Alabama Bans Most Abortions

We've soon see whether the current Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade.

My former home state has passed the most draconian anti-abortion law in the country, with no exception for rape or incest. It seems clearly designed to create a test case to overturn decades of legal precedent making abortion a Constitutional right. Its extreme nature may defeat that goal, however.

The Washington Post:

Alabama lawmakers voted Tuesday to ban virtually all abortions in the state — including for victims of rape and incest — sending the strictest law in the nation to the state’s Republican governor, who is expected to sign it.

The measure permits abortion only when necessary to save a mother’s life, an unyielding standard that runs afoul of federal court rulings. Those who backed the new law said they don’t expect it to take effect, instead intending its passage to be part of a broader strategy by antiabortion activists to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide.

“This bill is about challenging Roe v. Wade and protecting the lives of the unborn because an unborn baby is a person who deserves love and protection,” Alabama state Rep. Terri Collins (R), the sponsor of the bill, said after the vote Tuesday night. “I have prayed my way through this bill. This is the way we get where we want to get eventually.”

Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R) said the legislature was carrying out “the express will of the people, which is to protect the sanctity of life,” noting that Alabama voters approved declaring the state officially pro-life. The bill, he said, “simply recognizes that an unborn baby is a child who deserves protection — and despite the best efforts of abortion proponents, this bill will become law because Alabamians stand firmly on the side of life.”

[…]

The Alabama bill, which passed 25-6, is even more restrictive than prior state-level abortion laws, and it includes a penalty of up to 99 years in prison for doctors who perform abortions. Six of the Senate’s Democrats voted against the bill — one abstained — and they staged a filibuster into Tuesday night after debating the bill for more than four hours, with senators discussing the role government should play in legislating what a woman can do with her body and the definition of life.

Alabama Senate passes nation’s most restrictive abortion ban, which makes no exceptions for victims of rape and incest

The New York Times adds:

The House approved the measure — the most far-reaching effort in the nation this year to curb abortion rights — last month. It now moves to the desk of Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican. Although the governor has not publicly committed to signing the legislation, many Republican lawmakers expect her support.

In an email on Tuesday night, a spokeswoman for the governor, Lori Davis Jhons, said Ms. Ivey would “withhold comment until she has had a chance to thoroughly review the final version of the bill that passed.”

Opponents have vowed to challenge the measure in federal court if it becomes law. Even the legislation’s supporters expect that a lower court will block the measure. But it was drafted with exactly that in mind. The ban’s architects, reflecting the rising confidence of abortion critics nationwide after the appointment of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, hope that the justices will use the case to reconsider the central holding in Roe and allow the Alabama measure to take effect.

“Until now, there was no prospect of reversing Roe,” said Eric Johnston, who founded the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition and serves as its president, and has spent more than 30 years trying to ban abortion.

Alabama Lawmakers Vote to Effectively Ban Abortion in the State

While Alabama has gone the furthest, they’re part of a trend:

Governors and lawmakers across the country are rushing to pass highly restrictive abortion bills in hopes of attracting the attention of what they see as the most anti-abortion U.S. Supreme Court in decades.

Sixteen states have passed or are working to pass bans on abortion after a doctor can detect what they call “a fetal heartbeat in the womb,” usually at about six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. That includes Georgia, where Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a “heartbeat bill” into law on Tuesday.

In a countermove, lawmakers in a growing number of states are racing to amend their constitutions to provide a backstop for the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade.

I’m skeptical that the current Supreme Court will vote to overturn Roe. Chief Justice John Roberts, in particular, seems keenly aware of the need to preserve the legitimacy of his institution. Overturning arguably the most noteworthy precedent of the last half century would signal that the Court is simply a partisan body, not a group of wise elders earnestly interpreting a sacred text.

Still, a lot of us see Roe as the archetypal case of judicial overreach. The notion that the 14th Amendment contained a hidden right to abortion that laid undiscovered for over a century is absurd. And the simultaneous invention of a quasi-legislative formula based on trimesters was simply bizarre. Even liberal scholars hated it:

In a highly cited 1973 article in the Yale Law Journal, the American legal scholar John Hart Ely criticized Roe as a decision that “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” Ely added: “What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure.” Professor Laurence Tribe had similar thoughts: “One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.”

Despite its origins, however, the basic principle is widely considered to be settled law. And the eventual abandonment of the trimester formula with a more fluid and scientific “viability” test is solid public policy that still gives the several states flexibility to have different standards based on community values.

Linda Greenhouse, the longtime Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times now teaching at Yale Law, shares her thoughts in an interview with Isaac Chotiner. Some key insights:

When you look at the history of abortion law in the United States, is there anything about this law in Georgia or the proposal in Alabama that you find interesting, or new, or different?

Well, they’re shockingly aggressive. They purport to take us back to the pre-Roe regime, where abortion was criminal until the mid-sixties in all fifty states—despite the fact that, by the time the Court decided Roe, Gallup and other polls showed that a strong majority of the public believed that abortion should be left as a matter between a woman and her doctor. And the pro-choice majority held throughout all demographics: men, women, Catholics, Republicans. Republicans were the pro-choice party at that time. So what’s happening today is pretty breathtaking, actually.

The New Yorker, “A Supreme Court Reporter Defines the Threat to Abortion Rights

Now, that strikes me as a bit disingenuous. We’re a Federal union. Abortion was never a national issue before Roe so the aggregated sentiments are largely irrelevant. Still, the reverse is also true: abortion was not a hot button national issue before Roe and, indeed, for a few years after.

What specifically in these laws do you see as the biggest challenge to Roe?

I don’t think these laws per se are challenges to Roe because they’re so extreme. I actually think the challenge to Roe will come with ostensibly milder measures that will let the courts find cover in seeming not to be extreme even though these laws can have the extreme effect of destroying the abortion infrastructure and cutting off access for most women. I’m referring to, for instance, the laws that Louisiana passed to require doctors who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. A challenge to that law is right now pending before the Supreme Court, and it is a complete twin to the Texas law that the Court overturned in 2016, before Justice [Neil] Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh joined the Court. The vote in that case was 5-3, Justice [Antonin] Scalia having died.

