Shove It, Krauthammer

It’s totally weird how someone who has such a poor understanding of and lack of respect for women and their bodies can be such a douchebag, but Charles Krauthammer has managed to twist that seeming contradiction into a fine art. In his latest column, the Sultan of Stupid takes his patented brand of douchebaggery to new depths, defying even his most jaded dissenters’ expectations that he couldn’t delve yet further into the intellectual abyss he has staked out as his territory.

In an attempt to defend Scalito’s indefensible (and unconstitutional) Casey dissent, Krauthammer puts forth this sterling argument:

Pop quiz: Which of the following abortion regulations is more restrictive, more burdensome, more likely to lead more women to forgo abortion?

(a) Requiring a minor to get the informed consent of her parents, or to get a judge to approve the abortion.

(b) Requiring a married woman to sign a form saying that she notified her husband.

Can any reasonable person have any doubt? A minor is intrinsically far more subject to the whims, anger, punishment, economic control and retribution of a parent. And the minor is required to get both parents involved in the process and to get them to agree to the abortion.

The married woman just has to inform her husband…

[W]hen, in 1991, Judge Samuel Alito was asked to rule in Planned Parenthood v. Casey on the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's spousal notification requirement, Supreme Court precedents on abortion had held that "two-parent consent requirements" for a juvenile with "a judicial bypass option" do not constitute an "undue burden" and thus were constitutional. By any logic, therefore, spousal notification, which is far less burdensome, must also be constitutional -- based not on Alito's own preferences but on the Supreme Court's own precedents.
Krauthammer attempts to defend this line of reasoning by noting, “Remember: The question is not whether (a) or (b) is the wiser restriction. The only relevant question is which is more likely to discourage the woman from getting an abortion,” but there are two problems with that claim. First, the intent of bringing this case was to challenge limitations on abortion rights, not to discern how best to “discourage” women from getting an abortion, nor should that have been the intent of the judges ruling on the case, either. Secondly, no half-assed caveat can excuse drawing comparisons between a child’s relationship to her parents with a wife’s relationship to her husband, which are fundamentally different—in spite of certain conservatives’ unwillingness to see those differences.

Think Progress notes:

Just because a system of notification is acceptable between a child and a parent does not mean it’s acceptable between a woman and her husband.
I can’t imagine what could possibly be difficult to understand about that, but apparently, Krauthammer (and Scalito) share the same blind spot in their capacities for comprehension.

And by the way, enough with the “spousal” notification bullshit, okay? You won’t let gay people get married, so we’re only talking about heteros here, and last I checked, men couldn’t get pregnant, so let’s call this what it is—the Husband’s Prerogative Over His Wife’s Body Law. Sure, it doesn’t have the snappy ring to it that “spousal notification” does, but at least it’s honest.

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