On Stench, Abortion Debates and Supreme Courts

The supreme court is poised to tell all American women that the government, in their name, has control over their bodies.  The court has never told men that the government has control over their bodies—I wonder why not….

The Roberts Court, April 23, 2021. Seated, L to R: Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor Standing, L to R: Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett. Photo by Fred Schilling on Wikimedia Commons.

One can be against abortion and in favor of Roe vs. Wade for this obvious reason: Roe vs. Wade does not demand or propose that any woman at any time or anywhere get an abortion. 

Roe vs. Wade is not really about abortion. It is about preventing the death of pregnant women who choose, a choice between each woman and her doctor and/or partner and counselor or others—to have an abortion. 

There are many reasons for having an abortion, from rape and incest (both of which happen far more frequently than our legislators or media admit), to knowing that one cannot carry on one’s obligation to one’s present family if one brings a new child into the world, to pregnancies that put the life of the mother at risk, etc. etc.

Allowing abortion and guaranteeing its safety to the mother is the role of the State.  So too is working to make life livable enough, especially for single mothers, that abortions can be minimized. 

(Left) Christine Blasey Ford swearing in to witness at the Senate hearing of Brett Kavanaugh; (right) Brett Kavanaugh. Photos by United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary and VOA News, respectively; on Wikimedia Commons.

You so-called experts and lovers of the Constitution dressed up in black robes, tell me this: Where in the Constitution does it give you the right to tell women what to do with their bodies?  Please name the chapter and verse.  I missed out on that.

Furthermore, the non-stop effort to deny women the right to an abortion that has dominated the far-right’s agenda for decades in America is championed on the Supreme Court by two fellows whose previous record is not exactly stellar in treating women with respect.  One-third of the men on the Supreme Court have been accused of sexual harassment,  one by a former colleague who testified twenty years ago; the second, Judge (“I love beer”) Kavanaugh, by a serious person who dared much to tell of his having raped her as a teen-ager.  We now know for a fact that the FBI’s rushed effort to explore that accusation during his nomination hearings was aborted by political gamesmanship.

* See Matthew Fox, “Moving Beyond the Abortion Fixation: Some Theological Context,” in Conscience: The Newsjournal of Catholic Opinion, vol. xli—no. 2, 2020pp. 24-28; or www/consciencemag.org.

For St. Hildegard of Bingen on patriarchy, see Matthew Fox, Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen, pp.122-126;

and Matthew Fox, Hildegard of Bingen, a Saint for Our Times, pp. 12f., 17f., 25, 28, 60, 132f., 145, 154, 159. 

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Prophetic rally: Illinois Handmaids “Stop Brett Kavanaugh” Rally, Downtown Chicago Illinois 8-26-18. Photo by Charles Edward Miller on Wikimedia Commons

Queries for Contemplation

Do you agree that the so-called abortion debate has been misnamed?  Can we reframe the discussion, since it is not really about abortion, people make abortion decisions from their consciences.  Roe vs. Wade is about caring for those who have made a decision to end their pregnancy so that the least amount of suffering is endured.

Recommended Reading

Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen

An introduction to the life and work of Hildegard of Bingen, Illuminations reveals the life and teachings of one of the greatest female artists and intellectuals of the Western Mystical Tradition.  At the age of 42, she began to have visions; these were captured as 36 illuminations–24 of which are recorded in this book along with her commentaries on them.
“If one person deserves credit for the great Hildegard renaissance in our time, it is Matthew Fox.”  – Dr Mary Ford-Grabowsky, author of Sacred Voices.

Hildegard of Bingen, A Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power in the 21st Century

Matthew Fox writes in Hildegard of Bingen about this amazing woman and what we can learn from her.
In an era when women were marginalized, Hildegard was an outspoken, controversial figure. Yet so visionary was her insight that she was sought out by kings, popes, abbots, and bishops for advice.
“This book gives strong, sterling, and unvarnished evidence that everything – everything – we ourselves become will affect what women after us may also become….This is a truly marvelous, useful, profound, and creative book.” ~~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism.

