The Right to Bodily Integrity

A couple of thoughts from the brilliant Juan Cole:

The Trump Supreme Court self-evidently does not believe in these principles of liberty and pursuit of happiness, on which the United States was founded. The justices hold that we have no right to personal autonomy or bodily privacy and liberty, and that an alliance of Evangelicals and Catholics in state houses can legislate the most intimate details of our lives.

The justices draw on a scam called “originalism” to argue that the constitution now means what it meant to the framers in the 18th Century, which ought to make these originalists turn to professional, academic historians. They do not, and the naive historiography to which we have been treated by Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas in recent weeks would earn any of my undergraduates an “F.”

Since they’re so hung up on the eighteenth century, it is worth considering what the first generation of Americans thought about abortion.

Eighteenth century Americans believed that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness included freedom from unwanted pregnancies during the first 16-18 weeks, and had their own equivalents of mifepristone and misoprostol, the abortion pill, which taken together will end a pregnancy.

In one of his books, Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers and a framer of the constitution, included a text that provided instructions for using herbs to “restore the courses,” that is, to start menstruation back up, i.e. they were abortifacients

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