It’s Time for Women — and Men — to Mobilize Against Supreme Court’s Destruction of the Right to an Abortion: Today at 5pm at Courthouse

by on May 3, 2022 · 3 comments

in San Diego, Women's Rights

Screen grab from CNN video of crowds in front of Supreme Court Monday night.

Today Tuesday, America is waking up to a country whose Supreme Court appears ready to soon ban women’s right to an abortion and overturn nearly half a century of precedence granting the right to choose.

This all came out yesterday when Politico released what it calls a draft of a majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would strike down Roe v. Wade.

Circulated in early February, according to Politico, the draft is not the final opinion. Votes and language can change before opinions are formally released. The opinion in this case is not expected to be published until late June.

According to the draft, the court would overturn Roe v. Wade’s holding of a federal constitutional right to an abortion. The opinion would be the most consequential abortion decision in decades and transform the landscape of women’s reproductive health in America.

It appears that five justices would be voting to overturn Roe. Chief Justice John Roberts did not want to completely overturn Roe v. Wade, meaning he would have dissented from part of Alito’s draft opinion, sources tell CNN, likely with the court’s three liberals.

That would mean that the five conservative justices that would make up the majority overturning Roe are Alito and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

A largely somber crowd gathered outside the Supreme Court building Monday evening, as people came together to console one another and question what to do next.
At one point, the crowd began to chant, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Samuel Alito’s gotta go.” “We will not go back.” “Abortion rights are under attack, what do we do, stand up fight back.” “Pack the courts.”

The abortion rights movement started mobilizing as soon as the draft decision came out. Within an hour, advocates started gathering at the Supreme Court. Leading abortion rights organizations, including Planned Parenthood and NARAL, are planning to continue the protests at the high court through at least Tuesday and probably much longer.

Planned Parenthood is also coordinating a nationwide demonstration in towns and cities throughout the country, said Kelley Robinson, executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

The organization is encouraging supporters to turn up at courthouses, federal buildings and town squares at 5 p.m. local time on Tuesday, Robinson said, to show the full extent of the opposition to a decision that would strike down Roe.

“I think everything is possible with the will of the people,” Robinson said. “By mobilizing and making our voices heard, we will show this is an untenable situation.”
“This is not the end,” she added.

Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, a leading abortion rights organization, said she will be traveling to Washington, D.C., early Tuesday morning to participate in mobilization efforts.

“Everybody is in conversation,” Timmaraju said. “Beyond the reproductive rights movement, the progressive movement is mobilizing, already working on strategies and plans.”

President Biden Issues Strong Defense of Woman’s Right to Choose

President Biden cautioned Tuesday that it was not known if the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion was genuine or would reflect the final decision of the court.
Biden issued a strong defense of a woman’s right to choose and vowed that the White House would be ready when the Supreme Court issues its final ruling.

“I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned,” Biden said in a statement Tuesday.

He also noted that, after various states enacted laws restricting women’s reproductive rights, he directed the White House’s gender policy council and counsel’s office to prepare responses to “a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court.”
“We will be ready when any ruling is issued,” Biden said.

If the Court does overturn Roe, Biden emphasized it would fall on the nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose — and on voters to elect pro-choice officials in the midterms.

“At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law,” Biden said.

Tension outside the court

At one point last night in front of the Supreme Court building, supporters of eliminating Roe v. Wade traded dueling chants even though abortion rights supporters far outnumbered others gathered. One anti-abortion activist was met with loud chants of “stand up, fight back” as he sought to disrupt the crowd of abortion rights proponents.

“Not the church, not the state, women decide our fate,” the crowd chanted late Monday evening.

The tense scenes underscored the galvanizing nature of the abortion debate in Washington and statehouses across the country. Overturning Roe would be the culmination of a decades-long project of the conservative legal moment.

Celebrated by supporters of abortion rights and long reviled by critics, Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 — establishing a constitutional right to abortion before fetal viability, which most experts say occurs at around 23-24 weeks of pregnancy.

