Thursday, May 19, 2022

5 ways to protect abortion rights if the Supreme Court overturns the row

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The biggest thing about abortion politics right now is the way Republicans reacted on Monday explosive political story on one Supreme Court opinion draft Which would reverse Roe vs. Wade.

The opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito and reportedly representing the sentiments of a five-member conservative majority, would end federal recognition of abortion rights that has existed for nearly 50 years – and that conservatives have been trying to undo almost as long. are doing.

But Republicans are not running on winning glory. They’re trying to change the subject, like HuffPost’s Igor Bobik and Arthur Delaney The Chronicle on Tuesday, focusing on the leak, urged voters to focus on other issues such as inflation or to downplay the potential impact of opinion.

It’s not hard to figure out what’s going on here.

Most Americans Think Abortion Should Be Legal, As Elections have consistently shown, That’s why Republicans have recently focused on more limited causes, such as banning so-called late-term abortions, which tend to vote better. But their agenda has always been to make abortion illegal, with state-level Republicans increasingly keen to ban it under all circumstances, including HuffPost’s Alana Vagianos Has documented cases of rape or incest.

Now they are on the verge of making such sanctions possible – depending on Chief Justice John Roberts, Allegedly A conservative justice that does not support Alito’s maximalist position can persuade one of the other five conservatives to join a narrow regime.

“There is a moment right now when people are shocked, sad and angry. We want to make sure that … people understand where and how they can fight.”

– Leah Greenberg, co-founder of Indivisible

But a small decision can also be effectively ended use of abortion large parts of the countryThat’s risking a major political backlash for Republicans — one big enough to mitigate and perhaps even offset the huge political gains they’re going for in the midterm.

Back in November Heart Research Tested messages focused on Republican efforts to reverse the row. The attacks not only convinced some swing voters to support Democrats, they also energized bisexual Democratic voters, making them more likely to vote.

This has always been the great political hope for abortion rights supporters: Once the threat becomes real, once a decision comes, it will convince the long-silent majority to act.

But political movements do not succeed if they do not have clear objectives, including goals that they can actually achieve in the near future.

“There is a moment right now when people are shocked, sad and angry,” Leah Greenberg, co-founder of progressive organizing group Indivisible, told HuffPost. “We want to make sure that as part of the processing, people understand where and how they can fight back – and the impact they can have on what is happening, whether it is at the state level, the electoral level. But be it or their community.”

Greenberg can speak to this with expertise because that is largely what happened after the election of President Donald Trump in November 2016, when Invisible helped lead a response that defeated many of Trump’s initiatives and Ultimately control of Congress and the White House was returned to the Democrats. ,

So what are the practical, concrete objectives now? Is there a way to protect abortion rights, at least for some, when the Supreme Court has stripped federal guarantees and has no short-term prospects for changing its membership?

The answer is yes, there are things that can be done. Here are some:

1. Pass a row codifying a federal law.

No one expects this to pass, Because at least one Democratic senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, doesn’t support it. And Manchin certainly isn’t going to change his vote.

There is another possibility: an alternative bill Of the two Republican senators who supported abortion rights, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. It is very weak in the minds of abortion rights advocates and, even if 48 Democrats fall behind that bill, they will still have to waive the filibuster rules in order for it to pass—which neither Collins nor Murkowski does. are willing to do.

Again, both lawmakers expressed anger after the Politico story broke and, no less important, both could feel pressure from supporters to do something once the decision was made.

2. Change Laws, Win State Elections

The decision to invalidate Roe would leave abortion restrictions up to the states. And this is where abortion rights advocates have the best chance of making an immediate impact.

As of now, laws prohibiting abortion are on the books in nearly half of the states, according to the Guttmacher Institute. This includes out-of-date, currently unenforceable restrictions in nine states and 13 “trigger” laws that would ban abortion in all or nearly all circumstances if the Roe was not in effect.

Michigan is one of those states. 1931 law bans abortion in all circumstances, If the row is gone, state officials can re-enforce it. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, both Democrats, have said they will not. But his ability to deliver on that promise depends on his ability to remain in office – and both are up for re-election in November.

