The Politics of Abortion Is Entering a New Era
The Supreme Court won’t protect abortion access anymore. But thousands of activists will.
By Emily Douglas
Dec 3, 2019
America is a country that telegraphs profoundly conflicting ideas of how women should live their lives. There are five female candidates for president. Women are fully integrated into the paid labor force: Almost half of workers are women. Seventy percent of mothers with children work outside the home; the vast majority working full-time. Across income groups, but especially among low-income families, the wages women earn increasingly represent half—or more—of what their families live on. America depends on women’s labor, paid and unpaid, and expects women to dream big, just as men do.
And yet in 2019 alone, state after state has passed laws that, if enforced, would completely undermine the United States’ notion of itself as a country that embraces gender equality. These laws ban abortion, and they’re banning it as early as six weeks, before many women even know they’re pregnant. Alabama has banned abortion altogether, with only the narrowest exceptions. So far all these laws have been blocked by federal judges, but they will work their way up to the Supreme Court, where an anti-choice majority now holds sway.