Leaked Draft Opinion Shows Supreme Court Set to Strike Down Roe v. Wade

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Yves here. Even though we provide links to germane stories on the leaked draft Supreme Court decision in Links today, we thought that there might be sufficient reader interest in the matter to warrant featuring a stand-alone post on it. This Common Dreams piece summaries some of the key points from Judge Alito’s draft, which I confess I have not read but you can here.

We’ve said it before, but it can’t be said too often: NOW and its sister peak feminism organizations should hang their heads in shame for chasing the quixotic Equal Rights Amendment rather than nailing down concrete measures, above all abortion rights, that were a much easier lift.

Note also that this draft ruling questions the 2003 ruling Lawrence v. Texas, which made state anti-sodomy laws illegal. That could be the next target.

By Brett Wilkins. Originally published at Common Dreams

A leaked draft opinion published Monday by Politicostrongly suggests that the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority will soon strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling enshrining the constitutional right to abortion.

“This is the most alarming sign yet that our nation’s highest court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion as we know it and ripping away our freedom to decide if, when, and how to raise our families,” NARAL Pro-Choice America president Mini Timmaraju said in a statement.

In a joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—who has supported anti-choice Democrats and in 2017 opined that focusing on reproductive rights helped elect former President Donald Trump—said that “if the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years, not just on women but on all Americans.”

“The Republican-appointed justices’ reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history,” they added.

Noting that “the majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade,” progressive Ohio congressional candidate Nina Turner tweeted that “making abortions illegal won’t make them go away. It will only make them more dangerous, more expensive, and lead to the criminalization of poor women and women of color and others who need abortions.”

Asserting that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote in the draft opinion—in which he is reportedly joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett—that “we hold that Roeand Casey must be overturned,” a reference to the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion while allowing states to regulate the procedure.

“We can only do our job, which is to interpret the law, apply longstanding principles of stare decisis, and decide this case accordingly,” Alito contended, referring to the legal principle of deference to precedent. Abortion has been a constitutionally enshrined right since 1973—or for a fifth of the nation’s history.

“We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion,” Alito added, “…and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

Reproductive rights advocates say that if Roe is struck down, more than 20 states are certain or likely to outlaw abortion, many via so-called “trigger laws.”

“While this is a draft opinion and abortion is still legal, we need to brace for a future where more and more people are punished and criminalized for seeking and providing abortion care,” said Timmaraju. “Now more than ever, we must support those working to provide abortion care and elect champions who will relentlessly fight for reproductive freedom and take bold action to safeguard abortion rights.”

Following the draft opinion’s publication, hundreds of reproductive rights advocates staged a demonstration outside the Supreme Court, where barriers had already been erected in anticipation of protests.

The Politico article’s authors, Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward, noted that “no draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending.”

Gerstein and Ward said Politico received a copy of the draft from “a person familiar with the court’s proceedings” in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case challenging Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that reproductive rights advocates have warned could prove Roe‘s “death knell.”

In addition to Roe, Alito also takes aim at Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 ruling overturning the state’s sodomy ban, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, sparking fears that this could be but the beginning of a wider rollback of civil rights won in recent decades.

Advocates stressed the imperative for Congress to act immediately to shield reproductive freedom at the federal level—and for people to stand up and fight for their rights.

“If SCOTUS is going to legislate from the bench and turn back the clock 50 years on Roe v. Wade, then the Senate needs to pass my Women’s Health Protection Act,” tweetedSen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), referring to legislation that would codify the right to abortion nationwide.

The House of Representatives approved the WHPA last September, but the measure failed to pass in the upper chamber after right-wing West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin voted with Republicans to filibuster it.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted: “Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country now. And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) asserted that “it’s time for the millions who support the Constitution and abortion rights to stand up and make their voices heard. We’re not going back—not ever.”

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  1. voteforno6

    Would codifying abortion laws really matter to the conservative extremists that are littered throughout the federal judiciary? I don’t think they would have much heartburn from overturning such national legislation. And yes, they’re going after same-sex marriage, and will attempt to criminalize homosexuality. After that, who knows? My guess is that at some point they’ll go after no-fault divorce and other such reforms. That’s because we’re dealing with a group of extremists who will never be satisfied.

    1. Jennifer

      The majority of conservatives support same sex marriage, no fault divorce, and could care less if you are gay as long as you don’t try to tell their non-football loving five year old that he might actually be a girl. Calm down.

      1. B flat

        Yes, it doesn’t necessarily follow that striking down Roe will lead to overturning gay marriage. More likely to me would be hacking away at women’s right to privacy by restricting access to contraception. Back in the olden days before The Pill, it was difficult for a woman to get contraception at all, and without notifying her husband especially.

        1. B flat

          What I can see happening with gay marriage is giving Masterpiece Cake a revisit.

      2. curlydan

        “The majority of conservatives support same sex marriage”–I doubt you’re right here. And they do care once they fundraise off of it and once the conservative American Catholic priests mention it at every Mass. If they didn’t care about it, why has Alito already mentioned it in his draft opinion?

      3. TBellT

        Quite literally the draft opinion shows Alito views Obergfell and Lawrence as rogue opinions that should also go.

      4. Glossolalia

        It doesn’t matter what the majority support, it’s what the very active and vocal fringe supports. Are the majority of conservatives who support support same sex marriage or no fault divorce going to not vote Republican if these rights are taken away? Of course not.

      5. Kurtismayfield

        Yes but you get rid of Roe V Wade, which rested on privacy, you are an inch away from anti sodomy laws

        1. Ben Joseph

          The fact is that basing it on privacy is the same bias as Roe’s verbiage about later-term restrictions’ permissibility vs early-term restrictions’ impermissibility. It’s from a choice perspective. A pro life ruling may have allowed early abortions but forbade late ones.

          Pro lifers look at the fetus as a kid. No privacy concerns at all. Totally different conceptualization. Pro lifers may be anti gay, but if kids are not involved would still grant privacy concerns.

    2. ambrit

      Take a close look at the core anti groups and you will find a deep seated ideology of ‘control from above.’ Some will define “above” in theological terms, and others will define it from socio-political terms. Either ‘flavour’ supports authoritarian mediated social relations.
      Expect a pivot from abortion, once Roe v Wade is repealed, to restrictions on birth control of any sort.
      What the “feminist” ‘demonstrators’ miss is that mass demonstrations are of no practical consequence unless they contain a credible threat to the status quo. As the early anti-abortion ideologues learned, threats and intimidation are necessary to “drive” the debate in their preferred direction. Just look at the standard playbook used by the Antis when they picketed the actual clinics. Lines of yelling and physically intimidating ‘demonstrators’ harrass the women who try to enter the facility.
      My favourite story about the anti-abortion ‘demonstrators’ at clinic entrances is the one about the young man who got in the face of the woman who was trying to enter the facility. When he started yelling at her about the Divine nature of fertility, (cue the Monty Python skit,) she calmly kicked him, very hard, in his testicles and replied that she had just done some of the Lord’s work for “Him.”
      The anti-abortion groups have gone so far as to murder abortion doctors. These few acts have had a visible effect on the ‘supply’ of abortion clinics and services. Yet, we do not read about Leftists killing anti-abortion ‘activists.’ In this regard, no matter your attitude to “robust” measures, the Right is serious about it’s issues while the Left is not.

      1. Jennifer

        Pivoting to outlawing all birth control?! You are just hysterical. I am liberal but I just can’t respond to this. You sound my like Uncle who thinks Communists are going to put all white men in prison if Biden isn’t removed from office. I’m out.