That’s an interesting take. It seems politically shrewd, for reasons already discussed, not to simply overturn Roe. Then again, it’s arguably easier to simply say Roe was bad Constitutional law and that abortion is a matter for the states.

And Greenhouse is almost certainly right here:

So you don’t interpret the aggressiveness of these laws as conservatives feeling emboldened and thinking they’re going to overturn Roe?

Well, I think they’re doing a couple things with these laws. They’re appealing to a base. These are politicians who are passing these laws, and these are elected governors who are purporting to sign them. It’s a way of keeping issues hot and alive. It’s also a way of, as we’ve seen throughout this battle, carving abortion out of normal medical practice by turning doctors into criminals for providing a medical service that something like thirty per cent of all American women will avail themselves of during their reproductive lifetimes.

If over-the-top in the next breath:

So, there’s something very strange going on here, and I’ll just say that I think laws like this have almost nothing to do with the fetus, or the embryo, or the fertilized egg, and everything to do with the role of women in society today. It’s all about the dignity and agency of the female half of the population. And that’s what’s at stake, frankly.

I think it’s fair to say that women are at the forefront of the abortion debate—on both sides. There’s essentially no difference in the polling on abortion by sex (or race, for that matter). The regional differences, however, are vast.

This is fascinating:

It seems like we’re now at a place where this is largely an issue for John Roberts, or is likely to be. So you see almost no chance that he would uphold these laws?

Yes, I think that’s accurate. And I’m not sure the Court would even take such a case, because they’ll be struck down in district court, and that will be upheld in the court of appeals. And Georgia and Alabama are in the same circuit. So there’d be no conflict in the circuits, which is the marker for the Court’s willingness to hear a case. The easiest thing for the Court to do is just to deny review. The Court doesn’t have to say anything.

There have been three strains of thinking about Roberts. One is that maybe he won’t overturn Roe. He doesn’t want to upset the apple cart. The second is that he does want to overturn Roe but will find a sort of subtle way of doing it. And the third is that, now that conservatives are in strong control of the Court, he will just overturn Roe. Do you have a sense, from studying him, of which of those three things is likely to happen?

Well, I’m assuming he thinks Roe was wrongly decided. I’m assuming he wishes it was not precedent. He does have a dilemma about what to do about that. And I think taking the path that I suggested of upholding laws that present substantial obstacles to the right to abortion but don’t write the right to abortion off the face of the statute books would be a more appealing thing for him to do.

He was a dissenter in the 2016 decision that struck down the Texas admitting-privileges law. He was a fifth vote with the four people to his left back in February to grant a stay of Louisiana law to allow the abortion clinics in Louisiana to file their Supreme Court appeal. So that was pretty interesting, because, had he not joined them over four dissents to his right, I think all but one abortion clinic in Louisiana would have had to shut down. And he didn’t want that to happen. I can only infer he didn’t want that to happen without giving the clinics a chance to make their case before the Supreme Court. That doesn’t bind him to agreeing with their case. But at least it shows us some awareness of the optics of the Court letting something as drastic as that occur without any kind of oversight by the Justices. So it’s a kind of interesting data point.

These laws like the Louisiana law don’t specifically go against Roe. They just kind of neutralize it. But is your sense that passing these laws would be enough for abortion opponents? Or is your sense that, at some point, despite all these laws, Roe would have to be formally overturned?
Overturned by the Supreme Court, you mean?
Yeah.
I think one template we might take for that is a case that has absolutely nothing to do with abortion. It’s a decision called Janus [v. AFSCME], in the area of labor law, that the Supreme Court issued, last June. This is a case in which the Court overturned a forty-year-old precedent by a vote of 5-4. The precedent had said that a public employee who doesn’t want to join the public-employee union doesn’t have to join the union, but they can be required by state law to pay that portion of the union dues that goes to the union’s bargaining and representation function because that benefits everybody in the workplace. And so it was deemed a fair share that they

It would be interesting, indeed, if the Supreme Court simply declined to take these cases because the 11th Circuit followed their existing precedent. And the strategy Greenhouse suggests strikes me as prudent in that it would have the effect of neutering Roe without obvious damage to stare decisis.

Intellectually, though, it would have the opposite impact. It would be dishonest in the extreme to claim to adhere to a precedent saying women have a Constitutional right to choose an abortion prior to fetal viability while simultaneously upholding a series of absurd restrictions on that right. Indeed, I’d prefer the opposite: overturning Roe and thus returning abortion to be regulated by the several states—but striking down absurd restrictions that are capricious and lacking a rational basis.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Supreme Court, U.S. Constitution, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Future AL.com headline: Where Did All the Women Go?

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  2. Teve says:

    Roe and Casey were doomed on November 8, 2016 when a 200-year-old flaw in the system gave a minority composed of halfwits an undeserved victory.

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  3. I think James is on to something when he talks about the fate of these two bills in particular.

    They will both be put on hold at the District Court level, and those decisions will likely both be upheld by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Much like the same-sex marriage issue, this lack of a Circuit split (for now) will give Justices the wiggle room to decline to take the case at all.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: It takes 4 voting in favor of hearing it, correct? I can see Roberts voting no, not sure about the other 4 conservative justices.

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  5. Teve says:

    “Alabama–first in the alphabet, last in every other fucking thing.” -selina meyer

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  6. KM says:

    @Doug Mataconis :

    will give Justices the wiggle room to decline to take the case at all.

    My understanding is that the decision to hear a cases is that 4 of the 9 need to agree to the petition. Right now, they have those 4 and more that *might* be willing depending on who they’ve been having drinks with lately. Depending on “wiggle room” is one of the reason we’re in this mess in the first place. If you give enough people room to feel comfortable agreeing to something political for brownie points because they think the next guy’s going be the deciding “no”…… you end up doing the thing you don’t want to do because you’ll all end up voting “yes”

    Gorsuch and Roberts haven’t been as terrible as expected but that’s seems to be solely because others are using up the wing-nut allotment and they’ve realized they need to be the adults in the room. However that’s not a state of being I’d trust to continue and more and more cases come down the pipe that fit their ideology. There’s a reason why the right’s suddenly pressing their advantage – they know damn well that if they put enough of them in front of the court, somebody’s gonna bite. The prevailing logic for decades was nobody wanted to touch this radioactive crap with a 50ft pole because of the absolute sh^tstorm a reversal would cause…. but that’s when we had relatively sane judges who understood and cared about the legal institution they are a part of. Lately the troll culture passing itself off as the GOP wants to burn it all down and this Court might just do that if 4 of them decide to take a case on.

