Joe Henderson: SCOTUS hands control of women’s bodies to the states
Abortion ... just the beginning? Image via The Associated Press.

iowa abortion protest ap
The message from the U.S. Supreme Court to women: The state now controls your body.

Welcome back to the dark ages.

No, that’s not a new Disney ride. For millions of women in Florida and beyond, it’s their new reality. Thanks (no thanks) to the U.S. Supreme Court Friday that said states have the right to decide abortion laws and not the federal government.

Women who wish to terminate a pregnancy only have two choices.

They can travel to a state that allows abortions or see the pregnancy through. Well, I guess there is a third option — a clothes hanger. That’s how women did it before the SCOTUS approved Roe v. Wade, a federal law that ruled states couldn’t outlaw abortion.

It stood for 50 years because the Court never changed a basic right that the previous SCOTUS approved. Instead, as grotesquely unbalanced and ideological Court gave control of women’s bodies to the states.

The ruling came one day after the Court ruled state government can’t restrict where people can carry guns because that’s in the federal sandbox.

Guns: Feds control.

Abortion: States control.

Outgoing Republican state Senator Kelli Stargel led the charge this spring to outlaw abortions in Florida after a woman’s 15th week of pregnancy. Her campaign on that issue was successful, although I suppose it depends on which side of the abortion fence you reside.

When reporters asked her in January if the bill essentially eliminated abortions in Florida, she said it did not.

“That woman has every opportunity within that first trimester to make the decision based on whatever criteria she sets for herself and deciding whether or not she wants to continue her pregnancy or whether she doesn’t,” Stargel said.

But then she added a caveat.

“Obviously if the Supreme Court comes out with something, we will adjust accordingly, if necessary,” Stargel said.

Well, the U.S. Supreme Court came out with something on Friday.

It gave the lawmakers in various parties of freedom the opportunity to ban abortions outright.

Now, we wait for the Republican lawmakers in Tallahassee to, as Stargel said, “adjust accordingly.”

They’re on the clock.

That means Republican lawmakers like Sen. Dennis Baxley, Rep. Randy Fine, Rep. Anthony Sabatini and other residents of wingnut city can smugly chuckle as they force women into impossible decisions.

It also gives Gov. Ron DeSantis the chance to take another victory lap at The Villages.

What about the women, though?

If they are raped by their crazy drunken uncle and become pregnant, too bad. Florida’s current law already ruled on that.

The same goes for a teenager who gets pregnant at age 15.

There is conservative blather now about going after birth control devices like IUDs, the morning after pill, and so on. Lawmakers in some states talked about making it a crime for a woman to travel out of state to have an abortion.

Think that’s extreme?

It’s not enough for some to outlaw abortion, because far-right lawmakers and judges have the green light to ban stuff they don’t like.

In the brief overturning Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas signaled that the Court should remove the right to same-sex marriage.

Thomas wrote, “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents” to those extremely personal issues.

And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if some members in the Florida Legislature see that and think, hmmm, good idea.

It’s not a good idea, but that has never stopped them because freedom, Republican-style, isn’t free.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


27 comments

  • Tom

    June 24, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    Pearly Gates:

    Standing before the pearly gates the pro abortionists will see the 63 million aborted babies before their eyes. Get ready when that time comes.

    • Uncle Clarence

      June 24, 2022 at 8:46 pm

      You think pro abortionists are going to heaven? Typical demtard liberal. What a moron.

      • Pearly Gates

        June 24, 2022 at 8:55 pm

        Uncle, No, that’s the point.

        Do you not understand your scripture?
        Standing before the pearly gates, standing in Judgement,
        They will not enter heaven in all likelihood. No one knows for certain,
        63 million is a tough one to escape.
        My goodness.

        Abortion does not get the Dums victory.

        • God

          June 24, 2022 at 9:02 pm

          U are a satanist and you are misquoting scripture. They will NOT be allowed anywhere near the “pearly gates” (give me a break) the Risen Jesus will strike them down into hell immediately you are unholy and arrogant and just want to use this situation to satisfy your two dimensional junior high lunchroom superiority and the Risen Jesus will strike you down too. Like all demtards and liberals and abortionists. RINO trash.