The decision was reaffirmed in 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. A majority of the court in that case replaced Roe’s framework with a new standard to determine the validity of laws restricting abortions. The court said that a regulation cannot place an “undue burden” on the right to abortion, which is defined as a “substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability.”

Most Americans Oppose Overturning Roe

According to a CNN Poll conducted by SSRS in January, most Americans oppose overturning Roe, with a majority saying that if the decision were vacated they’d want to see their own states move toward more permissive abortion laws.

But within the GOP, support for overturning Roe remains strong, and a number of Republican lawmakers celebrated the draft opinion Monday evening.

Still, Roe is the law of the land until the court formally issues an opinion.

“Hey, hey, ho, ho, abortion bans have got to go,” the crowd chanted outside the court early Tuesday morning.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page May 3, 2022 at 9:44 am

Remember to thank Facebook for this one folks. They got trump elected and that resulted in a stacked, conservative court.


Carl M Zanolli May 3, 2022 at 9:50 am

And be sure to thank all those Democrats who voted for Jill Stein in those crucial swing states in the Midwest (because they couldn’t bear to vote for Hillary) who handed the election to Trump


Joni Halpern May 3, 2022 at 5:34 pm

Very few Americans know the history of the Roe v. Wade decision, either legally, socially, or medically. But the short history is that throughout the evolution of the human species, women have never been the sole determinants of whether they become pregnant. Instead, they have most commonly been treated as the wrongdoers, the flawed, the negligent, the sinful perpetrators of unwanted births. Yet, from ancient times, the real determinants of pregnancy have been religion, culture, and law, which have either kept women ignorant of their bodies or burdened them with guilt at the mere thought of saying “no” to men under religious or cultural norms that expected them to acquiesce to unprotected intimacy or outright efforts to assault or impregnate them. Having little personal choice in conception, and bearing full responsibility for any pregnancy, religion, culture and law also forbade a women’s right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy to term, even in a period of pregnancy when a fetus could not have been viable. Of course, the absence of this right to choose was made into law by men, whose peers in the act of conception often abandoned unwanted children, because they could not or would not support them, or because they wished to avoid the consequences of the coercion they exercised to cause a pregnancy in the first place.

I had thought at one time that the conscience of a woman — the conversation she has with God or personal values or whatever source of goodness resides in her — was finally acknowledged and established by Roe v. Wade in a country that observed the separation of church and state. In such a country, no one would be forced to have an abortion, but those who foresaw they could not bear the burdens of raising a child could still avail themselves of termination before the fetus became viable. How wrong I was to think, that with such an overwhelming influence of orthodox Catholicism on today’s Supreme Court, there was any hope of acknowledging freedom of conscience for women. On this Court, there is only one conscience — the majority conscience — and it is intent on saving its own soul under the dogma of its own church.

I remember a client I once served who, by culture and law, was forced to bear a child conceived through rape. “I try so hard,” she said, “but every time I look at my son, I see his father. I feel his hand over my mouth, his body on top of mine. I feel the fear. I had my son because I did not have a choice, but I cannot get close to him.”

In the days of old, women from ancient times passed along to their sisterhood the methods of terminating a pregnancy, whether through herbal concoctions or physical treatments intended to cause miscarriage. With the loss of the right to choose, which really only was unencumbered under Roe in the first trimester of pregnancy, women will return in secrecy and fear to the old methods of abortion, even in the face of fear that their salvation might be at risk. They will try on their own to resolve an unwanted pregnancy, because in their hearts, they will believe that carrying the fetus to term is not what conscience requires. In those circumstances, we will once again see what physicians saw until Rowe v. Wade established a woman’s right to choose: women entering emergency rooms butchered by non-physician practitioners, often displaying the tools of butchery still stuck in their bodies, and many of these women will die, some of them leaving behind spouses and other children.

All of this carnage will take place to allow the deeply devout members of the Supreme Court to save their souls by supplanting the personal conscience of women.


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