I support freedom of speech. So if Jonah Goldberg wants to write a column suggesting that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wants to kill ghetto babies, and the LA Times, a paper apparently sorely in need of an audience, sees fit to publish his meandering, slack-jawed drivel, then fine by me. I guess since they’re done calling the Obama girls “monkeys” and “whores,” his fans at the Free Republic could use some red meat anyway.
Let’s just jump right in, shall we?:
Here's what Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in Sunday's New York Times Magazine: "Frankly I had thought that at the time [Roe vs. Wade] was decided," Ginsburg told her interviewer, Emily Bazelon, "there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of."
The comment, which bizarrely elicited no follow-up from Bazelon or any further coverage from the New York Times -- or any other major news outlet -- was in the context of Medicaid funding for abortion. Ginsburg was surprised when the Supreme Court in 1980 barred taxpayer support for abortions for poor women. After all, if poverty partly described the population you had "too many" of, you would want to subsidize it in order to expedite the reduction of unwanted populations.
Left unclear is whether Ginsburg endorses the eugenic motivation she ascribed to the passage of Roe vs. Wade or whether she was merely objectively describing it.
Oh, is it? Is it “left unclear”? Perhaps if one excerpted the entire quote (such as we must accept it in an edited interview), what Ginsburg meant might be a little clearer. This is directly from the interview itself:
JUSTICE GINSBURG: Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back. So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.
Q: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?
JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.
How’s that, Jonah? Clear things up for you any?
Having convinced himself that he has successfully associated our only sitting female member of the Supreme Court with eugenics, a movement most notoriously equated with Hitler and the Nazis, Jonah goes on to drop the bombshell that one of the pioneers of birth control and the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was substantially motivated by eugenics. Wowie! Shocking! To find that out, Jonah must have done some serious digging! In fact, he probably dug up a high school level social studies book, because that’s where I read about it.
I think Jonah’s point is that 1, the early proponents of reproductive choice were racists, and 2, maybe they still are.
Regarding 1, I wonder if he’s aware that many early members of the women’s suffrage movement opposed voting rights for African Americans?
It’s true. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it, if maybe it was feminists, and not all those good ole boys down South, who were responsible for all that Jim Crow nonsense?
And don’t forget about those lily white founding fathers, man. They owned slaves. AND they wrote the Constitution. Does Jonah know this? Because maybe he should do a column about how people who support upholding the Constitution might secretly be trying to bring back slavery.
Regarding 2, Jonah invokes two dudes with absolutely no business representing modern liberals, and tries to imply that liberals want ghetto babies to die because otherwise they will grow up to steal our iPods.
I think Jonah, who has a tendency to infer a lot from things, might want to think twice before entering the whole does-abortion-reduce-crime fray. Because that fray has a whole lot of smart, statics-savvy dudes in it who would not only eat him alive, but would probably also prove to him that, statistically speaking, he sucks ass.
Furthermore, it’s certainly no surprise that Jonah either forgets, or is too stupid to have figured out, that it’s not the children of minorities that probably disproportionately wreak havoc on society, it’s unwanted children. And the well-off have, as Ginsburg pointed out, never especially needed Roe v. Wade. It’s poor and middle-class women who need Roe v. Wade, but especially poor women, who are more likely than others to not be able to afford preventative birth control, either.
Lastly, I think anyone with even a conservative-sized brain can see that modern eugenics is peopled pretty exclusively by conservatives, and not just the extreme, violent skinhead types, either. Take the members of the Quiverfull movement, whose goal is to push out as many fundamentalists whelps as they can in the hopes of keeping their own kind the dominant population in
So, to take the concern that a lot of feminists have for women who have difficulty financing reproductive freedom, and to imply that that concern is motivated by racism, is fairly despicable. To attribute that motivation to Ginsburg, who is clearly not guilty, and then even to Sotomayor, which Jonah shamelessly does, is beyond even the Jonah Goldberg pale.
But, nevertheless, I continue to believe in freedom of speech. I also believe in reproductive freedom. Even Mama Goldberg’s.