I disagree. If you follow my blog regularly, you know that. Nevertheless, syndicated conservative columnist Kathleen Parker assures us that none of the judges want to go down in history as the ones who opened the floodgates for forced-birthers. Of course, as noted at the link, Parker also wrote in 2016 that Congress would rein in Trump’s worst impulses so it wouldn’t be a catastrophe if he got elected. I doubt her precognitive abilities have improved.
Ramesh Ponnuru insists that even if Roe goes the right to contraception is not in danger and there’s no chance of a national abortion ban. Gay conservative Andrew Sullivan claims that gay marriage is totally different from abortion and so should be safe. It would be bad if gays couldn’t marry you see, while making it possible for states to ban abortion is just fine with him.
I presume they’re either clueless or trying to damp down the possibility of a pro-choice backlash in November. But plenty of politicians, including Mitch McConnell, feel confident enough to say that yes, they might ban contraception (assuming SCOTUS throws out the relevant cases) and yes, a national abortion ban is on the table. On the other hand the National Republican Senatorial Committee is telling this year’s candidates to say they don’t want to put women or doctors in jail or to take away access to contraception. For most candidates these will be lies, possibly finely parsed (“I don’t want to put women in jail but if the sluts kill their babies, they have it coming.”).
Even without any of that, anti-abortion laws post Roe will get worse. Christian pundit TIsh Harrison Warren, however, is more optimistic, suggesting the pro-life movement will now do positive things: better community resources, child care, economic support for mothers, etc. Other pundits have made similar claims. I think Warren’s sincere, but she’s also fooling herself; as LGM says, if Republicans wanted to do that, they’d already have done it. Nothing’s stopping them. Except their own misogyny. For example South Dakota state Republican Wayne Steinhauer helped kill a bill offering more job protection for pregnant women: if their employer doesn’t support them, they should just quit.
We have people like one guy crowing “your body is mine and you’re having my baby.” Or the online Trump-worshipping trolls who suddenly discover women have to be responsible (see here). Alito says it’s a matter for the voters, ignoring that SCOTUS and Republicans are building towards minority rule. To say nothing of the draft opinion citing the domestic supply of infants as a relevant issue because that makes it harder for other women to adopt. Which is, I’m sure, linked to the conviction that America needs women breeders. And the neo-Nazi view that their wombs belong to men. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, women are individuals with the right to make their own choices, not a means to an end, either society’s or men’s.
Then there’s the question of how they’ll enforce the ban. Monitor cell phone location data? Turn an ob/gyn’s office into a room full of informers? Access period-monitoring apps and see if there are irregularities (which is normal and common, but I doubt they’ll accept that)? Investigate miscarriages, Just In Case? As Jennifer Rubin says at the link “since the ‘crime’ takes place in a woman’s womb, the enforcement mechanism by necessity will be intrusive.” And abortion bounty hunters (as under the Texas law) aren’t officially government agents so they aren’t hindered by the Fourth Amendment at all.
One woman who went to her doctors with a miscarriage — up to that point, she hadn’t known she was pregnant — saw how suspicious they could suddenly become. Texas pharmacies have begun refusing prescriptions for miscarriage treatments in case they’re for secret abortions. Other women have gone to jail for miscarriages already. Misogynist Georgia lawmaker Bobby Franklin (he once proposed rape victims be referred to in the justice system as rape accusers unless there was a conviction) wanted the state to investigate all miscarriages as potential homicides. As Fred Clark points out, some conservative Christians believe miscarriages come from sin so it’s perfectly reasonable to hold the mother responsible.