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  7. mattbernius says:

    Indeed, I’d prefer the opposite: overturning Roe and thus returning abortion to be regulated by the several states—but striking down absurd restrictions that are capricious and lacking a rational basis.

    James, can you unpack how this sort of solution would work. The moment Roe is struck down, then the idea that control returns to the states. At that point, I don’t see how the Feds would have the power to strike down any “restrictions that are capricious and lacking a rational basis” as that would implicitly be saying that ultimately that the federal government still is affirming that abortions in some form should be available.

    Or am I miss reading your point?

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  8. grumpy realist says:

    I suspect that with the increased mobility of people and transportation within the USA, returning the question of abortion to individual states is going to a) have a heck of a lot of side effects and b) start making certain areas of law look very silly. When one state defines abortion as “murder!!!” in full screaming letters and insists that any doctor who carries one out to be locked up for 99 years while the next state over says “no, having an abortion is perfectly legal”, you know what is going to happen?

    1) You’re going to lose your obstetricians in the “abortion == murder” state. They’re going to vote with their feet.
    2) I suspect a lot of large companies are going to not look at said state as a possible place to open anything. How many of their female employees are going to want to relocate to a place that is America’s equivalent of Saudi Arabia?
    3) Heck, a lot of your more mobile females are going to waltz out of there as well!

    I know the pro-lifers are salivating at one day passing federal law that bans abortion all over the US, but I suspect there are even more people who will kick back at that.

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  9. drj says:

    If over-the-top in the next breath

    Linda Greenhouse is absolutely correct when she says that “laws like this have almost nothing to do with the fetus, or the embryo, or the fertilized egg, and everything to do with the role of women in society today.”

    Abortion restrictions are pretty much all about controlling women’s sexual agency.

    How else would you explain that removing a fertilized egg from a woman’s uterus nets a doctor a 99-year sentence, while if a doctor discards fertilized eggs that are left over from IVF treatment, it’s no biggie at all?

    I bet that Alabama legislators feel that women who seek IVF treatment haven’t been “bad” and thus don’t need to be punished.

    And, of course, it wouldn’t do to make life hard for good Christian men who want to be a father.

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  10. KM says:

    @mattbernius:

    Or am I miss reading your point?

    The only way that works is if the feds cite violation of civil liberties they way they used to in South to get around Jim Crow laws and jury nullification. The problem with that is it’s on a case-by-case basis unless a larger law is passed to use as the foundation…. and any federal law passed in a post-Roe world is far more likely to a personhood rationalization rather then one that protects women’s rights. The feds simply won’t be able to intercede unless the case gets their attention and draws media outrage – meaning hundreds of thousands of women are absolutely f^cked because they’re not photographic or interesting enough for TV.

    @grumpy realist :

    I know the pro-lifers are salivating at one day passing federal law that bans abortion all over the US, but I suspect there are even more people who will kick back at that.

    If the radicals pro-lifers in Congress don’t have a federal personhood bill ready to go the second Roe gets overturned, I’ll eat my car. It’s far more likely to pass then a straight-up federal abortion ban and would do essentially the same thing. Their logic would be on refining what a citizen is and if they can use it to overturn that pesky jus soli thing too, that’s a bonus for these nuts!

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  11. James Joyner says:

    @mattbernius:

    I don’t see how the Feds would have the power to strike down any “restrictions that are capricious and lacking a rational basis” as that would implicitly be saying that ultimately that the federal government still is affirming that abortions in some form should be available.

    IANAL and it’s been a long time since I took law courses as part of a poli-sci program, so I’m very rusty. But there are all manner of areas where states and localities have authority to govern but are still restricted in how they govern. States have enormous police powers to protect their citizenry’s health, safety, and morals. But they can’t do so in a manner that’s arbitrary, unreasonable, or discriminatory.

    So, I’d argue that there are rational bases for restricting post-viability abortion but not, say, requiring abortion clinics to essentially be equipped in the same manner as hospital ERs or, say, requiring a billion dollar insurance policy.

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  12. Jen says:

    Abortion was never a national issue before Roe so the aggregated sentiments are largely irrelevant.

    Not nationally a legislative issue, no. But it was a national issue in that people in all 50 states, particularly doctors, were aware of the risks–and saw women dying.

    This legislation is crazy, but perhaps that’s what the American people need to see. The level of insane that the current GOP is willing to push for is going to make people recoil.

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  13. mattbernius says:

    @James Joyner:
    I might not have been clear in my question. If the SC strikes Roe and returns power to the states, then I don’t see how the Feds can turn around and tell a State what they can and cannot restrict in terms of abortions, up to and including, banning all abortions.

    I get your point about discrimination, but given the current lean of the Supreme Court, I’m having a hard time seeing them finding discrimination around this topic (especially if the Roe reversal includes no longer seeing abortion as a constitutionally protected right).

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  14. MarkedMan says:

    James, I think you and many others who are right leaning on this have this view that if Roe v. Wade is overturned then everything will go back to the states where the “local standards” will be applied. That is not what is going to happen. The anti-abortion mob will not be satisfied with, say, executing a doctor in Alabama if they prescribe a morning after pill, while next door in Louisiana such a monster will just have a medical license taken away, and godless California allows safe late term abortions. Emboldened, they will march and encourage the worst of crazies. People who work in Planned Parenthood clinics will be gunned down, and clinics burned, and the Republican Supreme Court will block all efforts to keep them safe.

