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“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The Defenders of the Right to Privacy have surfaced. One wonders what they do when off duty, which they frequently are. Buying guns perhaps, or browsing smutty websites. Well, it’s none of your damn business, and they’re coming out of the woodwork to complain about the Feds helping themselves to repositories of phone and internet metadata “just in case” they want to search it later.

I sure would like to know where the outrage was and is, Fourth Amendment-wise, over states passing legislation requiring transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking to have an abortion. Talk about invading the privacy of one’s person unreasonably, without probable cause and lacking any warrant… What was everyone doing when that crap came around?

(Right, probably surfing the internet and compliantly typing your name, email, password, ID and credit card info into little forms over and over. How many times did you sign up just to click on a petition to tell someone to stop legislating against women? Congratulations, you just added more data to a corporate-owned cache of tradable bits — your own personal habits and preferences — making it available for fun and profit and, if they feel compelled, transfer to the government. You even did the data entry yourself… But we can contemplate that in a future post.)

Where was the Fourth Amendment teach-in when suddenly women facing an intimate, personal and emotionally charged decision found themselves subject to invasive physical and psychological probing without cause of any sort? There has been an outcry over the procedure — unnecessary, intrusive, expensive, discriminatory, demeaning, and all of that. But we’ve had more debate about the privacy of arrestees getting their cheeks swabbed for DNA than that of women who seek legal medical treatment being subject to a legislated physical assault. Shall we discuss the inexcusable unconstitutional overreach of local governments as they continue to introduce laws that infringe on women’s authority over their own bodies and health care?

It’s the Fourth Amendment, dudes. Does it apply to women or not?

Women do not want special treatment or special protection — we have seen what that looks like. We want equality under the law and we want it in writing. It’s time to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

(Got that, Big Brother? Go ahead, meta my day.)

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