"Pro-wife extremism."

News & Politics

James Taranto, the hack-tacular editor of the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal, proves that there's nothing on which right-wing extremists won't hang the 'extremist' label:

Pro-Wife Extremism
Judge Alito was right on spousal notification.
When President Bush nominated Judge Sam Alito to the Supreme Court, it didn't take long for extremist groups to alight on his partial dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, decided by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991, as a pretext to oppose him.
Roe was the offspring of Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 case that established a "right to privacy"--and specifically, a right of married couples to obtain contraceptives. This right had no basis in the text of the Constitution, but it was grounded, as Justice William O. Douglas wrote for the majority, in "the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationship."
By 1992, when the high court decided Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the right to marital privacy had somehow morphed into a woman's right to abort her husband's child without telling him. The court's privacy jurisprudence has become simply a matter of five justices' policy preferences, unmoored from any limiting principle. You don't have to be a pro-life absolutist to object to this exercise in pro-wife extremism.
My God, man, have you no shame? "A woman's right to abort her husband's child"? Jeebus.

I can't imagine anyone arguing that a married woman (or a woman in a committed relationship) should terminate a pregnancy without discussing it with the spouse (or significant other), unless said spouse was likely to beat the shit out of her. Or worse.

But more to the point, this is not an issue of a woman's right to choose, but of the government's right to stick its nose in the most intimate areas of our lives.

I believe, as others have argued, that privacy from government intrusion -- just like the Supremes decided in Griswold -- should always be the message around reproductive rights.

To highlight that, I would like to see a lawmaker - a female lawmaker - offer up a spousal notification law whereby a man must get a note signed by his wife - just like a child bringing a note to the principal - and present it to his doctor before having legal access to a vasectomy.

The bill doesn't have to fly -- or even have a chance of flying -- to shine a light on the ridiculous hypocrisy of it all.

PS: If you missed it, my colleague Deanna Zandt had some thoughts on this the other day.

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