      2. curlydan

        It’s possible that overturning Roe may wake up and radicalize some pro-choice advocates. Anti-abortion supporters may learn what it’s like to go from being the hunter to the hunted. I think we can expect a large underground trade in day after pills, DIY medical equipment, and unfortunately resulting botched and harmful abortions to the woman. It’s going to be an interesting few years as many of these trends and counter tactics evolve.

        I totally agree that this is “control from above”. The central fact is that these conservative legislators and anti-abortion zealots always claim to at least “care for” “the baby”. Once that birth happens (i.e., forcing the woman to term), they don’t give a [bleep] about that baby or the woman. They quickly switch to blame them for their shortcomings (being poor, teenage pregnancy, welfare, etc). If they cared about the woman or the baby, they’d extend a lot of welfare (free childcare, free education for the woman), but the once concerned run away as soon as their power play has manifested itself.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Methinks that the radicalization is already happening. Not too long ago, I saw this sign attached to a light pole here in Tucson:

          [Family blog] SCOTUS. We’ll do this ourselves.

          1. Arizona Slim

            I also think that, in the coming months and years, there will be a lot of outing.

            As in, women will come out and tell the story of why they had an abortion. I think we’ll also hear similar stories from husbands, boyfriends, and others who are close to them.

            Then there are the involuntary outings. I think we’re going to see them among the leadership of churches that have been busy trying to get Roe v. Wade overturned. I predict that we’ll also see some among politicians and other notables who have some things in their background that they’d rather not have revealed.

            Finally, I don’t think that the out-ers of the powerful will be as kind as Essie Mae Washington-Williams, who didn’t reveal her parentage until after her father, Strom Thurmond, had died. Reference:


            1. Another Anon

              Nelson Mandela writes in his autobiography
              that in 1948 when the National Party came to power
              in South Africa to institute Apartheid, his law partner Oliver Tambo was despondent. Nelson Mandela was less so stating that we will know who are our real friends.

              Maybe now we will find out who are really for reproductive rights as opposed to those just mouthing off words because they will now have to take a stand and face the consequences.

      3. KD

        Expect a pivot from abortion, once Roe v Wade is repealed, to restrictions on birth control of any sort.

        You do not see a pivot to state legislatures and Congress to restrict abortion? Or a push back on the legislative level?

        Abortion is pretty controversial, birth control is not, do you really see law makers ignoring public opinion and going ahead with restrictions on birth control?

        I’m sure you can find some nutters in legislative positions who are ready to go to war on birth control, but I question the feasibility. As it stands, the US has more liberal abortion laws than Europe, and its a long way from legal 2nd trimester abortions and some 3rd trimester on exception to banning birth control, which wasn’t even banned in Iran. (Iran is now restricting contraception due to demographic concerns, not because its un-Islamic.)

        1. ambrit

          “…do you really see law makers ignoring public opinion…?”
          Yes, I do. I see it every day. Huge majorities in the public want National Health, No War, Rational Education, etc. etc. The public does not get what it wants. The political donors get what they want, and what the donors want is very often against the best interests of the public.
          One big item about birth control is that it is essentially a “Womens’ Issue.” As the fractuous history of “Women’s Issues” in America shows, women are definitely treated as second class citizens in this country.
          I fear for this country. It is starting backwards towards an earlier public ethos.
          “Progress” can and does go backward.

      4. lentil

        “control from above”? ambrit, I think you’re projecting here.
        Roe v Wade is when the most elite judicial body in the land usurped the role of the legislature by inserting a right that they seemed to invent into the constitution and using that to legislate on an important moral and social issue. This wasn’t the result of some democratic process or consultation with the people or their representatives, it was a decision from on high.
        Roe v Wade is the very definition of “control from above”.

    3. Chromex

      1. I was told in Law School ( we had a number of profs who had clerked for Justices, and many of my classmates went on to do so ) that there is first a vote and then the decision is written. If so, it is clear from the leak that Roe has been overturned.
      2. Codification is meaningless, not because of judges but because future legislatures cannot be bound. So when there are republican majority legislatures, Roe can be “uncodified”- and will be if pressure groups continue. Many of the people calling for codification are lawyers and know or should know this.
      3. yes this puts Kennedy’s decision on gay marriage and others- including Griswold ( anti birth control)- up for grabs.
      4. Guess we don’t have to be bombed back to the stone age- we are reverting there on our own.

  2. Jennifer

    Overturning Roe Vs Wade won’t make abortion illegal. It just keeps the federal government out of it. It means that the one abortion clinic in Alabama closes down and blue states have an abortion clinic on every corner. Calm down people.

    1. Larry

      Yes, very easy for anybody in Alabama to get to New Haven, CT for reproductive health services. No big deal for these people.

      1. Jennifer

        No, they take a bus paid for by PP to Florida. Or South Carolina, or North Carolina. You do realize there’s only like one operating abortion clinic in the state right now, correct?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          What happens if anti-abortion terrorists start shooting up the Abortion Freedom buses?

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          For someone who claims to be low income, you are totally Making Shit Up.

          The Greyhound bus from Birmingham to Jacksonville, the closest abortion clinic in Florida, is 12 hours 30 mins. That is just station to station, so add a hour on each end.

          And getting an abortion is not like going to McDonalds. I had a D&C last week so I know the drill. They have to take your history, check your vitals, etc. I got to the outpatient clinic as requested at 11:45 and didn’t get out until 4 due to pre-op nonsense and the surgeon being a bit behind schedule.

          It’s hard enough for low income women to afford 2 days off in the states where you have to get lectured and wait 24 hours to get the procedure. That also often entails paying for a hotel in a remote city. You have to fight VERY hard to have it done only with lidocaine; I had to shop surgeons even in full-of-doctors NYC to find one who was game. I doubt most women would be as insistent with doctors as I was.

          If you have an epidural or twilight sleep, you are looking at minimum of 2 hours in the recovery room. And you are not supposed to drive for another 24. They also give scary talk about pain.

    2. Etrigan

      This post clearly presents information that this ruling against may also be laying the groundwork for further encroachments against individual rights and freedoms.

        1. Sue inSoCal

          Bingo. My opinion is if you have to get into the wayback machine to the 18th century to make your “originalist” case, as was done here, then revisit the 2d Amendment. Give gun owners muskets. See how that works out.

      1. britzklieg

        There is not a rich women alive, anywhere, who can not get an abortion anytime she chooses, now and forever into the future. The issue is class.

        1. Jennifer

          Right, but most poor women in say, Alabama, are pro-life. There are abortion groups who will transport the few who aren’t to a clinic over state lines, and if this passes, I imagine they will be funded to the tune of tens of millions.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Provide data. What I found does not support your sweeping claim. Alabama is nearly half black and the wage gap between blacks and whites is wider than in the US as a whole. It’s the white Evangelicals who are pro life. Like the PMC, they punch above their weight in numbers politically.

            About 86 percent of Alabamians identified as Christian. Evangelical Protestants such as Baptists and Pentecostals make up 49 percent. Mainline Protestants such as Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians make up 13 percent. Historically black Protestant churches make up 16 percent


          2. Dugless

            Where is the evidence for the statement that “most poor women in say, Alabama, are pro-life”? I don’t know but highly doubt this is true since most polls I have read do not support this contention, at least on a national basis. And you have no idea if “the few” who want abortions will be able to access (or even have the capability to access logistically) free transport to a state with abortion services. Your post is entirely conjecture.

          3. Pat

            Are they also anti contraception?
            What are their stands on gay marriage?

            Look there is a lot in this. This leak is troubling. But no matter how it plays out this draft lays out a hit list that makes clear there is a whole lot more at stake than whether enough states can keep abortion legal that there is even a shot at abortion tourism regardless of how it is funded.

