Wingnuts fret it's Obamaphones all over again.
President Biden yesterday announced that 20 internet companies will start providing low-cost broadband internet service to low-income Americans, as part of a deal growing out of last year's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The infrastructure bill already offered $30-a-month subsidies to help low-income folks pay for internet (the subsidy increases to $75 in tribal areas). Those subsidies are available to millions of people. Now, the 20 internet providers will set up a new tier of broadband plans that cost just $30 per month, so with the subsidy, the plans will will be free for as many as 48 million families.
At a White House Rose Garden event yesterday, Biden said, "High speed internet is not a luxury any longer. It’s a necessity." The AP adds,
Biden noted that families of four earning about $55,000 annually — or those including someone eligible for Medicaid — will get a $30 monthly credit, meaning about 40 percent of Americans will qualify.
The subsidies, through the Affordable Connectivity Program, were a top goal for Biden and other supporters of the infrastructure bill, particularly as the pandemic highlighted the "digital divide" that means low-income homes don't have reliable internet access. That was dramatically illustrated by a viral August 2020 photo showing two little girls sitting on a curb outside a Taco Bell so they could use the restaurant's wifi to do homework on school-issued laptops.
2 of our children trying to get WiFi for their classes outside a Taco Bell in East Salinas! We must do better & solve this digital divide once &for all for all California students\n\nCALIFORNIA NEEDS A UNIVERSAL BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE BOND FOR OUR STUDENTS\nhttps://link.medium.com/7Ir6Dyo5f9\u00a0pic.twitter.com/cAbXNJ6F7x— Luis Alejo\u2696\ufe0f (@Luis Alejo\u2696\ufe0f) 1598423880
Biden referred to similar scenes in his remarks, noting that families had also resorted to parking outside fast food restaurants just so kids could do their homework, and adding that telemedicine had become a vital part of healthcare delivery during the pandemic. He was not afraid to get folksy, either:
You know, the need for high-speed Internet is — is a little bit like what used to be probably what my grandfather talked about: needing to have a telephone. It’s pretty consequential. And it’s only going to keep growing, this need. High-speed Internet is not a luxury any longer, it’s a necessity.
The AP notes that the 20 internet providers who agreed to lower rates for low-income folks
provide service in areas where 80% of the U.S. population, including 50% of the rural population, live, the president said. Participating companies that offer service on tribal lands are providing $75 rates in those areas, the equivalent of the federal government subsidy in those areas.
Consumers can check to see if they qualify for the new service at getinternet.gov, which also includes a link to apply for the program. Basically, it's available to families making up to 200 percent of the poverty level, which varies with family size. People also qualify if they're already participating in several federal anti-poverty programs, like Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), free or reduced-price school lunches, and even Pell Grant education support. Full list and application linky here, or people can also call (877) 384-2575.
This could be a heckin' big deal, as the AP points out:
“It might be a game-changer,” said Marty Newell, coordinator for Rural Broadband Policy at the Center for Rural Strategies in Whitesburg, Kentucky, where he said slow internet has plagued residents and businesses alike.
Newell said he wanted to see more about what the program will mean going forward, but that his main question is — given that increased broadband access has generally been a bipartisan issue in Congress -- “What took them so long?”
The infrastructure law also provides funding to build out broadband in rural areas where internet is currently slow or unavailable, which is sorely needed so that folks can get access to Wonkette and clear out the cobwebs from watching all that Fox News. The infrastructure law provided $65 billion for expanding broadband; most of it will go to grants for states to improve their networks, even if red state governors brag about how great that is but barely mention where the money came from.
Biden also said the administration would continue working to increase competition in the broadband market, to bring lower prices to all internet users. Among those initiatives is an effort to end exclusive internet deals where landlords only allow renters to choose one internet provider in places where several options are available. And, of course, getting broadband built where it's currently not available at all.
All told, this is pretty damn good for America.
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Shout it if you need to.
You may have noticed that in the last few days, Yr Wonkette has made a bit of a stink about the term "choice" as a euphemism for "abortion." We've praised Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams both for talking about the right to abortion, and Yr Editrix, in Thursday morning's Tabs, said it's high time we "stop with the focus-grouped, mealymouthed 'right to choose.' (Choose what, choose Jif?)"
