Wire: Ross Douthat is sure you sinners can just go to Europe or a blue state for your abortions

Texas pro-choice protests
2013 pro-choice march on the Texas State Capitol. — photo by Ann Harkness

As you’ve watched the Texas Handmaids’ Tale– style abortion restrictions go into effect, we bet you’ve been wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’ that Ross Douthat, the baby-faced sad-90s-beard-rocking culture scold would share his derp thoughts with you on the matter. Yr Wonkette has been wishing for this fervently and also, too, sobbing inconsolably at the fact that Ross Douthat has a high-profile NYT column. But enough about us. What about Ross? What does Ross think about Texas ‘bortions? SPOILER ALERT: he doesn’t want ladies to have abortions but rich ladies will still get abortions because of Ireland so it is all good:

Then there is the specific case of Ireland, which has maintained a near-absolute abortion ban throughout its history. This ban does not mean that no Irish women obtain legal abortions: some go abroad for them, to Britain or Continental Europe. But that actually makes the comparison to Texas more apt — because even if abortion were somehow banned outright in Texas tomorrow, it would still be available to women with the resources to travel out of state.

Leave it to Douthat to tongue-bathe a country where the Catholic Church dictates the law vis-a-vis wimmen parts. The rest of us have generally not looked to Ireland as a bastion of sound thinking on reproductive rights. After all, this is the country where a ladyperson recently died a horrible death because she couldn’t get an abortion because Jesus. Douthat covers that, though, and says hey, no big deal no harm, no foul, because it probably doesn’t reflect a larger trend so suck it. They apparently don’t have the Google over at the NYT, because they are busy shoveling money at people like Douthat, David Brooks, and Thomas Friedman. (Oh, god. Here come the tears again.) If Ross had decided to pound some words into a keyboard, he could have figured out in about two seconds that Ireland is deeply fucked up about abortion and considers ladies dying just a wee bit o’ collateral damage. Our buddy Ross’ argument seems to be that abortion restrictions don’t kill THAT many ladies, so no worries.

Even worse/dumber/more terrifying than the notion that we should look to Catholic leprechauns for information on how to treat the ladies is the breezy note that hey, if you really want an abortion, you can just go get one somewhere else. Again, the tragic lack of availability of safe, legal Googling at the NYT can have disastrous consequences. Leaving Ireland for ‘bortions is insanely expensive and difficult, costing around a cool $2K just to travel, and requiring, in some cases, visas that can take 6-8 weeks to get. In good ol’ Merica, many of the uterus-having people already live somewhere that has no access to abortion and have to try to beg borrow and steal to get to another state to have the abortion. But hey! This probably is not a problem for rich ladies like anyone Ross Douthat might impregnate, but it might be just a tiny problem for people who are not rolling in money and able to take several days off work. (Sorry, but if we have to think about Ross Douthat makin’ babies, you do too.) Most people of any gender have to do more than just vomit out one column a day and their companies probably do not provide “going to get ‘bortion” time off.

Gotta go. We’ve asked the Editrix for the rest of the day off so we can weep openly and maybe just go to another state to get abortion because that’s easy and fun. To be honest, the abortioning would be easier and funner than having to read Ross Douthat ever again.


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