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  15. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Breyer dissenting in Hall:

    “To overrule a sound decision like Hall is to encourage litigants to seek to overrule other cases; it is to make it more difficult for lawyers to refrain from challenging settled law; and it is to cause the public to become increasingly uncertain about which cases the court will overrule and which cases are here to stay…

    Kristen Clarke, the president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:

    Today’s decision is deeply disturbing because it makes clear that five justices on the Court are not faithful to the principle of stare decisis and are willing to abandon precedent when necessary to reach a desired outcome in a case…This raises grave questions about the Court’s willingness to respect other important precedents, like Roe v. Wade…Across the county we are witnessing a carefully coordinated attack on Roe v. Wade, with abortion proponents bent on reopening the ruling before a newly configured Supreme Court.”

    Susan Collins on Kavanaugh and precedent:

    “I have always been concerned about preserving Roe v. Wade” Collins said Monday, adding that Kavanaugh had given her assurances during his confirmation process that the landmark opinion was safe. “He said under oath many times, as well as to me personally many times, that he considers Roe to be ‘precedent upon precedent’ because it had been reaffirmed in the Casey v Planned Parenthood case,” Collins added, dismissing any criticism of her as partisan politics.

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  16. Blue Galangal says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I know the pro-lifers are salivating at one day passing federal law that bans abortion all over the US, but I suspect there are even more people who will kick back at that.

    I think that’s what “people” hope. I know my ardently pro-Trump parents, for instance, pretend that Roe is “settled law” and no one wants to outlaw abortion. They will go to their graves believing that no matter what because they’re part of a cult.

    It doesn’t matter how many people “kick back.” The vast majority of Americans support common sense gun laws, but it has literally no effect on the current political situation. It doesn’t matter if Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion is outlawed – nothing will happen at a political or legal level to address women’s rights and women’s health. What will actually happen are small grassroots actions, like Jane, smuggling people to Canada and Mexico for abortions. Meanwhile women will be expected to pay taxes and bear their rapists’ children because God.

    My two kids are making plans to relocate. I’ll be extremely sad that my grandchildren will grow up away from me and I’ll only visit them via Facetime. I’m kind of trapped here until retirement (if “retirement” itself exists in a decade). But would I tell my children not to go? No, I would not. Trump’s “election” and all the dominoes that have fallen because of it has destroyed our country for at least a generation and possibly may be the end of it altogether.

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  17. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The anti-abortion mob will not be satisfied with, say, executing a doctor in Alabama if they prescribe a morning after pill, while next door in Louisiana such a monster will just have a medical license taken away, and godless California allows safe late term abortions. Emboldened, they will march and encourage the worst of crazies. People who work in Planned Parenthood clinics will be gunned down, and clinics burned, and the Republican Supreme Court will block all efforts to keep them safe.

    That’s . . . histrionic.

    Will extreme legislation be passed in a handful of hyper-religious, predominantly rural states? Almost certainly. But most of the violence we’ve seen has come from frustration that the will of the people in these states has been thwarted by the courts and they therefore see no legal recourse. And those who’ve killed have been punished. From Wikipedia:

    In the United States, violence directed towards abortion providers has killed at least eleven people, including four doctors, two clinic employees, a security guard, a police officer, two people (unclear of their connection), and a clinic escort;[I 17][I 18] Seven murders occurred in the 1990s.[I 19]

    March 10, 1993: Dr. David Gunn of Pensacola, Florida was fatally shot during a protest. He had been the subject of wanted-style posters distributed by Operation Rescue in the summer of 1992. Michael F. Griffin was found guilty of Gunn’s murder and was sentenced to life in prison.[I 20]

    July 29, 1994: Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were both shot to death outside another facility, the Ladies Center, in Pensacola. Rev. Paul Jennings Hill was charged with the killings. Hill received a death sentence and was executed on September 3, 2003. The clinic in Pensacola had been bombed before in 1984 and was also bombed subsequently in 2012.[I 21]

    December 30, 1994: Two receptionists, Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, were killed in two clinic attacks in Brookline, Massachusetts. John Salvi was arrested and confessed to the killings. He died in prison and guards found his body under his bed with a plastic garbage bag tied around his head. Salvi had also confessed to a non-lethal attack in Norfolk, Virginia days before the Brookline killings.[I 21]

    January 29, 1998: Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer who worked as a security guard at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, was killed when his workplace was bombed. Eric Rudolph admitted responsibility; he was also charged with three Atlanta bombings: the 1997 bombing of an abortion center, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing, and another of a lesbian nightclub. He was charged with the crimes and received two life sentences as a result.[I 22]

    October 23, 1998: Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot to death with a high-powered rifle at his home in Amherst, New York. His was the last in a series of similar shootings against providers in Canada and northern New York state which were all likely committed by James Kopp. Kopp was convicted of Slepian’s murder after being apprehended in France in 2001.[I 23]

    May 31, 2009: Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed by Scott Roeder as Tiller served as an usher at a church in Wichita, Kansas.[I 24] This was not Tiller’s first time being a victim to anti-abortion violence. Dr.Tiller was shot once before in 1993 by Shelley Shannon, who was sentenced 10 years in prison for the shooting.

    November 29, 2015: A shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, left three dead and several injured, and a suspect Robert L. Dear was apprehended.[I 25][I 26][I 27] The suspect had previously acted against other clinics, and referred to himself as a “warrior for the babies” at his hearing.[I 28][I 29] Neighbors and former neighbors described the suspect as “reclusive”,[I 26] and police from several states where the suspect resided described a history of run-ins dating from at least 1997.[I 27] As of December 2015, the trial of the suspect was open;[I 28] but, on May 11, 2016, the court declared the suspect incompetent to stand trial after a mental evaluation was completed.[I 30]

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  18. grumpy realist says:

    I guess my attitude about this is “stupidity gotta hurt.” We axe Roe vs. Wade; what’s the result? A lot of legal messiness and a lot of women now acutely conscious that they have to fight for their bodily autonomy every minute because there are a heck of a lot of people out there willing to take it all away.

    (If pro-life people have the right to impose their morality on everyone else around them, why don’t vegans have the same right?)

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  19. James Joyner says:

    @grumpy realist:

    (If pro-life people have the right to impose their morality on everyone else around them, why don’t vegans have the same right?)