A number of folks took issue with that in the comments we don't allow, while others also were none too happy with New York magazine's Rebecca Traister for taking Democratic leaders to task for their seeming unwillingness to say "abortion." (To be sure, a number of comments focused more on how it might be bad strategy to criticize Dem leaders in an election year, also too.)
So we figured this might be a job for a Doktor of Rhetoric. Words matter, language matters, and Crom knows that ever since Frank Luntz and Newt Gingrich teamed up in 1994 to talk about the "death tax" and to make "liberal" the dirtiest word in politics, Republicans have made a dark art of finding terms that will set off electric storms in the amygdalae of rightwing voters, inflaming their emotions with language that will move the base to support policies that help the party's big donors.
A quarter century later, it's starting to feel like framing abortion rights as the "right to choose" is perhaps tainted by the same defensive reflex that led Bill Clinton to proclaim that the "era of big government is over," as he caved to the Right on "welfare reform," ushering in a regime of harsh new barriers to helping people who needed help. Speaking of a "right to choose" almost feels like a concession to the Luntzians: Instead of whole-heartedly saying abortion is essential to freedom and bodily autonomy, "choice" seems to euphemize, as if accepting the Right's insistence that abortion is shameful, a moral failing, the choice of people who should have kept their legs shut and not gotten in trouble.
This isn't to say that "choice" or "pro choice" is a bad term in itself; it's a convenient shorthand that will likely stay around for some time. But it's also good to see the shift toward people talking about abortion without hesitation or guilt, too.
As Heather Young, who had an abortion when she was 17, told CNN for a story that ran just the day before the draft decision leaked,
We need to quit tip-toeing around the word abortion. People need to know that people have abortions for all reasons, not just life or death situations. I was 17, scared. I would probably not be here today if it wasn’t for my mother and doctors who helped me.
Saying "the right to abortion" instead of "to choose" has a similar feel to the 2015 #ShoutYourAbortion social media campaign, which encouraged people to talk openly about why they'd had abortions and how it made a difference in their lives. Popularized by feminists Amelia Bonow and Lindy West after yet another GOP effort to defund Planned Parenthood, the campaign inspired thousands to talk about abortion openly, with the goal of destigmatizing and normalizing it. That led in turn to Bonow and West forming the Shout Your Abortion nonprofit, which offers a very direct message: "We are out here. We are having abortions, and we are talking about them, at whatever volume we choose. It’s time for us to take back our own stories."
I absolutely get why "pro-choice" emerged as the alternative to the demonstrably empty term "pro-life," and particularly as an alternative to "pro-abortion." Heck, who wants to say they're in favor of abortion? So we got "I'm not pro-abortion; I'm in favor of protecting the right of women to have an abortion." But there's also a sense that it concedes rhetorical ground to abortion opponents, when if anything, those who want to take away the right to abortion are the ones who've been hiding behind a euphemism from the get-go.
When my very Catholic mother bundled me up and took me to a candlelight anti-abortion vigil when I was maybe 11 or 12, I know that I was sickened at the idea that people were killing babies. It's very easy to have absolute moral clarity when you're a child. But the Evangelical-driven political movement to do away with abortion rights has always been more about rightwing power than about "life" — after all, until the Religious Right seized on abortion as a wedge issue in the late 1970s, most Evangelicals, and most Republicans, supported Roe. Getting conservative Protestants to join Catholics in opposing abortion was a marriage of convenience that would be helpful in pursuing more immediate rightwing goals like preserving tax breaks for segregationist schools, and for that matter, building support for the segregationist church-run schools that sprang up in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education.
Yoking Evangelicals to the anti-abortion cause succeeded far beyond the dreams of the rightwing activists who started it, and ending abortion supplanted segregation as the Right's driving force, although the racism remained a cherished part of the culture war agenda, too. Were some people truly committed to "pro-life" ideology and the cult of the fetus? Certainly. The Right really does want to stop every last abortion if it can.
But misogyny and hatred of women's independence were constant handmaids, as it were, and that too was reflected in the language surrounding the issue, which sought to turn fetuses into humans with full rights, while dismissing people with wombs as vessels for the "pre-born child" at best, and to demonize them as murderers, or callous airheads who might terminate a pregnancy to fit into a cute dress, Doctors, of course, became villains who performed "partial birth abortions" or might even "rip a baby from the womb" at any moment prior to birth, as if anyone would carry a pregnancy nearly to term and then decide to have an abortion on a whim, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars because abortions late in pregnancy are performed only by a few specialists.
