Thanks to recent reporting from The Guardian, an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court in the Texas anti-abortion law case is getting the attention it deserves. The brief, submitted by Texas Right to Life, is authored by former Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell, the law’s chief legal architect. Not surprisingly, his brief reads as a showcase of ferocious misogyny wrapped in shameless condescension.
To embrace the sexist drivel in Mitchell’s brief means to believe that women are not only subservient to men but quite stupid and helpless. Mitchell makes his case for overturning Roe v. Wade with hurtful arrogance as he casually suggests it’s easy for women (and men who respect women) to live in the dystopia he so desperately desires for the nation.
Mitchell describes “a scenario in which a woman has chosen to engage in unprotected (or insufficiently protected) sexual intercourse on the assumption that an abortion will be available to her later.” He then argues that if Roe is overturned, a woman “can simply change their behavior in response to the court’s decision if she no longer wants to take the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.” As for how women can “‘control their reproductive lives’ without access to abortion,” he mansplains that “they can do so by refraining from sexual intercourse.”
Mitchell appears to carve out an exception for pregnancy that results from rape or that endangers a woman’s life. However, if Roe gets overturned, Mitchell suggests that women in states that ban abortion would simply visit another state, ignoring the significant cost, hardship, and inconvenience that entails. As for “indigent women,” Mitchell leaves it to “abortion funds” across the country to help them travel to “a wealthy pro-abortion state (such as California or New York).”
While overturning Roe may be the primary goal of his amicus brief, Mitchell reveals that he would love for the Supreme Court to “announce the overruling of Lawrence and Obergefell” while they’re at it. Such a move would mean striking down “court-invented rights to homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage,” he explains, which “are as lawless as Roe.” Mitchell’s disgusting brief is yet another reminder that our hard-won progress is under attack—and it’s another reason why we must keep pushing forward.