2005-11-18 - 10:22 a.m.
Very interesting endorsement I was surprised to come across.
I studied with Professor Albert, specifically a very good course I honestly forget the EXACT title of- but basically the very specific topic of HEALTH CARE LAW. We studies HMOS and the legal structuring of other business models surrounding Hospitals and Health CARE. Professor Albert taught the course as he was concerned about the changes that had been occurring and felt strongly that people should not only have awareness of them but in particualar detailed knowledge of how the law has been used to structure the business of Health Care- why constructs like HMOS were started, what they achieve for the businesses that run them, and what that means in terms of the legal privaleges and rights of those seeking care. He was a brilliant man and I really respect his opinion of his former student !(HEy he thought highly of me I believe! HA HA.... ) Just joking... seriously... He wasn't one of those professors I really got to know, or who really got to know me at all,as I only studied with him one time for that short, concentrated class, but he was very approachable and knowledgeable and a good teacher. I remember thinking that this was such an incredible course that it was a shame I took it during one of those short winter breaks . WE had some courses we could take over break at an accellerated rate by meeting every day for a three week period . I chose to take classes then to finish school as quickly as possible. I just recall the content being SO RICH that I wished I had more time to spend on it as it was really fascinating.
Anyway, I was surprised to read this in the alum newsletter today (as UB is a typical liberal institution.) It's very interesting to me as I think the judgement of anyone who KNOWS someone personally has greater credence than a journalist's. I haven't before really taken a position on ALITO, but based on what I read I had the sense that the fear that he would be only a CONSERVATIVE PUPPET with the agenda of squahing ROE V WADE may be more fear than reality. I think many of us who truly do profess to be PRO LIFE-- despite it being a "DIRTY WORD" as the extremists have literally ruined that phrase's intended positive message by their hatred and lack of actually LIVING a REAL PRO LIFE WAY (Which would never judge and condemn and be-little and lack respect of a woman making a choice for abortion), As I was saying, I think many who consider themselves personally PRO LIFE in the sense that they believe abortion and euthanasia and genocide are harmful to life, realize there are such things AS MODERATE NORMAL PEOPLE who can personally believe abortion is IN THE ABSTRACT THEORETICAL SENSE NOT A GOOD THING,but recognize THE WORLD IS A COMPLEX PLACE WHERE THE IDEAL IS NEARLY NEVER REALITY. I think there are those that have the wisdom to ALSO recognize that our sisters, friends, maybe even mother HAVE MADE CHOICES for abortion. WE realize that THEIR LIVES ARE INDEED THEIR OWN and that each woman makes each personal choice that indeed is the one she believes best for her. BUT MORE THAN THAT WE REALIZE that WE ARE CALLED TO LOVE OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND THAT MEANS BEING SUPPORTIVE OF THE DECISIONS THEY HAVE MADE FOR THEIR LIVES.
WHAT MORE CAN WE EXPECT A PERSON TO DO THAN MAKE WHAT THEY BELIEVE ARE THE BEST CHOICES FOR THEMSELVES AND OTHERS ?
I think the whole Pro choice movement has had less focus on that now old debate of viability of fetus, and similarly the PRO LIFE MOVEMENT has NEver even really even entered into the debate of PRIVACY. Its like both movements don't want to touch on the argument the other makes, and neither debate with each other-- I believe because EACH FUNDAMENTALLY KNOWS THE OTHER TO BE RIGHT.
And sometimes there CAN BE A MORAL CHOICE TO BE MADE WHEN WEIGHED TWO DIFFERENT VALUES- AND so I think it is in this longstanding non debate where each "Side" focused on their issue but neither really enter discourse as they are both talking about different things.
