Donald Trump, via his self-appointed right wing Supreme Court justices, is handing the Democrats exactly what they need going into the November elections: a core issue dramatically illustrating the Republicans' absolute disdain for the sanctity of a woman's life.
In fact, the draft majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, the Mississippi abortion ban case before the high court, which could still be changed, is even more devastating than simply banning the right for a woman to have an abortion.
The opinion, writes the Brennan Center for Justice, "makes clear that the Court's majority has a far reaching agenda. In addition to overruling Roe v. Wade, the Court seems to have set its sights on reversing prior rulings on marriage equality, birth control, and other constitutional rights."
That is dangerous -- not just for women of child-bearing age, but for all Americans. Same sex marriage? Gone. Right to contraception? Gone. Really?
The Brennan Center points out that "A conservative supermajority has enabled the radicalization of the Court. As the Court guts federal protections, the harms are greatest in states that are the most gerrymandered and where voters’ voices are most systematically disenfranchised. We are now seeing the fallout of our distorted democracy."
All of that flies in the face of what the American people, in survey after survey, say they want. By about a 2-1 margin, Americans say Roe v. Wade should be upheld, and that the mother's rights should be protected and given precedence over an unborn child/undeveloped fetus.
In the States
In South Carolina, where Gov. Henry McMaster stands ready to ban all abortions once the Court's decision becomes final, Alester Linton-Pryor, chair of the Horry County Democratic Party, declared that overturning Roe v. Wade risks sending women "back to the days of back-alley abortions that are dangerous and could be the last act of a desperate woman."
Reported The Washington Post today, Republicans in the Louisiana House have advanced a bill that would classify abortion as homicide and allow prosecutors to criminally charge patients, with supporters citing the leaked draft opinion showing the court is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The Louisiana legislation goes one step further than other recent state antiabortion bans that focus on punishing abortion providers and others who help facilitate the procedure, The Post quoted experts who say the bill could also restrict in vitro fertilization and emergency contraception because it would grant constitutional rights to a person “from the moment of fertilization.”
Moreover, as The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips wrote recently, most of the recent GOP bills preemptively banning abortion or severely curtailing it include no exemptions for rape and incest. That includes new laws in Florida, Kentucky and Oklahoma. Red states have passed about a dozen such laws this year, and only three include such exceptions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks such legislation and supports abortion rights.
Arizona’s ban after 15 weeks makes no exceptions for rape and incest, and as the GOP begins nominating candidates for November’s elections, several of them have explicitly said no to exceptions for rape and incest.
How Will Voters React?
How will voters react? Will women vote for Democratic candidates who will protect their rights or Republican candidates who, with their holier-than-thou mentality, are determined to take those rights away?
“Let it sink in for a while,” veteran Democratic consultant Gale Kaufman told The Los Angeles Times. “I don’t believe young women are going to sit back and take it. They feel very empowered, especially after COVID.”
And, she added, “Women of my generation — those who watched Roe vs. Wade come into existence — I can’t imagine this won’t impact the way they vote.”
Women who refused to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 because they just didn't like her, allowing Trump to win the presidency, must now understand the consequences of that decision. His election directly resulted in the composition of the court that is now poised to take away their rights.
As South Carolina's Linton-Pryor declared:
"Remember, your vote is your voice! We must vote to protect not only the reproductive rights of women, but the rights of all Americans before the MAGA-GOP has a chance to move on to their next target. What and who could be targeted next?"
If that isn't a strong message for Democrats, I don't know what is.