Republicans call for overturning Roe v. Wade in Supreme Court filing
January 2, 2020 8:13 PM   Subscribe

Two days into the 2020 election year, Republicans are staking their ground: They’re coming for Roe v. Wade. In an amicus curie brief released Thursday, 205 Republican lawmakers, including 39 senators, asked the Supreme Court to consider whether Roe, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court case protecting the right to an abortion, “should be reconsidered and, if appropriate, overruled.” They’re weighing in on June Medical Services v. Gee, a key abortion-related case set to be heard in early March determining whether the state of Louisiana can require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Advocates predict that, if the Louisiana law is upheld, two of the remaining three abortion clinics in the state will close down. Abortion rights advocates sounded the alarm Thursday, warning that the legal battle over Roe is now in full swing. “The anti-choice movement is no longer trying to hide their real agenda,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a statement. “They are gunning to end Roe, criminalize abortion and punish women. If it wasn’t clear why we fought like hell to stop [Supreme Court justice] Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation before, it should be crystal clear now.”
posted by Homo neanderthalensis (72 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
The brief itself.
Here Are the 207 Members of Congress Who Just Asked SCOTUS to Consider Overruling Roe v. Wade (Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, at Jezebel's The Slot: "Here are the lawmakers, most of them men—including two House Democrats in Illinois’s Daniel Lipinski and Minnesota’s Collin Peterson—who signed their names to the amicus brief.")
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:21 PM on January 2 [7 favorites]


I am still so resentful that this was successfully turned into a polarizing issue that we need to waste our time *debating*, where money and resources have to be thrown at this regressive bullshit instead of reproductive health.

If you know any women who voted for Trump, just remember they weighed in on the "I'm cool with this" side, whether they admit it to themselves or not.

(Don't waste your time parsing a male Trump voter's feelings on women's reproductive rights, that way lies the most boring and least introspective kind of madness)
posted by aspersioncast at 8:22 PM on January 2 [67 favorites]


Don't forget that Democrats did something similar in support of Roe v Wade:

Last month, 197 members of Congress also wrote the Supreme Court in support of the Roe v Wade decision. “As a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, and one that strikes at the heart of ordered liberty and individual autonomy, a woman’s right to decide to seek an abortion should be insulated from the rhetoric and interests of groups whose sole purpose is to undermine Roe and eliminate the fundamental rights enunciated in that case,” that group of members wrote in their amicus brief.
Washington Post
posted by pjsky at 8:45 PM on January 2 [13 favorites]


Thanks for making this post. I wrote one up, but trashed it, because I wrote it on anger.

Dems are on the side of major medical and legal groups (WBUR/NPR, December 2, 2019), and the majority of REPUBLICANS (PBS poll, reported June 7, 2019).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:49 PM on January 2 [14 favorites]


We also have the 2020 elections to consider: Democratic Candidates Have Promised to ‘Codify’ Roe v. Wade. What Does That Mean? (The Cut, Oct. 16, 2019)
uring Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate, candidates were asked (for the first time!) how they’d protect a woman’s right to have an abortion. Several of them — including Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden, Julián Castro, and Cory Booker — responded that they’d codify Roe v. Wade into law. This isn’t the first time the idea has come up: In May, as a slew of incredibly restrictive abortion bans were being passed in the South, every Democratic candidate except Tulsi Gabbard came out in favor of it. (On Tuesday night, though, Gabbard said she’s in support of codifying Roe, though she opposes most abortions in the third trimester.) Codify appeared to be the buzzword of the night. So what does it mean, exactly?

Codifying Roe v. Wade would make women’s right to abortion a federal law.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:54 PM on January 2 [15 favorites]


If you know any women who voted for Trump, just remember they weighed in on the "I'm cool with this" side, whether they admit it to themselves or not.

Reminder that people often vote their values over their interests.

Of my acquaintances who are most vocal about anti-abortion positions, nearly all of them are women, and they see it as a special sanctity of life issue, innocent life, and it often looks like their feelings about their own existing children or maternal capacities are tied up in it. Some of these people dislike Trump but this is one of the few issues they know how to approach and they'll vote on it, and only really careful messaging that validates maternal feelings ("expecting women know better than the government what should be done with a pregnancy") seems to have half a chance of having influence.

(Others, of course, are fully bought-in on strict daddy patriarchy married to some vision of their complementary femininity and would support Trump even if there was clear evidence he'd had many of his own abortions and wanted to preserve his right to do so because all the bad stuff comes from outside the tribe anyway.)
posted by wildblueyonder at 9:20 PM on January 2 [22 favorites]


Vile.
posted by anem0ne at 9:28 PM on January 2 [12 favorites]


This is the first step towards a national blanket ban on abortion. Christ I hate these people. I think we need to get extremely serious, immediately, about setting up a nationwide fund for people who are now going to be forced to travel to one of the 17 states with neither a GOP legislature nor governor. I mean that's already the case for millions of people, but if this passes you can bet your sweet ass the other 33 are going to ram through not just bans but outright criminalization, almost overnight.

Btw, when I googled "pre Roe abortion funds" the first "people also ask" suggestion was, "How much money does Planned Parenthood make on abortions?" The American Taliban has completely captured this conversation and it is insane.
posted by peakes at 11:03 PM on January 2 [30 favorites]


I'm sure these people will be utterly delighted to move on to restricting birth control once they've made abortion illegal throughout the USA.

