‘The right of every woman in every state in this country to make decisions about her own body is on the line’: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris says abortion rights are under attack across the nation https://t.co/sVWWVVHHVy pic.twitter.com/u0CxoB5h4M
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 23, 2023
— The Last Word (@TheLastWord) January 21, 2023
Roe v. Wade was a vital step in America’s journey toward liberty and justice for all. ⁰⁰I shared my thoughts in @TheHill about the struggle for freedom in a post-Roe world — and why @HouseDemocrats will never stop fighting for abortion rights.https://t.co/6XISrBEzfH
— Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) January 23, 2023
Today should’ve been the 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Instead, MAGA Republican officials are waging a war on women’s right to make their own health care decisions.
But this fight isn’t over.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 22, 2023
From the minute Roe was overturned last June, our Administration fought to protect access to abortion where we could – including taking executive action to safeguard access to medication abortion and travel to access reproductive health care services.
Since then, anti-choice bills have cropped up in state houses across America, including proposals restricting access to contraception.
And in Congress, MAGA officials are touting a national ban with the goal of blocking women everywhere from making their own health care choices.
Let me be clear: a woman’s right to choose is non-negotiable.
I haven’t stopped fighting to protect women’s reproductive rights – and I never will.
Now, it’s time for Congress to pass legislation codifying the protections of Roe.
— Intelligencer (@intelligencer) January 22, 2023
… It’s as though Captain Ahab suddenly harpooned Moby Dick and had to figure out his next step in life.
Dobbs triggered much celebration and self-congratulation among anti-abortion activists: Their decades-long strategy of undermining Roe via Supreme Court appointments by Republican presidents had finally borne fruit. But this development was obviously just a condition precedent to the movement’s ultimate goal of banning abortion entirely and everywhere. It raised a lot of new and difficult questions about where to move next and how quickly to do so while fundamentally changing the dynamics of the abortion debate.
Since the central legal battle has now been resolved, the most urgent task for anti-abortion activists is to rethink their alliance with the Republican politicians they rely on for further progress in ending reproductive rights. Yes, there have always been considerable differences of opinion within the anti-abortion ranks over strategy, tactics, and rhetoric. But intra-movement arguments that were largely theoretical when Roe was in place are suddenly very real, and their resolution must be coordinated with GOP elected officials, candidates, and opinion leaders. There is no question that while Dobbs led quickly to abortion bans wherever they were possible, it also produced a sea change in public opinion that has to be troubling to those for whom reversing Roe was just the starting point.
The Guttmacher Institute reports that, post-Dobbs, 24 states have enacted some sort of previously unconstitutional abortion ban. But at the same time, the abortion-rights side won every 2022 ballot test on abortion policy including three in the deep-red states of Kansas, Kentucky, and Montana and another in the key battleground state of Michigan. Perhaps of equal significance, candidates from a Republican Party that had maintained a steady partnership with the anti-abortion movement since at least 1980 ran away from the issue as quickly as it could in most competitive election contests. At the federal level, Republicans hid behind the ancient and entirely insincere pre-Dobbs claim that they wanted only to return the issue to the states. (If you think of fetuses as “babies” with an inalienable “right to life,” then that’s a contemptuous dodge; today, as in the antebellum era, “states’ rights” is just a veil for more absolute policy goals, whether it’s slavery or forced birth.) And in states where voters were allowed to weigh in, Republicans sometimes shrugged and deferred to the abortion-rights majority of public opinion.
So the challenge before anti-abortion activists isn’t just to reach internal consensus over short- and long-term goals and tactics; they also need to reimpose discipline on the GOP and its shifty politicians. Fortunately for these activists, they will have a lever via their influence on what looks to be a highly competitive 2024 GOP presidential nominating contest. Republican presidential candidates will find that support for a federal abortion ban is an absolute condition for the movement’s support. At the same time, Republicans at the state and local levels will be pressed to work toward the most extreme abortion policies that are politically viable wherever they run or hold office. If Republicans candidates stick with their impulse to avoid this sensitive issue, it could be deadly for the future of the “right to life” movement.
For all the post-Dobbs excitement over “babies being saved,” the anti-abortion movement needs to quickly make ground on public opinion or increase its control of GOP candidates. If it fails to do so, it could see the reemergence of pro-choice Republican candidates and elected officials, a nearly extinct species until now but one that could command some significant grassroots support within the party along with crossover appeal. If that happens, the nation’s abortion-rights majority will impose its will sooner or later, and reproductive rights may gain recognition nearly everywhere in law, if not in the Constitution.
VP Kamala Harris, in @GovRonDeSantis‘ political backyard, didn’t mention him by name but said: “Last year, so-called leaders at the Statehouse here in Tallahassee passed a radical abortion ban with no exceptions, even for the survivors of crimes like rape and child molestation.”
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 22, 2023
This war has never been about life. It has always been about control.
— Lauren Book (@LeaderBookFL) January 23, 2023
— Ana Ceballos (@anaceballos_) January 22, 2023
Vice President Kamala Harris visited Florida on Sunday to hold a rally in support of reproductive rights, an issue she equated to “freedom,” a remark that doubled as an apparent jab to the “free state of Florida” rhetoric Gov. Ron DeSantis has embraced.https://t.co/lyV5Z8tlB6
— Ana Ceballos (@anaceballos_) January 22, 2023
.@VP Harris on Roe v. Wade: “Let us not be tired or discouraged, because we’re on the right side of history. […] Here now, on this 50th anniversary, let us resolve to make history and secure this right.” https://t.co/hErI5hgvlg pic.twitter.com/dScplWzdJ2
— The Hill (@thehill) January 23, 2023