A wave of legislation, particularly in the West, is making states “not only a little different but radically different,” says one expert on government.
By Shawn Hubler and Jill Cowan
April 3, 2022
SACRAMENTO — After the governor of Texas ordered state agencies to investigate parents for child abuse if they provide certain medical treatments to their transgender children, California lawmakers proposed a law making the state a refuge for transgender youths and their families.
When Idaho proposed a ban on abortions that empowers relatives to sue anyone who helps terminate a pregnancy after six weeks, nearby Oregon approved $15 million to help cover the abortion expenses of patients from out-of-state.
The 6–3 majority-conservative Supreme Court is dangerously out of step with a demographically and culturally changing America.
By Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic
FEBRUARY 11, 2022
The supreme court has set itself on a collision course with the forces of change in an inexorably diversifying America.
The six Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices have been nominated and confirmed by GOP presidents and senators representing the voters least exposed, and often most hostile, to the demographic and cultural changes remaking 21st-century American life. Now the GOP Court majority is moving at an accelerating pace to impose that coalition’s preferences on issues such as abortion, voting rights, and affirmative action.
Together, Texas's three bills represent dramatic incursions on the basic rights to vote, bodily integrity, and public safety.
BY WENDY CHAVKIN
SEPTEMBER 9, 2021
The January 6 assault on the Capitol threatened U.S. democracy. Individuals unhappy with the voters’ choice of Joe Biden as president used violence to try to prevent Congress from completing the electoral vote count and certifying the election results.
Now, similar Constitution-ignoring, citizen-enforced actions are being incited through law at the state and local level. This is creating serious new threats to our democracy, but also new openings for collaborative action by movements usually focused on single issues.
We may finally have the opportunity to “build back better” and ensure not just a right to abortion but a guarantee of the personhood of pregnant people at every stage of pregnancy.
by LYNN M. PALTROW
I started my career nearly 40 years ago defending the right to choose abortion and then founded National Advocates for Pregnant Women, an organization devoted to ensuring that no person loses their civil or human rights because of pregnancy or abortion. I refuse to feel hopeless about the fact that Texas has, for now, successfully banned abortion in that state. There are many reasons why I will not despair.
Abortion Bans are an Attack on Democracy
The South has traditionally been a battleground for the some of the biggest conflicts that shape today’s democracy. Current abortion bans in states like Georgia and Alabama are no exception.
by Deborah Brown
These laws deny people basic freedom to make decisions over their own bodies, and they are part of a centuries-long assault on civil rights that began at our nation’s founding. Attacks on reproductive rights are deeply intertwined with years of attacks on voter rights, particularly for people of color. Restrictions on the fundamental right to decide if, when and how to have children are part of a larger effort to distort democracy, in the service of a small number of extremists, by suppressing freedom and rights for the majority.
It’s not an accident that recent attacks on abortion and voting rights coincide with a rising tide of corporate influence in politics and a wave of political extremism that have made racist tweets from lawmakers, shootings at elementary schools and images of immigrant children in cages common features of American life. These attacks are often even set into motion by the same people.