And then I'm sure they'll be thrilled when their teen age granddaughter gets pregnant and commits suicide out of desperation. They'll be beside themselves with delight.

Won't they?
posted by jrochest at 11:04 PM on January 2 [9 favorites]


I'm sure these people will be utterly delighted to move on to restricting birth control

This, too. Absolutely.

I have precisely zero time or patience for the women who voted for this. The only woman in my family who is a staunch anti-choice Republican is also the one who--as is and was her right--had recourse to abortion to keep her job way back in the day. I cannot even. These people are so transparently driven by shame and self-hatred, it would be heartbreaking to watch if they weren't trying to punish all of us for their own imagined sins. It's 8 am and I already need a drink.
posted by peakes at 11:10 PM on January 2 [20 favorites]


And then I'm sure they'll be thrilled when their teen age granddaughter gets pregnant and commits suicide out of desperation.

Their teenage granddaughters will always have access to safe abortion.
posted by babelfish at 11:17 PM on January 2 [86 favorites]


I think we need to get extremely serious, immediately, about setting up a nationwide fund for people who are now going to be forced to travel to one of the 17 states with neither a GOP legislature nor governor.

Folks are working on this right now.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:38 PM on January 2 [15 favorites]


Thank you for the article, palmcorder_yajna, I will definitely dig into that.

By the way, the international far right is absolutely watching the US as a testing ground for rollback of reproductive rights. In Paris we have been seeing repeated poster campaigns urging the end of legal abortion (as well as IVF and surrogacy*) in France. This has been a hobbyhorse of the Catholic/nationalist right wing for a while over here, but if the GOP get their wish I am extremely afraid it will add momentum.

* Currently only available to partnered hetero candidates which is infuriating but also o/t for this discussion so I just wanted to acknowledge it.
posted by peakes at 11:45 PM on January 2 [18 favorites]


Of my acquaintances who are most vocal about anti-abortion positions, nearly all of them are women, and they see it as a special sanctity of life issue, innocent life, and it often looks like their feelings about their own existing children or maternal capacities are tied up in it.

Thanks for that, wildblueyonder. It never occurred to me but it makes so much sense.
posted by bendy at 11:55 PM on January 2 [5 favorites]


The fact of this letter, signed by one of my Senators who should never have been voted into office (but 2016 was the year people decided not to vote when they didn't adore the Democratic candidate) just woke me up at 2:00 and I couldn't get back to sleep. The Iranian situation didn't help.

My feelings about my own existing child, who is currently happily pregnant (by choice) are all bound up in this issue as well; I hope my child never will be denied any future needed abortion because of the actions of overwhelmingly male, ignorant, misogynist zealots.

I have a marriage that has lasted 43 years partly because, due to Roe v. Wade, we were able to get an abortion early on when we were both newly recovering from addiction.
posted by Peach at 12:07 AM on January 3 [50 favorites]


Their teenage granddaughters will always have access to safe abortion.

And if they don't, then those teenage granddaughters will be shamed as sluts, pushed into unwanted marriages, thrown out of homes and denied support by the broader community, and at high risk of death by assault/poverty/overdose/suicide/botched backyard abortions, etc.

For a variety of reasons, the 2020s are shaping up as pretty damn ugly. This may well be the make-or-break decade for humanity, our Great Filter.
posted by Pouteria at 12:18 AM on January 3 [16 favorites]


And if they don't, then those teenage granddaughters will be shamed as sluts, pushed into unwanted marriages, thrown out of homes and denied support by the broader community...

Or sent to homes for unwed mothers. We're going to back to the 50s right?
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:54 AM on January 3 [7 favorites]


Americans are trying to infiltrate the Canadian discourse with anti-abortion propaganda, an issue that has been more or less settled for decades until extremely well funded American groups starting hobnobbing(and probably giving money to on the down-low) with some of our far right politicians (many of whom are, sadly, in power)
posted by Yowser at 2:55 AM on January 3 [10 favorites]


But Susan Collins assured me they would do no such thing.
posted by ssmug at 3:08 AM on January 3 [21 favorites]


Maybe it's time for all mensruating people to send our bloody products to those who wish to police us.
posted by goofyfoot at 3:11 AM on January 3 [15 favorites]


Codifying Roe v. Wade would make women’s right to abortion a federal law.

This sounds good but is premised on maintaining at least one house or the a presidency with enough votes to block a super majority. Otherwise it’d be repealed the split second the GOP regained full control.
posted by jmauro at 3:57 AM on January 3 [5 favorites]


This kind of shit is why I'm getting sterilized a week from now. Maybe it's extreme but I don't want to have biological children and I'm terrified of not having abortion access. They're coming for IUDs next, the rhetoric is that those cause abortions (they DON'T). So just get my tubes out and then fight like hell for all the women who don't want to go with that option or can't.
posted by schroedinger at 5:31 AM on January 3 [25 favorites]


Reminder that people often vote their values over their interests.