          • Tom

            June 24, 2022 at 10:46 pm

            Blood on your hands. Using God’s name is a sin, you sinner.
            Pearly Gates closing.
            You and your abortionists are condemned to the hell!
            The inferno heat getting yo you.
            Repent before it’s to late,
            Seek salvation you abortionists.
            The blood of abortion is on your hands. Repent now. 63 million later.

  • Jerry

    June 24, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    The Constitution says NOTHING about abortion. NOTHING. Where does it say abortion is a constitutional right? Where? Will a liberal please point it out to me? Did the founding fathers discuss abortion when they were drafting the constitution? When the 14th amendment was written, did anyone mention abortion? The 1973 court had to do some really amazing legal gymnastics to make it look like abortion is in there. But it’s not. That was invented out of thin air by social justice ideologues that were frustrated by the slow movement of social progress in legislatures.

    The issue is going back to the states where it should have always been. If Florida voters want to make it legal so women can terminate their babies up to the minute of birth….go ahead and draft an amendment to our state constitution. See if the voters agree with you. You have that right. Don’t sit here and whine about it because the states get their rights back that they should have always had.

    • Tom

      June 24, 2022 at 8:29 pm

      Agreed Jerry! No where is the un saintly Roe V Wade, is not Identified in const. text! It’s been criticized even by Ruthie Ginsburg.

      If you Dums want to complain blame Ruthie, Obummer wanted her to retire in 15. She refused to do so.

      Trump appointed the justices.
      Pelosi is excommunicated from the church. As is Biden.

      Abortion does not get the Dums victory. See ya!

  • tom palmer

    June 24, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    It will be interesting to see how this decision lands politically in this year’s elections. Be careful what you wish for.

    • Impeach Biden

      June 24, 2022 at 8:51 pm

      You are dreaming Palmer. You and the Dems have pounced on this as your Hail Mary to attempt to minimize the rout that is coming in November.

  • John Barron

    June 24, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    This is Trump’s victory and Trump’s alone. Come ‘24, Republican voters will remember and reward him, not DeSantis.

    • Tom

      June 24, 2022 at 11:28 pm

      Moron, you have you be the biggest moron.

  • Sarah Elizabeth

    June 24, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    Great

  • Sarah Elizabeth

    June 24, 2022 at 9:36 pm

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    Get more information 0n f0ll0wing site…

  • Kathi

    June 25, 2022 at 1:42 am

    Where, oh where, in the constitution are bullets mentioned? Where are AR 15 type weapons mentioned? When it says take up arms, it doesn’t even mention a gun itself, which at the time was a musket or cannon. You made your own ammunition…pellet balls with ignitable powder. So if we are going to get specific as to what the 14th ammendment says about privacy, including a person’s personal privacy, how about being as specific about the 2nd. I don’t agree with abortion. But the government should have no say in the matter.

  • Simple solution

    June 25, 2022 at 5:52 am

    Joe, did your intellectual development stop in 1975?
    Women who want to control their bodies should control their bodies–from the outset. Women who wish not to be pregnant should not GET pregnant.
    Ultimately, this is about men, you know. Fathers get no say in the matter. They apparently have NO rights when it comes to their children. So, men who oppose abortion, the choice is yours. KEEP IT ZIPPED and she can’t have any abortion, can she? Keep the car in the garage and their ain’t no fatal accidents.

  • JD

    June 25, 2022 at 7:13 am

    I hope this ruling causes a crush to the Republicans in 2024 and put a serious damper on things this year. I hope you have awaken a sleeping giant (to use a misquote about Pearl Harbor bombing) in independents and Democrats. The Republicans need to be taken down a notch and realize they don’t run it for all of us.

    And then the hypocrisy of Thomas to talk about looking at reversing implied rights of other rulings with a similar argument on contraceptives and gay marriage, when a similar application protected interracial marriage? WTF?

    I hope every independent woman (and man) comes out of to vote because they can see it’s not about conservative values, but about power and control, with imparting their ideology of a less than a 1/3rd minority on the majority. The true minority tyranny they rail against in their culture wars.

    And don’t rant and rave about this being a “moral issue” of the “murder of the innocent”, because it’s not. Abortion is an issue of “public good”, but the ignorant don’t know enough to understand that.

