Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Ginsburg's Stunning Bigoted View On Abortion: Feared "Growth In Populations That We Don't Want To Have Too Many Of"

Abortion opponents often claim that Planned Parenthood has racist origins as a plan by wealthy, well-educated white Americans to prevent poor women and, in particular, poor African-American women, from bringing more children into this world. In an interview with New York Times' magazine, Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes a stunning admission about her view of abortion at the time Roe v. Wade was decided legalizing abortion, which essentially confirms anti-abortionist suspicions of liberals' rationale for legalizing abortions and making them accessible on demand:

Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.
This stunning admission came after Ginsburg explained the need for reproductive choice to be "straightened out." "There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore," she said. Lamenting the lack of government-funded abortions for poor women because of the congressionally-imposed Hyde Amendment, which the Supreme Court upheld in 1980, Ginsburg said, "So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don't know why this hasn't been said more often." Ginsburg believes the government has decided poor women can't have abortions because it chooses not to fund them. "The basic thing is that the government has no business making that choice for a woman," she said.

Ginsburg is candid in her views on abortion, if not charitable. If Justice Scalia had made a similar bigoted comment from the perspective of the Right, you can bet the media would be all over it. I suspect Ginsburg's comments will scarcely gain a mention in the mainstream media. Ironically, Ginsburg, in defending comments Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotamayor made about a Latina woman being able to make better decisions than white males, offered this reply: "Think of how many times you’ve said something that you didn’t get out quite right, and you would edit your statement if you could." Is this one of those occasions for Ginsburg?


Chris Worden said...

You have COMPLETELY misconstrued Justice Ginsburg's comment! She wasn't saying that was HER view. She was hypothesizing about some of the forces she believed helped give rise to the Medicaid funding provision. Plus, YOU are the one who makes the leap that it was a racial thing. Call me crazy, but I'm not keen on women, regardless of race, who cannot afford the kids they have now having more. Apparently, you are. But the difference between the two of us apparently is that I'd at least let the women have a choice, and so would Justice Ginsberg.

The reason we know you are wrong about her remarks is because if you read your OWN post it is clear that her point is that children are costly, and that if you, by virtue of cost, effectively have it only available for rich people, we will have more women stay broke.

The Hyde Amendment was nothing more than just another effort by the Republican Party to keep poor women poor, so that it can legislate morality from its wealthy perches.

This is the same thing they do now around the globe. We have massive population explosions in 3rd world countries, and yet there the Republican Party stands, conditioning every bit of foreign aid on the complete exclusion of family planning services.

Take the log out of your party. Then we'll talk about bigotry.

Chris Of Rights said...

And remember. This nomination was confirmed on a unanimous vote by a Republican controlled Senate.

Of course, that was back when the Senate understood "advise and consent".

Under today's rules, one would expect she wouldn't even make it out of the Judiciary Committee (if it were Republican controlled, of course).

Gary R. Welsh said...

There is no misrepresenting her view, Chris Worden. She is clearly perturbed that the government is not paying for abortion on demand through the Medicaid program. She knows the demographics, and she meant exactly what she said. And you are totally misinformed on the enactment of the Hyde Amendment. Yes, it was sponsored by a Republican, Henry Hyde of Illinois, but it drew widespread bipartisan support. Democrats controlled both chambers by wide margins at the time of its passage. I'll cut you some slack about your ignorance of the Hyde Amendment. I met one of Henry Hyde's daughters in Springfield at a bar when I worked for the legislature there. I brought up the Hyde Amendment during the conversation. No kidding, she thought it was a constitutional amendment. She had no clue what the Hyde Amendment was. I was too embarrassed for her to correct her.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I reread the comment again, for the reason you cite. It's pretty clear that she was including herself in the group that shared that view.

Here's the key part of what she said: "there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that WE don’t want to have too many of."

You see the "we?" She could have easily used "they," but she used "we" instead. That means she shares those views.

It's not exactly news that there are pro-abortion folks who are motivated by the bigotry of racism and classism. Certainly not all of them or the majority of them, but there are people out there for whom that is their motivation. That Ginsburg said that out loud is astonishing.

You can't tell me that if Scalia, Thomas or Roberts uttered such a statement there would not be a firestorm of people in the media demanding their resignations.

So you don't think people have strong moral objections to taxpayer money being used for abortion and that might be the overriding motivation for the Hyde Amendement instead of some strategy to keep poor women poor?

Paul K. Ogden said...


You're exactly right about the Hyde Amendment. It received bipartisan support. There were plenty of Democrats who voted for it.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Ginsburg blames the lack of federal funding of abortions as the problem; others would point to government policies which reward mothers who have children out-of-wedlock. I'm not sure that the availability of a free abortion would have stemmed the number of births among the poor, as she and others liberal thinkers preferred, given other government policies allowing an out-of-wedlock mother to receive free government housing, guaranteed welfare payments and free health care.

Melyssa said...

I'm all for government funded sterilization. Let's pay people $100 a pop to prevent conception!