I don't actually believe this is true - I think people are surprisingly good at persuading themselves that their interests and values don't conflict. In this case, my assessment is that the women you're describing believe their interests will be preserved, because they're not like those other people. (There's trading off short term interests against long term interests, of course, such as advocating for higher taxes for a group oneself is a member of in exchange for some public good, but that's a different calculus altogether)
posted by PMdixon at 6:36 AM on January 3 [16 favorites]


PMdixon, I think they assume that they would never need an abortion or even birth control, or they've lived all their lives in a space where both were legal and so can't imagine the effects of both being taken away.

There's been people arguing, lately, that because RU-486 and other pills can be purchased online and mailed across national borders it's okay for all the clinics to close. This is horseshit, to put it mildly: all that will happen is that the antiabortion forces will go after the manufacturers of the pills next, and/or set up Trojan horse pharmacies that sell fake pills, or poisonous ones.
posted by jrochest at 6:51 AM on January 3 [10 favorites]


I weep.
posted by widdershins at 6:51 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]



Their teenage granddaughters will always have access to safe abortion.


this evergreen piece of fantasy has no place in the real world where men who hate women are as likely to hate the girls & women closest to them most of all as they are to give them special privileges.

If you really believe that ideological conservatives will move heaven and earth to get safe abortions for their blood relatives, no matter what happens to other women, then all women would be safer with ideological conservative relatives. surely that is not what you think.

conservatives haven't been pushing parental consent laws for teens and spousal consent laws for adult women all this time because they want to make sure that Republican fathers and husbands can help their good girls and women find safe doctors. must this be explained
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:03 AM on January 3 [26 favorites]


And Yowzer, I agree, it's insane. The first time I saw Tory politicians arguing that Canada's lack of an abortion law was something we should *fix* I was boggled.

I mean, we have all kinds of problems with access, everywhere, but the fact that we let it be a private decision for a patient and their doctor is a good thing, not a bad.
posted by jrochest at 7:04 AM on January 3 [4 favorites]


are as likely to hate the girls & women closest to them most of all as they are to give them special privileges.

Okay, okay. What about the "mistresses closest to them"?
posted by witchen at 7:29 AM on January 3 [11 favorites]


Here are the lawmakers, most of them men—including[...]Illinois’s Daniel Lipinski

Don't forget that Democrats did something similar in support of Roe v Wade


Which rings pretty hollow for a lot of them, including the leadership and DCCC Reps, who keep on throwing money at Lipinski for re-election every two years. He will almost assuredly be handed millions of dollars for running in his safe seat that would be better spent on the many other candidates in close races who are not only not bigoted dinosaurs, but will vote with the party (and especially the more progressive bills) more often than he does. And it's not like they're doing it out of any principled stance or actual political calculation, either. It's entirely based on a disgusting and hypocritical combo of a sense of nepotistic duty, intrastate dealmaking, and "comity" amongst Dems.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 7:46 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]


I don't actually believe this is true - I think people are surprisingly good at persuading themselves that their interests and values don't conflict.
The fourth argument to be made is this: the abortion issue is emotionally charged because new political constituencies—primarily women—have vested social interests in whether the embryo is defined as a baby or as a fetus. Although both sides can fairly claim to be altruistic—the pro-choice side on behalf of women (especially poor women) who need safe, clean, legal abortions, and the pro-life side on behalf of unborn babies—their involvements also reflect personal vested interests. To be sure, these interests are not crassly materialistic; no one enters the abortion debate with an eye to fame and riches. They are deeper, broader, and more subtle. People see in the abortion issue a simultaneously pragmatic, symbolic, and emotional representation of states of social reality—states that they find reassuring or threatening. With respect to the issue of personhood, for example, the different location of pro-life and pro-choice people in the social environment predisposes them to use different traditions of moral discourse in thinking about the issue and to perceive different definitions of personhood as more moral or less moral. The view that personhood is basically social in nature, which implies that some individuals have a less compelling claim than others on scarce resources, is perceived quite differently by persons who expect to have access to those resources and persons who have reason to fear they may be denied such access.

Kristen Luker, Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood (1985)
posted by non canadian guy at 8:11 AM on January 3 [10 favorites]


To be sure, these interests are not crassly materialistic; no one enters the abortion debate with an eye to fame and riches.

Maybe in 1985 this felt true but the issue has become a lucrative wedge for many people seeking both power and fame. Our chief grifter threw in a “what about the babies” and I think he did it without even guessing at its power. ’My people say I should say this...whoa, that worked like crazy.’
posted by amanda at 8:19 AM on January 3 [10 favorites]


conservatives haven't been pushing parental consent laws for teens and spousal consent laws for adult women all this time because they want to make sure that Republican fathers and husbands can help their good girls and women find safe doctors.

To say nothing of the fact that no small part of a lot of "pro-life" thinking derives from the belief (usually unstated, although like with a lot of things it's getting more overt as time goes on) that good, white, Christian Real America™ is losing the demographic battle due to uppity feminist liberals making it easier for the Right Kind of Women to shirk their natalist duties.

Of course, as alluded to by amanda's comment above, a distinction should probably also be made here between "pro-life" true believers and conservative politicos who embrace the cause primarily because they see it as a political winner. I can see the latter having no problem procuring discreet abortions for themselves and/or the women in their lives should the need arise.
posted by non canadian guy at 8:24 AM on January 3 [8 favorites]


Their teenage granddaughters will always have access to safe abortion.

