It has been just a week since a draft Supreme Court decision announcing the end of 50 years of legal abortion in America was explosively leaked. But the GOP is wasting no time building its grim, authoritarian successor state.
Now that Republicans seem to have gotten their signal victory on abortion, they have no time for messy things like participatory democracy, only for the brute exercise of power.
What Republicans are planning goes far beyond ending legal abortion, as defined in the landmark case Roe v. calf— and past what even many self-proclaimed Republican voters want. In court challenges and legislative proposals to Congress from Idaho to Florida, the GOP has escalated its war on reproductive freedom to its worst theocratic fever dreams.
criminalization of miscarriage. Bans on condoms, IUDs and other forms of contraception. Remove existing abortion protections from state constitutions.
Not only do these laws and bills represent the greatest step backwards in reproductive freedom in American history, they finally expose the GOP’s twisted, totalitarian worldview to the world at large.
After days of dodging comment on the content of Judge Samuel Alito’s sweeping draft decision, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell finally offered a preview of the nightmares to come. Republicans would be “more resolute” in their anti-choice agenda after the court overruled Roe, McConnell said United States today on Saturday. That includes the potential nationwide criminalization of abortion when Republicans retake the White House and Congress in 2024.
“I don’t think it’s very secret where Senate Republicans stand on this issue,” McConnell noted.
If McConnell has his way, a 2024 abortion ban will be just the capstone of an exhaustive list of anti-choice laws now making their way through Red State legislatures.
State Republican parties were busy; They’ve passed over 500 abortion-restricting laws since January, and the pace is accelerating. The impending reality of a postroe The country has state legislators proudly introducing proposals that the Republican Party would have dismissed as incredibly extreme just a decade ago. And its impact goes far beyond that roe to attack fundamental privacy rights — which a growing number of Republican politicians are now saying must go as well.
In Tennessee, Senator Marsha Blackburn discussed legal access to contraceptives – she named the milestone 1965 Griswold vs. Connecticut Case that secured that right “illegally flawed,” a phrase Americans will hear a lot as Republicans curtail our remaining rights to privacy and reproductive health.
Blackburn is not alone. Blake Masters, an Arizona Republican Senate candidate backed by right-wing tech billionaire Peter Thiel, recently vowed to only vote for justice candidates who oppose the Supreme Court’s decision to support legal birth control. Describing himself as “100% pro-life,” Masters drew a red line and vowed to defy any potential judge who “don’t understand roe and Griswold and Casey wrongly decided.” In the world of the Masters, contraception would only exist at the whim of the Red State legislature.
“There is still hope that a power-mad GOP will take over and ignite popular anger against its extremist policies across the country.”
Republican efforts are outstripping even the Supreme Court, which has yet to make its official decision on the future of abortion. That hasn’t stopped Louisiana from amending its anti-abortion laws to ban the practice from the moment egg fertilization occurs (it would also ban in vitro fertilization, used by thousands of Louisiana families) — an extremist position , which is not consistent with both modern medicine and the beliefs of most Americans.
Idaho Republicans are going even further after State Rep. Brent Crane confirmed he would hold hearings to consider banning IUDs and the Plan B birth control pill. In Tennessee, not even your mailbox is safe. A new law signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee makes it a criminal offense, including a $50,000 fine, to receive abortion pills in the mail. So much for small government.
Where Republicans aren’t trying to pull contraceptives off the shelves and criminalize health care, they are busy setting up the machinery to change the constitutions of states that already protect abortion. To the surprise of many leftists, ruby-red Kansas even enshrines abortion rights in its state constitution. But that won’t be the case if the Kansas Republican Party passes the “Value Them Both” amendment, which criminalizes abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. In lieu of constitutional protections, Kansas would give any woman who gets an abortion a weighty 20-year prison sentence.
For a party that once viewed constitutions as sacred documents and denounced any talk of amending them as disrespectful to the very idea of America, Republicans are leaning on their newfound passion for amending charters. Alaska legalized abortion in 1970—three years earlier Roe v. calf— and the Alaskan Supreme Court only affirmed a woman’s right to privacy when making health decisions in 1997. Now Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy says he’s open to overturning Alaska’s long pro-choice history, and other Republicans are proposing a constitutional amendment to permanently criminalize abortion.
This new extreme—abortion bans without any Exceptions for rape, incest, or maternal safety — goes even further than Republicans would have dared in decades past.
As a GOP Congressman from Texas from 1967 to 1971, George HW Bush was known as a vocal advocate of birth control. Until recently, even some of the most conservative states had exceptions to protect mothers’ lives. No more. The state Republican parties in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and South Dakota are all in the process of passing full abortion bans without exception – but at least the women who are likely to suffer and die under this barbaric regime have done so Thoughts and Prayers of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson as they adjust to a long and unwanted forced pregnancy.
Nowhere in the Republicans’ ambitious plans have they left room for democracy, for debate, for dissent, or for discourse by the millions of women whose lives they are so eager to devalue. These abortion and contraception bans are treated as edicts, debated within the party, and delivered to the people as non-negotiable truth.
Republicans have mobilized their anti-choice agenda with incredible speed. The practical outcome remains a political, moral and humanitarian catastrophe that relegates women to second-class citizens while destroying the last shreds of the common social fabric in an increasingly polarized and divided nation.
And while all signs are pointing to certain doom for Democrats this November – when it’s widely predicted they will lose control of both the House and Senate in the midterm elections – there’s still hope that a power-drunk GOP will take over and ignite popular anger across the country against their extremist policies.
Democrats are often (and often rightly) criticized for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. But if they’re able to articulate to the American people the fact that the GOP is coming for a multitude of rights we take for granted, perhaps this time it will be the Democrats who celebrate during an unhinged celebration GOP their much- talked about election comeback.