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13 thoughts on “On Stench, Abortion Debates and Supreme Courts”

  1. Avatar

    I so appreciate the compassionate, clear, and rational presentations of contemporary social issues of Rev. Matthew Fox. The way he frames the issue of Roe and control of women’s bodies makes good sense. His voice is one to be heard and heeded.

  2. Avatar

    I used to think that people whom are supreme court judges, held there positions of authority and power given them, with a high level of responsibility and accountability, backed by a certain level of maturity in character as wells as being well versed in the law, with a heart for truth and justice. However, after hearing that one third of the men on the current supreme court of justice have engaged in sexual assault and rape against women, as well as overindulgent alchohal consumption, I now find myself feeling nothing but disgust at the injustice of it all.

    Clearly these men are biased with regards to women’s rights, and they should reques themselves from the court proceedings regarding the abortion issue and women’s right to choose what they do with their own bodies. Anything less than doing so, makes a mockery of the entire judicial process at the highest supreme court level.

    1. Avatar

      I well remember the disgraceful treatment of Anita Hill when she testified against Clarence Thomas, who was clearly a predator–and may still be. I am with you in utter disgust at the increasing politicization of what should be an august and respected body. Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution reads in part, “…The Judges…shall hold their Offices, during good Behaviour…” There does not seem to be any provision for impeachment or censure, but I may be missing something. When they were granted a lifetime sincecure, I do not know.

  3. Avatar

    Matthew, I thank you again for your courage to speak truth to power. As you clarify the words used to explain the law about abortion are very helpful to me. I can feel confident to share my view without being emotional. Blessings and love to you for all you do to support women.

  4. Avatar

    Your banner image, Prophetic rally: Illinois Handmaids “Stop Brett Kavanaugh” Rally, Downtown Chicago Illinois 8-26-18 brings Canadian content into the discussion of the ‘chokehold’ on women’s bodies. Internationally renowned Canadian author of The Handmaids Tale, Margaret Atwood, has recently been honoured by Canada Post. A Canadian stamp with a charming image of Margaret has just been issued. She has been the recipient of many literary awards. Her work has been described as prophetic.

      1. Avatar

        This is a half hour 2019 interview with Margaret Atwood. Former president Donald Trump seems to get trumped by Margaret at various points in the interview. She takes us back to the bronze age re women’s equality. I has been wondering if Atwood has ever read Hildegard of Begin.


  5. Avatar
    Kathleen Carpenter

    Thank you, Matthew Fox, for your focus on men in the issue of abortion. As a retired therapist, I sat with some women contemplating abortions, some of them forced to this point by the men, sometimes husbands, who impregnated them. There are many reasons for a woman wanting or needing an abortion and women will die as a result of these poor legal decisions.

  6. Avatar

    It would be important, if our nation is going to become a fascist state, that the so-called leaders make sure our institutions promote lies, psycho-social violence, and oppression especially of all marginalized people as well as our nonhuman siblings, like the earth. It would be important that misogyny, racism, and all the isms be exalted, and that the universal call to love, justice and honesty, at the heart of all religions and humanistic philosophies, be banished from institutional power and otherized. Just saying.

  7. Avatar

    A missing piece of information that’s not usually mentioned in the anti-abortion crusades is that apparently miscarriages and abortions look the same to medical practitioners (or so I’ve read). That means that a woman, coming to an emergency room because she’s hemorrhaging from a miscarriage, could easily be accused of attempting an abortion and could be arrested. This has already happened in Latin American countries with strict anti-abortion laws that threaten a physician’s license if they fail to report anything “suspicious.” So imagine a woman, already in the trauma of losing her unborn baby, bleeding heavily and needing urgent care, being transported to the hospital, getting examined and instead of receiving help, a blood infusion, and consolation for her loss, she gets arrested and sent to prison.
    Anti-abortion judges have to be honest about just how much “collateral damage” they’re willing to extract from women’s lives in the pursuit of their crusade.

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