I took this to mean that the well-off will always be able to leave the country to have a procedure done somewhere else. That's compatible with a complete ban in the U.S.
posted by anhedonic at 8:28 AM on January 3 [4 favorites]


the leadership and DCCC Reps, who keep on throwing money at Lipinski for re-election every two years

AFAICT this is false, but I'm not going to do any detailed work on this. At a casual glance, it looks like he received a total of $5K from the IL Dem pac, $0 from the national party or its pacs, and $0 from identifiably-leadership pacs. Tracking uncoordinated spending is obviously harder and I'm not about to do it myself, but opensecrets didn't identify any DCCC spending for Lipinski or against Jones in 2018.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:36 AM on January 3 [3 favorites]


Only rich republicans daughters, mistresses, and wives will get abortions.
posted by Oyéah at 8:40 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see a Democrat congressperson say, "I find it strange that the gentleman from X state would like to give me the authority to weigh in on what his daughter *shows picture* can do with her body. Thanks for thinking of me, but I'm not interested."
posted by emelenjr at 8:45 AM on January 3 [3 favorites]


Ew no.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:59 AM on January 3 [4 favorites]


We can't get away from thinking of women as possessions if we use them as tools in debate. Women get to make decisions about our bodies because we are human beings, full stop.
posted by wellred at 9:07 AM on January 3 [27 favorites]


I suspect this is not about this; it’s because they’ve realized that Trump is fundamentally unelectable and they’re going to lose control, so they’re desperately rolling the dice and hoping to lure back the religious voters they’ve lost because Aren’t The Babies The Most Important Thing?
posted by corb at 9:12 AM on January 3 [6 favorites]


We can't get away from thinking of women as possessions if we use them as tools in debate. Women get to make decisions about our bodies because we are human beings, full stop.

Whether women are possessions IS the debate.

You're either pro-choice, or you believe that women are chattel slaves of the State, therefore they can't have bodily autonomy.
posted by mikelieman at 9:14 AM on January 3 [15 favorites]


Their teenage granddaughters will always have access to safe abortion.

The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion: When the Anti-Choice Choose by Joyce Arthur
posted by joannemerriam at 9:16 AM on January 3 [20 favorites]


Americans are trying to infiltrate the Canadian discourse with anti-abortion propaganda, an issue that has been more or less settled for decades until extremely well funded American groups starting hobnobbing(and probably giving money to on the down-low) with some of our far right politicians (many of whom are, sadly, in power)
posted by Yowser at 2:55 AM on January 3


I'm in rural Alberta and I am seeing this. I am willing to bet that the current provincial government's "truth" campaign re: Alberta's tarsands and their obsession with foreign interests funding disinformation is a classic and now predictable case of right wing projection. Pro-choice in Canada is not settled if we are honest about the inordinate impact of US political trends by proximity. Some (many) Canadians seem to take the old mouse-next-to-an-elephant as a cute thing that was said once, but it was an existential threat then and never diminished since.
posted by elkevelvet at 10:01 AM on January 3 [10 favorites]


Or sent to homes for unwed mothers. We're going to back to the 50s right?
posted by LizBoBiz


The 1350s?
posted by Pouteria at 10:22 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]


"The 1350s?"

I get that you're probably just trying to be cute about how backwards the practice of sending girls and women to maternity homes is, but we really shouldn't forget how recently this all was happening, and how many people alive today were directly affected by it. There are Millennials (aka people under 40) out there who were born in homes for unwed mothers.

These places were arguably baby mills providing children for adoption to wealthier married couples. In Canadian maternity home between 1945 and 1971 about 95% of women had their baby given/taken away for adoption. Today (with maternity homes closed and abortion fully legal) only about 2% of Canadian unmarried mothers give their child up for adoption.

The maternity homes where ‘mind control’ was used on teen moms to give up their babies [The Washington Post - November 19th, 2018]

Curtain lifts on decades of forced adoptions for unwed mothers in Canada [National Post - March 9th, 2012]
posted by Secret Sparrow at 11:44 AM on January 3 [23 favorites]


peakes: This has been a hobbyhorse of the Catholic/nationalist right wing for a while over here, but if the GOP get their wish I am extremely afraid it will add momentum.

Counter-momentum: Northern Ireland to legalise abortion and same-sex marriage (The Guardian, Mon. 21 Oct 2019)
Northern Ireland is to legalise abortion and same-sex marriage after an 11th-hour attempt by the region’s assembly to block change collapsed into farce.

Equality campaigners celebrated on Monday as the clock ticked towards midnight when laws extending abortion and marriage rights came into force, ushering in momentous social change as Northern Ireland aligned with the rest of the UK.
This may have been helped by Facebook blocking foreign spending on Irish abortion vote ads, after the company was accused of being late with move to help curb outside attempts to sway referendum (The Guardian, Tue. 8 May 2018).


jrochest: the fact that we let it be a private decision for a patient and their doctor is a good thing, not a bad.

