They Won’t Stop Here

Written by SK Ashby

By now you've all seen the news. Politico first reported last night that while a final opinion on the matter has not been handed down to the public yet, the Supreme Court's conservative majority has voted to overturn Roe v Wade and enable Republican-controlled states to ban all abortion.

Justice Samuel Alito reportedly wrote the majority opinion and it's just as unhinged as you might expect.

The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” [...]

The immediate impact of the ruling as drafted in February would be to end a half-century guarantee of federal constitutional protection of abortion rights and allow each state to decide whether to restrict or ban abortion. It’s unclear if there have been subsequent changes to the draft.

My initial reaction to not just the ruling but the way it is written and reasoned is that nothing is safe.

Alito writes that Roe was 'always wrong' because the Constitution does not explicitly say anything about abortion, but that is true for many things. The Constitution also does not explicitly say anything about Civil Rights for transgender women or other minorities. There are countless examples of things the Constitution does not explicitly cover but has been interpreted to cover.

The court's conservative majority has once again decided that words have no meaning by selectively applying or ignoring the words of the Constitution. There's no way to reasonably infer or guess how the court will rule on anything in the future if the majority opinion is decided by people who not take the Constitution literally as much as they take it selectively. Alito writes that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not guarantee that women have full control over their own bodies and if that's the case then it doesn't guarantee it for anyone else either.

With no Constitutional protection for the right to an abortion, no Republican in the country will be allowed to stop short of a total ban on abortion. Every Republican-controlled state that does not already have an abortion ban on their books will race to pass bans as quickly as possible. Abortion will be completely inaccessible without traveling to a Democratic state or another country and Republicans will probably try to criminalize traveling for an abortion in some manner. They're going to make their own states more unlivable than they already are and they won't stop at banning abortion. Banning transition even for adults is coming next.

I spent the morning thinking about all the people who thought voting for Hillary Clinton wasn't important. I've been thinking about the cis white women in my own life who vote for Republicans just because they want lower taxes while ignoring threats to civil rights because they thought that was just a concern for others and not them.

I know it does not help to sit here and call people out, but a whole lot of white women in this country are going to learn some hard lessons in the coming years. The rest of us already knew.