Within the comments section of am-con on an article on the major issue dominating all political opinion sites this week — Abortion — I find one deploying a productive use of conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory being a useful tool for working out counter- historical narratives and financing the various political crowds winds at work in the culture.:

Back in the 1970s, a few years after the Roe decision, I heard a rumor that the case came about because of a conspiracy by the usual shadowy elites to bypass the legislative process and slap nationwide abortion rights into place by judicial fiat, because they were in a hurry, because they were scared. What they were scared of was another conspiracy, this one by radical feminists, to create a network of underground clinics offering safe, low-cost or free abortions and other gynecological services that were either illegal or difficult to get through the medical establishment, served up with a dose of radical politics. This would have been around 1971, during the raging heat of the anti-Vietnam War movement. Radical political groups such as the Weather Underground had demonstrated an ability to run rings around law enforcement. The elites supposedly feared that these underground clinics, which had political indoctrination as their real purpose, would be effective enough to tip the balance and bring about revolution. They hoped that, just as the repeal of Prohibition crippled organized crime by making alcohol a legitimate retail business again, so the legalization of abortion would cripple the radicals.

Now let’s imagine that it was all true and that the spiritual granddaughters of those radical feminists of fifty years ago still have those plans, keeping them updated to allow for things like social media and the morning after pill, ready to activate when abortion is outlawed. Roe is reversed this year. How is the abortion situation going to look five years from now? How is the political situation going to look? Assuming that, between moral suasion and increased conscientiousness about birth control, only a quarter of a million American women are receiving abortions and political indoctrination at these underground clinics (as opposed to the upwards of 600,000 who got legal abortions in 2016, the most recent year for which Wikipedia has data). What will the political spectrum look like?

Dipping into the electoral effects and meaning of public opinions — one where an ease toward the word “extremist” to describe political opinions held by many a friendly neighbor or relative, so became a hard edged sword that to bandy about “leads to suspicion of mere pandering” —

We are left right now with a lot of cries of “Legitimacy of the court will be destroyed” warning with that looming court ruling — and this beings to mind a question of wanting to sync up polling data on the court with previous unpopular rulings. 1962’s Engel v. Vitale — the end of school prayer — had an approval roughly according to what polls suggest on Roe v Wade — maybe? Data becomes oddly wishy-washy, and mostly you see people just wanting to affirm general impressions — for Roe we really do have a kind of “ugh. Good enough.”. This graph for this century on opinions relating to the Court with a ” good enough” for calling in “legitimacy” (numbers are on approval / disapproval)– The only thing I can note is that right at the top — 2001 — people mad at “Bush v Gore” figured not much at all in driving the numbers down, but there was something that crashed the Institution in 2005 and 2012.

I do suspect the ruling lands on over-rated. It scrambled partisan political coalitions, perhaps, but it was Nation writer Katha Pollit who hypothized “we woukd be right where we are now” absent the ruling in terms of procedure and practicalities. So, in postulating a “post Roe” nation of even more uneven Abortion coverage in the nation — the symbolism for the oppression of things needs to happen be updated– there are no “coat-hangers”, unless you can say the coat-hangers are in ” pill form”. Makes for an odd image for signage — less clear cut.

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