The allegedly moderate Republican Senator from Maine Susan Collins received assurances from Judge Brett Kavanaugh that the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion is “settled law.” Collins, who claims to be pro-choice, was reportedly heartened by this assurance.
True abortion rights activists have been somewhat less impressed. Their concern is not so much that the Supreme Court will overtly overrule Roe. Such a blatant move would seriously undermine the legitimacy of the Court given the public’s overall belief that abortion should not be banned. Instead, they fear that states will be allowed to create such barriers of access to abortion that the legal right itself will be meaningless. As Serena Mayeri opined in The New York Times, abortion rights will die a death of 1000 cuts.
While many of us have focused our attention on the abortion issue itself, it is perhaps instructive to look at it as a canary in a coalmine. It is an issue that indicates the success of the right in attacking aspects of our society that virtually everyone would agree are fundamental to our society.
In my view, we can break down the anti-abortion crusaders into two groups. I will start with the first group who I believe actually oppose abortion for legitimate reasons. Some of my fellow abortion rights activists might balk at the idea that there are any legitimate reasons to oppose abortion, but such a view is delusional. If we consider ourselves liberals who care about the least among us, how can we not be concerned about the legal killing of children. At least that is how many anti-abortion activists view the issue, and it is why the issue has been so divisive for many who would otherwise support the liberal agenda.
This group, however, do not simply want to stop with abortion. To use a cliche, they want to turn back the clock to an era when women were subservient to men. Banning abortion is just the first step. Just as the right to use birth control granted in Griswold v. Connecticut led to abortion rights under Roe, the ultimate goal of the most fervent anti-abortionists is the elimination of birth control.
Don’t believe me? Just consider the fact that the issue that motivated the owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of stores to take their opposition of Obamacare to the U.S…