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Beginning to See the LightSex, Hope, and Rock-and-Roll$
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Ellen Willis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816680788

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816680788.001.0001

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Abortion: Overruling the Neo-Fascists

Abortion: Overruling the Neo-Fascists

(p.212) Abortion: Overruling the Neo-Fascists
Beginning to See the Light

Ellen Willis

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter presents the author’s reflections about Judge John F. Cooling’s 328-page decision striking down the Hyde Amendment. For the first time a federal judge took the offensive against the arguments and tactics of the right-to-life movement. The ruling does not contain a word of denunciatory rhetoric, yet simply by accumulating facts it damns the movement as cruel, dishonest, and fanatical, devoid of decent regard either for the health and welfare of women or for anyone’s freedom of conscience. Throughout his opinion Dooling displays a refreshing impatience with right-to-life cant and double-talk. He demonstrates that the purpose of the Hyde Amendment was never to save the taxpayers money, keep the government neutral on a delicate moral issue, or distinguish between “necessary” and so-called “convenience” abortions. He says that the amendment, was a ploy by antiabortion congressmen frustrated in their attempt to pass a constitutional amendment that would override the Supreme Court’s 1973 proabortion decision; its purpose was quite simply to circumvent the Court’s ruling and prevent as many abortions as possible.

Keywords:   Hyde Amendment, right-to-life movement, legal abortion, antiabortionists, Judge John F. Cooling

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