    They do. There’s no Constitutional right to eat meat. The difference is that the vegans don’t have anything like the votes the anti-abortion folks have in any state. But I could see a meat ban in some municipalities.

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  20. R.Dave says:

    @MarkedMan: Emboldened, they will march and encourage the worst of crazies. People who work in Planned Parenthood clinics will be gunned down, and clinics burned, and the Republican Supreme Court will block all efforts to keep them safe.

    Don’t forget the dogs and cats, who will undoubtedly end up living together.

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  21. Teve says:
  22. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner: I’m not sure what your point is. I say that these religious fanatics encourage and protect the crazies and you list 11 times they murdered innocent people because of their deranged religious beliefs. And of course, left unsaid in all this are the hundreds of fires set and windows shot out by these violent extremists that, luckily, didn’t result in death. How is this supposed to refute my point that the anti-abortion community encourages these people?

    My wife worked at a Planned Parenthood clinic for years and had to walk through the brainwashed mobs mindlessly screaming their pseudo-scientific mantras (“Life Begins At Conception”, “Abortion is Murder”). Histrionic? Most of the people she worked with knew Dr. Slepian before he was gunned down by a religious fanatic. And every one of her coworkers and their families knew that day in and day out there were demagogues in church pulpits within a few miles spouting the most vile lies about them and their work. You know, those ministers and priests that riled up Eric Rudolph and his kind. While the whole country was losing their mind about the “mooslim fanatics”, I knew every single day that it was the religious leaders wearing Roman collars or speaking in tongues that were most likely to be the cause of my young children growing up without a mother.

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  23. Pylon says:

    “If over-the-top in the next breath”. Nope:

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/05/the-devil-fools-with-the-best-laid-plan

    Chambliss, responding to the IVF argument from Smitherman, cites a part of the bill that says it applies to a pregnant woman. "The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant." #alpolitics— Brian Lyman (@lyman_brian) May 14, 2019

    “>

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  24. JKB says:

    Arguments over this law might go a long way to clearing up the obfuscations both sides have worked hard to develop.

    The late term proponents have wrongly conflated that state restrictions would overturn Roe, which is not operative after the first trimester. And Casey ends its control even earlier. Although, some smart lawyer could bring Casey back in for the situations most recently in the news in NY and VA since obviously a live birth is proof of viability outside the womb and denial of medical care resulting in death is then a different legal issue.

    On the other hand, while heartbeat is used by doctors as a sign of progress to expectant mothers, it is not really a proof of viability, especially, the outside the womb standard asserted by Casey. So challenges may refine the understanding of “viability” as a legal term of art indicating development enough to survive outside the womb in the event of an early birth, in contrast to viability as a point where confidence is high of a normal progression of pregnancy as it means to clinicians.

    A full overturning of Roe seems unlikely to me as that would remove even the “morning after” pill.

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  25. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: @James Joyner: “That’s . . . histrionic.”

    No, it’s the current USA. Heck, just read what you wrote above.

    Look at Georgia.

    Look at the Alabaman ‘go to prison if your rapist is convicted’ bill that those swine are considering.

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  26. MarkedMan says:

    @R.Dave: Normally, someone giving me grief over getting histrionic is fair game, especially when the quality of the reference in the dig is so high. We all need the occasional reminder if we go overboard. But I’m going to push back on this one. You highlighted several things I said.

    – “They will march, and encourage the worst of the crazies”: Trust me, it is all too easy to laugh at someone feeling threatened by the church ladies until you have to walk through these zealots during the annual right-to-life hysteria-fest. Having a half crazed loon calling you out by name and shouting out your home address is no joke. Especially if your children live in that home. Sure, the vast majority of these people are simply misguided and would never actually hurt anyone. But publicly posting someones home address is a dangerously aggressive act and at some level they must know they are triggering the killers nestled in their midst.

    – “People that work in Planned Parenthood Clinics will be gunned down” James just listed 11 occurrences of christian fanatics killing people connected to abortion providers, not to mention those maimed or lucky when the bomb didn’t go off, or the fire didn’t catch quickly enough. If you work at a Planned Parenthood, you are statistically much more likely to be killed by a disturbed zealot than, say, your children are likely to be killed by a school shooter, yet we refer to an “epidemic” of school shootings and don’t disparage parents that worry about their children’s safety.

    – “And the Supreme Court will block all efforts to keep them safe” – As recently as 2014 the Supreme Court overturned a rule that would have kept the fanatics 35 feet away from the workers entering the clinic:

    In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law Thursday that set a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics, saying it violates the First Amendment. Massachusetts had argued that the buffer zone, which anti-abortion protesters said violated their free speech rights, keeps patients and clinic staff safer.

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  27. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: ‘That’s …Histrionic’

    https://www.al.com/politics/2019/05/alabama-bill-would-criminalize-false-rape-accusations.html

    False accusations in sexual crime alone would be criminalized

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  28. Blue Galangal says:

    @MarkedMan: Literally any Twitter thread or comment thread on an article about abortion will show you exactly the lies these people have gobbled up and continue to spout that puts doctors and clinic staff in danger every single day. Yesterday I saw 3-4 people in a row spouting the “PP sells baby parts” bs on a low-traffic Twitter thread. They BELIEVE this. They think any action is justified against 1) Planned Parenthood, 2) libtards who support PP/the right to choose, and 3) women just because.

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  29. Jay L Gischer says:

    Still, a lot of us see Roe as the archetypal case of judicial overreach. The notion that the 14th Amendment contained a hidden right to abortion that laid undiscovered for over a century is absurd.

    It is precisely this view that led to the reconsideration and new opinions in Casey v. Planned Parenthood, which puts the decision on much more solid ground. Just sayin’.

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  30. Teve says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    Yesterday I saw 3-4 people in a row spouting the “PP sells baby parts” bs on a low-traffic Twitter thread

    I think I saw some idiot say that here one time.

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  31. Teve says:

    @Barry:

    Look at the Alabaman ‘go to prison if your rapist is convicted’ bill that those swine are considering.

    That would certainly be a foul law!