    If it was a moral issue, there would have long ago been programs to help raise unwanted or abandoned / abused children and programs to provide birth control. There wouldn’t be the need for overused food banks and school breakfast/lunch grant programs.

    And everyone of you barking about the 63 million babies know damn well know that number is a bullshit “lying with statistics” stat. There isn’t any way that’s a “yearly number of abortions”. The current stats suggest average yearly number is 890K. So if Roe has been around for less than 50 years, and that 890K number is based on a populace number that has risen in that 50 years, the 63M doesn’t pan out. Stop lying.

    This is simply injecting religious beliefs into the populace through minority controlled system. I seem to remember the Anglo-saxon bunch left the UK because of this and created a separate of church and state.

    And most of these laws have almost zero provisions for rape or incest and then try to “morally” justify the rapist’s baby as having future worth? How the fuck does that square morally? The ultimate violation of privacy and rights and they have to “morally” carry “their shame” to term?

    Reap what you sow. The polls will NOT vindicate you. But then again, what else should the nation expect from the party of TRAITORS. Hypocrites.

  • MgM

    June 25, 2022 at 8:00 am

    This is really, really ignorant.
    All SCOTUS did was correct a bad ruling and turn the power to regulate abortions back over to the states. Nothing else. Abortion was NEVER a Constitutional Right. Ever. It was being ‘Sneaked-in’ under the Privacy clause in the Constitution. If a woman wants to get an abortion, she still can.
    As for guns, the Constitution is and always was very clear on that. Each and every American has the right to posses and carry a Handgun, inside or outside of the house. SCOTUS Did Not say the states cannot regulate it, they said that if a person can pass the criteria and the Background, the State SHALL issue a Concealed Carry Permit.
    Talk about a divisive hit-piece,
    Grow up.

  • Tom

    June 25, 2022 at 8:03 am

    JD, you know I appreciate you but you are having a major liberal dissertation melt down. Real bad.

    America woke up this morning, life will go on.
    Biden destroyed economy.
    Tell Pelosi and schumer to pass a first trimester, abortion bill. Put it on the House and Senate floor for vote next week. Not til birth, first trimester. Hold a vote!

    No extremism JD, no AOC B S , or granny pants Liz Warren. Or racist Max Waters.

    Please JD, no one is going after school lunches, wow. That’s pretty extreme. 63 million abortions JD. That’s extreme.

    • JD

      June 25, 2022 at 8:37 am

      Tom, I appreciate you insight, but this the removal of implied rights in place 50 years, with many more built upon it.

      And the number of 63 Million abortions keeps being tossed around. Show me where that stat from compiled, because the number is almost impossible to jive.

      And I have little extremism, but rather a melt down at the slide away from conservative values. I am tired of Republicans of being CINO’s (Conservatives IN Name Only). The CINO’s have co-opted conservatism to gain power (or maybe the other way around – co-opted ignorance to gain votes).

      And it’s not moral to make a woman that was violated in rape to carry a bastard child to term if there is a human way to stop that. No clause for rape or incest? That’s A Hand Maiden’s tale there.

      And to everyone acting like this was some great loophole closed – it’s not. It’s the pulling of implied rights and against the will of the majority And Thomas has stated he wants to look at others that sit on the privacy right?

      So I am not having a meltdown, even if I wrote a dissertation (I do that anyway). I am tired of hypocrisy. This all smacks of the 1980s (the new cold war, Republicans being hauled in front of congress – Old Ollie North). They truly sucked.

      And as for Biden ruining the economy – There’s blame to go to 45, 46 and as you are fond of saying the once in a 100 year pandemic. So to cast that trope has little merit in context – it’s just being used a political fodder for negative ads.

      And as a political scientist, you well that there’s not the votes to pass even a first trimester bill in congress. The Republicans are like the Mob – they march with the same tune from state to Federal level. And if the Republicans take the house / senate in 2022 they will put forth a bill to ban all abortions after 6 weeks. And then the Democrats will be thankful they didn’t remove the filibuster as it will be the only way to stop such a bill.

      Look at abortion from the angle of public good verse a moral issue. Just like Desantis looked at NOT having covid lock downs.

