activism Jake Johnson Politics

Mass Mobilizations Planned as Supreme Court Targets Roe v Wade

The push by conservative justices to overturn Roe v. Wade, said one abortion rights advocate, "is giving us an opportunity to show them how ungovernable we will be if they follow through."
[Jordan Uhl / CC BY 2.0}

By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams

Abortion rights advocates geared up to mobilize in the nation’s capital and across the United States on Tuesday following the leak of a draft decision signaling that the Supreme Court’s right-wing majority is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.

While the decision outlined in the draft opinion—authored by Justice Samuel Alito—is not yet final, it would strike a devastating blow to reproductive rights in large swaths of the U.S. Experts at the Guttmacher Institute have estimated that if the landmark 1973 decision is overturned, 26 states are “certain or likely” to completely outlaw abortion.

At least 13 states—including Arkansas, Kentucky, Utah, and Louisiana—currently have in place so-called “trigger laws” that would ban abortion in all or most cases automatically if the Supreme Court ends Roe.

The high court’s final ruling in the closely watched case, which is centered on an abortion ban in Mississippi, is expected within the next two months.

“We’re mobilizing,” Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, tweeted in the wake of Politico‘s report on the draft, which set off widespread outrage and spurred flash protests outside the Supreme Court Monday night.

“Be at SCOTUS or any federal courthouse tomorrow at 5 pm,” Thomas wrote late Monday. “The leaked draft decision overturning Roe has confirmed everything we knew about this court’s intentions and it is giving us an opportunity to show them how ungovernable we will be if they follow through.”

An end to Roe is an outcome that right-wing forces in the U.S., backed by corporate power and cash, have been working toward for decades—and they appear prepared to take full advantage should the high court ultimately rule in their favor.

Citing a person familiar with the court’s deliberations, Politico revealed that “four of the other Republican-appointed justices—Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett—had voted with Alito in the conference held among the justices after hearing oral arguments in December, and that line-up remains unchanged as of this week.”

Hours before Alito’s draft opinion was made public, the Washington Post reported that “leading anti-abortion groups and their allies in Congress have been meeting behind the scenes to plan a national strategy that would kick in if the Supreme Court rolls back abortion rights this summer, including a push for a strict nationwide ban on the procedure if Republicans retake power in Washington.”

“The effort, activists say, is designed to bring a fight that has been playing out largely in the courts and state legislatures to the national political stage—rallying conservatives around the issue in the midterms and pressuring potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates to take a stand,” the Post noted.

Democratic attempts to enshrine Roe into federal law, meanwhile, have foundered as Senate Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) remain opposed to legislation that would do so. In late April, Manchin joined the unified GOP in filibustering the House-passed Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), refusing to even allow a vote on the measure itself.

“As one of the 1 in 4 women in this country who have chosen to have an abortion, I am outraged and disgusted by the reported draft SCOTUS opinion,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said late Monday.

“People should take to the streets across the country,” Jayapal added. “Right now, the Senate can pass an exception to the filibuster and codify Roe v. Wade. This is the most dramatic setback for women’s rights in decades.”

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, echoed that warning in a statement.

“If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, it will be an unjustified, unprecedented stripping away of a guaranteed right that has been in place for nearly five decades,” said Northrup. “It would represent the most damaging setback to the rights of women in the history of our country.”

27 comments

  1. Bananas? Handmaids, one and all. This is the slide the United Snakes of Amnesia continues to hurtle toward. Imagine, doctors forced to shut their mouths, shutter their practices, and hand over their credentials. Abortion, reproductive services, alternatives to the jabs or intubation. It is Scopes Monkey Trial 2022. And yet, both manure piles — Democrats and Republicans — shoveling propaganda and trillions to the Nazis in Ukraine and to the military industrial mass abortion complex.

    “Only from a capitalist viewpoint being productive is a moral virtue, if not a moral imperative. From the viewpoint of the working class, being productive simply means being exploited.”
    ― Silvia Federici, Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle

  2. They jerk the leash of division and diversion as the Empire of Lies marches on….

  3. This isn’t about “saving the lives of tiny unborn babies”; if they gave a damn about those babies, they would fund welfare so that the mothers and babies aren’t living well below the poverty line. They would pass National Health Care.
    This is the same old control of women that conservatives have always pursued. How they believe that their world will stabilize if they can only keep women in line, I don’t know.