            And in that future along with your fully funded buses, what is to stop more local laws like the Texas bounty law that would target those that travel for abortion, those that provide that travel and those that fund it.

            Authoritarians, even those who cloak it in religion, rarely brook rebellion. Abortion should have been codified decades ago. Civil and religious marriage should have been legally severed soon after the court acted on gay marriage. But then I also think we should be actively seeking an amendment making it clear that corporations have no constitutional rights but do have responsibilities to their employees, their customers and their community equal to or greater than those to their shareholders.

    3. marym

      Per the map in the post 33 states already have new laws, or trigger laws, with severe restrictions. That’s a lot of travel. At least one state has considered bounties for suing people helping someone to travel for an abortion (Link)

      Re: Keeping the federal government out of it:

      The next frontier for the antiabortion movement: A nationwide ban
      Advocates and some GOP lawmakers have started mobilizing around potential federal legislation to outlaw abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. (Link)

      The fight over abortion restrictions could soon go from statehouses to Capitol Hill, as the Washington Post reports Republican lawmakers and anti-abortion rights activists are working to enact a federal abortion ban if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this summer as expected and the GOP regains control of Congress. (Link)

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If the DemParty officeholders end the filibuster and use their tie-breaking Harris vote and Biden’s signature to make ” Roe v. Wade” into Federal Law, then it will be a little harder for the coming majority of RepParty officeholders to repeal that law.

        So if the DemParty is sincere, it has this one chance before the Mid Terms to pass and sign Roe v. Wade into Law. Not doing so would provide all the proof needed that they secretly support the coming RepParty Majority’s National Federal law outlawing abortion across the country. They think they could then use that law to run for office against and raise money on. They would make promises that if they just get enough money and votes to get a Both Houses SuperMajority and a President, that they will then repeal Illegal Abortion and pass Roe v. Wade. ” This time for sure and yes we really mean it”.

        One way or the other, the DemParty will reveal what its long range plans and desires really are before the Mid Terms are here.

        Meanwhile, probortion people might seek strongly probortion states to move to, to make the probortion majority in those states even stronger. Those states could state-legalize abortion the way some states have state-legalized marijuana. If those states also had powerful enough state armies or militias or etc., perhaps they could make the antibortion FedGov hesitate to enforce Federal antiabortion law in the probortion states.

        Those states could give themselves a nice neutral sounding name . . . . the United States of Probortia. And their citizens could call themselves Probortians. It could be the beginning of an effort to divide the current country into a United States of Probortia and a United States of Antibortia.
        With a Big Beautiful Wall between them. And people of one viewpoint or the other moving to their side of the Wall.

    4. ambrit

      This ruling, if it happens as advertised, will mark a pivot from pro-social government actions to anti-social government actions.
      It is all about power and control.
      There is always a group of “true believer” ideologues who “know” ‘in their heart’ that they know what is right and just for everyone else. These sorts are not shy about working very hard to impose their particular beliefs on the society in general.
      Take a closer look at the history of the antis. They have very extreme agendas and will not be afraid to impose their beliefs on the rest of us.
      The unironic hypocricy here is that a supposedly “libertarian” movement is trying to restrict personal liberty.
      We have been warned.

    5. Safety First

      I am sure it will be of the greatest comfort to the working class women of Alabama to know that, if need be, they will still have access to abortion clinics in New York. Provided, of course, they can afford the travel expense. And to take the requisite time off from work. And will absolutely not be prosecuted under Alabama law the moment they return.

    6. The Historian

      Actually, that is not true. What will happen next is that states will criminalize abortion so that if a woman crosses state lines to get an abortion, she is liable to face felony charges in her state. So yes, abortion WILL become illegal for women who live in the ‘wrong’ states.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The ‘right’ states should help all ‘right’ minded women move to those ‘right’ states. Then hopefully a human-economics movement might take command of government and economics in those states to increase employment opportunities in those states and encourage probortian women to move to those states and have jobs for them to do.

        The other thing such probortian states would have to do is to outlaw giving abortions to out-of-state non-residents. If a woman should want to get an abortion in a probortian state, she should have to live in that state. The escape hatch should be closed so as to turn the antibortian states into Tsarnaev-brothers-style social pressure cooker time bombs.

        Perhaps enough probortian women could be “brain-drained” from the antibortian states so as to begin to depopulate those states and wreck their economies and societies in preparation for wrecking and destroying their political and cultural power in order to prevent them from using the FedGov to invade and occupy the probortian states.

      2. LarryB

        There’s a bill in the Missouri legislature that would extend the extra-territorial restrictions to fetuses that are just conceived in Missouri. This particular bill doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, for now, but these people are just nuts.

  3. Robert Gray

    Without wishing to trivialise what is obviously a very important issue, I have to wonder at the alarmism baked into the lede:

    > … the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority will soon strike down …

    Are there situations where a SCOTUS decision requires more than a 5-4 majority? I’ve never heard of it. And in that case, what’s with this ‘right-wing supermajority’? Isn’t this just — what we laugh at, when the other side does it — the same as pearl-clutching?

    1. kcp

      I think the context here is the idea the John Roberts is a mediating presence on the court, liable to side with the liberals when the conservatives are getting a bit to obviously radical. Now roberts can be overruled. Now, I think that’s basically false, and that roberts is deeply conservative and basically just trying to maintain appearances, but that might be what they’re referring to.

      People are also weird and on any given case, one justice might break from their ideological “side” and go the other way (ex gorsuch wrote the decision in bostock, a case extending protections to trans people). With 6 conservatives, it doesn’t matter if that happens.

  4. flora

    Meh. It’s an election year and the Dem chances seem to be sinking by the day. See latest Harvard polling. Hey, presto! Haul out the old chestnut “Think of the Supreme Court!” / too cynical? (noting the Dem senators voted in large measure to confirm all the sitting Justices – including Kavanaugh – and their philosophies were well known. / double meh.)

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      This has been my first impression as well, combined with a mixture of “boy who cried wolf”. And I’ll freely admit, I could be way off the mark and maybe this really is the big one they keep warning us about every election year. But I kind of feel pretty hopeless about it. As Yves notes, the orgs dropped the ball on this, big time. The Dems have not only helped create this SCOTUS but couldn’t even pass a resolution declaring mom, apple pie and the flag as good things if they tried. Like far too many things now, it’s hard not to feel like all you can do is stand back and watch it swirl the drain.

      I’d agree with Deschain though that there may be an element of dog who caught the car for the Repubs. Though there are definitely true believers for whom this is a major goal, I’ve always felt for a lot of elected GOP, this was as cynical an issue as it is for the Dems.

      1. adam

        I completely agree with you. Our greatest president since FDR ( /snark ), Joe Biden, helped put Clarence Thomas on the supreme court while throwing Anita Hill under the bus. Personally I wil never forget his perfidy.

        1. JohnnySacks

          Guy’s a lifelong creep who’s entire career is defined by perfidy, and no appearance of wishing to atone for any of it before he passes into the history books, leaving the country stuck with his crap legacy indefinitely.

      2. PKMKII

        I have this sneaking suspicion that they’re leaking the Alito draft as to set up the actual majority opinion to look “reasonable” by comparison, even though it will still be gutting the right to choose. The old conservative ploy of setting up a crazy right to contrast with the “respectable” right and hope no one notices that the “respectable” wing keeps moving right.

    2. Medbh

      Yep! That was my first thought too. They’ve got nothing positive to run on, so out comes the threats to abortion.

      Watch what people do, not what they say. Democrats screech about abortion but never back it up with action.

      I support abortion rights and think Roe will be overturned. I just don’t think Democrats really care about it other than its effectiveness as a tool to coerce people into voting.