If the term "pro-life" felt like a smokescreen for most of the last 40 years, it was truly given the lie by the COVID epidemic, as Republicans made absolutely clear that they had little interest in preventing the virus from spreading, and indeed tried to suggest that Grandma Millie should be happy to die of COVID if it helped the country's GDP. Not that pointing out the hypocrisy mattered, because the Evangelicals knew it was a linguistic pretense all along.
I also can't help but think that the GOP death cult's decision to snottily coopt the language of abortion rights — "bodily autonomy" and "My body, my choice" — for the sake of not wearing masks or not getting vaccinated may also have helped sour a lot of us on the language of "choice." If the same phrase can apply to the right to have an abortion and to ignoring public health, then why not just come right out and say "abortion" so there's no confusion?
The draft opinion overturning Roe (and Planned Parenthood v. Casey) makes clear that the Right isn't about to bother pretending it's restrained by precedent or law. The Trump administration and its "alternative facts" made clear that the very nature of reality is just, like, your opinion, man, so why not be absolutely clear that the right to abortion is what's at stake here, not an abstraction like "choice."
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Supreme Court's Dobbs Decision Is SO BAD (How Bad Is It?) That It's Really Really Really Fucking Bad
Lawsplaining from this drunken puddle on the floor.
Welp. Roe v. Wade is dead.
This isn't surprising to anyone who has been paying attention. But it's still shocking.
For half a century, Roe has protected the right to terminate a pregnancy. By the end of June (the end of SCOTUS opinion season), that will be over.
The draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health comes out and says:
"We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including [...] the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."
The usual suspects are in the majority, with John Roberts remaining the wildcard. "A person familiar with the court's deliberations" (unclear whether it's the same person who leaked the draft) told Politico that, unsurprisingly, Samuel Alito, Amy Coat Hanger, Kegs, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas are in the majority that just can't wait to see women dying from unsafe back-alley abortions. Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan are dissenting. And no one has any idea WTF John Roberts is thinking, which sounds about right.
This is the first time in modern history that a draft opinion has been leaked. And who leaked it and why remains a mystery. But one thing is certain: It's just as bad as we thought it would be.
Sorry, women. Hope you weren't planning on having any rights in the years to come.
Okay, let's talk about just how bad this fucking thing is.
Written by none other than #WorstJustice Samuel Alito, who has no doubt been dreaming of taking away women's reproductive rights since he was still in the womb himself, the draft refers to abortion providers as "abortionists," says Roe was "egregiously wrong," and talks about medieval notions of a fetus "quickening." (Yes, really.)
This piece of garbage, I shit you not, goes back to English common law cases from the 1200s to support its conclusion that women aren't really people with rights. Because obviously nothing has happened in the intervening time that we might want to take into consideration when discussing things like the fundamental human right to bodily autonomy.
Yes, this is just as dystopian, sexist, draconian, and horrifying as it sounds. At one point, Alito compares the right to privacy laid out in Roe to "licens[ing] fundamental rights to illicit drug use, prostitution, and the like." So that's the kind of good faith and intellectual honesty we're dealing with here.
This motherfucker compares Roe to Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 case that upheld segregation – because subjecting African Americans to legalized second-class status and legally guaranteeing bodily autonomy are totally the same thing.
There are so many reasons a person may need or want an abortion. And guess what? Unless you are that woman, those reasons are none of your god damn business.
But Samuel Alito and his buddies think it's NBD to be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against your will. And don't you worry, he is all too happy to very condescendingly explain why. Because you see, anti-abortion extremists argue:
"that attitudes about the pregnancy of unmarried women have changed drastically; that federal and state laws ban discrimination on the basis of pregnancy; that leave for pregnancy and childbirth are now guaranteed by law in many cases, that the costs of medical care associated with pregnancy are covered by insurance or government assistance; that states have increasingly adopted 'safe haven' laws, which generally allow women to drop off babies anonymously; and that a woman who puts her newborn up for adoption today has little reason to fear that the baby will not find a suitable home."
And that all makes forced pregnancy totally fine and great!