Until recently, I didn't know that Roe v. Wade was a decision regarding the right to privacy:
In January 1973, the Supreme Court issued a 7–2 decision holding that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a "right to privacy" that protects a pregnant woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. However, it held that this right is not absolute, and must be balanced against the government's interests in protecting women's health and protecting prenatal life.
(Wikipedia's current summary)

Meanwhile, don't forget to keep up pressure at the local level to prevent bullshit like sanctuary cities for the unborn (the website for this "movement," where there's little contact info beyond a Texas phone number). Some New Mexico cities and counties joined in this nonsense (Sandoval News), with an eye on Louisiana:
Local governments are taking action, though their efforts are unenforceable pending the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court appeal that won't be heard until later regarding a law in Louisiana that requires physicians performing abortions to also have admitting privileges at a local hospital, the news agency reports.
Then it might be legal battles between progressive states that enshrine access to abortion, against their conservative counties and cities who want to outlaw any and all abortion services (shut down clinics, force doctors to stop offering abortions, stop morning after pills from being sold).

Something positive for rural parts of the country: TelAbortion could ease access woes (NM Political Reporter, November 26, 2019)
While abortion access at the national level has come under greater assault in recent years, some nonprofit groups on the front lines for reproductive healthcare are providing what is known as “TelAbortions” to New Mexicans through a study.

A TelAbortion has the potential to simplify the process of terminating a pregnancy and some advocates say it could be the way of the future. To qualify, the patient needs to be less than 10 weeks pregnant. Through video conferencing over an electronic device, the patient speaks with the study’s health provider. After establishing that the patient is less than 10 weeks pregnant, the patient receives the two pills necessary – mifepristone and misoprostol – through the mail.

To participate in the study, the patient also must get an ultrasound and blood work from a local provider. The patient has to return to the brick-and-mortar healthcare facility after the abortion is complete for a follow up test.

New Mexico is one of ten states involved in the study.
This doesn't make the process easy, but might expand the potential for abortion services. The fact that this is a hopeful "solution" to the problem of limited abortion access is a dire sign in and of itself.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:47 AM on January 3 [6 favorites]


I never thought that voting for the Face Eating Leopard Party meant that the Face Eating Leopard might eat MY face!
posted by nofundy at 12:50 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


There was a really good Weeds (Vox podcast) episode about mifepristone/Misoprostol abortions. They're already in broad use in parts of Latin America, surprisingly, in areas where abortion is still illegal under the law, and the medications are available in those areas in a sort of legal gray area, with very little medical supervision (because doctors are more vulnerable to the law?). But, para-quote, "research has found that as long as pregnant people get accurate dosing information, they're able to do it entirely themselves with very little safety risk." And the Vox guest (Abigail Burman) argues that this can move abortion outside of the clinic setting entirely.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 1:46 PM on January 3 [5 favorites]


There was a really good Weeds (Vox podcast) episode about mifepristone/Misoprostol abortions.

Yes, this is excellent.
posted by kingless at 1:52 PM on January 3


any congressperson who invites the supreme court to reconsider it's rejection of unconstitutional laws, rather than drafting laws that aren't unconstitutional, should resign.
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:23 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


If you know any women who voted for Trump, just remember they weighed in on the "I'm cool with this" side, whether they admit it to themselves or not.

In 2020, and really for a few years before, men tend to be more in favor of abortion rights than women. MANY of those female trump voters chose him specifically for SCOTUS judges that will overturn Roe -- and they're by FAR the most likely to overlook everything else about him in exchange for stripping abortion rights. This isn't entirely new, but if anything else, is becoming increasingly true. You are not going to convert female Trump voters on this issue.

The lawmakers who tend to be the face of this are overwhelmingly male, because that's who their (often authoritarian-seeking, but also often ~50% female) voters put into office, but when it comes down to actually asking the population "Should abortion be illegal in the US under (nearly) all circumstances", the people who answer yes will be about 20% of American women and 15% of American men.

Yeah, that's broken and probably doesn't pass the sniff test for you, because you've heard a generation of women activists claiming this as solely/mostly a womens' rights issue (which... to a great extent, it is), but many (most?) men recognize that access to abortion is something that might be something that could very directly affect them, too.

For almost every woman who is glad that she had access to abortion, there is a similarly glad man. The idea that (broadly) women support abortion rights and (broadly) men don't is not so true in modern society, and we are doing ourselves a disservice by pretending otherwise.

Because it's not the women voters (alone) who are going to save us on this one.
posted by toxic at 2:28 PM on January 3 [14 favorites]


Are the arguments being advanced ones that provide some fig leaf for targeting Griswold next?
posted by PMdixon at 2:54 PM on January 3


Toxic, I think the point was that women voting for Trump were voting directly against their own bodily autonomy and rights. We don't need a lesson on which gender is more anti choice.
posted by agregoli at 5:18 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


This doesn't make the process easy, but might expand the potential for abortion services. The fact that this is a hopeful "solution" to the problem of limited abortion access is a dire sign in and of itself.

Women in the U.S. Can Now Get Safe Abortions by Mail
The Atlantic interviews doctor Rebecca Gomperts about the recently-launched Aid Access. “I got an email from a woman who was living in a car with two kids,” she told me. “Something had to be done.”

Also, the SIA Legal Team offers a confidential and anonymous legal helpline for people who fear being questioned by police or run into any legal trouble when trying to obtain a telemedicine abortion.
posted by katra at 5:33 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Toxic, I think the point was that women voting for Trump were voting directly against their own bodily autonomy and rights.

