Dawn Johnsen, Barack Obama’s appointment to head the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, filed a brief with the Supreme Court that stated:
Statutes that curtail [a woman's] abortion choice are disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude, prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, in that forced pregnancy requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state's asserted interest.
[The woman] is constantly aware for nine months that her body is not wholly her own: the state has conscripted her body for its own ends. Thus, abortion restrictions "reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers.
The good news is the brief was filed 20 years ago. The bad news is 20 years later the person who filed the brief is in an official position to influence the fabric of our entire culture. I think the intellectual expression that would summarize the collective feeling of most humane, conscientious voters is “yikes.”
Realistically, if Johnsen’s argument were given any credence, the same logic would quickly do away with taxes. Additionally, since pregnancy is a process, unless the entire process is forced, coitus and conception included, it is an intellectual and constitutional contortion - or perversion - to call the tangibly obvious developmental stages of pregnancy servitude. Furthermore, a happy, willing, or just plain ignorant slave is still a slave, so if the Supreme Court holds to Johnsen’s logic, they would have to outlaw pregnancy in general.
Hopefully there’s not much to worry about, but be vigilant and, most importantly, prayerful.
In Johnsen’s defense, the argument was probably a superficial aftershock of the 60s' enlightened and overly dramatic sensitivity to oppression mixed with the propensity for liberals to site such flagrant philosophical folly while eloquently plucking the bleeding heart strings of America. The only thing the argument lacked was interpretive dance. Then again, I wasn’t there; indeed Johnsen may have delivered the brief neck deep in leotards and leg warmers, panting under the strain of rhythmic legal expression.
I know what you’re thinking, “Where was You Tube when we needed it most?”