Undue Burden: An Explainer
Posted on February 11, 2019
Hello friends, ready for a little history lesson from my Ethics 101 course in journalism. So Jacobellis v. Ohio was a famous obscenity case that the Supreme Court decided in 1964. It’s famous, among other reasons, because Justice Potter Stewart (who was a real justice not a combo of the names of the bad guy in It’s a Wonderful Life and the lead actor of It’s a Wonderful Life) said he couldn’t quite DEFINE obscenity but “I know it when I see it.”
Now, besides from being a literal lol (cuz like, we just like to imagine Stewart looking at dungeon porn and being like “Hmm, yes, yes, this is it.”) it’s also… effectively useless. Like, not that we want to read the Supreme Court being like “OK if he thrusts three times then it count, but two… grey area.” But… like give us a definition here, guys.
This is basically what “undue burden” is too. A bullshit term coined in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, “undue burden” is allowing a bunch of randos (which is what the Supreme Court is now) decide how much you should have to suffer or go through to get the care you need. And it’s like, don’t we already have enough of this in this country with FUCKING HEALTH INSURANCE BEING WHAT IT IS???
This all brings us to Susan Collins being her Susan Collins-est and saying (through a spokesperson) that we probably didn’t read Kavanaugh’s dissent (in the Louisiana TRAP law case that said providers had to have admitting privileges with local hospitals) and that he didn’t say he hated Roe at ALL in what he wrote. And to this we say: Girl, c’mon! We can read between the lines.
The dissent was SOOO effing boring, but we did read the whole thing. And we won’t bore you with a huge quote from it, but read it here, and see that what Kavanaugh DOES say is he doesn’t really think it’s an undue burden, because it only affects three of the four doctors performing abortions. LOLOLOLOL! And because the doctors have 45 days to try to get admitting privileges. And like, if they don’t then they can just go to court again and waste more of their effing time.
This is a lot of dancing around actually SAYING anything, except that you don’t give a fuck about patients. Like, sure, maybe these doctors WILL find admitting privileges in 45 days. Maybe elephants will fly out of my butthole. The point is that the ONLY reason the Louisiana law exists is TO CREATE AN UNDUE BURDEN. It’s so effing obvious. It’s EXACTLY what happened in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt and there are not SUBTLE differences because the PERCENTAGE of doctors affected is different. Come the FUCK ON! Like, this is splitting hairs at an ABSURD level to avoid taking a side ALL WHILE clearly making your opinion known.
Like, no DUH, Susan Collins, Kavanaugh wasn’t gonna write “I hate abortion, abortion is bad” in his feces as his way of undermining Roe. He’s just gonna undermine it by being like “Well, actually… it’s not THAT hard to drive 100 miles” every effing chance he gets.
And the thing is we KNEW this was who he was going to be because he did the EXACT SAME THING in the Jane Doe case. His dissent there also wasn’t “I hate abortion,” but it was a little more obvious, some more feigned concern and like “well, why can’t we just TRY to see if MAYBE she can wait a little longer to get her abortion.”
So no, we will NOT be gaslit, Susan. If this makes you worked up, sign the petition to tell her to stop being a hypocrite and VOTE her pro-choice values when it picking justices!
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