Abortion, like everything else, it’s all about property rights…
Once upon a time there was a vast land, suddenly known to Europeans. They called it America, after Amerigo Vespucci, the circa 1500 a.d., Florentine explorer. There were people in America already, but along with blankets and baubles to trade, the Europeans brought their favorite traditions: property rights and religion.
The Native Americans did not have same application of ownership of property, land in particular, so over time the Europeans were able to trade the American land away from many tribal territories. Once established in the “New World”, Europeans became Colonists, primarily for the British Crown. Some 250 years into this endeavor, generations of colonists had been born and raised in America. They fought territory wars on behalf of the King of England, and sent many raw materials back to him.
As the mid 1700s passed the colonists found that the governors and other officials, appointed by the King, were the ones benefiting from owning property. After expensive wars such as the French and Indian War, the King levied taxes to recoup those costs. A huge burden was on the consumer class, import taxes on goods from England for daily life. The colonists tried to approach the King with requests to have a representative in his Court so that they might negotiate their own property rights. All queries were rebuffed. After several years of this, one straw too many led to the Boston Tea Party in December 1773, and the public shaming of Benjamin Franklin at the Privy Council in London, January 1774. Franklin came home and worked with his fellow revolutionaries to create the United States of America, and its great Constitution.
It is in this Constitution that great simplicity, and thus great flexibility was established. Our favorites today include freedom of speech, freedom of and from religion, and bearing arms. The one that should be better known to all of us is property rights.
Alito’s gift, Alito’s Curse
Justice Alito is an Originalist, Constitutional Originalist that is. One can tell that “conservatives” are not for everyone because not everyone has property, or so we thought. Alito, the Originalist, reminds us about constitutional property rights. His brief on the overturning of Roe v Wade in the spring of 2022 alludes to property rights when he makes such statements such as this one about the justices who decided Roe v. Wade: they “usurped the power to address a question of profound moral and social importance that the Constitution unequivocally leaves for the people.”
The Constitution of the USA is written for the protection of property rights. The right to hold property was held by men descended from Europeans. Property in the Colonies was granted by the king of England.
All European men were People, all others were people. All of the male European People held, from birth, the right to own people — all women, all Africans, and, as need and opportunity arose, male or female indentured white Europeans.
So in returning to the origins of our Great Union, Justice Alito has reminded all of us that property rights are at the core of our beliefs, and people, apparently, are property. As we all know, slavery is unconstitutional. It took an excruciatingly long time for the government of the United States of America to recognize and codify that it is wrong to claim ownership of another person’s body as property. We each own our own body, and as each one of us owns our body, that body is our property. Thus, only each individual has a right to decide what happens to our property.
Anyone who imposes force on another person’s body is guilty of violating their property rights. We call these crimes various forms of assault and human trafficking. We now have a new form of property rights violation: assault by withholding medical care. How clever of Justice Alito to show us that all forms of keeping a woman from making decisions about her property are unconstitutional. Where is the bright young team of attorney’s that will take this to the Supreme Court?
In its simplicity, the Constitution is applicable to everyone. The Constitution may have been written for property owners, and for decades only enforced for white European males, but by the 21st century we have changed the scope of the Constitution to include all of We the People. The Constitution has to function the same way for everyone, or it is a blueprint for a house divided. The fact that People in power only acted on part of the Constitution’s meaning doesn’t change the meaning of We the People. The words were written so that society and government had a path to catch up and ultimately include everyone. Divisions between men and women are as ridiculous as they are timeless. Each of us have exactly the same amount of God given right and the will to make decisions about our bodies.
All laws about abortion are a tragic waste of time.
Every second spent on laws that violate a woman’s right to decide what happens to her body, is a second wasted that could have been spent solving actual societal problems that lead to unwanted or unhealthy pregnancies.
As for our bodily property, a case could be made that corporations that pollute with deadly chemicals are violating the property rights of each of us — a 350,000,000 member class action lawsuit.
Hey America, let’s get a lawyer!
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In my day job, I restore family photographs. Each family story shows the importance of learning history and sharing stories. On Medium, I write about our human nature, my experiences, and episodes in our collective story. Part of my story is that I am a founding board member of Kitsune, Inc., 501c3 non-profit. We work on creative solutions for independent living for adults with developmental disabilities, but without an intellectual disability — our fellow citizens who fall through the cracks in our social safety net.
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