One of the oldest sales tricks in the book is the one where the salesperson presents the potential buyer with an extremely crappy option first, and follows that up with an only moderately crappy second option. The potential buyer, dazzled by the jump in quality between options one and two, won’t scrutinize option two as much, because it’s so much better than option one. This has been employed by slimy realtors, wedding planners, and used car salesmen.
And now, we’ve reached the point in the American experiment where the Supreme Court’s new conservative majority has resorted to a cheap sales tactic in an attempt to rehabilitate its image. Lower the customer’s expectations enough, conventional wisdom goes, and they’ll thank you for ripping them off.
This week, the court agreed to hear a legal challenge to SB8, the Texas law that bans abortion once a “fetal heart rate” is detected—usually around the sixth week of gestation, which is actually around three weeks after the implantation of a fertilized egg in the wall of a uterus, or a little over a week after a missed menstrual period in a person with a predictable schedule. The law empowers any ol’ Yosemite Sam to enforce said ban by filing a lawsuit against anybody who “aids or abets” an abortion. This means doctors, receptionists, advocates, and even Uber drivers who bring a patient to a clinic could be on the hook.