To win back abortion rights, Democrats need to learn how to fight the moral battle being waged by anti-abortion theocrats—something clinic escorts do every day.
By Elie Mystal, The Nation
May 16, 2022
We now live in a country where the government cannot force you to wear a mask on a plane during a pandemic but can force you to carry a pregnancy to term against your will. It is a country where the government won’t ban certain kinds of assault rifles but will ban certain kinds of medical care. We live in this country because five justices in thrall to a fundamentalist Christian orthodoxy have taken control of the Supreme Court—and because the majority of Americans who reject that orthodoxy have too often ceded the moral ground to the monsters who claim to have legitimate, enforceable interests over women’s bodies.
Women’s rights organizations and advocates have been in the trenches, fighting this fundamentalist sect, at literal physical risk to their lives, for decades. They’ve been fighting in the streets and fighting in the courtroom, but their alleged allies in Congress, in the media, and in the boardroom have rarely had their back.
I thought I was writing fiction in The Handmaid’s Tale.
By Margaret Atwood, The Atlantic
MAY 13, 2022
In the early years of the 1980s, I was fooling around with a novel that explored a future in which the United States had become disunited. Part of it had turned into a theocratic dictatorship based on 17th-century New England Puritan religious tenets and jurisprudence. I set this novel in and around Harvard University—an institution that in the 1980s was renowned for its liberalism, but that had begun three centuries earlier chiefly as a training college for Puritan clergy.
In the fictional theocracy of Gilead, women had very few rights, as in 17th-century New England. The Bible was cherry-picked, with the cherries being interpreted literally.
BY AILBHE SMYTH
MAY 6, 2022
Like many people I was not surprised at the publication of a leaked document suggesting that a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court is on the brink of overturning Roe v. Wade. Although I think the extent to which Justice Alito absolutely wrote off Roe v. Wade effectively saying it’s unworkable, unconstitutional, unacceptable, that is really appalling. I felt quite devastated for women in the 26 states, and maybe more, who will likely not be able to access to abortion and would have to travel.
I’m extremely concerned about what this says and what this means for women’s rights more broadly in the U.S., because while this is directed at the right to abortion, it is also more fundamentally about women’s freedom, our freedom over our bodies, our freedom to make decisions about our own lives, our freedom to be full and fully functioning citizens.
May 2, 2022
By Margaret Renkl
NASHVILLE — I’ve been watching anti-abortion bills sweep the red states this season, and it occurs to me that the week of Mother’s Day might be a good time for a red-state mother like me to weigh in. I fervently support a woman’s right to choose, but I still spend a lot of time thinking about how Republican legislators could achieve their real goal without also trying to undo settled legal precedent.
First, a reminder: Women ended unwanted pregnancies long before Roe v. Wade made abortion safe and legal in the United States, and women will continue to do so even if Roe is overturned. During the 1950s and ’60s, before reliable birth control became widely available, between 200,000 and 1.2 million women illegally ended unwanted pregnancies in the United States each year.
April 27, 2022
By Jessica Grose
In December, I wrote a newsletter with the headline, “Overturning Roe Will Make Miscarriage Care Worse.” I pointed out that because the options that doctors have to end a miscarriage that doesn’t happen on its own — medication or surgery — are the same ones involved in an abortion, outlawing abortion would have a chilling effect on medical providers, as evidenced by cases in countries such as Malta and Poland where abortion is severely restricted.
Doctors wind up being afraid to conduct any procedure that may be misconstrued as an illegal abortion, even when they’re treating patients who miscarry. Women can then wind up with little choice about how their miscarriages end, sometimes simply having to wait to miscarry “naturally,” which may take weeks and risk their health in the process.
There’s a strong risk that the case will spark anger and violence – whether the court overturns Roe v Wade or not
Stephen Marche, The Guardian
Wed 27 Apr 2022
Civil wars don’t always begin with gunfire. Sometimes civil wars begin with learned arguments. In April 1861, Confederate forces shot on Fort Sumter, but at the time even Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president, had doubts about whether the event mattered all that much. It was, he claimed, “either the beginning of a fearful war, or the end of a political contest”; he could not say which. During the decades that preceded the assault on Fort Sumter, complex legal and political fissures had been working their way through the United States, slowly rendering the country ungovernable and opening the path to mass violence.
The US is the middle of another such legal crackup, this time over the question of abortion. The courts today face the crisis American courts faced in the 1850s: is there any way to make laws for a country with furious and widening differences in fundamental values?
At the state level, countless factors will converge to produce unpredictable results.
By Rachel Rebouché and Mary Ziegler
APRIL 25, 2022
Everything about the American abortion war has taken on an air of inevitability. The Supreme Court will reverse Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion decision establishing a constitutional right to end a pregnancy. The United States will divide along expected lines, with abortion broadly accessible in blue states and all but entirely criminalized in red states.
This narrative is not completely wrong. Twelve states have passed so-called trigger bans that will outlaw all or most abortions if Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey are overturned. At the same time, 16 states and the District of Columbia have policies guaranteeing abortion rights no matter what the Supreme Court decides.
Why is the U.S. failing to lead the way in securing and protecting abortion rights?
by Kristyn Brandi, MD, MPH
April 24, 2022
In the last few years, a wave of court rulings and laws decriminalizing abortion have swept across Latin America, on the backs of pro-abortion activists like those in Argentina's Green Wave who "did the unthinkable" by delivering unprecedented victories for reproductive rights in the region.
In December 2020 Argentina's legislature made abortion legal up to 14-weeks in pregnancy; last September, Mexico's Supreme Court decriminalized abortion, paving the way for legalization; and just this past month, Colombia decriminalized abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) just released new abortion care guidelines that affirm a wide range of options for safely managing abortions. And for the first time, WHO recommended health officials and other policymakers recognize that people can safely self-manage all or parts of their abortion with abortion pills or through the use of telehealth services.
By Paul Waldman, Washington Post
April 13, 2022
When the history of how American women lost their reproductive rights is written, the bill-signing that took place in Oklahoma City on Tuesday should be acknowledged as a key moment when the shrinking window of possibility that the Supreme Court might hold back from overturning Roe v. Wade essentially closed forever.
The occasion was Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signing a bill outlawing almost all abortions in the state, a move that is as plainly unconstitutional as it would be for the state to make it illegal to practice Judaism or criticize the president.
April 11, 2022
By Monica Simpson, executive director of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
As a queer woman who grew up in North Carolina, I learned at an early age that my Blackness could be a source of great joy — but it could also pose a threat to my safety and autonomy.
In middle school, white boys laid their hands on me without my consent when I sharpened my pencil. To travel through town, I had to pass a building dedicated to Senator Jesse Helms, a champion of modern-day anti-abortion laws. It was all a daily reminder of the tight grip that whiteness had on my full liberation. I did not consent to that either.