I think that there are a lot more problems for women than women who are trying to navigate complicated situations and making choices that we consider wrong. Unfortunately, no party in the US currently supports full reproductive bodily autonomy - which includes both the right to have an abortion but also for health insurance to cover fertility assistance and egg freezing, and without requiring you to be married first. So women are stuck choosing between the party that supports having more children but not stopping from having them, or the party that supports not having more children but not having them.

I would rather die before voting for Trump for many, many reasons, most of them 'holy fuck fascism yo'. But before I get to blaming women for their choices about that, there's a long line of dudes who are doing the same thing without the same complicated reasons for it.
posted by corb at 6:14 PM on January 3 [5 favorites]


"The 1350s?"

I get that you're probably just trying to be cute about how backwards the practice of sending girls and women to maternity homes is,...


Nope. Deadly serious.

We are not in danger of regressing by merely a few decades on one or two issues, but a few centuries on many.
posted by Pouteria at 7:01 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


So ironically the 1350's were probably better for women then the 1950's in many ways. Witch burnings were in effect a reaction to the Renaissance though that is highly oversimplified, and of course did happen prior to the counter-reformation and enlightenment but not as an organized thing. In the 1350's or generally in the medieval period an herbalist or gardener could whip you something up with pennyroyal or... other herbs that I may or may not have grown in my garden that due to the institutional knowledge having not been destroyed by then probably wouldn't have killed you. These people would have known the dose. That herbal knowledge was destroyed by... a lot of things, increasing christianization after the black death, counter-reformation that sort of thing. Also- remember at the time, babies generally weren't considered babies until they were screaming- and the wider world wouldn't know a woman was pregnant until she was fat. Also, "quickening" when a baby moved was considered the first sign of life by many. So if a women knew she was missing a period (assuming in times of famines she got regular periods at all...) a quick trip to her backyard garden to make the tincture her gram taught her about would fix her problem and no one would know. Most wouldn't even have considered it murder or even abortion- just bring on her menses. In fact, in most Western countries Abortion was only made illegal fairly recently. It is said, abortion restrictions were initially a racist act in America, as Law makers were worried that enslaved Africans (and after the civil war their freed descendants) would "out breed" white women and therefore slave revolts/uprisings would be much more possible. Therefore a (white) (but also black) woman's rights were restricted in order to "further the race". This is HIGHLY SIMPLIFIED don't @ me- but basically in 1350 (or more like 1250) it would have been easier and arguably safer for a woman to terminate a pregnancy then in 1950 (or more like 1850) and also the initial restriction on abortion was most likely due to white supremacy.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:39 PM on January 3 [14 favorites]


Toxic, I think the point was that women voting for Trump were voting directly against their own bodily autonomy and rights. We don't need a lesson on which gender is more anti choice.

Thanks for making my point.

The (aggressively anti-choice) women voting for Trump were not voting against their own interests -- they're going to choose to not have an abortion, and they don't believe that others should be able to make a different choice. They were voting against the autonomy and rights of other women, absolutely. But to try to couch this, and more importantly, try to fight this, as a matter of convincing anti-choice women that they're voting against their own rights is a losing proposition. They are voting against a right that they do not want to have, and don't want others to have. They are voting their values -- flawed and selfish as they might be, they are real.

And frankly, every time you see the picture of a bunch of old white dudes, with the caption of "these are the assholes taking women's rights away; notice how few of them have a uterus" it really does suggest that a lot of people do, in fact, need a bit of a lesson, or at least some perspective on who is driving the anti-choice movement on the ground in 2020.
posted by toxic at 9:11 PM on January 3 [9 favorites]


toxic, while you're right about men's support for abortion, I'm not sure that a difference of 5% between hard-line anti-abortion men and women makes that much difference. That's still less than a fifth of the population who feel, at least in theory, that abortion shouldn't be available at all under any circumstances.

I'm pretty sure there's a distance between moral conviction and declaring that "I am pro-life and therefore willing to die of sepsis rather than abort the dying fetus I'm carrying". There are some women who will insist that they are merely the carrier of a more important life than their own, and that therefore their own lives are of no value, but they are pretty rare.
posted by jrochest at 9:29 PM on January 3


Unfortunately, no party in the US currently supports full reproductive bodily autonomy - which includes both the right to have an abortion but also for health insurance to cover fertility assistance and egg freezing, and without requiring you to be married first. So women are stuck choosing between the party that supports having more children but not stopping from having them, or the party that supports not having more children but not having them.

I'm sorry, when have Democrats opposed people having more children in general or fertility assistance and egg freezing? As far as I know, the only opposition to in vitro in the US is from the right wing branch of the Catholic Church.

The vast majority of our most effective pro-choice activists are reproductive freedom activists, primarily women of color working for the right of all people to choose when and how many children to have. I certainly have never once heard anyone involved in reproductive freedom oppose fertility assistance or egg freezing.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:22 AM on January 4 [5 favorites]


As far as I know, the only opposition to in vitro in the US is from the right wing branch of the Catholic Church.
It's been spreading throughout the mainstream Republican party: the argument is basically that it's some level of wrong if you don't use every embryo. They dropped IVF from the federal employee healthcare plans in 2017 and that was reportedly due to the mix of people questioning IVF along with the usual cost-cutting instinct.
posted by adamsc at 5:45 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


After the WE ARE FED THE FUCK UP uprising of women everywhere, and in the ensuing institution of an ENRAGINATED matriarchy, politicians will platform on taking complete control of sperm.

