As I have been saying, American culture became much more permissive in the mid-20th century. It was this Left Modernist culture shift that made Roe v. Wade possible. Specifically, it was progressive liberalism animated by a modernist aesthetic which elevated the Self and personal autonomy far above its previous status in our culture. This unleashed a culture of narcissism and self-absorption in which a woman who disposes of her own offspring for lifestyle reasons is celebrated for making a “choice.”
“How strange it is, the condition of having a body, of being a body. Consider the sponge of the marrow that makes your blood, the skeleton frame that holds in your organs, the tendons that attach your muscles to bone, the heart that pumps blood through your veins, the electrical signals that travel along the optic nerve from your retinas, the neural networks that light up the galaxies of your brain like constellations.
A person’s interiority—your sense of youness—is typically understood to be situated in the mind, yet the mind and the body are inextricable. What, then, must it mean to be in possession of a body in America? This is, we are told, a land of tremendous abundance, of self-reliance, of liberty, and of invention. The promise America makes to its people, the covenant that we Americans can feel in our bones and in our blood and in our beating hearts, is the guarantee that we are free.
Liberty is given to us by God, by nature, by our own humanity—not by government. I am American and so I am free to speak, free to publish, free to worship, free to assemble, free to keep and bear arms. It is to me self-evident that I am free to pursue the life I choose, without interference from the state. Freedom of mind does not come without freedom of body.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, as now appears likely, the very definition of what it means to be American will change for women and girls in the United States. If the state makes a claim to your body—a claim therefore to your self—you can no longer be American, not truly. To allow the state to control the body of a citizen is to deny her full personhood. To allow the state to control the body of a citizen is to undermine the very notion of what America is, the core promise it makes. …”
This is exactly what I mean by modernism.
Notice how the interior world of the Self is romanticized. It is the basis of identity, not natural relationships like the mother-child bond or your family. Self expression is also more important than your child’s life. The Founders would have found this to be a ludicrous argument (the natural rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), but it is conflated here with the very definition of America even though this mindset trickled in from Europe in the early 20th century.
“Alito, in his draft opinion, went looking for abortion in the Constitution, and used its absence as proof that abortion lacked constitutional protection. He went looking in a document from an era in which women could not hold public office, could not vote, and, as the writer Jill Lepore recently pointed out, legally “did not exist as persons.” The men who wrote the Constitution wholly and deliberately excluded women, and neglected to imagine them as part of their polity. No wonder Alito dismissed “attempts to justify abortion through appeals to a broader right to autonomy.” His refusal to consider autonomy as a constitutional principle spins us backwards in time, to an era in which the Constitution couldn’t perceive of women as equal citizens. …”
Alito is right.
It is not in the Constitution because it was a 20th century fad. Feminism itself was a late 19th century literary creation of modernism.