      • Tom

        June 25, 2022 at 1:20 pm

        JD, I respect you. But I disagree, I think you can get a first trimester bill passed in Pelosi’s house and likely in Senate. Tough but possible. Schumer brought it up, it was for Abortion up til birth! Manchin voted no too. The Dems are the extremists on abortion, illegal aliens, aoc green no deal, anti carbon and in spending bills. The Covid $1.9 trillion they passed in March is the example that blew up the inflation. Plus infrastructure.

        As for economy, Biden destroyed it, period. Inflation was 1.4% when sworn in. This clown shoe with Biden & giggles Harris are not only incompetent but have made every wrong move. You can cry others, all of you said #45 had nothing to do with the great economy for 3 yrs, it was Obamas, more minorities were working, earning as blue collar, working class wages went up under #45.

        You are all over the place and I don’t write dissertations as you finely do.

        As for abortion, first trimester and Mothers health work. Your extreme other examples are very very small percentage.

        Peace J D., I Appreciate you.

      • Tom

        June 25, 2022 at 5:16 pm

        TJC, I think you are the pile of Adam Schiff.
        Abortion was a states issue pre Roe.
        Legislatures passed abortion or not.
        The judicial usurpation of this issue, and it’s awful decision, which even liberals like Ginsburg admitted. Justice Blackman is a butcher. Woe is Roe, I’m glad it’s gone.

        The Dems are the extreme extremists, on every issue. The most far left positions. No compromise.

        Tell Schumer and Pelosi to put a first trimester bill on the floor. Dare Repub. to vote it down. Not a til 9th month, til born. Schumer pulled that last month. Save it pal!

        Save it you abortionist. No one cares the extremists are mad. Wah

      • Tom

        June 25, 2022 at 5:16 pm

        TJC, I think you are the pile of Adam Schiff.
        Abortion was a states issue pre Roe.
        Legislatures passed abortion or not.
        The judicial usurpation of this issue, and it’s awful decision, which even liberals like Ginsburg admitted. Justice Blackman is a butcher. Woe is Roe, I’m glad it’s gone.

        The Dems are the extreme extremists, on every issue. The most far left positions. No compromise.

        Tell Schumer and Pelosi to put a first trimester bill on the floor. Dare Repub. to vote it down. Not a til 9th month, til born. Schumer pulled that last month. Save it pal!

        Save it you abortionist. No one cares the extremists are mad. Wah

      • Tom

        June 25, 2022 at 5:26 pm

        It’s 63 million JD.
        Can’t keep up with all your points.
        Honest disagreement about this. I’m not opposed to first trimester. Florida law says first 14 weeks I believe. That sounds bout right. Majority support first trimester. After that it loses majority, decreases largely.

  • TJC

    June 25, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    Alito, like some mosquitos here, says if the founding fathers didn’t mention it, out it goes. The Constitution doesn’t say anything about the internet either, or your so-called right to read or reply here. Shut it all down now!
    Nothing in it about airplanes, either, nothing that says you need a license to fly one, and same goes for cars. Nothing in it about ownership of cars and planes. Either ground all planes and close the roads or let us all do whatever we want with planes and cars. Nothing in the Constitution that says African Americans cannot be enslaved, so enslave them again, right?
    Nothing in it about lots of shit, which is why Alito’s reasoning is a pile of shit, as is most of what I’m reading here in so-called comments that are mostly expressions of hatred, prejudice, and ignorance.

    • Tom

      June 25, 2022 at 9:52 pm

      TJC, Spoken like a liberal Manchurian hater, you have nothing to offer but your liberal hate.

      You are the prejudice one, espousing your ignorance. The blood is on your hands, you hater. 63 million abortions has not satisfied your love for abortion. Do you have any limits, or do you want it after birth, like the rest of your extremists. You ofrer no compromise on any major issue, none. True Manchurian.

      You are a pathetic pile of Adam Schiff.
      Enjoy your putrid self. To bad your mom didn’t abort you.

  • Selina Trixdy

    June 25, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    Stupid religious extremists!

    Religion is one of the most fucked up concept ever.

    Pro lifers hypocrisy is amazing.

    Fuck off!

    • Tom

      June 27, 2022 at 9:20 pm

      Wah Wah Wah Celine Dion.
      Truck mouth, LMAO.
      Abortionists have no conscience.
      Like President Reagan said.
      “I’ve noticed that all those who are pro abortion are already alive”!

Comments are closed.


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