Roe and the Right Wing Assault on Freedom
Overturning Roe v. Wade is just the beginning of a broader assault on personal freedom
A lot has been said and will be said about the Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and rescind a Constitutional Right that has been in place for a half-century. We knew this was coming the moment Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat.
It is notable and painfully ironic that the Court overturned Roe less than 24 hours after enshrining a heretofore nonexistent Constitutional Right to carry a gun in public. After the leak of the draft opinion last month, I wrote about some important, albeit deeply unsatisfying, ways to fight back against the Right Wing’s effort to criminalize abortion.
Rebecca Traister and others wrote about what this moment means, how lives are endangered, and how we ended up at this point.
There are no easy answers; no satisfactory responses; and no shortcuts to restoring Roe. Today’s decision is also not the end. It is the beginning of a broader Right Wing assault on people’s freedom. But don’t take my word for it. Justice Thomas also said as much. Quint Forgey and Josh Gerstein wrote in Politico:
In his concurring opinion, Thomas, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, wrote that the justices “should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell” — referring to three cases having to do with Americans’ fundamental privacy, due process and equal protection rights.
The Right is using every means necessary from gerrymandering to a rigged court to violent insurrection to turn back the clock in America. This fight will define the next several elections.
Right Wing Revanchism
Despite what you read in the political press, progressives are winning the broader cultural war. In 2004, President George W. Bush won reelection in part because he supported a bigoted effort to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage. By 2012, Obama easily won reelection as a supporter of marriage equality. Americans went from fearful to broadly accepting of marriage equality over a very short period of time. This chart from Gallup shows just how rapidly the shift occurred.
For years, abortion has been treated by the political pundits as one of the most divisive issues in American politics. But that depiction dramatically undersells the broad and growing opposition to overturning Roe v. Wade. A recent Data for Progress poll found that voters want the court to uphold Roe by a 28-point margin. According to Pew Research data, opposition to overturning Roe grew by 10 points from 1992-2019.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Message Box to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.