The astonishing argument was presented by the lawyer Jonathan mitchell in a friend of the court brief this summer in favor of a Mississippi restrictive law deny women the right to an abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The brief also argued that Roe v. Wade should be canceled.
“Women can ‘control their reproductive life’ without having access to abortion; they can do it by abstain from sex, ”Mitchell, a former solicitor general from Texas, gave a talk in the brief, which was first reported by The Guardian.
The “cause of sexual liberation” should not take priority over embryos, he argued.
Mitchell and a co-counsel, anti-abortion activist Adam Matara (a former clerk to Conservative Judge Clarence Thomas), also noted in the brief that “rich women” have the option of traveling to other states with different laws for getting an abortion. “Indigent women” could use “abortion funds” to help them cover their costs, according to the brief.
As for the sexual behavior of women, “one can imagine a scenario in which a woman has chosen to have unprotected (or insufficiently protected) sex on the assumption that an abortion will be available to her later,” notes the memoir. “But when this court announces Roe’s annulment, that person can just change their behavior… if they no longer want to risk an unwanted pregnancy.”
The “only time when abortion is necessary to ensure a woman’s ability to ‘control their reproductive life’ is in (…) cases of rape or when a pregnancy is life threatening,” Mitchell added. Governor of Texas Greg Abbott (R) swore earlier this month that he would sort of “eliminate all rapistsOf the streets of his state.
The brief also asserted that the rights to same-sex sex and same-sex marriage, which have been confirmed by the Supreme Court, are as “lawless” as the rights protected by Roe v. Wade.
The amicus brief was filed on behalf of the right-wing evangelical group Texas Right to Life, a key supporter and expected actor of the new Texas law.
Women are prohibited by law from having an abortion – even in cases of rape and incest – after six weeks of pregnancy, when many women do not yet know they are pregnant. On 90% of abortions in Texas were obtained after six weeks pregnancy before signing the law. The Supreme Court voted on September 1 not to immediately block the law.
To enforce the law, Texas has implemented a bonus system for vigilantes who can raise $ 10,000 if he wins a lawsuit against anyone who “helps and encourages” an abortion – from a doctor to a friend who drives someone to a clinic. Texas Right to Life implemented a reporting form for would-be executors, but was fired from two ISPs for violation of confidentiality requirements.
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.