Dana Black: Dobbs decision sends us back in time

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Dana BlackIt has been interesting listening to my fellow Americans express their frustrations with finding a reason to celebrate Independence Day. Their frustrations with our elected leaders, on both sides of the aisle, have them believing there is no hope.

They believe if the majority of citizens want a policy in place, our elected leaders should do everything necessary to make it happen. Instead, they are watching legislators create policies, or not create policies, that are counter to what the majority would like. They hear Republicans say they want small government but then attempt to use that government to restrict the privacy of Americans. They watch Democrats not be aggressive enough in stopping them. In addition, no community is safe from gun violence, and people still support the “Big Lie.” They are looking at our nation and questioning the validity of who we are and what we stand for.

Since 1973, it’s been established that a woman had a right to privacy and to make a choice regarding her reproductive health. The arguments on both sides have been articulated over and over again, and, depending on whom you speak with, scientists, educators or religious leaders, many offer different understandings of when life begins. But the one thing we do know is 61% of Americans believe abortions should be safe and legal.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health makes us question how holistically he regards the U.S. Constitution and his ability to see it as a living document. He wrote, “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” Really? As some may or may not know, unenumerated rights are legal rights that are inferred but not expressly written, or “enumerated,” within the Constitution—such as the right to travel. Can you imagine a majority opinion suggesting it is up to the states to determine one’s right to travel because it is not explicitly stated in the Constitution? Some of you reading this are laughing, but a Missouri lawmaker, state Rep. Mary Coleman, introduced a policy amendment that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps a Missouri resident have an out-of-state abortion or whoever helps transport a person across state lines. She was crafting a policy to restrict travel.

Also, according to Alito, if a right isn’t explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, it must be “deeply rooted in this nation’s history and traditions and implicit in concept of ordered liberty.” How shortsighted, racist and sexist is this opinion from an older white male? Certainly, Alito is an intelligent person, but did he not consider our nation’s complicated history when he wrote this? Or maybe he did and would like to return to a time when women and people of color were relegated to second-class status.

Land of the free? It appears we’ve returned to a time when that question depended on how you pray, what you look like and whom you love. But what is relatively the same as days gone by? There will always be plenty of Americans who are not intimidated and will not be terrorized into submission. You would think those who want to cling to the past would recognize how being on the wrong side of history turns out.•


Black is former deputy chairwoman for engagement for the Indiana Democratic Party and a former candidate for the Indiana House.

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One thought on “Dana Black: Dobbs decision sends us back in time

  1. Ms. Black, you are as sad and hopeless as you are ignorant. Quote: “Land of the free? It appears we’ve returned to a time when that question depended on how you pray, what you look like and whom you love….You would think those who want to cling to the past would recognize how being on the wrong side of history turns out.”


    Since everything is supposedly so wonderful now compared with, say, even 60 or 70 years ago in the decade following WWII, perhaps you can explain these things to your readers:

    1. The soaring suicide rate, especially among young people.

    2. A dramatically-higher percentage of births to unwed mothers, with the attendant, long-term costs to our culture when children are raised in single-parent homes and not placed for adoption by loving, married, couples, as they often were in the 1950s.

    3. A higher percentage of marriages ending in divorce. That assumes people even get married in the first place, rather than just living together, procreating, and letting the chips fall where they may for those children when one parent tires of the other and hits the pike.

    4. The alarming number of school, workplace, and public venue massacres, invariably executed by disturbed, disaffected young men….now arriving almost monthly.

    5. The fact that more black babies are aborted than born alive in New York City? Why wouldn’t you support any measure that might help rediuce that, such as repealing Roe vs. Wade? What are your priorities?

    If our culture is so much better off having marginalized, even denigrated, family-centric, mid-century and earlier values, Ms. Black, what is driving the above undesirable, undeniable metrics destroying our culture?

    Author Ayn Rand famously summarized the necessity of opening one’s eyes, saying, “We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” You ought to try opening your eyes and mind to those realities and that wisdom.