After a bit of a hiatus, my wife and I decided Thursday night to pick up where we left off with Seinfeld. As fate would have it, we ended up watching the episode “The Couch.” Jerry and Elaine go to a local restaurant. The owner, Poppy, swings by the table to assure them that the duck is succulent. Jerry tells Elaine he’d just as soon have stayed home and ordered pizza from Pokeno’s.
Elaine tells him she refuses to eat Pokeno’s pizza because the owner donates to radical anti-abortion groups.
Jerry, testing Elaine’s resolve, then calls Poppy over to the table and asks where he stands on the abortion issue. Poppy tells a story (heartbreaking in its content but hilarious in its delivery) of his mother undergoing a forced abortion in a Cuban re-education camp. “On this issue, there can be no debate!” he declares. Elaine leaves in a huff, giving Jerry little choice but to follow.
Later, after Elaine declares herself madly in love with her latest beau, Jerry sees a chance for revenge. “And what is his stand on abortion?” he asks. Elaine is sure he’s pro-choice because “he’s just so good-looking,” but Jerry has gotten under her skin.
Cut to Elaine in the car with this guy. She assumes a faraway look. “I’m just thinking about this woman I know,” she says. “She got impregnated by her troglodytic half-brother and decided to have an abortion.” She turns her eyes hopefully to the hunk.
“You know,” he responds, “someday we’re gonna get enough people in the Supreme Court to change that law.”
Elaine bursts into tears.
The joke, of course, is that Elaine is being ridiculous. The episode aired in 1994, two years after conservatives had taken their best shot at overturning Roe and fallen short in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Her side had won. The right to an abortion was firmly ensconced in American jurisprudence. She could afford to relax a little.
But it wasn’t over. Millions of knuckle-draggers across the country refused to give up. They didn’t care how much they were mocked or slandered. They knew what was right. Then, on Friday, the day finally arrived — the day Elaine’s love interest dreamed of, the day so many spent nearly five decades working toward.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Alito wrote in his decision. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.” It was the greatest day of American history in my lifetime.
When I heard the news, I hopped in an Uber. Ten minutes later, I was in front of the Supreme Court. I began taunting the pro-choice protesters — confrontations were the norm that day — and they surrounded me, shoved me and kicked me until police showed up to move me along. Yeah, sure. I complied.
Later on, some basement-dwelling antifa homunculus with greasy green hair assured me that he had, at some unspecified time and place, had intercourse with my mother. Such vitriol. No other issue makes us hate each other this much.
I joined an impromptu Students for Life celebration, dancing and chanting amid the soapy orbs shot skyward by their bubble machine. At protests I’d attended before the Dobbs decision leaked, the chant was “Hey hey! Ho ho! Roe v. Wade has got to go!” The night of the leak, it became “Roe v. Wade is gonna go.” Yesterday, it was “Roe v. Wade is no mo’!” A bit of a stretch, perhaps, but music to my ears.
Then I moved down the street with my friends from the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising to holler at Democratic members of Congress as they went to the Capitol to virtue signal. I got to yell at Maxine Waters, which was nice. I also managed to catch AOC striding determinedly toward the court. A Latina PAAU ally ran alongside me, calling AOC an asesina with sangre en tus manos.
I asked Terissa Bukovinac, the co-founder of PAAU, for a comment. “We are dancing on the grave of Roe v. Wade,” she replied.
I also found Randell Terry — the founder of Operation Rescue, which organized protests at which tens of thousands of pro-lifers were arrested in the Eighties and Nineties — and hugged him. “We wouldn’t be here without people like you,” I said. He agreed. Later, when I texted him for a quote, he once again compared the fall of Roe to D-Day. “Our mission is to get to Berlin. We will make it a crime in all fifty states to kill a human being from conception until birth,” he wrote.
He’s right. This isn’t over. The other side doesn’t think it’s over either. The pro-choicers, AOC among them, were chanting that the decision was “illegitimate.” They want to pack the court to undo Trump’s appointments. If they do that, the right will regard the new court as illegitimate. Neither side is likely to accept the results of the 2024 presidential election.
The America where John McCain defended Barack Obama’s honor and patriotism from a conspiracy-minded rallygoer is gone forever. We’re playing a different game now. I’m not sure any of us will like how it ends.
And yet I’m still glad we got Dobbs. And I’ll keep pushing for a nationwide ban. This country can’t survive half-pro-life and half-pro-choice any more than it could survive half-slave and half-free. On some issues, there can be disagreement and coexistence. Others, abortion foremost among them, demand resolution. Despite what the fictionalized Jerry Seinfeld thought in 1994, Roe and Casey didn’t provide that resolution. But neither will Dobbs.
On Friday, what had been “settled law” became unsettled. The scales of justice tipped toward life, but we aren’t there yet. Let’s drink some Champagne and then get back to work.