Justice Ginsburg gave a fasincating interview to the New York Times, which is well worth the read, if only to hear about the differences in how seriously a female v. a male lawyer/jurist is taken. While there are a number of issues on which I don’t agree with Ginsburg, I respect her lucidity and intelligence very much, and I feel that this interview evidences those traits well. Which is why this comment on Roe struck me as baffling:
JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid
for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly
growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.
To be fair, Ginsburg (though very much pro-choice), has acknowledged that Roe was a bad decision. But she supports it anyways, and seems to have supported it from the start. That is, when she thought it was intended as a tool of eugenics for the government to get rid of poor people. It’s sort of a chilling revelation, although she doesn’t seem to realize it as such.
What makes the whole thing even weirder is that Ginsburg is Jewish. And legalized efforts to reduce or eliminate “populations that we don’t want to have too many of” has turned out remarkably badly for Jewish people in the past.