Sunday, June 19, 2022

Deputized to defend abortion rights

Rattle, rattle. What's that sound? It's a big-government conservative picking through the garbage of a woman alleged to have been pregnant.

Click, click. That's big-government conservatives hacking into a woman's menstrual cycle app.

When politicians make a woman's private medical decisions their own, things like this can happen.

Indeed, President Biden this week was pondering several measures, including having the Federal Trade Commission order the makers of apps that track menstrual cycles to warn users that their bodily functions could become prosecutorial fodder.

I hadn't considered the true ramifications of today's red-state rush to ban abortion until I read a fiery New York Times commentary from Fairfax County, Va., district attorney Steve Descano.

Descano is among a growing group of prosecutors who say they will not go after women or providers impacted by laws that criminalize abortion.

He wrote of "Orwellian" means tailored to Republican ends, say, if a woman had to prove to the state that a miscarriage was not an abortion.

Anti-abortion zealots will call that an overwrought notion. They won't blink, however, at laws right out of Orwell like deputizing citizens to sue providers and those who aid in abortions after fetal cardiac activity is noted, around six weeks into a pregnancy. The Texas Legislature crafted this bill in its 2021 session.

It is encouraging to hear of people like Descano and jurisdictions that won't play along with the quest to criminalize a woman's medical decisions.

The Austin City Council would effectively decriminalize abortion with a resolution putting it the very bottom of law enforcement priorities. Other cities like Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are considering similar measures.

Now it's time for all in the majority of Americans who support a woman's right to act on that feeling.

Consider yourselves deputized.

Joe Biden is doing it by considering options to preserve women's control of their own bodies.

One is to declare a national health emergency should the Supreme Court overturn Roe vs. Wade. Another would be to use federal authority to prevent states from prohibiting out-of-state travel to obtain health services.

Another would assert federal preeminence over state bans of abortion medication obtained across state lines.

To that end, on behalf of all deputized to defend reproductive rights, let me share this web site:

It holds the key to obtaining abortion medication in a state that prohibits it, along with support from the growing number of entities.

Be a supporter.

Lend a hand, financially and vocally, to Planned Parenthood and organizations that do so much heavy lifting to help women control their own reproductive destinies.

No, we aren't just talking about abortion, though that's all the anti-choice right wants to talk about.

The anti-choice right, and scandalously, the leadership of the Republican Party, not only is a sworn enemy of Roe but also of contraception and its providers.

The Republican vendetta against Planned Parenthood is a disgrace – and indefensible – considering that no entity does more to help women avoid unwanted pregnancies and, by logical extension, the abortion dilemma.

To any big-government conservative who says, "How dare police and district attorneys not enforce an abortion ban" – what have you been saying when sheriffs in rural counties have refused to enforce red flag and other gun measures? Likely you've applauded them. Great Americans. Supporters of freedom.

Yes, freedom. Freedom to consult one's doctor. Freedom to decide how many mouths to feed.

With a Supreme Court ruling imminent, we are at the juncture where the dog that chased the car – the religious right with the Republican Party its master – catches the car and gets a bumper smack in the grill. The GOP will not prosper politically from this.


All deputized to defend reproductive rights must make sure the GOP feels the bite at the polls.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email:


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