    1. @Susan Mercurio
      I realize that you were quoting someone else, but there’s no such thing as an “unborn baby.” That’s a propaganda term (just like “genetically modified” crops and food are actually genetically engineered); it’s called a fetus.

      There is also no such thing as “pro-life,” unless you’re talking about a radical environmentalist and deep ecologist. These people are anti-abortion, but they don’t want to use that honest and straightforward term because it doesn’t sound good to the majority, and they realize that they’re in a minority that continues to shrink.

      1. Yes, there is such as an unborn baby. Perhaps it is semantics. Fetal baby. But ask an excited couple about the pregnancy and the ensuing conversation. “I feel my baby moving.” “Listen to our baby’s heartbeat” as he presses his ear to her belly. “My baby is kicking hard today.” “We found out from the sonogram that our baby is a girl.”

        It is cold science that takes away the humanity of the unborn baby.
        Having said this, and personally believing that a “fetal baby” is life, I do not support laws that would jail a desperate woman. Supportive persuasion is acceptable, not legal coercion.

        This all does not bode well.

      2. @Allen Johnson
        The term “unborn baby” was never used until the anti-abortion movement started using it however long ago. I’m not arguing the merits of abortion with you, we’re on opposite sides with no realistic chance of either of us convincing the other. But let’s face facts: a baby has to be born. Before it’s born it’s a fetus. “Unborn baby” is a propaganda term. It’s irrelevant how overly emotional expecting couples talk.

  4. Imagine if they would have cared this much about “women’s health” when Democrats stripped those left jobless of their most basic human rights (UN’s UDHR) to food and shelter.

  5. I’m sure the penny will drop soon…

    ‪“Original minds are not distinguished by being the first to see a new thing but instead seeing the old, familiar thing that is overlooked as something new”. Nietzsche.

    Set it up. Drive & divide society. Watch it tear itself apart. Ride to the gaslight ‘rescue’ with military force. Start war. Guilt-shame *ALL* men into military uniform upon mobilisation. Globally. Simple. It’s all been done before. Twice.

    ‘Early Warning Signs of Fascism: The #MeToo (& LGBT) Truth of Rampant Sexism’ (2020) https://wp.me/p94Aj4-1Y2

    Johnny McNeill
    #GaslightingGilligan (© 2017) 
    Twitter: @GasGilligan (*free download*)

  6. This is societal devolution, probably part of a larger wave intent on eroding basic constitutional rights… but what is mass protest going to accomplish, really, practically… other than possibly venting frustration, anger, outrage felt by the protestors. We need a tactic with real and enduring impact. We need a coordinated plan. The time for noise has passed.

  7. So the question then becomes, why did the unelected judges exercise raw judicial power with Roe, abruptly ending the democratic political process imposing the same highly restrictive regime of legal abortion on the entire nation, effectively striking down the abortion laws of every single State? Did the unelected judges have to rule for the good of the people despite their own judgment?

    I think this country needs well regulated abortion and the right to choose life saving sensible gun laws!

    1. @Bruce
      Yeah, well-regulated, as in regulated solely by medical professionals, completely unrestricted, and free.

  8. Maybe it’s time for, I don’t know, Russiagate Part II?

    Perhaps starring Bruce Willis this time?

    Should womb-bomb…

  9. Ah, more monstrous hypocrisy. Plus a huge hot button issue that will keep most of us enraged at the group we’re not in and terrified enough to vote for the party of lying 1%er collaborators we convince ourselves is on our side here.

    The Rs are oh so “concerned” about unborn babies. Yet, as Rep. Barney Frank said, the problem with Right-to-Lifers is they seem to think the right to life ends at birth.

    The Ds claim to be the champions of women’s rights. Rights that for the majority working class mean little without healthcare and union wages.

    Both parties ignore all other domestic problems to shore up a failing econ system. A system that sees nature as merely source and sink and has reduced what were “personnel” to human resources–things to strip mine, tailings tossed aside. A system so far gone that its only certainty is war profiteering.

    Neither party objects to what amount to very, very late term abortions: young people killed in the endless wars of a senescent empire. Neither party admits the reality of the economic draft; it doesn’t affect R party 1%ers or D party upper middle class administrators. Neither party bothers with the many victims of domestic economic warfare–disproportionately women.

    This is the perfect single issue weapon of mass distraction. Away from complexities like pandemics or global climate change or geopolitics or economics. No thinking required, just intensifying anger. Great for the power elite as it eclipses everything else.