There's a lot to unpack there, from Alito's discussion of social welfare programs he and his brethren would love to gut, to his complete ignorance of pregnancy and childbirth in the United States and even his delightful non sequitur about medical care being "guaranteed" "in many cases." We have the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed nation, a worse racial disparity in maternal mortality than before the Civil War, no paid maternity leave, no universal healthcare, no universal childcare, and more than 11 million children already living in poverty.
“The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions. On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973.”
Is Alito concerned that his opinion will result not only in abortion restrictions but full-on criminalization of abortion? No. No, he is not.
And let's not let an opportunity to infantilize women pass us by.
"Women are not without electoral or political power. It is noteworthy that the percentage of women who register to vote and cast ballots is consistently higher than the percentage of men who do so."
Please ignore them gutting the right to vote, it's not important right now.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
WELL ISN'T THAT JUST A GREAT POINT, SAMMY. I'M SURE THIS ABORTION OF AN OPINION WILL DEFINITELY NOT DEEPEN DIVISION, YOU ABSOLUTE TWAT.
Of course, all of these extremist judges are going to pretend that they are just very serious about doing their jobs and not legislating from the bench, and that is why they are going to overrule precedent that's half a century old and has changed millions of lives for the better.
“We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey. And even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision. We can only do our job, which is to interpret the law, apply longstanding principles of stare decisis, and decide this case accordingly. We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.”
Where's that deep-seated concern about "JUDICIAL ACTIVISM" now, FedSoc shitheads?
Any terrible opinion about abortion, obviously, must include something about "potential life," just to really drive home the point that these people find the idea of "potential life" that much more important than the lives of living, breathing women and pregnant people.
"What sharply distinguishes the abortion right from the rights recognized in the cases on which Roe and Casey rely is something that both those decisions acknowledged: Abortion destroys what those decisions call 'potential life' and what the law at issue in this case regards as the life of an 'unborn human being.'"
You want to talk about "potential life," Sam? Just wait until I tell you about my proposed ban on male ejaculation except when in furtherance of a notarized agreement to procreate.
Alito also writes that the other due process cases like Loving v. Virginia (legalizing interracial marriage), Skinner v. Oklahoma (no involuntary sterilization), Griswold v. Connecticut (legalizing birth control for married women), and Eisenstadt v. Baird (legalizing birth control for unmarried women) are different because "none of these decisions involved what is distinctive about abortion: its effect on what Roe termed 'potential life.'"
This, of course, entirely ignores reality, where anti-woman extremists have been happily going after birth control for years, often using the "potential life" bullshit. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, a less fascist version of this decision, the Court rubber-stamped Hobby Lobby deciding certain forms of birth control were "abortifacients," despite no medical evidence to back up their claim. Politicians are already excitedly talking about how they want to throw women in prison for using birth control. Oh, and did I mention that the five members of the Court we know are in the majority belong to a religion that says birth control is a sin — and are clearly all too happy to base their judicial opinions on their personal religious beliefs?
But sure. This is just about abortion. Mmm-hmm. I totally believe you. It has nothing to do with controlling women and the female reproductive system.
But wait! It gets worse!
The part that talks about how abortion bans are totally great and fine is also just wonderful — and tells states exactly what kind of bullshit arguments they should invoke when enacting their authoritarian restrictions on women's bodies.
Because "procuring an abortion is not a fundamental constitutional right[,]" writes Alito, "[i]t follows that the States may regulate abortion for legitimate reasons" and "respect for a legislature's judgment applies even when the laws at issue concern matters of great social significance and moral substance."
Women's lives be damned.
"A law regulating abortion, like other health and welfare laws, is entitled to a strong presumption of validity. It must be sustained if there is a rational basis on which the legislature could have thought that it would serve legitimate state interests."
We remember how much "presumption of validity" the Court gave to health laws during the pandemic. Because it was this year.
And yes, that standard is just as easy to satisfy as it sounds. Abortion restrictions will be nearly impossible to challenge. Particularly given the list of things Alito says are totally justifiable reasons to force little girls to give birth against their will:
"These legitimate interests include respect for and preservation of prenatal life at all stages of development; the protection of maternal health and safety; the elimination of particularly gruesome or barbaric medical procedures; the preservation of the integrity of the medical procession; the mitigation of fetal pain; and the prevention of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or disability."In other words, HAVE AT IT! I mean, women and those with uteruses aren't really "people" anyway, right?
I really can't stress enough how bad this is.