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  32. MarkedMan says:

    James said:

    The notion that the 14th Amendment contained a hidden right to abortion that laid undiscovered for over a century is absurd.

    This is a common argument amongst anti-abortionists and generally considered commonsense wisdom on the right, but it falls apart at the slightest poking.

    Roe v. Wade never claimed there was text within the amendment discussing abortion. That would be ridiculous. What they claimed was that it and other sections of the constitution validated an implicit right to privacy. There is nothing odd or unusual about laws containing implicit rights. Laws granting marriage rights contain an implicit approval of sexual relations, although most such laws never mention sex. In fact, many court cases are filed to determine what rights and agreements are implicit in laws and contracts. Things that are clearly spelled out only rarely result in lawsuits.

    What does a right to privacy mean? It means that the government cannot invade your personal space unless they have a compelling interest. In the case of abortion, it means that the government cannot force a woman to have a baby she doesn’t want. The same people who announce with such fanfare that this implicit right to privacy (admittedly, coded by calling it an implicit right to abortion) is ridiculous are very likely to bring it up in their favor in other arguments. For example, anti-vaxers are invoke it when they say the government has no right to compel them to vaccinate themselves or their children. And for the most part people, even those who disagree, accept this right to privacy. Instead of arguing “Well, there is nothing in the constitution that discusses vaccinations ” (because, of course not) they say “But in this case the State has a compelling interest that overrides the right to privacy.”

    So when anti-abortionists use this “no discussion of abortion in the Constitution” argument we can see that like so many of their other arguments it mimics the sound and the cadence of thoughtful dialog but actually contains nothing but air.

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  33. mattbernius says:

    @JKB:

    So challenges may refine the understanding of “viability” as a legal term of art indicating development enough to survive outside the womb in the event of an early birth, in contrast to viability as a point where confidence is high of a normal progression of pregnancy as it means to clinicians.

    Due to the rapid growth of medical tech, viability is going to be an increasingly moving target. And to some degree, it seems like it will be difficult to define at the state level. I also wonder to what degree cost and the realistic possibilities for the progression of “normal development” of the child will come into play here (“normal” being the optimal word necessary to define).

    If a state moves to a “life at all costs” model (which seems to be implied in some of these laws), one would hope that they would have the infrastructure in place to ease the long-term care burden on the family that is living under that edict. However, it seems like those “costs” are typically borne by the family, not the state.

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  34. James Joyner says:

    @Barry: @MarkedMan: Maybe we’re not disagreeing as much as I thought. But I think overturning Roe will likely lessen, rather than inflame, tensions from the right.

    My point in listing the history of murders is twofold. First, given how hot this topic has been for decades and how damn violent we are as a culture, the number of incidents is shockingly low. Second, and more importantly, with the exception of one deemed to crazy to try, they’ve all been arrested and subjected to harsh sentencing. So, I’m skeptical that we’re going to see some sort of judicial free-for-all.

    If you’re talking simply about the sort of rulings you talk about in this follow-up, okay. SCOTUS has, rightly in my view, been very reluctant to grant content-based exceptions to the 1st Amendment. We can no more apply different rules to anti-abortion protests than we can the “God hates fags” yahoos picketing military funerals or the Ku Kluxers who want to march through Skokie.

    @Jay L Gischer: Yes, I agree that Casey is much better law. There’s still no serious grounding in the actual text of the Constitution but it’s a much more reasonable bit of legislating from the bench that, as I say, is at least sound public policy.

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  35. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Roe v. Wade never claimed there was text within the amendment discussing abortion. That would be ridiculous. What they claimed was that it and other sections of the constitution validated an implicit right to privacy.

    Roe built on the rather shaky foundation of Griswold, which found a theretofore undiscovered right to privacy—which protected a married couple’s right to purchase birth control pills—hiding in the shadows of other rights for two centuries. Again, from a public policy standpoint, I think they got it right. But the hoops through which they jump remain a source of ridicule.

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  36. Barry says:

    JAmes: “The notion that the 14th Amendment contained a hidden right to abortion that laid undiscovered for over a century is absurd. ”

    The notion that the 14th Amendment actually protected real people (as opposed to corporation) was a ‘hidden right’ for almost 100 years.

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  37. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner:

    I think overturning Roe will likely lessen, rather than inflame, tensions from the right.

    I think you are wrong, but hope you are right.

    the number of incidents is shockingly low

    Here’s another way to look at it. There are not that many abortion clinics in this country, and each one typically has at most a few dozen people working there. Given this small number 11 successful murders, plus the unsuccessful ones, as well as the hundreds of bombings and fires that didn’t result in death paints a pretty dire picture. If you put yourself in the shoes of the people who work there, you might very well feel differently about how rare religious violence is.

    And finally, the Supreme Court saying that a 35 foot buffer zone impedes free speech is pretty rich, given the restrictions around the Supreme Court itself. It sufficiently discomfited, Justices could spend years on the Supreme Court and literally never hear a single protestor or see one closer than a couple of hundred yards away. And what you said doesn’t really apply here: “We can no more apply different rules to anti-abortion protests than we can the “God hates fags” yahoos picketing military funerals or the Ku Kluxers who want to march through Skokie.” The yahoos and the KKKers regularly are directed on specific routes that the police define in order to perserve public order. These often have buffer zones much greater than 35 feet. It is only in the case of anti-abortionists that a right to remain in spitting distance is deemed to be constitutionally mandated.

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  38. Sleeping Dog says:

    @mattbernius:
    Though I’m not an attorney, and my knowledge of the legal interrelationships between the states and the Feds is rustier than James’, I can see the Feds passing a law banning abortion in the entire US or choosing to effectively. Just because abortion was a state-only issue before Roe, does not mean it will revert to that state post Roe.

    The overturn or effective overturn of Roe is a massive headache for Mitch McConnell and the parties Senate and Congressional campaign committees.

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  39. Jay L Gischer says:

    @James Joyner:

    @Jay L Gischer: Yes, I agree that Casey is much better law.

    And this is a thing that is kind of a poser for me. I don’t want to single you out, lots of people still complain about Roe in this way, even though the basis for this objection is long gone.

