Supreme Court.’

Barack and Michelle Obama also expressed their disgust with the ruling alongside celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Bette Midler and the Puerto Rican actress Rita Morneo who survived a botched abortion before it was legalised (she was born in 1931). She said she is “really nervous and frightened and horrified that this is taking place.”

Calling it a sad day for the country, President Biden said: “We need to restore the protections of Roe as law of the land.”

The fight resumes.

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