If there is a lesson to be learned from trigger laws in 13 states that would immediately ban abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, as seems likely with the publication Monday night by Politico of a leaked preliminary majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, it is that elections—on municipal, county, state and school board levels—matter. Those 13 states are among 23 that have placed restrictions on access to abortions.
For too long Democrats have ceded these fertile election fields to Republicans, resulting in conservative victories in drawing up election maps, in setting education standards, in implementing fiscal policy, in providing healthy care and in taking advantage of, or rejecting, federal government programs.
In other words, complacency can kill. By not turning out to vote in elections they deemed less important than presidential contests, Democrats and left-leaning voters have consigned too many states to regressive government and enabled too many conservatives to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
The whirlwind of dissent to Alito’s manuscript is not unexpected but sadly too little, too late. From my social media feeds, here are some of the more cogent commentaries you might not have seen:
From Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun: “I do not believe that just because you are opposed to abortion, that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, a child educated, a child housed. Andy why would you think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.” (Posted by Occupy Democrats)
From Sam Cohen, actor: “Pro-Life would be 20 Sandy Hook Students starting high school.”
From Leila Cohan, Co-EP at Netflix: “If it was about babies, we’d have excellent and free universal maternal care. You wouldn’t be charged a cent to give birth, no matter how complicated your delivery was. If it was about babies, we’d have months and months of parental leave, for everyone.
“If it was about babies, we’d have free lactation consultants, free diapers, free formula. If it was about babies, we’d have free and excellent childcare from newborns on. If it was about babies, we’d have universal preschool and pre-k and guaranteed after school placements.”
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America: “The draft majority Supreme Court opinion disclosed yesterday is an attack on women’s autonomy, freedom and health. When a woman’s right to choose is limited, we also limit her right to safe, informed medical decisions and procedures. If enacted, this decision will have disproportionate impacts for the empowerment, economic equity and security of women in underserved communities.
“Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America reaffirms its unwavering support for full and complete access to reproductive health services and a woman’s right to make health decisions according to her own religious, moral and ethical values.”
From Occupy Democrats: “New Rule” If you ban abortion before you ban military-style assault rifles that massacre children in schools, you’ve lost your right to call yourself “pro-life.”
From Talia Lavin: “This being the culmination of a holy ar that’s been going on since the ‘70s, you should be aware they are coming for absolutely everything that isn’t straight white christian fertile marriage with a submissive, economically dependent and fiscally constrained wife.”
From Dan Rather: “It is no coincidence that the same people who overturn Roe-v-Wade also prevent voting rights and encourage partisan gerrymandering. They fear the will of the majority. In other words, democracy.”
From Motherwell Magazine citing Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When government controls that decision for her, she is being treated less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”
For those who might have missed Stephen Colbert’s outrage Tuesday night, spend a few minutes watching the video of his monologue from Tuesday night, May 3. https://youtu.be/gJCGAA4VYT8