    It kind of reminds me of the old joke about the drunk looking for his lost keys under the lamppost. Maybe Roe is a better target, even though it isn’t controlling law any more?

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  40. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner: We don’t just have a Constitution, we have a Constitution draped across Common Law, in the English tradition. And this is what the 9th Amendment is about, when it states that some unenumerated rights are retained by the people.

    Basically, privacy isn’t mentioned as an explicit right because it was just too obvious.

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  41. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Just because abortion was a state-only issue before Roe, does not mean it will revert to that state post Roe.

    If the rationale is that the fetus or zygote is a person, I don’t see why it should be left to the states. We don’t let states decide that brown people aren’t really people, after all.

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  42. Kathy says:

    It’s too bad Mexico hasn’t legalized abortion, especially in the northern border states. It is legal in the first trimester without restriction only in Mexico City, but no other states have followed suit.

    On the other hand, contraceptives are easy to get, relatively cheap, and subsidized through the public health sector for people in lower income brackets.

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  43. mattbernius says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I should have been clear I wasn’t thinking in terms of legislative action (which probably is telling).

    Passing legislation to set national standards for regulating abortion would honestly be the best option. However, for obvious reasons, it’s also probably the least likely as well (so long as the Senate continues it’s disfunction).

    Which gets to:

    Just because abortion was a state-only issue before Roe, does not mean it will revert to that state post Roe.

    Without highly unlikely legislative action, I don’t see why it doesn’t more or less revert back to essentially a state-by-state issue. I am sure there are some regulatory aspects that probably fall under existing national bodies, but until there’s a congressional willingness to act, it’s a state-only issue.

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  44. MarkedMan says:

    @mattbernius:

    but until there’s a congressional willingness to act

    But why won’t there be a congressional willingness to act? Why do you think the anti-abortionists will suddenly say, “Well, abortion is illegal in my state so I’m not going to worry about those others”? Once they can elect legislatures who ban abortion in their own states, of course they will work to elect legislatures that are willing to ban it nationally. James Joyner’s hopes notwithstanding, overturning Roe will lead to a much energized anti-abortion movement and they will come for NY, NJ, CA etc via the Congress. I fear it will get very ugly, very quickly.

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  45. JKB says:

    @mattbernius: it’s a state-only issue.

    The real problem is that even in states passing the late term abortion laws today, they have not in the last 45+ years since Roe repealed the state laws banning abortion. So, if the matter reverts to the states, these state legislatures will have to act and that is not something the politicians are good at.

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  46. KM says:

    @James Joyner:

    ‘That’s …Histrionic

    Every male that says that should be dressed in drag, have a pregnancy falsie wrapped around them and forcibly marched through the crowd of crazies outside to see why histrionic really means. It’s been said many times men don’t really *get* harassment until they’re harassed by an aggressive gay guy and treated like a piece of meat for the predators. Most men only really *get* how utterly insane forced-birthers can be by getting the PP experience up close and personal.

    I think overturning Roe will likely lessen, rather than inflame, tensions from the right.

    People who also think the right will back down once they get what they are are assuming they know what the right really wants and what will satisfy it. No, they won’t go pacifistic in their victory – they’re press their advantage because that’s the smart thing to do when you’re winning. The goal isn’t just to end Roe but rather to restore life to the mythical time in their minds when everything was fine. Do you really think they’ll be satisfied with ending “murder” only for it to still go on at the state level? That they’ll be OK with the concept because it’s not happening where they are? SSM was legal in some states but that didn’t stop right from screaming about how it needed to be stopped everywhere and then doing their damnest to prevent it when a state not their own tried to choose.

    Overturng Roe will light a powderkeg under this country in a way we haven’t seen in decades. That’s *WHY* the SC has been so damn reluctant to catch this hot potato – they know very well what will happen if Roe goes bye-bye. Sucks for us that there’s now enough idiots on the Court who might find that to be a feature, not a bug.

    It’s gonna be bad, James. @MarkedMan’s scenario in this day and age of angry, bitter violent souls lashing out to kill dozens of innocents is way, way, WAY too plausible. Alabama’s standing in a puddle of gas, holding a match and the gas can to see how big a fireball it can make… and there’s other states lined up behind to try again if the fireball’s not big enough. There’s really no way this ends well for anyone.

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  47. KM says:

    @mattbernius:

    Without highly unlikely legislative action, I don’t see why it doesn’t more or less revert back to essentially a state-by-state issue.

    Because of how they’re framing the laws. The right is essentially saying that a citizen is being murdered, someone with due rights and civil liberties under the Constitution. Therefore Roe has created a class of citizens it’s OK to eliminate. If for whatever insane reason Alabama amended of all of it’s murder statues and declared there’s no such thing as an illegally-caused death of a non-white person, you’d better believe the feds are gonna swoop in and do something about it if only to contain the chaos it would cause. We’ve never needed to have a federal law on that because everyone agrees it’s bad; we just quibble over the details.

    Concepts like citizenship are a federal issue, residency is state. AL can’t remove your rights as an American, only what rights to have on a state-level. They can’t use residency as the foundation basis because women can move around – thus the whole leaving-the-state bill. No, viability is intrinsically linked to person-hood so by cutting the date to well before viability, they are putting legal personhood into play.

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  48. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan:

    There is nothing odd or unusual about laws containing implicit rights.

    I would go a step further and say that the Bill of Rights contains *explicit* mentions of privacy.

    Amendment 3 protects the right of a homeowner to not be forced to house a member of the military during peacetime–they explicitly need the permission of the homeowner. Amendment 4 recognizes the right of people “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects” against unreasonable searches and seizures. While both of these deal with other end factors (not being randomly required to house a solider and against searches/seizures), they both rather clearly deal with privacy.

    ETA: and of course there’s the 9th amendment, the catch-all that basically says just because something’s not listed here doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

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  49. HankP says:

    @Barry:
    And the right of freedom of association was hidden for 150 years. There are tons of un-enumerated rights that conservatives go on about that are nowhere in the text of the constitution or bill of rights, yet they attack Roe as if it’s the only example of an un-enumerated right.

