The confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, as is the case with most confirmation hearings, has devolved into a series of useless ad hominem attacks based in partisan politics. In this case, the noise is destroying the signal, and some very important information has simply slipped through the cracks. One of the most important issues with Sotomayor hasn’t come up in the confirmation process at all: In a recent interview with the New York Times, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks about how Sotomayor’s appointment would affect the way the Supreme Court treats abortion.
Although Sotomayor has never directly ruled on whether the Constitution protects abortion, Ginsburg has high hopes that she will be a staunch advocate not only for abortion, but for government-funded abortion. Ginsburg says that the Roe decision created “a policy that affects only poor women” and bemoans “the lack of Medicaid for abortions.” Ginsburg’s hope is that Sotomayor’s nomination will help to “straighten out” abortion policy.
If history is any indication, government-funded abortion is only one small step away from government-controlled abortion. The government already takes a keen interest in controlling our bodies, mandating vaccinations and restricting our intake of certain substances. If some government health czar were to decide that recent advances in genetic testing would enable us to “kill off inherited illnesses” at the price of only a few thousand abortions, we might well find ourselves in a situation where so-called “reproductive rights” become reproductive privileges.Published in