  10. It’s a STATES RIGHTS issue pure and simple. It isn’t about the ‘right to choose’, it’s about there’s nothing in the Constitution that grants a right to an abortion. Keep big government out and let each state make up its own mind to what is appropriate for THEM.

    Why should someone in California care or have any influence over someone in another state? Nothing will change in California if Roe is overturned, nor in any other state that supports abortions.

    1. @Bishop Penster
      If the Constitution doesn’t protect a person’s right to do as they wish with their own body, then the Constitution isn’t worth crap. End of story.

  11. These people should target the Democratic Party, which pretends to be for abortion rights, but in fact has done absolutely nothing for them. The Democrats had the White House and both houses of Congress under Obama and now under Biden, and the could have passed legislation into law that protected abortion rights. Now we have the fascist Supreme Court allowing religious fanatics to prevent women from terminating pregnancies, on a planet with way too many people no less.

    Abortion rights advocates should also do to anti-abortion jerks what the jerks have done to them. Go to their churches on Sundays and harass them coming & going the way they harass women seeking abortions. No tolerance for these people, religion should have to be practiced in private!

  12. Went to the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento. Woman next to me says she can’t believe she’s back at fighting for this. I say, based on maps, it takes us one step closer to civil war. She shudders/can’t hear that. Then she mentions the spread of extremism around the world and wonders why? I say it’s capitalism’s income inequality. Oh, no, she doesn’t agree with that. Shuts down, walks away. Smh.

    Group starts chanting trans rights are human rights. Smh, again. (Not at the human rights part, but as far as I know a transwoman will never need an abortion so wtf?)

    22 year old kid announces he’s 22 and we have to vote! Smh, again. (So sorry. That it ain’t it, kid. That ain’t it.)

    And all of this after trying to dress code a student for wearing a “Let’s Go Brandon – FJB” t-shirt that no one understood as being a political statement except for me and one (yes one) colleague. Smh, again and again and again. (I’m not a Biden fan, but I am trying to fight fascism.)

    My takeaway by the end of the day, ladies??? In the streets doesn’t mean on the sidewalk.

    1. @Anonywho???
      People shouldn’t be protesting this at courthouses; they should be protesting it at churches, especially the ones that are the most strongly anti-abortion. These religious fanatics are the ones driving the anti-abortion movement. I say, harass the hell out of the churchgoers going to & from church the same way the churchgoers harass girls and women trying to get abortions. Going to a courthouse does nothing unless you put fear into the justices, like the fear that a million demonstrators outside the White House put into Nixon that caused him to reject Dr. Strangelove Kissinger’s request to drop nuclear bombs on Vietnam.

      1. I don’t agree with harassing church goers, but I do agree we should be surrounding Washington D.C. Standing on sidewalks in front of courthouses that are closed is b.s. That’s what I kept thinking over and over. What are we doing here? How does this help? This doesn’t feel like what democracy looks like. Millions in the streets, not on the sidewalk, would though.

        I could pose and ponder all kinds of questions and answers. I take action the best I know how and am called to, but most people I know either don’t have the emotional wherewithal and/or physical constitution to do anything and other people are lapping it up with a savage sort of zeal.

        10% of the people will always stand on moral high ground, 10% will always take the low road, and 80% can go either way. Freud(?) said something like that. I wonder where I fall? I hope the first 10%, but I’m not sure now, since I’m preparing to leave.

        My coworker and I were talking about feeling like frauds. Talking the talk, but barely walking the walk. Then we had *another* day of trying to uphold our duties as education specialists and teachers of basic tenants of citizenship and we were met with either the usual marginalization or complete lack of awareness. At the end of it, I didn’t think we were frauds anymore, I thought we were doing the best we could swimming in the chum of the 80%.

      2. @Anonywho???
        Oh, the poor church goers! Gimme a break, these people are as evil as it gets, and they’re the cause of this problem. I’m not talking about progressive churches, I’m talking about churches that preach anti-abortion.

      3. I’m not sure fear can be put into the “Justices”. The court is stocked with (I assume) dominionists, which means they’re all about revelations. Does fear stop extremists or does an attempt to intimidate embolden them?

  13. A convenient crisis for the ‘pro-choice’ DP, dipping in popularity, as elections approach – even as it continues to lead the way in making any right to bodily autonomy null and void with the jackbooted march of the biosecurity state. And another convenient crisis with a wedge issue to divide and rule us as the Great Reset’s war on humanity continues. After all the generations which have been enslaved, why keep begging for rights from our masters? Try a revolution, instead.

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