Last Tuesday, when Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, appeared at a hearing to account for her organisation’s federal funding, it might have only attracted political diehards. But during the course of a day-long appearance, Richards was interrogated with such undisguised contempt, such outright hostility and disregard for the facts, that video of the hearing jumped out of the political and into the popular realm.
In the days that followed, Richards was stopped at every juncture – on the train back to New York, on the subway, in the coffee shop next to her office – by people echoing disbelief both at how she had been treated, and the things ostensibly sane Republican congressmen had said. The footage was so bananas, says Richards, that “it has really ignited people who don’t think about this day in and day out”.
“This” is women’s reproductive rights, an issue that, 40-odd years after Roe v Wade, is still as central to US electoral politics as it ever was.
“In this primary, I think they’ve moved even further to the right than Governor Romney,” says Richards, quite an achievement given Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign pledge to eliminate Planned Parenthood.
“In this coming presidential election, Roe v Wade is on the ballot. The battle lines were drawn last week. This isn’t about Planned Parenthood or fetal tissue” – one of the charges against the organisation is that it sells fetal tissue to scientific researchers – “it’s about whether abortion is going to be legal any more in this country.”
You really cannot argue with this statement considering what we have seen these last few months.
There is an incredibly aggressive effort by the conservatives to undermine or do away with legal abortion in this country, and there are NO indications that they are going to stop any time soon.
This is why it is incredibly important to support the Democratic candidate in 2016.
And I think it's clear that no matter who wins they will fight for the preservation of Roe vs Wade.
Which is why I get so angry when people say that if Hillary is the candidate that they will sit out this election.
My response to that is "Fuck you! If that is true you might as well go register as a Republican now because you are essentially working to promote their agenda."
This is NOT the time to take your ball and go home because the game is not going the way you envisioned it in your fantasies. Now is the time to take your lumps, dust yourself off, and get back into the game.
And if you need any more incentive just keep this in mind:
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest justice, was born on March 15, 1933. She is now 82. When the next presidential term ends she will be 87 years and 10 months old — or 87.8 years old.
Antonin Scalia, the second oldest justice, was born on March 11, 1936. He is now 79. When the next presidential term ends, he will be 84 years and 10 months — or 84.8 years old.
Anthony Kennedy, the third oldest justice, was born on July 23, 1936. He is now 78. When the next presidential term ends, he will be 84 years and 5 months — or 84.4 years old.
Stephen Breyer, the fourth oldest justice, was born on August 15, 1938. He is now 76. When the next presidential term ends, he will be 82 years and 5 months — or 82.4 years old.
Clarence Thomas, the fifth oldest justice, was born on June 23, 1948. He is now 66 — and will turn 67 next week. When the next presidential term ends, he will be 72 years and 6 months — or 72.5 years old.
Samuel Alito, the sixth oldest justice, was born on April 1, 1950. He is now 65. When the next presidential term ends, he will be 70 years and 9 months — or 70.8 years old.
Sonia Sotomayor, the seventh oldest justice, was born on June 25, 1954. She is now 60 — and will turn 61 next week. When the next presidential term ends, she will be 66 years and 6 months — or 66.5 years old.
Chief Justice John Roberts, the eighth oldest, was born on January 27, 1955. He is now 60. When the next presidential term ends, he will be 65 years and 11 months — or 65.9 years old.
Elena Kagan, the youngest justice, was born on April 28, 1960. She is now 55. When the next presidential term ends, she will be 60 years and 8 months — or 60.7 years old.
By 2020 the average age of the Justices will be 75 years old.
However it is very unlikely that all of them will remain in the Court until then, and if the next President is lucky enough to get two terms it is relatively certain they will have to replace four or more of the Supreme Court Justices during that time.
Still feel like sitting this one out?