But even without a federal ban, pregnant women across the country will be endangered — whether the pregnancy is wanted or not. Let's be clear on what abortion bans really mean. They mean deaths and horrific injuries from unsafe abortions. They mean rape victims — including children — being forced to carry their rapist's child to term, and sometimes also forced to co-parent with them. And they mean women dying because doctors won't induce a miscarriage.
Forced-birthers are so extreme, they are all too happy to roll with "pregnant women should just die." In Missouri, Republican lawmakers want to make it a felony to try to save the life of a woman with an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, like in the fallopian tube or ovary. There is no chance of an ectopic pregnancy ending in a live birth and a very high chance that the pregnant woman will die without having an abortion.
And if you think that this is only about abortion, you haven't been paying attention. When abortion is criminalized, so is pregnancy. So are miscarriages. We are already seeing radical extremist prosecutors throwing murder charges at women who miscarry. In states that ban abortion, it will become routine for police to investigate the circumstances of miscarriages.
And meanwhile, women will have fewer rights when they are pregnant than when they are dead.
Sally Rooney writing in 2018 on the Irish abortion ban. "Consent, in the form of a donor card, is required even to remove organs from a dead body.... In the relationship between fetus and woman, the woman is granted fewer rights than a corpse." \nhttps://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v40/n10/sally-rooney/an-irish-problem\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/nNmbfN9CCb— Alexandra Schwartz (@Alexandra Schwartz) 1651544870
Oh, and hey there, everyone who has rolled their eyes at us and called us hysterical or dramatic when we talked about Roe being in danger: DO YOU FUCKING BELIEVE US NOW?!
For more abortion rants and doom and gloom, follow Jamie on Twitter! (And cats. Lots of cats.)
Not afraid to be servicey.
With the US Supreme Court preparing to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade and 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions, the right to abortion will quickly be eliminated in more than half the states in the US. Assuming that the general shape of the draft opinion leaked to Politico remains in place, the Court isn't prepared to preserve any protections at all for those seeking abortions, either: No mandate to include exceptions for rape, incest, or even to save the life of the pregnant person, so those will also be left up to the states.
Further, as the Washington Post reported Monday, even before the Politico story broke, Republicans are already planning a national abortion ban (free link) for whenever they retake both houses of Congress and the presidency. Any states that have moved to protect the right to abortion will only be safe havens for the rest of the country until a minority of Americans produce a Republican majority in the Electoral College. With voting restrictions, gerrymanders, and the built-in Senate advantage for small states, a minority of Americans could also vote in a Republican takeover of Congress, too.
Red States, You Sound Triggered
As the Guttmacher Institute details, 26 states are likely to move quickly to ban most abortions once the Supreme Court overturns Roe. It's a certainty in 22 states, which have various combinations of pre-Roe abortion bans, "trigger" laws that would ban most abortions as soon as the SCOTUS rules, and laws passed after Roe (several of which have been put on hold by federal courts). It's extremely likely in another four states that have a long history of anti-abortion legislation, but which still have to pass laws that would snap a ban into place once Roe falls. A few other states might join them or not, too, depending on upcoming elections.
Here's a more detailed overview of the types of abortion bans; keep in mind that several of the states are so eager to force people to give birth that they have passed multiple forms of abortion restrictions.
- Nine states never repealed their pre-Roe abortion bans, which have gone unenforced since 1973.
- 13 states have passed "trigger" laws that would ban most abortions and which will go into effect the moment Roe is overturned.
- Nine states have passed abortion restrictions that are unconstitutional under Roe, and have been blocked by courts. Those laws could go into effect with a simple court order once the Supreme Court eliminates Roe.
- Seven states have slightly more wiggly versions of trigger laws, which "express the intent to restrict the right to legal abortion to the maximum extent permitted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the absence of Roe." Once a ruling is in place, those states would quickly pass legislation banning abortion as strictly as possible.
- Four states have constitutional amendments that declare the right to abortion is not protected under the state constitution. Those are aimed at heading off any challenges to abortion restrictions in state courts once Roe is gone.
For a breakdown of how those various mechanisms have been enacted in the 22 states, see here, keeping in mind that some states have multiple anti-abortion laws. Disturbingly, several of them lack any exceptions for rape or incest, although nearly all include an exception to save the life of the pregnant person.