      I don’t see how we can address any of the problems facing the country unless we break away from the Democrat and Republican parties. As citizens, our actions need to match our words/values too. Stop voting for people who hurt you. The democrats should have been voted out of office for failing to enact laws protecting abortion. All they do is keep giving ground to extremists.

        1. Medbh

          How many people actually want to vote for Democrats or Republicans? Independent is the majority political affiliation in the US now. They’ve rigged the game to keep out third parties and change from within, and that’s coercive. We don’t have the Republican/Democrat duopoly because it’s the best system. It’s because they actively oppose any alternatives that would diminish their power and lead to policies that reflect majority preferences.

          1. JBird4049

            I do not think either party, aside from a few true believers, really cares about abortion, or guns, or legal rights, or even the collapsing economy and enviroment. It is all just more stuff to put into the Kabuki Theater.

            The creation of the Duopoly has been a process of over a century. Each time a reform movement, third party, or a reformer gets past the political machine of the Duopoly, new laws are passed to cover their grip’s weak points. This is one of the reasons for the often illegal, decades long campaign to destroy the union movement, the three socialist or communists parties that existed in the 1930s, plus all the reformers of the past century from the political destruction of Eugene V. Debs to the assassinations of Martin Luther King, jr. and Fred Hampton.

            Then there is the circus that they put on supposedly showing how much they truly care. Phppth to that. The average leftist, liberal, or conservative American is not in the Overton window of either major party because that window has been shoved so far to the left or right as to cover them up. For a personal example, forty years ago I would have been considered radical in social issues. I am even more radical now, but I would still be called a bigot, a hater, by my former party, the Democratic, because they are just unhinged. I really haven’t changed. Plenty of other reasonable people are around who are called bigots or communist, or traitors merely because they do not actively and explicitly all the diktats, including whatever was vomited onto the interwebs. Unless you are of (I would guess) ten or fifteen percent of the population, there is no where for you to go. Fifty years ago both parties were broad coalitions meaning you could find a group with in the duopoly that represented your interested. Not only represented, but actual fought for them.

            Being unrepresented and led by extremely incompetent, or rather competent only in political theater and rentier economics means less reason to support those parties and the political regime that they actually serve. As I have said before, both parties are on less solid ground than they and others believe. However, I think some do understand this, which is an impetus for the growing authoritarian, even totalitarian control by all levels of government.

            Maybe, after seeing the theater that both parties have made of abortion, more people will leave the duopoly, which brings its collapse closer. Maybe, now that Republicans have caught the car’s tire, they will choke on it. I just wish that seeing decades of making not only the lives, but the beliefs and dreams of the people, whatever they are, into a part of the grift had happened.

      1. redleg

        For Dems, Roe is not a tool to get people to vote. It’s a tool to get people to donate.

        1. Dugless

          Precisely. The Dems are shocked, shocked, I tell you that the SCOTUS has actually (probably) overturned Roe. There is a reason they never passed a federal law supporting abortion rights when they had the opportunity.

    3. The Historian

      The cynic in me says you are probably correct. There are logical reasons why this ‘draft’ may have been released.

      1. As I understand it, many drafts (saying all sorts of things) are written up by clerks before a final draft is written to be approved by a Justice. This may just have been one of those many drafts that angered someone who works there.

      2. The right wing justices may have leaked it to see if the country is ripe enough to accept a ruling of this kind – a trial balloon, if you will. I don’t think they want to be responsible for massive civil unrest, or heavens forbid, give Biden a reason to stack the court.

      3. This draft may just be a political creation to ensure a Democratic win without the Democrats having to do anything to improve economic conditions in this country. I’m a little doubtful of this because the Supreme Court will most likely make their decision way before the November elections, but perhaps they are hoping this will have a long fall-out period.

      4. And the most cynical: Ukraine is winding own, no one is getting excited over Covid any more – what can the media do to keep up their profits?

    4. B flat

      That’s not cynical, that’s cyclical! Dems are facing a bloodbath this fall, scaring the voters now is an attempt to keep them in line. The party’s losing black and latino voters; expect Dems to use this decision in an attempt to reverse that trend. In this regard, the decision is a gift to the party.

      1. John Zelnicker

        B flat – Unfortunately, a decision to overturn Roe will not be useful to the Dems for reversing the trend of losing Latino and black voters.

        Those two groups are far from monolithic in their voting preferences. In addition, many if not a majority are very religious (Catholic, AME, etc.) and may not be interested in an appeal to elect pro-abortion candidates. In fact, an emphasis on this issue may turn them off completely, perhaps causing them to just stay home on election day.

        In my limited experience with members of those groups, the issues of living are far more important, i.e., food, clothing, shelter, and a decent job.

    5. Randall Flagg

      The Dems sinking chances in the mid terms, roll out “Operation Change the Subject”, to anything but focusing on inflation, war, any other failure’s they’ve had,etc., etc.

  5. Sibiryak

    Politico highlighted 10 passages from the draft opinion:

    “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision….”

    “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

    “In the years prior to [Roe v. Wade], about a third of the States had liberalized their laws, but Roe abruptly ended that political process. It imposed the same highly restrictive regime on the entire Nation, and it effectively struck down the abortion laws of every single State. … [I]t represented the ‘exercise of raw judicial power’… and it sparked a national controversy that has embittered our political culture for a half-century.”

    “The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions. On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973.”

    “In some States, voters may believe that the abortion right should be more even more [sic] extensive than the right Casey and Roe recognized. Voters in other States may wish to impose tight restrictions based on their belief that abortion destroys an ‘unborn human being.’ … Our nation’s historical understanding of ordered liberty does not prevent the people’s elected representatives from deciding how abortion should be regulated.”

    “We have long recognized, however, that stare decisis is ‘not an inexorable command,’ and it ‘is at its weakest when we interpret the Constitution.’ It has been said that it is sometimes more important that an issue ‘be settled than that it be settled right.’ But when it comes to the interpretation of the Constitution — the ‘great charter of our liberties,’ which was meant ‘to endure through a long lapse of ages,’ we place a high value on having the matter ‘settled right.’”

    “On many other occasions, this Court has overruled important constitutional decisions. … Without these decisions, American constitutional law as we know it would be unrecognizable, and this would be a different country.”

    ”Casey described itself as calling both sides of the national controversy to resolve their debate, but in doing so, Casey necessarily declared a winning side. … The Court short-circuited the democratic process by closing it to the large number of Americans who dissented in any respect from Roe. … Together, Roe and Casey represent an error that cannot be allowed to stand.”

    “Roe certainly did not succeed in ending division on the issue of abortion. On the contrary, Roe ‘inflamed’ a national issue that has remained bitterly divisive for the past half-century….This Court’s inability to end debate on the issue should not have been surprising. This Court cannot bring about the permanent resolution of a rancorous national controversy simply by dictating a settlement and telling the people to move on. Whatever influence the Court may have on public attitudes must stem from the strength of our opinions, not an attempt to exercise ‘raw judicial power.’”

    “We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey. And even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision. We can only do our job, which is to interpret the law, apply longstanding principles of stare decisis, and decide this case accordingly. We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

    1. marym

      Re: “…deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions”

      In the 18th century and until about 1880, abortions were allowed under common law and widely practiced. They were illegal only after “quickening,” the highly subjective term used to describe when pregnant women could feel the fetus moving, [Leslie Reagan, whose 1996 book on abortion history in the United States is considered one of the most comprehensive to date [Leslie Reagan, whose 1996 book on abortion history in the United States is considered one of the most comprehensive to date] said.

