Leaks are pernicious things. You often don’t know you have one until water starts to drip down your wall or a stain creeps across the ceiling. It’s not a good look and tracing its origin is likely to be expensive and time consuming.
At this moment, the U.S. Supreme Court is discovering just how destructive a leak can be. If you’re a woman, however, the “leak” is the least of it. It’s the content that’s so dangerous. Who actually shared the draft decision with Politico is a sidebar, but one that Mitch McConnell, et al. are desperately grasping.
The real issue, of course, is what the leaked document says and the mendacity that allowed it to unfold. Surely, you remember when Justice nominees Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett swore to uphold stare decisis so help them God. Well, God — and precedent — were apparently out of the building when deliberations were taking place. And women, once again, will pay a horrible price.
And it will not stop at the right to choose. It will metastasize into other intimate areas of our lives that depend on privacy and discretion. Conventional wisdom suggests that the right to contraception, same-sex marriage and inter-racial marriage could be next on the chopping block.
Republicans and their fundamentalist allies have been fighting to overturn Roe vs. Wade since it was enacted 50 years ago. Their reasons range from the sublime (potential life) to the ridiculously false (abortion causes breast cancer). They are entitled to their beliefs, but not to the imposition of those beliefs on the rest of us. The Establishment Clause guarantees us that freedom from religion, but in the current climate, perhaps that right is in jeopardy too.
The hypocrisy surrounding this issue is stunning. For a country that claims to be “pro-life,” the social safety net that supports families and children is pretty threadbare. In states set to immediately ban abortions upon Roe’s overturning, a return to dangerous back-alley procedures is all-but-guaranteed for those determined to end their pregnancies but who are unable to afford or access safe but covert procedures to which the privileged have always turned. And for all the anti-mask and mandate rhetoric, you would think “Keep your bans off my body” applied to all of us.
Leaks are like that. They force you to pay attention to what’s been hidden for far too long. Welcome to America where misogyny rules.