Matriarchy will force men to get vasectomies at puberty.
Before vasectomy, sperm will be extracted from men’s bodies even if the process of doing so kills them.
Matriarchy will deposit this consent-lessly provided sperm into a woman-controlled sperm bank.
It will force men to report to an all-woman panel of state officials for permission to use their sperm if they want children.
It will also, even in the absence of a petition, use men’s sperm from the central state sperm bank whenever any particular woman chooses, even if it happens to be against a particular man’s will.
It will incarcerate men who hoard sperm in non-regulatory ways.
It will insist that men provide labor-intensive community service and child care for their entire lives after their sperm is used, even if a man did not originally petition for its use in his personal relationship.
It will enforce men’s career truncation and rob men of superannuation dollars for the rest of their lives.
It will tell men regularly that their biology has created their ensuing poverty.
When men have sperm-related physical issues they will be forced to explain themselves to ten women doctors, none of whom will believe that the issues are anything but psychosomatic.
Matriarchy will construct narratives about the sanctity of sperm
correspondingly, it will tell men they are mere vessels for the transfer of this sacred sperm to women’s interests.
... etc

This would be SO FUCKED UP
And yet, this is the shit women deal with under the patriarchy.
posted by honey-barbara at 7:22 AM on January 4 [6 favorites]


when have Democrats opposed people having more children in general or fertility assistance and egg freezing?

Opposing something isn’t the only way to be unhelpful. Currently this stuff is extremely expensive- making it out of reach to all but the wealthy. It’s not really a choice if you can’t afford to make it. While birth control was included as mandated and essential, to be covered by the ACA, fertility assistance/egg freezing was not.
posted by corb at 7:31 AM on January 4


While birth control was included as mandated and essential, to be covered by the ACA, fertility assistance/egg freezing was not.

Coverage of fertility treatments is determined by state law. The following states mandate coverage for fertility treatments including IVF:
Connecticut
Delaware
Hawaii
Illinois
Maryland
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island

Notice anything interesting about that list?
posted by JackFlash at 8:32 AM on January 4 [8 favorites]


Everyone who needs fertility treatment should have full access to it at no cost. With that said, the harm caused to individuals and society as a whole by not having universal access to safe and legal birth control and pregnancy termination services far exceeds that of not having access to fertility treatment. That is not to minimize the significant pain that the latter causes, but to underscore the immense harm of the former. Both should be universally available, but this is not an issue that can be "both sides"d.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:39 AM on January 4 [12 favorites]


Republicans know that Americans don't support their anti-abortion extremism (Danielle Campoamor, Guardian Opinion)
This attack on Roe is blatant; it is horrifying for anyone who values human rights; it is worthy of our attention, our outrage and our action. The names of those 39 Republican senators remind us that what so-called pro-life politicians really want is to control the lives of pregnant people by supporting government-mandated forced birth. But just as noteworthy is the senators who did not lend their names to the brief.

The telling absence of Susan Collins (Maine), Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Martha McSally (Arizona), Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), Cory Gardner (Colorado), Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), and David Perdue (Georgia) – all up for re-election in 2020 – is a reminder that the public is not on board with the anti-abortion movement’s ultimate goal. And vulnerable lawmakers know it.

Those who signed the brief wrote, “Forty-six years after Roe was decided, it remains a radically unsettled precedent: Two of the seven justices who originally joined the majority subsequently repudiated it in whole or in part, and virtually every abortion decision since has been closely divided.”

But the public is not divided on abortion. In 2019, public support for abortion rights is the highest it has been in 20 years of polling, according to the Pew Research Center. A reported 61% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and only 12% of the public want to see abortion made illegal. A third of Republicans support abortion rights, according to a 2017 Pew Research poll, and in states where lawmakers have attempted to ban abortion entirely, most voters do not support it. Only 31% of voters in Alabama approved of the latest law that would ban abortion in all cases, making zero exceptions for rape, incest, or the pregnant person’s life. [...]

Attacks on abortion rights aren’t just in direct contradiction of the fundamental ideals that have shaped American freedom and democracy, they are wildly unpopular and politically hazardous. So while those who feel a modicum of job security continue to frame abortion as a divisive political issue, those fearful for their future employment status know better. They know we’re watching.
posted by katra at 11:15 AM on January 4 [10 favorites]


Notice anything interesting about that list?

Yes -- usual suspect California doesn't appear on it. CA Health & Safety Code § 1374.55 specifically excludes IVF from the mandate.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:03 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Counter-momentum: Northern Ireland to legalise abortion and same-sex marriage (The Guardian, Mon. 21 Oct 2019)
....
This may have been helped by Facebook blocking foreign spending on Irish abortion vote ads, after the company was accused of being late with move to help curb outside attempts to sway referendum


I suspect it had a lot more to do with the collapse of the moral authority of the Catholic Church in Ireland. The extent of the long term evil of the official Catholic Church became unavoidably apparent since just after the turn of the millennium has pretty devastatingly weakened any moral authority the Irish Catholic church possessed. The anti-abortion policy was a key structural component in the evil that they did.