So there really hasn't been debate for years-- THe PRO LIFE side clearly "WON" the argument that a fetus is viable scientifically-- and SO WHAT? What does that mean? Women who ARE STILL NOT PREPARED TO BECOME MOTHERS STILL WHILL CHOSE To have an abortion. DOES THAT MEAN the movement should become yet more judgemental and extreme? OR does that mean we need to RETHINK whether that focus on the "SCIENCE" of the issue is really important at all? Likewise Constitutionally, and I believe MORALLY the PRO CHOICE side "WON" the argument about PRIVACY. So what does that mean? That the PRO LIFE movement should just hang their heads in shame and raise a white flag? WELL ... maybe... maybe its time that we admit we can not legislater morality. I think in fact that has happened. So when there are those who say they are PERSONALLY oppossed to abortion but will vote as the constituents want, I think THEY ARE BEING true to themselves and not necessarily just being wimpy and waffling or posturing with intent to them try to be controlling and pull the surprise gusto of attempting to change status quo. I think those who geninely THOUGHT ROE V WADE SHOULD BE OVERTURNED who were MODERATE and NORMAL IN ANY SENSE just became so disgusted with the ugliness of the hatred of the spokespeople who did nothing other than attack and judge and become more and more extreme to the point of MURDER Dr. SLEPIAN and others... AND MURDER The spirit of women already in crisis and emotional and perhaps spiritual turmoil. become afraid to make a peep LEST WE BE IDENTIFIED WITH THOSE EXTREMISTS.
But at the same time, I think the whole PRO CHOICE MOVEMENT may be mature enough to reclaim themselvs AWAY from the moderates, may be able to be mature enought to not hold fast to fighting just to maintaing their position when they have clearly lost ground, may be mature enough to in a sense come to a "Settlement" that they can compromise - can let go of some things.
I think that both movements have realized that to devicively argue hasn't been helpful to anyone. EXPECIALLY when they are arguing about FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT ISSUES.
So I believe that it is likely that ALITO will be conservative in his interpertation of the constitution which socially a moderate who is not extreme. I think if he were an extremist as some are portraying him he couldn't have come as far as he has. Some would read this in shock and hold up BUSH as an example of my seeming naivity in that statement... well maybe... but ALITO didn't have a DAD that was former PRES.
So legislatively I wonder about what the SUPREME COURT will do with the issue should they ever reface it again. I think the years of condemnation and hatred are over.
When I think of the PRO LIFE MOVEMENT I think of HITTY- an older BLACK WOMAN who went to the WOMEN'S CLINIC on MAIN STREET EVERY WEEKEND to talk to the women going in. I stood alongside her for a while. I stopped going in the face of extremists who started to come out in their hatred and judgement-- those wolves thinking they were sheep. ANd I wonder how a SOCIAL MOVEMENT COULD ever evolve with AS STRONG A CHARACTER and IMPACT that she had. I wonder if it possible for a movement to ever be fueled by such dedication and SHEER LOVE AND JOY.
I think as a SOCIAL MOVEMENT,those who are REALLY PRO LIFE are called to LOVE ACTIVELY rather than hate. SO Places like BIRTH RIGHT which offers assistance to unexpected mothers to be, and that wonderful outspoken woman HITTY in BUFFALO who calls herself surrogate grandmother and surrogate mother to many babies born of formerly desperate women in Buffalo who would have has an abortion until they met her and she offered prospects for HELP-- in the form of health care, babysitting, and through her unique position of working at the DEPT OF LABOR- most significantly POVERTY RELIEF in the form of JOB READINESS TRAINING and literally assistance in getting a JOB for women ....that means that when OTHER WOMEN hadn't taken up her offers of HELP HER WAY, that HITTY as outspoken and opinionated as she is, STILL WOULD HOLD THEIR HAND and stand by their side and embrace and literally LOVE AND EMPATHIZE the many women of her community that were previously alone when they entered that women's clinic for their abortion. And she still kept in touch with many of those who chose to have abortions afterwards as well. She still continues to address the REAL issues in their lives. There wasn't a disconnect between her ideology and reality.
I hope that ALITO doesn't have that disconnect that I believe was characterist of the fundamentalist extremists. I don't get the sense that he does. I hope that he indeed will be DISCERNING and FAIR when he interperts law and applys it to facts. I do trust that he will hold his moral responsibilty to respect and uphold ALL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS as a paramount value and priority should he be in the role of Supreme Court Justice. Because of his very role would be as JUSTICE of this great democracy, I would think preserving personal freedom and devending the constitution AND ALL ITS LEGAL INTERPERTATIONS TO DATE would be given priority over any other value pitted against it, by virtue of that being the actual job description.