The anti-choice crowd don’t know what they’re unleashing
Actually banning abortion will be a shock to a lot of people’s systems
The self-styled abortion foes are on the verge of a great victory. With Trump’s historic three Supreme Court appointments, an anti-choice majority that has demonstrated little respect for precedent is firmly entrenched on the Court.
Brett Kavanaugh, for example, overturned an established precedent in Edwards v. Vannoy. He took this step despite the fact that none of the litigating parties had asked him to do so. Kavanaugh even stated in his opinion that there are no watershed rules in law, upending the common law idea of stare decisis, the idea that we can rely upon previous decisions of the Court. In her dissent, Elena Kagan urged Kavanaugh to avoid “judicial scorekeeping,” politely asserting that he is nothing more than a political hack.
Then you have Amy Coney Barrett, specifically appointed by Trump to overturn Roe v. Wade. As an appeals court judge, Barrett had consistently supported the anti-choice position, and in a speech prior to her nomination, she argued that restrictions on the right to abortion are apropriate.
Indeed, in the first test of abortion rights to come before the Court, the anti-choice majority flexed their muscles. In FDA v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Court held that it was legal to make it harder for women to access abortion medications during the pandemic. Although the five most ardently anti-abortion justices — Kavanaugh, Barrett, Gorsuch, Alito and Thomas — did not explain their position in a written opinion, their silence spoke volumes. The message: this is just the beginning.
The message from Trump and his appointees to the state legislatures that they should pass bills that could become the basis for overturning Roe was heard loud and clear. This year, states have passed a raft of new anti-abortion bills, and one of the new laws, a Mississippi law banning abortion after fifteen weeks, is slated for Supreme Court review this term.
If the Supreme Court uses this case to overturn the central holding of Roe, that abortion is protected by an individual’s fundamental right to privacy, then the floodgates will open. This is not a…