Friday, April 15, 2022

The Republican War On Women: Racing To Nullify Roe

Encouraged by a presumed decision by the fascist Catholic majority on the Supreme Court, Republican states are racing to nullify Roe v Wade:

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida on Thursday signed into law a ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, severely restricting access to the procedure in a state that has long been a refuge for women from across the South.

The new law, which takes effect on July 1, is modeled after a similar abortion ban in Mississippi that the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to uphold. It contains exceptions only in cases where an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother or prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.

The new Florida law is the latest in a cascade of restrictive abortion legislation proposed in Republican-led states. On Wednesday, lawmakers in Kentucky overturned the governor’s veto of a measure restricting abortions after 15 weeks and prohibiting providers from offering abortions until they can meet certain requirements.

And on Tuesday, Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma signed legislation making it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to perform an abortion in the state.

The bill’s enactment came after Oklahoma became a haven for Texans seeking abortions after Texas enacted a ban on most procedures last fall, the most far-reaching abortion restrictions to go into effect since the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.

A number of other states, all controlled by Republicans (read: right- wing white men), are also in the process of passing similar laws that would effectively end a woman's right to a safe and (until now) legal abortion.  Until recently, one could argue that the energy on the issue has been with the anti- abortion crowd.  But polling is revealing that it's now an issue that motivates Democrats more than Republicans.  From FiveThirtyEight:

Abortion has long motivated Republicans as a political issue. But following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in early September not to block Texas’s new law banning most abortions once an ultrasound can detect cardiac activity, usually about six weeks into a pregnancy, many have argued that Democrats may become more motivated by reproductive rights. As one Republican pollster recently told the Associated Press, “It is going to be a very motivating issue for women who haven’t typically been single-issue pro-choice voters.”

Tracking data from The Economist/YouGov seems to support this viewpoint. In each weekly survey since February, respondents were asked about the importance of abortion, and as we see in the chart below, the issue has become increasingly more important to Democrats and less important to Republicans ever since.

There's a simple reason for this: when people lose a significant right, they're more likely to take notice and take action.  There's hardly a right more significant than a woman's control of her reproductive freedom.

Now it's up to Democrats not to wait until the Republican SCOTUS issues its decision in the Mississippi case, but to start mobilizing newly energized voters to fight back and get to the polls in November and beyond.

(Photo: The Republican paradise/ Jim LoScalzo/EPA/AAP)

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