      “At conception and the earliest stage of pregnancy, before quickening, no one believed that a human life existed; not even the Catholic Church took this view,” Reagan wrote. “Rather, the popular ethic regarding abortion and common law were grounded in the female experience of their own bodies.”


      “Historian here to remind you that abortion was legal in the US when the Constitution was written in 1787.”

      Thread with links: https://twitter.com/karl_jacoby/status/1521305614005293057

      1. hunkerdown

        The Puritan traditions of manners, deference, and private property seem more salient in this case. Unfortunately, those are also the traditions that animate the PMC, especially its managerial component, and in fact the entire world order.

      2. T_Reg

        Yes, the history you mention is easly available with a quick search. So, “On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973.” is a flat-out lie.

    2. John Zelnicker

      I read in the distant past that some attorneys supporting abortion rights have said that Roe was, in fact, poorly decided and that there were far better ways to have reached the same decision.

      IIRC, their position was that a “penumbra of privacy”, as it says in Roe, was a very weak argument and that the much stronger concept of equal protection under the law would have made it a better, stronger decision. There also may have been other stronger arguments that I can’t recall right now.

  6. Cocomaan

    I’m less interested in the outcome and more interested in the leak. This puts the normally reclusive court into bright public light. It means their decisions are going to be more politicized than since the 60s.

    This was something Mollie Hemingway pointed out in her book about Kavanaughs confirmation, that as the court increasingly became a legislative body, that the more it became a politicized space. She of course lambasted the Warren court for becoming a third chamber of the legislature.

    At first I thought it was simply a normal conservative take on the court but it’s looking more and more prescient.

    Democrats could just pass legislation but they can’t pass anything anymore, so not likely to happen.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Cocomaan: I think that the source of the link bears further investigation. Further, if the leaking is anything like what Vindman and Eric Ciaramella (“Ukaine expert”) did during Trump’s first impeachment, the leaking is tied to specific groups who think that they’d benefit.

      Other observations:
      –I find Gollum Alito particularly repugnant legally–his brilliance glitters from how highly polished his resentments are. Anyone who thinks that Lawrence was about some imaginary right doesn’t know how long the history is in the U.S. of trying to keep church and state out of one’s bedroom. Massssster is prigsssy.
      –The leak to Politico in itself is interesting. It points to someone younger, who thinks that social media are more effective than leaking to the Washington Post. Or: It means that someone was shopping the decision around and finally got to Politico. Before Jezebel.
      –The purpose of the Supreme Court is to protect property. Ask Dred Scott. The folly of the liberal Democrats was to think that the Court would protect human rights. This is the Court that only got around to overturning Plessy some 55 years later. Heart of Atlanta Motel case, desegregating public spaces, wasn’t till 1964.
      –The purpose of the Supreme Court is to protect property. In the past, many–most–of the justices were businessy prigs like Alito. Alito is typical. The Court’s record on unionization, worker’s rights, and wages/hours is pretty much abominable. This is the Court that tried to wreck the New Deal.
      –The purpose of the Supreme Court is to protect property. If the Congress hadn’t been frozen in greed and self-knotted immobility the last 40 years or so, legislators might have attended to economic matters and human rights in the US.
      –Meanwhile, the Nancy Pelosi was flying around getting a Sparkly Award of Princess Olga. I feel sooo reassured.

      1. Cocomaan

        Good points, my guess is that if the leaker is revealed by name, the court will be forever changed and likely have a few decades of true dysfunction as they try to grapple with issuing loyalty oaths.

  7. Deschain

    Dem party has enjoyed having the possibility of the court doing exactly this sitting out there as a scare tactic to intimidate people into voting for neoliberals Clinton Biden et al rather than actually just passing a law making abortion legal nationally.

    Of course the GOP may find out what it’s like to be the dog that finally caught the car.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The GOP isn’t afraid of Biden et al. Much was made of Biden snapping at Harris, but inviting the GOP leadership to pitch them on spending was akin to rolling over and showing his belly. They knew Biden wasn’t going to fight then. They aren’t afraid.

    1. ambrit

      It is actually more of a comment on the loss of personal honour among the Justices themselves. When Thomas was ‘approved,’ despite his obvious flaws, the “politization” of the court was assured.
      The case of Modi in India comes to mind in reference to your point concerning the ‘influence’ of religion on politics and the judiciary.
      As mentioned in the introduction, this is more about the disempowerment of poor women, (and their men,) than anything else. Power and control.

  8. adam

    As usual, since this doesn’t affect the Oligarchs nor the PMC, the only thing we can expect is very loud lip service as the country continues its slow motion collapse. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  9. Eclair

    Signs of the times in western New York.

    A bumper sticker seen this weekend: Guns don’t kill people. Abortion clinics do.

    We know the man who owns the car; he works for a local cultural institution.

    1. Cocomaan

      It’s a good essay about the destruction of the courts secrecy.

      I wonder if court packing will now become a spectator sport.

  10. jo6pac

    This is good new for demodogs and their fund raise machine at dnc & dccc. Then as usual Women on Main Street suffer.

    Yep everything is going as planed. Sad

  11. Ben

    “We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion,” Alito added, “…and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

    Have the Dems had a chance in the past to pass state laws in the (currently) Red states?

    Ballotpedia shows the history of state trifectas going back to 1992.

    I saw that Dems held trifectas (Governor, state legislature and state Senate) in Alabama 1999-02, Georgia 1992-02, Iowa 2007-10, Kentucky 1992-99, Louisiana 2004-07, Mississippi 2000-03, Missouri 1993-2000, Oklahoma 2003-04, Tennessee 2003-04, West Virginia 2001-14. All the states that have some shade of orange in the chart in the tweet above. Talk about wasted chances. And this is only since 1992.

    (Insert Lambert’s remarks under Democrats en Déshabillé)

  12. Librarian Guy

    If they can’t rub stuff like this in the proles’ faces, our arrogant elites just aren’t happy. The Dem “Washington Generals” will of course fund raise like mad off this, and then not really oppose the R’s, their betters and the “Daddy Party” Harlem Globetrotters. Interesting to see the (G)Liberal websites, Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo has lots of commenters blaming Bernie and Susan Sarandon for undermining votes for Great Leader & Most Qualified candidate ever HRC!! . . . Of course, she finessed the abortion issue so well, was never an “angry feminist”, saying she believed abortion should be “legal and rare.” Just like she lectured teh nasty gays ad infinitum that “marriage should be sacred between a man and a women” & deviants don’t get marriage, they can ride in the back of the bus where they belong. I’m so glad our elites protect us by heavily regulating our sexual behavior, in the name of Jesus. Thank Gawd that if you’re stupid enough to vote, the result you always get is no regulations or rules for the top 5% and authoritarianism and misery for the rest of us.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I voted for state-legal marijuana here in Michigan. And guess what? We have state-legal marijuana here in Michigan.

  13. Alyosha

    Remember, none of this would have happened if Putin hadn’t stolen the election from Clinton. I’d like to start a pool on how long it takes for the Democratic Party to draw that line and blame the overturning of Roe v Wade on Putin personally.

    1. Carolinian


      How about this decision wouldn’t have happened if Trump hadn’t won and Trump wouldn’t have won if the Dems hadn’t nominated Hillary? So let’s blame it on Hillary. Or maybe the Dems.

      One should point out that even Ginsburg thought that Roe was poorly reasoned and Michael Kinsley said that by staking their flag to Roe the Dems gave rise to the right wing movement that gave us Reagan and much of the economic malfeasance that followed. Surely Yves is correct that the legalization should have been accomplished via Congress no matter how hard that may have been.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        That movement was rising before Roe. That movement had already risen substantially enough by 1964 to give us Nominee Goldwater. Political science research could determine how much Roe helped it grow. But Roe didn’t plant any seeds of Right Wing Movement.

