The American Civil Liberties Union stands accused on social media of taking pronoun liberties with a quote from the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg purportedly to appease trans activists.
In a tweet on September 18, the one-year anniversary of the jurist’s passing, the liberal legal group praised her as “a champion of abortion and gender equality” and in a thread, lamented state-level restrictions on reproductive rights enacted in Texas and elsewhere.
The social media message also included a quote purportedly from the justice herself:
“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a [person’s] life, to [their] well-being and dignity…When the government controls that decision for [people], [they are] being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for [their] own choices.”
With Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, we lost a champion for abortion and gender equality. And on the anniversary of her death, the fight to protect abortion access is more urgent than ever. pic.twitter.com/vIKadIHouN
— ACLU (@ACLU) September 18, 2021
The actual 1993 quote that was submitted in writing during the highly respected Ginsburg’s U.S. Senate confirmation hearings, however, as Twitter has resoundingly reminded the ACLU, is as follows (italics added):
“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”
Social media users are roasting the ACLU for ironically — given its track record — trying to be the language police by erasing women from the biological equation and trying to rewrite history.
“You have become the exact type of language-bending Orwellian institution you once opposed,” author and podcaster Colin Moriarity wrote. A sampling of the many similar responses appears below.
Note that the Biden administration and various Democrat allies have embraced the term “birthing people” as a substitute for mothers.
In September 2020, President Donald Trump nominated then-Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the very liberal Ginsburg. The Senate confirmed Barrett, who was furiously opposed by Democrats and pro-choice activists, in October by a vote of 52-48.
According to George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, Barrett’s “nomination was the single greatest deliverable ever made by a president to pro-life voters.”
About the current controversy, Turley wrote that “If one accepts this view that the reference to ‘woman’ is offensive, you can still accept that historical documents should be read in their original form. You can then editorialize or contextualize with any objections or warnings…It is of course ironic that this iconic liberal jurist is now the subject of corrective editing.
“The ACLU might be wise to consider this other Ginsburg quote: ‘Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.'”
It’s perhaps also worth noting that Justice Ginsburg, even as she is celebrated for championing women’s rights, at one point at least questioned the wide-ranging scope of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision that overrode all state laws in effect at that time.
“A less encompassing Roe, one that merely struck down the extreme Texas law and went no further on that day…might have served to reduce rather than to fuel controversy,” Ginsburg said in a December 1992 lecture at New York University.
The high court is set to hear a major abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, later this year.
As alluded to above, here is just a small sample of the reaction on Twitter that is still unfolding, even on the pro-choice left, to the ACLU gender-neutral editing.:
ACLU just going and changing direct quotes from ( Supreme Court Person ) is just perfect.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) September 22, 2021
You misquoted her. RBG wrote about women. Stop erasing us @aclu. Women exist. Women get pregnant. #SayOurWords We are Women & Mothers. https://t.co/cyIG9W5IJx
— Maud Maron (@MaudMaron) September 22, 2021
The ACLU censoring language in a direct quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg is very on brand for what they are about now https://t.co/7KqFduCwvb
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) September 22, 2021
The ACLU is now scrubbing the word “woman” so as to not offend activists.
Civil liberties, indeed. https://t.co/qUuX64bBC9
— Lauren Chen (@TheLaurenChen) September 23, 2021
Retroactively erasing the word “woman” from that RBG quote is frankly an insult to her memory, given how hard she fought to advance the rights and representation of women in North America. The @ACLU should be embarrassed.
— Sister Outrider (@ClaireShrugged) September 22, 2021
Oh my God. They went there!! @aclu has jumped the shark, crossed the Rubicon and redacted the word woman from a quote by the most notable of Supreme Court judges. https://t.co/Cu7IEHTxxo
— Jan “Cassandra” Rivers (@swannieriv) September 23, 2021
You removed the word woman?
From abortion rights?
From the woman who co-founded ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project?
— Maya Forstater (@MForstater) September 23, 2021
Regardless of one’s opinion on the subject at hand, no one’s words should be altered after their death & presented as a quote. It’s dishonest. In doing so, we alter history.
The idea that RBG, who fought for women’s rights, would have eschewed the word woman is ludicrous. @ACLU https://t.co/T08z1ftgjf
— John Boyne 📚 (@john_boyne) September 23, 2021
The @ACLU can’t bear to write the word
What new misogynist hell is this?
Also, do only “fully adult” humans qualify for human rights, @ACLU? That’s what your post says. https://t.co/wJopH3U079
— Grazie P Christie MD (@GChristiemd) September 23, 2021
Inclusivity at what cost? Erasure of women? Speech censorship? Altering the words of a dead woman who championed our right? This is not how you further our rights, @ACLU . Try again. https://t.co/CYd5pdIflx
— Bea (@BeaInIreland) September 23, 2021
The ACLU is altering RBG’s quote to eliminate women.
And they have the gall to claim pro-life people are anti-women. https://t.co/cHUPrWoalu
— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) September 22, 2021
I may end up being completely wrong about this, but I think that eliminating biological women from the abortion debate is going to seriously diminish the energy behind the pro-choice effort.
So, uh, rock on ACLU. I guess. https://t.co/8UYntrsdxO
— Rachel Bovard (@rachelbovard) September 23, 2021
The @ACLU decided to edit Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s quote on abortion, acting as if “woman” and female pronouns were anti-trans profanities. @GScottSays rightly called them out for “literally erasing women.” https://t.co/WNuSf8Vkwj
— Tyler O’Neil (@Tyler2ONeil) September 23, 2021
“If [people] could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”
Let us be clear ACLU, by obscuring who is being oppressed, by whom, and for what reason, you are directly working against the interests of women.
We consider you an arm of the patriarchy. https://t.co/V8KiQz1FTi
— Dr. Jane Clare Jones 💚🤍💜 (@janeclarejones) September 23, 2021
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