It's time for all liberty-loving Americans to fire up their outrage engine in anticipation of the Supreme Court either overturning Roe v. Wade entirely, or eviscerating it so that abortion rights exist only in name only.
That's the takeaway after today's astoundingly dreadful hearing on a Mississippi law that denies an abortion later than 15 weeks after a woman's last menstrual period. Observers came away feeling that almost certainly that law will be upheld.
This is a big deal. For almost fifty years, since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, the test for when an abortion can happen has been viability, the ability of a fetus to survive outside the womb -- 24 to 28 weeks.
So if the Supreme Court allows states to set their own limit on when an abortion can be performed, who knows how early that will be? Six weeks, as the notorious "bounty" Texas law says? Four weeks? One week?
Such would amount to overturning Roe v. Wade, even if the Supreme Court lets that decision stand. But legal observers believe there's at least five votes on the nine-member court to do away with Roe entirely, with John Roberts a maybe.
I'm old enough to remember what life was like for pregnant women who didn't want to bear a child before abortion was legal everywhere. Unfortunately, most people don't, because they've grown up in a country where a woman's right to choose was settled law.
Women died after attempting a "back alley" abortion. Or suffered serious injuries. Roe v. Wade changed all that. But ever since, anti-abortion zealots, mostly conservative, have dreamed of a Supreme Court stacked with justices who felt like they do.
Now they have that court, thanks to Trump being able to appoint three justices, two unfairly.
It's hard for me to decide what was most irritating about how the six conservative justices looked upon the legal arguments today. I guess it was Amy Coney Barrett saying that not being able to get an abortion is no big deal, because a woman can always put up her baby for adoption.
Barrett makes it sound like this is as simple as taking an unwanted puppy to a Humane Society shelter. Actually, it can be hugely traumatic to be forced to endure a forced nine-month pregnancy, then give up the baby. An attorney representing the only Mississippi clinic offering abortions made that clear.
First, the lawyer points out that adoption has indeed existed since Roe was first decided and therefore changes to adoption should not mean much. Then, she goes on to make the obvious points that pregnancy and birth in particular have dramatic effects on a woman’s health, and later she suggests that the choice to give a child up for adoption is its own burden, not something to lightly suggest is easy.
We have to remember how crazy it is that the Supreme Court is close to overturning Roe v. Wade. That case is founded on liberty, a woman's right to choose what she does with her body.
Every American who views liberty as a fundamental right should be outraged that we're just months away from the very real possibility that in about half the states, pregnant women are going to be forced to give birth to a child whether they want to or not.
And likely the six conservative Supreme Court justices aren't going to stop there. Today they sounded open to leaving other matters of settled law up to individual states to decide -- as if our constitutional rights should depend on where we live.
So same-sex marriage could be the next issue left up to the states. Or a woman's right to contraception.
Keep this in mind when you vote in the 2022 mid-term election. And in the 2024 presidential election. Republicans are going all-out to take our liberty away. They dream of having Trump return as an authoritarian ruler. The Supreme Court is part of that scheme.
Today Justice Sotomayor spoke bluntly about how the Court will be viewed if citizens see that their decisions are purely political. But I suspect the six conservative justices don't care about this. They're after power, not sound legal decisions.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor questioned whether the legitimacy of the Supreme Court would endure if it overturned abortion rights during a landmark hearing on a Mississippi law restricting the procedure.
“Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” Sotomayor said during oral arguments Wednesday morning. “I don’t see how it is possible.”