(More than) a few abortion thoughts

1) I think if it were up to Roberts, the Supreme Court would basically completely undermine Roe v. Wade, but nominally leave it in place.  Roberts is good at this stuff and that’s the smart political play.  Instead of headlines like “Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade!” you get, “Court issues complex ruling, allowing for more restrictions on abortion.”  For your average citizen, obviously, that first headline and approach to media coverage has way more of an impact.

2) But, it’s not up to Roberts.  There’s five committed ideologues with minimal concern for the legitimacy of the court.  Scott Lemieux:

Two things have made Roberts’s fake-minimalist approach untenable. First, younger FedSoc drones like Kavanaugh and Barrett really hate Roe and just don’t care about the backlash the way Roberts does. And, second, states are moving so aggressively that a “reinterpretation” of Casey that moved the line at which bans are unconstitutional back to an earlier stage of the pregnancy wouldn’t survive for more than a year or two; the Court would have to face a total ban within a year or two and decide the Roe question anyway.

3) Get used to some version of what’s going on this map:

What this means in practice? Middle class women and above still have a right to abortion due to the financial ability to travel to the purple states. Women without means in those orange states (and, in time, many of the white ones) do not.

4) Contemporary attitudes about abortion are really not just about racism.  I’ve looked at the data (and will be working hard doing a lot more research on this next semester).  That said, when you look at the history of right-wing political response to abortion? It’s the racism.  Seriously. The evidence is pretty overwhelming.  Omar Wasow with a great thread:

5) Policy and practice wise I’m really curious to see what happens as we start seeing medical abortions becoming super common in all these orange states.  My understanding is that a medical abortion presents pretty much the same as a spontaneous miscarriage.  Do we get some law in Texas where we search the internet history or require an interrogation of every women who has a miscarriage to make sure it’s not a medical abortion?  What are the penalties and enforcement for keeping mifepristone and misoprostol out of Texas and other states? This could get really, really interesting.

6) The politics.  Its conventional wisdom that this benefits Democrats.  I think the conventional wisdom is probably right, but I’m not completely sold.  Certainly, the magnitude of the effects and just how much impact this has on swing voters and party coalitions is very much an open question.  And one I’ll be watching damn closely, of course.



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