In addition to those states, Guttmacher notes, another four states are almost certain to ban nearly all abortions the moment they can, based on their history of anti-abortion laws: Florida, Indiana, Montana, and Nebraska. North Carolina has a pre-Roe abortion ban still on the books, but "it is unclear if the state’s law would be implemented quickly."
Also of note: Michigan has a 1931 law banning all abortions, with no exceptions at all (not even to save the life of the pregnant person). It would technically go back into place when Roe is overturned, but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has sued in state court to have it declared in violation of Michigan's state constitution. In addition, state Attorney General Dana Nessel has stated several times that even if Roe is overturned, she would not enforce the 1931 law. The county prosecutors in seven Michigan counties have also stated support for overturning the 1931 law, adding that they will not enforce it either if Roe falls. That includes the prosecutors for the state's most populous two counties, Wayne and Oakland, which include much of the Detroit metro area.
On the pro-choice side, 16 states and the District of Columbia have laws or constitutional provisions protecting the right to abortion. Four of those states protect abortion rights throughout pregnancy, and another 12 permit abortions through fetal viability, or at any time to protect the pregnant person's life or health.
But Wait, It Could Get Even Worse
In the states that don't ban abortion outright, right away, the post-Roe environment could still include more severe restrictions on abortion in some states, depending on what happens in coming elections and legislative sessions. But even the states that have explicit protections for abortion could find their laws overruled if Republicans get the next item on their wish list, a national law banning abortion. (Free Washington Post linky for you.)
The Post reports that once Roe is gone, the goal will shift from winning legal battles to electing a Republican majority in Congress and a GOP president, so that a national ban can be passed. None of this permissive stuff allowing abortions up to 15 weeks, as in the Mississippi law that the Supremes are planning to uphold; if the complete extirpation of Roe and Casey in Samuel Alito's draft holds up, there won't really be any protections left for abortion rights at all, so opponents of abortion will doubtless seek the most restrictive law they can possibly pass.
The Post article, written before the leak of the draft, suggests that something like Texas's bill banning abortion at six weeks might become the national standard:
While a number of states have recently approved laws to ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy [...] some activists and Republican lawmakers now say those laws are not ambitious enough for the next phase of the antiabortion movement. Instead, they now see the six-week limit — which they call “heartbeat” legislation — as the preferred strategy because it would prevent far more abortions. [...]
A group of Republican senators has discussed at multiple meetings the possibility of banning abortion at around six weeks, said Sen. James Lankford (Okla.), who was in attendance and said he would support the legislation. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) will introduce the legislation in the Senate[.]
And what the hell, depending on the exact language of the final Supreme Court decision, there's little reason to think Republicans would even stop there if they can get the votes in both houses and a president who'll sign it.
The story notes that Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the extreme anti-abortion group "Susan B. Anthony List," has been meeting with likely GOP presidential candidates to persuade them to support a national abortion ban.
Most of them, she said in an interview, assured her they would be supportive of a national ban and would be eager to make that policy a centerpiece of a presidential campaign.
That includes Donald Trump, of course, who'll support anything that he thinks will get rightwing votes, including, we assume, public executions of doctors and nurses, and maybe those seeking abortions. He'll just float that as a "joke," because he has such a great sense of humor.
The Post article notes, presumably for the sake of hollow mordant laughs, that a national abortion ban would
be extraordinarily difficult to pass, particularly given the need for 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster under current rules. Such a measure would encounter resistance from nearly all Democrats in addition to a handful of Republicans, who might raise questions about its constitutionality.
We think it's really cute they'd write a paragraph assuming the filibuster would last five minutes in a GOP-controlled Senate that smelled the chance of eliminating abortion rights with a simple majority.
And yes, the story does note that any move to impose a national abortion ban "could ignite liberal activists who would be energized to push back against the prospect." And sure, it would.
But again, with the Supreme Court signaling its readiness to allow any and all restrictions on abortion, and to throw out the very idea that the Constitution includes a right to privacy, there's little reason to think that Republicans won't push for the most extreme limits possible if they can manage even a single term in control of the other two branches of government. How long would such a ban last? Maybe only until the election of a new president and Congress.
But why would Republicans risk that happening, either? Plenty are already finished with democracy, and if an autocracy is needed to save the babies, all the more reason to go full Republic of Gilead.
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