  14. Dean

    Is this really a surprise though? The pro-life constituency has (brilliantly I might add) implemented and executed a long-term strategic plan to overturn Roe v Wade on multiple fronts (all within the constraints of our existing political system):
    -Presidential and Congressional politics

    -Grass roots organizing

    -State-level legislation designed to put this issue (via an inevitable court challenge) on the supremes court’s agenda.

    -Influencing the Supreme Court and Judicial nomination process.

    This is how our political system works: if you don’t like something, you work to change it by working within the system and rules in place.

    Disclaimer: I’m not condoning the political violence perpetrated by any fringe pro-life groups as they most definitely operate outside the rules and laws of our system.

  15. Jake

    I’m old enough to remember that it was democrats, I’m remembering that [family blog]er Lieberman being the main one, who got Alito on the bench in the first place. I wouldn’t be surprised if both sides of the isle leaked this so that people stop paying attention to Ukraine/Price Gouging/Whatever they are trying to distract us from this time. Dems don’t want to actually protect abortion rights, they want them constantly under attack as a distraction from whatever other corrupt BS they are working on at the time.

    1. BeliTsari


      Thank you! Lots of folks on Twitter were going, “Hmmmm?” simultaneously about timing of this leak? Just ignore that man, behind the curtain; twisting levers and pulling dials!” Time to throw another mid-term? How can WE invest, as desperate deplorables & evicted essentials migrate, indentured into gig-serfdom by cascading PASC, uninsured, without child-care as all funding is cut? Just, LIVE with it! Going to be a long, HOT summer as lefty candidates are CRUSHED by DCCC & Soros’ SuperPAC.



  16. Safety First

    What I wonder about is – what would have happened if, by some miracle involving a jolly bewhiskered individual in a red suit and, quite possibly, 34th Street Macy’s, the Democrats had passed some form of federal law codifying Roe at any point in the last 50 years.

    To date, we’ve had the following schema: Supreme Court permits abortions via Roe; conservatives stack the Court with ever more conservative justices; Roe is (will likely be) overturned. So let’s assume in 1980 Congress codifies Roe. Now we have: Supreme Court permits abortions via Roe; Congress passes abortion statute; conservatives stack the Court with ever more conservative justices; abortion statute declared unconstitutional and Roe overturned.

    I am struggling to see much of a difference here, from a strictly political point of view. Instead of decades of Republicans arguing for repeal of Roe, we’d get decades of Republicans arguing for repeal of Obamaca…I mean, Abortioncare. Is the argument that codification would have placed some implicit constraint on the court, i.e. it is an easier sell to overturn a judicial decision than an established piece of legislation, because doing so would antagonise Congress in some fashion? I guess we have the recent example of the ACA battles, where at least initially Roberts decided to side with the liberal wing so as to preserve the Court’s reputation or some such, if I remember correctly.

    1. Fraibert

      The procedural posture is very different and that has a significant effect on the likely outcome.

      The fundamental question actually before the Court is whether _Roe_ was wrongly decided because the federal Constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion. In other words, the Court is revisiting its own precedent. _Stare decisis_ (lit. “let the decision stand) generally favors letting even bad decisions remain “good law” (e.g., Major League Baseball’s inane antitrust exemption) but there are limits to that principle, especially when significant issues are involved.

      In your codification hypothetical, the Court would be considering whether Congress had the power to pass a specific law and whether any portion of the law is incompatible with the Constitution. It seems to me this actually entails addressing two specific legal questions: (1) whether the Commerce Clause permits the legislature to adopt the _Roe_ abortion framework (in my view, based on relevant precedents, it would); and (2) whether the Due Process Clause prohibits the legislature from authorizing abortion under such framework because it deprives a “person” of “life” (this is a really hard question).

      The difference in the second scenario is that the legislature, representatives of the “people,” would have implicitly weighed in on the Due Process “personhood” issue. So, I think something that seems facially reasonable, like _Roe_’s trimester framework, probably would survive _based on that procedural posture_.

  17. VH

    This is a scary development and I see the leak as an obvious manipulation between the media and politicians. What to make of it I’m not sure – the leak I mean. This is not a total surprise as we’ve seen the move towards right wing actions such as this that are based in religious clap trap and trying to interpret the Constitution as if it was written yesterday. Making abortion very difficult or impossible is a crazy thing to do especially based on the fact the country has few social programs to help mothers. There is no free healthcare for children or mothers. How are people with no health benefits to pay for births? Plus the obvious extreme high costs of raising children. Add to that people who are unprepared to raise children. I am unsure wealthy people have any clue how to raise children half the time but they can at least pay for them. This is all crazy right wing madness that has no bearing on reality. Legal abortion is no walk in the park but a necessary thing to not have any obstacles put in its way. Living in the US is getting increasingly difficult for many reasons, especially for women, people of color and gays. I do think we should not “calm down” as someone keeps saying. This is another nail in the coffin for women to try to have control over their bodies and the availability for healthcare equal to men. The medical profession already does not put enough emphasis on the difference between men and women when it comes to health – and I’m not just talking about gender related issues. The Supreme Court should not be taking this up but they are a political body having a great influence on elections. Democrats are so lame – I don’t even care anymore who gets into the White House. It does not matter as the Dems seem to be continually asleep and half the time act like Republicans anyway. I digress but it’s all about elections isn’t it?

    1. Starry Gordon

      “What to make of it I’m not sure – the leak I mean.”

      Maybe they want to see if they can get away with it. Trial balloon. What the immediate costs are going to be. Or: feint, then attack on another angle.

      1. TBellT

        Yea I’m leaning towards a conservative leaking the opinion. Maybe they hoped that the libs would do it for them since Feb, and then they could paint them as radicals killing the court. When lib clerks didn’t bite they were forced to do it themselves.

        1. tegnost

          2020…OMG but TRUMP!!!!
          2022-24…OMG but ABORTION!!!

          All the dems have is outrage.
          Pro war, pro market, pro social control, pro extermination of sick people
          They have literally nothing to run on but outrage.
          I say dems leaked it.

          1. TBellT

            Pro war, pro market, pro social control, pro extermination of sick people

            What do Republicans have to run except the exact same thing? Each side stokes the culture war because they believe they can win it, and it avoids having to tackle real issues. Therefore just as much incentive for Rs to do so.

  18. Medbh

    I wonder if all the money that was spent on the abortion political fight would have been better used towards research developing an easy “at home” abortion drug. Pill-based abortion already exists. Can’t someone smart figure out how to make it at home? People already brew all sorts of crazy drugs. We have meth labs, why not abortion pills labs? I’m only slightly joking.

    If I had a money to blow, I’d try to remove abortion from experts and gatekeepers. Instead have abortion knowledge widespread with easy to follow directions, and no one else needs to knows that the woman was ever pregnant.

    1. TBellT

      All sorts of abortifacients have existed since time immemorial, one presumes they haven’t been upgraded to a easy OTC form since it hasn’t been profitable.

  19. Michael Hudson

    The Supreme Court opposition to abortion is a gift to the Democratic Party. The next few elections will be about this and minority rights, NOT about economic policy. It is almost as if this fight were engineered as a distraction from voting over the economic squeeze that most American families will be experiencing over this summer and next winter as housing-rent squeeze, student-debt squeeze and evictions resume, with rising monopoly prices.
    This SHOULD be a motivation for women dumping the Democratic Party which has steadily refused to use its occasional majorities to protect women’ rights to abortion. This election will be another act in The Great Distraction.

    1. Carolinian

      Thank you. The refusal of the current Dems to embrace economic populism has made them politically weak (rather than politically dominant as they were all those years after the New Deal) and therefore very poor defenders of abortion legalization.

