In case you needed any further proof that the modern anti-abortion movement is an outgrowth of many centuries of virulent misogyny and violence against women, Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked opinion draft striking down Roe v. Wade relies heavily on a 17th century English jurist who had two women executed for “witchcraft,” wrote in defense of marital rape, and believed capital punishment should extend to kids as young as 14.
“Two treatises by Sir Matthew Hale,” Alito wrote in his argument to end legal abortion across America, “described abortion of a quick child who died in the womb as a ‘great crime’ and a ‘great misprision.’ See M. Hale, Pleas of the Crown.”
So how many of you woke up this morning thinking you were guilty of “great misprisions”? Not many, I’ll wager. But clearly, a great many of you are up to your blowsy neck wattles in them.
How interesting that Alito would cite Pleas of the Crown! That’s the text, published in 1736, 60 years after Hale’s death, that defended and laid the foundation for the marital rape exemption across the world.
Pleas of the Crown? Were there no relevant passages from Archie Comics? Honestly, at this point, I’d trust Mr. Weatherbee’s legal judgment far more than Clarence Thomas’.
For instance, there’s this kernel of homespun wisdom from the noble Sir Hale’s full-throated defense of rape: “For the husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband which she cannot retract.”
Now there’s a moral paragon for you! Say, is this kind of thing actually supposed to convince anyone, or is this just the “fuck you, we can do what we want” sort of message we all expected from Boof Kavanaugh and his band of merry Squees? I used to think Supreme Court decisions needed to be based on sound arguments from unimpeachable sources, but after seeing Alito’s big bowl of bonkers I kind of want to drop Hitler’s plum strudel recipe into my next loan application just to see what happens. I mean, why not? We’re just making it all up as we go now, right?
Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that Hale also sentenced two women to death following “one of the most notorious of the 17th century English witchcraft trials.” And now his desiccated antediluvian finger is wagging at witchy women from beyond the grave, thanks to Sam Alito and his personal Wayback Machine.
So maybe it’s time to do something about it. In the wake of all this, it may be hard to decide whether to donate to Democratic candidates, Planned Parenthood, or choice advocacy groups. I can’t answer that for you, of course, but ActBlue is a good place start, as is EMILY’s List.
You know what to do.
It made comedian Sarah Silverman say, “THIS IS FUCKING BRILLIANT,” and prompted author Stephen King to shout “Pulitzer Prize!!!” (on Twitter, that is). What is it? The viral letter that launched four hilarious Trump-trolling books. Get them all, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.
Comments are closed on this story.