Sinéad O'Connor was 100% correct in 1992 and is owed a huge apology from all who booed her.
posted by srboisvert at 4:15 PM on January 4 [13 favorites]


The Republicans won't stop with Roe. They'll be looking to overturn Obergefell and likely Girswold as well. McConnell and Trump have finally managed to get the Republicans pretty close to their perfect Court. If either Breyer or Ginsburg die before Jan 21, 2021 they'll be replaced by a Kavanaugh clone. I'm quite certain that if Ginsberg died at midnight on Jan 20, 2021, McConnell would convene an emergency session of the Senate to approve a pick Trump made ten seconds earlier. And of course that's assuming we beat the fuckers in 2020.

Even if we do get a Democrat in the Presidency, there is good reason to think that McConnell will refuse to allow them to seat any Supreme Court Justices for their entire term in office. They were talking about doing just that when it looked like Clinton would win in 2016.

The Democrats need to admit the absolute devotion and ruthlessness with which the Republicans will pursue their goals and match it instead of allowing treason within the Party and embracing "pro-life" DINO's. In an environment where bipartisanship is fetishized we cannot permit abortion to be purely the domain of one party and the forced birth position to be bipartisan. We can't convince any Republicans to join us in supporting the position that women are people, so the only other option is to end the bipartisanship by cutting off any Democrat who expresses any sympathy or agreement with the forced birth position.

srboisvert She was, and she is. But, for future activists there's a lesson there. O'Connor didn't actually say directly that the Church was engaged in a mass coverup of pedophilia among the priesthood, she changed a few words in a song and then tore up a picture of the Pope. She was right, but the obscure way she presented her message allowed her detractors to completely ignore the message and instead focus on her "outrageous" behavior in tearing up a picture of the Pope. A lot of people didn't even understand what she was actually protesting or trying to say.
posted by sotonohito at 6:39 PM on January 4 [9 favorites]


I would appreciate some lists (with references?) to use when talking to people. I know some of it, but not nearly enough.

List 1: pure religious egg + sperm = baby soul, the "seventeen bajillion baby murders taking place every day!" Yeah, "Christianity" as a bloc is a newfangled concept and Catholics in the '70s were arguing FOR abortion access, but what do I use to argue the scientific nonsense that blastocyst != baby soul? Things like Tiller talking about his ethical stance of having abortion be available for women who WANT to be mothers, etc.

List 2: the enormity of an actual ethical and moral "pro life" stance. I can name some things this would entail, like proper 'normal' healthcare for women, proper affordable access to all birth control methods, and proper prenatal nutrition, and current American birth mortality rates requiring healthcare reform, and the number of women who are maimed and die in botched assisted or self abortions, and postnatal care, and school lunches, and, and, and... what I don't know about are things like the homes for unwed mothers mentioned above, all the other requirements and historical avoidance measures taken to mitigate the burden of unwanted children and the women stuck in the machine.

I know this is awful to have to talk about, so any reading already out there in these veins is totally fine! Thank you all.
posted by Evilspork at 7:34 PM on January 4


That Guardian piece katra linked to reminds me of something Christopher Caldwell (no social liberal, he) wrote two decades ago:
Texas Governor George W. Bush's remarks on abortion as he announced his presidential exploratory committee have jolted Republican politics. Bush claims to like his party's anti-abortion "tenor" and to favor a constitutional prohibition. But he's also a "realistic enough person to know that America is not ready to ban abortions." The underlying message: Bush is a pro-lifer you can vote for without fear that your abortion rights will be curtailed.

Bush's rivals for the nomination have called those statements an appalling surrender. "Our role," says Christian rightist Gary Bauer, "must be to help shape public opinion." Pat Buchanan admits that "we don't have the votes for a human life amendment" but predicts that, if Republicans keep fighting, they might gain force "vote after vote after vote." In other words, pro-lifers not only claim that theirs is the right side; they also believe that, properly handled, it is the winning side.

Their familiar reasoning goes like this: One-fourth of all Americans favor abortion on demand, while only one-tenth think it should be banned outright. But the two-thirds of Americans in the center draw from both extremes: they are wracked by moral misgivings about their support of legal abortion. Pro-lifers have always thought that, by focusing on the misgivings, antiabortion Republicans can win over middle America.

They can't. That middle two-thirds is not up for grabs, because the misgivings are largely bogus. Whether or not Bush's is a principled stand, it is a pragmatic one. Because the main thing Bush is "realistic enough to know" is that a pro-life regime is not really something Americans want-it's just something they feel they ought to want.
What's happened in the intervening two decades is that the "pro-lifers" have, by and large, come around to recognizing the truth of Caldwell's conclusions. So, instead of trying to win over the majority, they've embraced the strategy they once accused liberals of: trying for an end-run around that majority (and its votes) via an ideologically friendly SCOTUS.
posted by non canadian guy at 11:27 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


"I would appreciate some lists..."

Also, I've been collecting writing on abortion for a while, and updated it this morning with several links from here and elsewhere.
posted by Evilspork at 10:58 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


wildblueyonder: “Reminder that people often vote their values over their interests.”
PMdixon: “I don't actually believe this is true - I think people are surprisingly good at persuading themselves that their interests and values don't conflict.”
Indeed. They convince themselves that doing evil is required, and thus see themselves as the real morally pure ones. Cf. “People Resort to Violence Because Their Moral Codes Demand It,” Tage Rai, Aeon, 18 June 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 7:42 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


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