    2. Joe Well

      >>housing-rent squeeze, student-debt squeeze and evictions

      To all the women and non binary persons in abusive relationships because they have nowhere else to live, and their children: let them eat pronouns.

    3. Mikel

      And Mr. Hudson beats me to the punch with this analysis…
      The billionaires were so tired of all the chatter turning to the meaning of their existence.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      President Lincoln once said ” one war at a time”. But we don’t always have that luxury. America did not get to choose between fighting Nazi Germany or fighting Imperial Japan. America had to fight them both at the same time.

      And people who would rather fight the Economy War will find out that they are going to have to fight the Economy War and the Abortion War at the same time.

  20. Eclair

    A few weeks ago, Adam Tooze linked to the Daily Shot and a chart of Maternal Mortality Rates for 2021 in wealthy industrialized countries. (Sorry I can’t figure out how to link to these. But there is tons of data out here documenting this.)

    The US: 24 deaths per 100,000 live births. Next worst was France: 8 deaths/100,000. UK, Australia, NZ, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada: range from 3 to 7 deaths/100,000.

    Norway, tops the list at 0/100,000. (Well, they probably don’t have that many births per year.)

    Tooze asks why the US numbers are so abysmal. Umm ….. the other countries listed have national/single payer or other inexpensive and widely available heath care, including widespread use of midwives and post-natal care at home after birth. And, abortion is legal and available, low-cost or free, in these other countries.

    In the US, maternal death rates are higher for Black and Hispanic women, i.e., the darker your skin shade, the more likely you are to die in childbirth or during the immediate post-natal period.

    $33 billion for Ukraine, but not one cent for universal maternal heath care! Yee haw!

  21. KD

    The irony is that Collins and co. supported Kavanaugh because he reputedly supported Roe. You have to wonder if that cluster pluck of a confirmation hearing drove Kavanaugh through bitterness and anger to now supporting overturning Roe. If so, good job Democrats. But at the end of the day, it will be a good day for Democratic fundraisers and pro-abortion NGO’s and advocacy groups, and maybe someone will now vote for the Dems in the mid-terms.

    Long-term for cultural conservatives though, I think overturning Obergerfell v. Hodges is more strategically important–although this decision if published does seem to strike at the base of the hydra.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      > The irony is that Collins and co. supported Kavanaugh because
      > he reputedly supported Roe.

      You believed something Collins said? Have you done that more than once?

      1. TBellT

        I don’t know why one would even believe Kavanaugh in the first place.

        This is the man who told us “Devil’s Triangle” was a drinking game when no such definition existed in Urban Dictionary before hand. And “Renee Aluminus” was merely a homage of adoration for their fellow student. Irrespective of the allegations from Ford, anyone who’s spent time in a an American high school or even watched “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” could spot these lies for what they were. A lie told to rehabilitate one’s image is still a lie.

    2. CitizenSissy

      Kavanagh, vetted by the Federalist Society, was without question antichoice from jump. The entitlement was in full plumage at that outrage of a hearing.

  22. Starry Gordon

    Maybe it is time for a new political party, or at least the complete replacement of the leadership of at least one of the existing major parties. It is true the Republican dog has caught the bus, and this will probably not turn out well for the Republican dog, but it also illuminates the ineffectiveness and incompetence of the existing Democrats. Everyone knew about this, but the wheels of history have finally started turning. It is too bad so many people have to suffer, but this is the way we do things.

    1. the last D

      Instead of replacing democrats with republicans, and vice-versa, why not try changing the entire system? Both parties represent the rich and the powerful and make quite a living working their own side of the street. One idea might be, and could be, a mass outpouring of the dispossessed out onto that same street and to steal it right from under their upturned noses. A general strike, and work stoppage(s) that makes obsolete the party system of paid-off political parasites. We have to bark more, and wag less.

  23. Big River Bandido

    Elizabeth Warren sounds so pathetic and hilarious when she tries a political roar.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Her strength is stabbing friends in the back. Otherwise, she’s distinctly mediocre.

  24. dday

    Nearly one in four American women have an abortion during their lifetime.


    I believe that American women are savvy enough to continue to make choices for themselves and their families no matter what four Catholic and one Anglican (Gorsuch) Supreme Court justices say. This may take the form of better contraception, use of abortion medication and abortion travel.

    Amazon just announced a $4,000 stipend for employees.


    1. marym

      It’s not an issue of being “savvy.” The continuing legality of those other options is under attack now. Even if legal, they’re less available to women with fewer resources (money, time, transportation); who are in an abusive situation; who have been raped. They aren’t the answer for women experiencing a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy who need immediate medical attention, not a trip to another state or legal jeopardy for themselves or their healthcare providers.

  25. Glossolalia

    Ree: the timing of the leak… perhaps there was some concern that people were starting to realize that Brandon and the Democrats are steadily marching is in to WWIII and needed to distract them?

  26. paul.w

    Women’s day off:
    I think mass protest is going to be necessary. When people were wondering what Occupy Wallstreet’s goals were, I thought they could become another political party. But the PMC used their institutions to crush it. If 100 million women protest for a week, something would change.

    1. Arizona Slim

      If women emulated Lysistrata, that would be something. Just deprive the guys without you-know-what for a week and watch things change in a hurry.

      1. ambrit

        Not so fast there Pardner! Dotcha know about the “sanctity of the marriage vow?” You know, where it says the woman must submit to her husband whenever he is horny? (I jest not. I know people who take this as the literal Word of G–. To them, “Increase and multiply” is G– Code for “f— all the time!”)
        How long ago was it that women could not vote, own property, or be in politics? A century or two?
        Stay safe over there in the Cadillac Desert!

  27. David

    Not my country etc. etc. but I have to say I’ve always been surprised by the violence of the debate on the subject in the US and the refusal to simply pass a law like every other civilised country. The British experience is interesting: abortion was decriminalised in 1967 as a result of a law proposed by a Liberal MP David Steele (though with the tacit support of the government) and adopted by Parliament without much fuss. It was sold at the time on the basis that reliable contraception should mean that unwanted pregnancies were extremely unlikely, but that with modern medical technology there was now the possibility of a fall-back as well. It wasn’t conceived as a feminist issue (this was before feminism really) and indeed most of the opposition came from women’ groups. But a decade later, the controversy had pretty much died down, and there was a wide social consensus around continued decriminalisation. The situation was broadly the same in most of Europe, and opposition to abortion, although still present, is not a mainstream position.

    If things are so different in the US, I can only suppose it’s because an open issue, especially one that involves strong emotions, provides career, financial and political opportunities. It also caters for people who want to “fight” and “struggle” rather than achieve anything, and to the neoliberal idea that your body, and anything in it, is just another “possession” over which you have a title deed. It also obeys the Iron Law of Interest Groups, which is that, in order to distinguish themselves, advocates have to take up positions that are more extreme than anyone else. (How long before “abortion for men” becomes an issue?) And in practice, I have to say that some of the younger generation of feminist abortion advocates that I’ve come across actually scare me: not only are they fiercely anti-male, thus alienating much potential support, they seem committed to there being more and more abortions every year: a type of macho feminism that is to some women what guns are to some men. It’s a shame it’s come to this, and indeed that the US controversy is now starting to spill over into Europe where, as I say, most people thought this was an issue around which a social consensus had formed a long time ago.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The tens of millions of Rapturanian Armageddonites, Seven Mountain Dominionists, Biblical Inerrancy Literalists, “First Things” Catholics, etc. etc. who live and vote and organize in America are not motivated by neoliberal beliefs or concerns. They are motivated by a return to centuries-old or milleniums-old concepts of woman-slavery.
      Anyone living in Europe or some other place which doesn’t have tens of millions of this type of people would find the violence of the debate hard to understand. Anyone living in Pakistan or maybe India nowadays or Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia or etc. would find the violence of this debate easy to understand.

