The Corner

Politics & Policy

Booker Defends Roe with a Series of Euphemisms

Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the Supreme Court, Washington, D.C., October 12, 2020. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

During today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) used part of his opening statement to assert that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is a threat to Roe v. Wade.

“People are scared right now for another reason, because they know what a future without the protections of Roe v. Wade looks like,” Booker said. “President Trump has explicitly stated that he would only put up Supreme Court nominees that would overturn Roe v. wade. He said it clearly. We should believe him.”

Of course, Booker has no way of knowing how Barrett would vote on any given abortion case, but that won’t stop him and other Democrats on the committee from fearmongering about what would happen if Roe and subsequent abortion jurisprudence were rolled back or reversed.

“Without Roe v. Wade, our country looks like people being denied the ability to make decisions about their own body, not just while they’re pregnant, but being stripped of the right to plan for their futures,” Booker continued. Here’s the rest of what he had to say about the supposed future of our country if Roe is reversed:

It looks like women of color, low-income women living in rural areas, who can’t just pack up and leave if abortion is restricted or criminalized where they live. It looks like them being left with no options. It looks like state laws proliferating throughout our country that seek to control and criminalize women. It looks like the government interfering with women making the most personal medical decisions. It looks like a country in which states write laws that could subject women that have miscarriages to investigations to ensure that didn’t have abortions.

Very little of Booker’s commentary bears any resemblance to reality. For one thing, he relies heavily on euphemisms that disguise the truth of the supposed right he champions. Abortion is not a matter of whether a woman can “make decisions about her own body.” There is, after all, a second body involved in the equation — the much smaller, much more vulnerable body of her unborn child.

Likewise, overturning Roe would not “strip [women] of the right to plan for their futures.” Women do not need the ability to choose to kill their unborn children in order to plan for their futures. Eliminating legal abortion would not prevent women from planning; it would eliminate a “planning” option that uses violence to end the life of another human being.

Booker next suggests that Barrett is a threat to “women of color, low-income women living in rural areas, who can’t just pack up and leave if abortion is restricted or criminalized where they live.” This is a common trope of abortion-rights activists, who insist that, because rich women can more easily travel to get abortions, restrictions on abortion disadvantage poor women. But as Ann Coulter once put it in the Human Life Review, “If laws had to be repealed because the wealthy can evade or tolerate them more easily than the poor, there couldn’t be laws against anything.”

Booker went on to insist that, without Roe, we would witness the proliferation of laws “that seek to control and criminalize women.” Yet not a single pro-life law I’m aware of would criminalize or otherwise punish women who obtain an abortion. Instead, pro-life laws target abortionists and explicitly prohibit prosecuting post-abortive women. Nor is there a single pro-life law I’m aware of proposed in the U.S. that would require investigating women who have suffered a miscarriage.

Though Booker might not wish to admit, acknowledge, or even consider this reality, abortion is not a “personal medical decision.” It isn’t medical at all. There is no medical procedure that has as its chief aim the destruction of a human life. We can expect to hear more fearmongering about Roe from Senate Democrats this week, and we can expect all of it to be as euphemistic, factually inaccurate, and dishonest as the diatribe Booker offered this afternoon.

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