Even if they get another four years, county prosecutors can act on their own — and are prepared to bring at least some cases, according to new reporting. Craig Mauger and Beth LeBlanc in The Detroit News,

Whitmer (along with Planned Parenthood) has asked the state’s Supreme Court to stop such actions by declaring the state’s constitution to protect abortion rights. There are also late-developing efforts to amend the Constitution and explicitly add abortion protection by ballot initiatives.

The common element in all of these efforts is that they rely on Michigan voters to take action in Michigan. This is going to be the story in other swing states, as well — including Arizona, which just passed serious abortion restrictions, and Virginia, where a Republican governor and Republican House of Delegates may be about to try and do the same. Huh.

HuffPost’s Travis Waldron As with some other states, there is detail on both, and it states that it makes control of state legislatures – generally not a major focus for most Americans – extremely important to the future of abortion access.

Another state to look at is Florida. Government Ron DeSantis has already signed legislation banning abortions after 15 weeks and has already said he would support more comprehensive restrictions, which the Republican legislature is likely to consider and which does well with the Republican base. could play, he is in a clear run-up to 2024. President spoke.

But first DeSantis has to win re-election, and Florida is still a relatively divided state where, like most states, elections have consistently found Majority support for keeping abortion legal.

3. Support the Abortion Fund and Similar Nonprofits

In a post-Roe world the price will only rise, especially if – as expected – sanctions take effect across the South, turning the old union into abortive territory. Louisiana residents must travel minimum 1,730 miles round tripAccording to Guttmacher’s estimate.

Low-income Americans in particular have a hard time covering those costs, especially because they typically lose work (and often lose out on wages) to take trips.

Their best option may be abortion funds, which are nonprofits that provide financial assistance to cover those expenses. But the fund is already struggling to meet demand, which only increase In the world after the cry.

That’s why many advocates are urging people to donate National Association of Abortion Fundsa clearing house for these organizations, or some of these individual organization Association’s webpage.

4. Make More Use of Executive Authority

The Biden administration cannot unilaterally end state restrictions on abortion. But it may have some options to provide at least some access, including two Shefali Luthra of 19th News Flagged off earlier this year.

One has to fight for wider access to abortion through medicine. Most abortions already happen like this, According to GuttmacherAnd many state restrictions would make these abortions illegal – either explicitly or implicitly.

But federal law takes precedence over state law., and because the Food and Drug Administration has approved abortion by drug at any time up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, it is unclear whether states have the authority to prohibit it. The Biden administration could make that argument in court.

“There is some support for the idea that states cannot ban an FDA-approved drug,” Greer Donnelly, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, told Luthra. “It’s a new legal argument. It would probably mean that states cannot ban the sale of drug abortions, which would mean states should allow abortions up to 10 weeks old.

Another option would be to allow abortion providers to rent space on federal land, including those where states have banned the procedure.

The law here isn’t clear—with FDA attempting to challenge state sanctions using authorization, the outcome will ultimately depend on the same Supreme Court undoing Roe. But cases that touch on other constitutional issues, such as the supremacy of federal laws, sometimes produce unexpected results with unusual alliances of justices.

5. Change the composition of the Supreme Court

This is definitely the longest of the long shots. Democrats have talked about this for some time, but neither the Biden administration nor Democratic leaders have taken it seriously — and, as with a federal law codifying Roe, it has been referred to the Senate Democratic Caucus. There will be a need for unanimity within which simply does not exist.

But one reason the Supreme Court is about to end federal guarantees of abortion rights is that conservatives played the long game, working toward a goal that once seemed unattainable. There’s no reason why defenders of abortion rights can’t or shouldn’t.

A ruling against Roe would give the cause new urgency—and, perhaps, a stronger argument. As Democrats and their allies have pointed out, there would be no majority to reverse Row without five judicial appointees from Republican presidents who lost the popular vote and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to vote on the appointment of President Barack Obama. had refused to give. Replace Justice Antonin Scalia.

Common arguments against enlargement of Supreme Court or otherwise changing its structure, whether through term limits or through some sort of rotating system that brings in circuit court judges – it would be a break with tradition and norms. Democrats can always counter, admirably, that Republicans have already broken many other traditions and norms.

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