      Instead of “Taliban”, say “Christaliban”. Instead of “Evangelicals”, say ” Talibangelicals”. And you’re on your way to understanding the violence of the debate.

  28. Anthony G Stegman

    Certain things should not be left to the states to decide. Abortion rights are one of those things. The Democrats have had numerous opportunities to codify abortion rights as the law of the land, but they have been sitting on their butts thinking Roe v. Wade would NEVER be overturned and so they decided to take the lazy and cowardly way out by punting. Now they are about to get bitten hard. It’s laughable how certain blue state governors are now crying out for laws to specifically protect abortion rights. Where were they years ago? Oh that’s right…they were busy fighting (and rarely winning).

  29. petal

    My blue no matter who mother is hyperventilating today and actually said “Now they’re going to try to take away women’s right to vote.”

  30. ghiggler

    I’m all over the place on this.

    On the one hand I tend to agree with the legal arguments of the leaked brief. The way the Constitutional Rights supporting Row v Wade were used was a legal stretch. The fragility of the arguments has just been made manifest.

    Row v Wade should have been the impetus for legislative action to solidify the issue 45 years ago. As
    Anthony G Stegman says, instead they punted. Lazy and cowardly, yes, but in the context of the times, very understandable. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, now it is broke, so it’s time to fix it.

    Or in other words, don’t support Roe v Wade. Make politicians legalize abortion directly. Let them make the hard but honest decisions.

    I mean, come on, if one of Ted Cruz’s daughters got pregnant on, say, a family holiday in Mexico, does anyone believe her pregnancy would come to term?

    In the end, not enough is said about abortions in context. In general, I don’t believe in abortion as an unqualified. good. I’m pretty sure very few women have decided to get pregnant so that they can experience an abortion. It’s just not a bucket-list item.

    Women get abortions mostly because preventing pregnancies is not as easy as it should be, and their situations make raising a child impossibly difficult. To minimize abortions, which I think of as a good, sex education and low-cost or even free contraception on the one hand, and maternity leave, child allowance payments, day care and other family support mechanisms on the other, and support for bringing otherwise unwanted children to term and adoption on the third hand, will minimize the need for abortion.

    But until this kind of social support is built in, and even after it is built in, access to abortion needs to be made explicitly legal.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Until one of Ted Cruz’s daughters can be forced to bring a pregnancy to term or forced to die trying, the Ted Cruzes of the world will not be sufficiently tortured into accepting legalized legal abortion.

      If some states successfully outlaw abortion within their borders, legal abortion states should seal their borders against rich and powerful women from the outlawed abortion states from getting abortions in the legal abortion states. Turn the outlawed abortion states into social pressure cooker time bombs within the borders of those states.

  31. Mikel

    I remember some weeks ago there was an article and the BLS worker participation rate chart was posted. A downward trend has accelerated since 2000.
    An increase in disposable (to the establishment) labor is needed to put driving down pressure on wages.
    Unlimited profit and growth is hard to sustain when workers can’t be worn down, discarded, then replaced.

    Other hands are busy taking care of any notions of retirement before 80 for those that defy neoliberalism and actually have the gall to live longer.

  32. Mikel

    Don’t forget the prision-industrial-complex in the equation.
    They need a group to lock for profit. Apparently that a woman locked up for abortion or attempted abortion may already be a mother doesn’t cross their mind$. The abortion seeker everyone likes to hold up as the model is the unwed, teen-ager. But it is often the case that women who are already mothers have abortions.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Last time around, the People’s Convoy was prevented from entering the heart of DC. The mayor ordered the metro police to block the freeway exits. So, they drove around the Beltway for a few weeks, and then they headed out to California.

  33. marku52

    The key point is that now when the Pubs take the house and senate, and in 2024 take the presidency, abortion will be banned at the national level.

    And when the west coast and NE states refuse to go along? What then? Civil War II?

    1. RacerX2000

      Nah. See, SCOTUS’ pending ruling is that the Federal government has no role in this, so I can’t imagine any federal level or Congressional action getting done. This will go back to the States, most of which will adopt reasonable European-style abortion law, and some will pass extreme pro-abortion laws bordering on infanticide, and some will adopt bans.

      And in all this kerfuffle, the Democrats will hope they can distract from the energy crisis, the economic crisis, the border crisis, the Ukraine crisis, the supply chain crisis, and Bidens rising corruption scandals…

  34. Halsey Taylor

    A great opportunity for the Democrat Party Leadership to return to things which really matter to the American people.

  35. Lynne

    Sandra Day O’Connor years ago warned that Roe was on borrowed time, and recommended that women get after passing legislation to protect the right to abortion. At the time, Democrats viciously attacked her as being anti-woman. Because, you know, it’s always easier that call Supreme Court Justices names than it is to do the work of passing legislation. Meanwhile, the anti-choice crowd DID do the hard work of building a machine to outlaw abortion.

    This is just what the Democrats want. It’s certainly not to protect women or their right to choose. Democrats have shown us that for decades.

  36. Basil Pesto

    Not to be, yknow, that guy, but it is certainly worth pointing out imo that SARS2 is one of the biggest threats to women’s health (everyone’s health, but stick with me) and remains out of control.

    This includes complications in pregnant women making it difficult for them to safely bring their pregnancy to term inter alia. see eg: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-funded-study-suggests-covid-19-increases-risk-pregnancy-complications

    So, one can see how this sideshow is a welcome boon to the Democratic Party given that they share/arguably now own the out of control pandemic, or at least the US epidemic. And it also lays bare their insincerity when it comes to claiming to care about women’s reproductive health (that and, as repeatedly stated, their failure to
    codify abortion law like a normal country). So even though they don’t actually care, they can fundraise off this while pretending that they do. And many people will be conned by them.

  37. caucus99percenter

    Well, at least one good side effect of all this is: the word “woman / women” is suddenly and unapologetically back in fashion for the moment.

    I mean, after the drive to cancel J. K. Rowling for deriding authorities’ aversion to the word… or having Ketanji Brown Jackson say that defining it requires a biologist… or the language codes prescribing phrases like “pregnant people” in its place…

    Say it with me now: “Women! Women! Women!”


    1. madradinfinite

      Completely agree. Woman is not a dirty word and seeing people in this moment trying to tiptoe around the word woman with “birthing people” or “people with uteruses” is even more egregious. Last time I checked, abortion rights were so that women didn’t have to become “birthing people.” In an misguided effort to be more inclusive, even more dehumanizing language is actually being used.

  38. Ahimsa

    *Kaching* for fundraising – Democrat politicos must be loving this!

    First Ginsburg refused to retire.

    Then Obama admin failed to get Garland (or anyone else) thru.

    What did you expect??

  39. drumlin woodchuckles

    The hacker-group “Anonymous” ( or someone claiming to be “Anonymous”) has said it will hack-attack the Supreme Court if the Supreme Court votes to overturn or set aside Roe v. Wade. Such a threat would just make the anti-Roe justices angry, of course, and harden their resolve to cancel Roe v Wade.

    But it goes to show that a small but growing number of people consider the Supreme Court illegitimate-enough as an institution that it no longer deserves the respect of being “argued before”. That small but growing number of people consider the Supreme Court just one more hostile enemy institution among a bunch of hostile enemy institutions, to be spoken to in the only language it understands, which is force. In this case the force of hacker-attacks or other “global guerilla” types of application of pain to sensitive pressure points.

    Here is the link.

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