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  50. gVOR08 says:

    Remember the protests that broke out when the Court announced Roe v Wade? Me neither, and I’m old enough to remember first hand. It was an important decision, it made the national news, but it wasn’t particularly controversial. At the time, Protestant theology generally held life began at birth, so it was largely a Catholic issue. But then the TV preachers saw that Catholics were raising money on the issue and wanted in. Then the Republicans saw it was an issue that resonated with some of their voters. Then the Republican and the fundie preachers found they could make common cause. I doubt elite Republicans care much one way or another about abortion, they can always send their daughters and mistresses and granddaughters to Paris for a quick clinic visit and a shopping spree. But it’s a cultural issue they can use to divide the country and motivate their base.

    So anti-abortion wasn’t really a thing, but it got developed as a grift, and then got picked up as a culturally divisive political issue by cynical elites. It was the prototype for modern Republican politics.

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  51. Jen says:

    @gVOR08:

    You are 100% correct. And doctors were relieved–they said women stopped dying practically overnight.

    Anyone who thinks overturning Roe is the end doesn’t understand the slightest thing about how big this grift is. Plan B emergency contraception would be next–they already have these talking points down. Then, guess what? Since Plan B is the same hormones contained in the Pill, that would be the next target of the grifters. They might–just might–not get that to stick, but that would suit them just fine as they’d be able to fundraise off of it.

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  52. mattbernius says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But why won’t there be a congressional willingness to act?

    There will be individual Congress people who want action on both sides. But the reality remains that action would require one party to hold both houses of Congress and the presidency. And have a veto proof majority in the Senate (or change the by laws). And hold their coalition together.

    I am not suggesting that is outside the realm of possibility, but there’s a reason why every major peice of abortion legislation had historical failed in Congress.

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  53. Gustopher says:

    @Donald Spitz:

    Roe v Wade should be overturned. Unborn children are human beings that deserve to be protected. It is beyond despicable to murder innocent children.

    You don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade, you want an equally broad decision in the other direction declaring zygotes or fetuses as people. And possibly an end to IVF, depending on how many cells constitutes a child.

    Be clear about what you want.

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  54. Barry says:

    @gVOR08: The religious right seized on abortion to cover for segregation:

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133

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  55. grumpy realist says:

    @Donald Spitz: “Children” == something born, independent, not needing to live off the body of the mother. “Zygote/embryo/fetus” == something inside the woman’s body living off the woman. Don’t mix them up.

    Maybe if YOU could get pregnant you’d have more understanding. Very easy to talk about the “ethics of abortion” when you know full well you’ll never be in that position, hmmm?

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  56. wr says:

    @Donald Spitz: How nice for you. Thank you for sharing. Saved us all from reading your bumper.

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  57. mattbernius says:

    @JKB:
    Great point about the existing laws that are still on record (though superceded by Roe). That will be a huge headache!

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  58. Mikey says:

    @James Joyner:

    That’s . . . histrionic.

    Saying “if the Republicans get enough SCOTUS seats, Republican-controlled states will pass abortion bans that go up to SCOTUS and Roe could very well be overturned” used to be decried as “histrionic.”

    Yet here we are.

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  59. Mikey says:

    Seen on the Twitters:

    Any state that bans abortion but is 50th in education doesn’t give a fuck about children.

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  60. Blue Galangal says:

    @mattbernius:

    Due to the rapid growth of medical tech, viability is going to be an increasingly moving target. And to some degree, it seems like it will be difficult to define at the state level.

    Respectfully, no. There is no technology that is going to allow a fetus’ brain to develop outside the womb to sustain (and enhance) life functions before ~22 weeks (where we are now). Unless you’re envisioning Brave New World type artificial wombs (and given the fact that we’re still trying to figure out components of breast milk that formula should replicate, an artificial womb is still well within the realm of science fiction), viability has a pretty hard line of about 6 months – oddly enough, where Roe originally settled. Five months/20 wks is not viable and will continue to be not viable no matter how much the Right crosses their fingers and wishes really hard. Heartbeat bills are just so much bs because all that “signal” is is a bunch of cardiac-type cells creating an electrical impulse. There is no circulatory system in a 6 week old zygote. There is no actual “heart” to “beat.”

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  61. grumpy realist says:

    @Blue Galangal: Indeed. A bunch of cardiac cells in a petri dish can beat, but that’s not much.

    I keep poking at self-proclaimed pro-lifers about “why don’t they just PAY women to carry to term if it’s that important?” and never getting a word back. I also poke at them about uterine replicators, which I dearly wish would come into existence because I suspect it would blow pro-lifers’ minds and they would STILL find an excuse as to why using them are immoral and pregnant women should be forced to carry to term.

    When pro-lifers are willing to a) become vegan for the rest of their lives b) put up with forced donation of their own body organs to anyone who needs them, THEN I’ll start to believe that they believe what they preach. Until then, it’s all just so much horsesh*t and control of women.

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  62. Monala says:

    @grumpy realist: They’re not even hiding it anymore. From TPM, this quote by Alabama Republican Senator Clyde Chambliss:

    And what of eggs fertilized in labs? If abortions are outlawed in cases of “known” pregnancy — as early as a fertilized egg, according to Chambliss — should fertilized eggs that have yet to be transferred to a woman’s uterus have legal protections?

    The Republican state senator revealed his real argument: The bill does not address all potential children, but rather women’s bodies.

    “The egg in the lab doesn’t apply,” Chambliss said. “It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.”

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  63. Monala says:
  64. The abyss that is the soul of cracker says:

    why don’t they just PAY women…

    This goes back to not being against taxes, but being against paying them. Nothing is valuable enough to conservatives to be willing to pay for it. Particularly not an abstract principle such as life of another ‘human’ being. Forcing women to pay for preserving said ‘life’ out of their own pocket in much more in keeping with conservatism–particularly of the Evangelical stripe.

    I’m reminded of a quip that Martin Marty made about Lutherans that applies equally well to the Evangelicals I’ve known.

    Lutherans report believe in tithing. They don’t tithe, but they do believe in doing it. And isn’t that what really matters anyway?

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