The Supreme Court seems ready to undo Roe v. Wade, the landmark case recognizing the right to choose abortion, in a matter of weeks, and blue as well as red states are already preparing for what might be coming next: a conflict between states seeking to facilitate out-of-state travel for abortion and those trying to shut it down.
Charlie Dent: I was caught in the uncomfortable middle of the abortion battle
As one of the last two House Republicans who voted in support of women’s reproductive rights, I have a nuanced perspective on abortion.
During my time in Congress, I voted against defunding Planned Parenthood and against the 20-week abortion ban. That pleased pro-choice advocates. But parts of my voting record pleased pro-life advocates, too.
Charlie Dent is a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania who served as chair of the House Ethics Committee from 2015 until 2017 and chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies from 2015 until 2018. He is a CNN political commentator.
Laura Beers: If I’d lived in a post-Roe world, my son might not be here
Since the moment of his birth, my 5-year-old son has been a near unalloyed joy, but the long journey to that moment was anything but joyous. My husband and I started trying for a child in 2013, and I quickly became pregnant. At 10 weeks, I had an unexplained miscarriage. I was rushed to the emergency room where I ultimately had a dilation and curettage, or D&C, to clear my womb of the self-aborted pregnancy.
It took us over a year of trying before I became pregnant again. This time, I made it to the sonogram at the end of my first trimester, when doctors told us our baby had a condition that meant that he would likely die in utero. If he survived, he would only live for at most a few years, in a life spent in and out of the hospital. Ultimately, after extended soul-searching, I decided to abort the pregnancy, for the sake of both my existing family and my unborn son, a heart-wrenching decision I have written about elsewhere.
Alice Stewart: Conservatives held our noses and voted for Trump. Reversing Roe would be our reward
People like me who voted for Trump, in the belief that the Supreme Court ought to be our highest priority, should feel vindicated…
Donald Trump said and did a lot of things I didn’t agree with, but I voted for him to be my president, not my pastor. As far as I am concerned, politics is about policy, not personality.
Alice Stewart is a CNN political commentator and board member at the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard University.
Gina Glantz: This could be a game changer in the November elections
The challenge for Democrats is to capture the current emotion and turn it into organizing against candidates who favor overturning Roe.
Gina Glantz, a long-term Democratic political operative, served as chair of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund from 2011 to 2016 and is the founder of GenderAvenger, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring women are part of the public dialogue.
Nicole Hemmer: There is perhaps no greater farce than Alito’s appeal to democracy
He (Alito) maintains voters, not courts, should decide whether abortion is legal. Overturning Roe, he argues, in fact empowers women, because it “allows women on both sides of the abortion issue to seek to affect the legislative process by influencing public opinion, lobbying legislators, voting, and running for office.”
Matt Villano: Thank goodness I had the choice to be a dad
I became a father at age 34, the culmination of a lifelong dream to become a dad. But I could have become a father at age 19 — and that would have been one of the worst mistakes of my life….
We went to Planned Parenthood. Only my best friend knew. I had money from a job at a fast-food restaurant and I paid. I stood in the waiting room — the seats were full of brown and Black and White faces from all over the city. I read People magazine while we waited. She was crying when she went in. One hour felt like 10. She was stoic when she came out….
Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to raise a baby while attending university. Sometimes I wonder what she’s doing now, if she’s OK, how she remembers it all. For years I felt guilty for putting this woman in the worst possible situation imaginable. Mostly I just think: THANK GOODNESS. Thank goodness she had a choice.
Peniel E. Joseph: The Supreme Court is about to take a huge step away from racial justice
For Black women living in the South, the birthplace of racial slavery and its afterlife that produced health disparities and racist practices such as forced sterilization, the effects of a post-Roe America promise to be particularly acute.
Historically, Black women have lacked access to humane and decent health care. This continues in the present, where even upper-middle-class Black women suffer worse maternal health outcomes than their White economic peers. Why does this happen even in the 21st century?
Paula Ávila-Guillén: For Latin Americans, Roe v. Wade is a fight we’ve been preparing for our whole lives
American citizens who believe in the right to legal abortion can still push back against the Supreme Court’s impending ruling — in fact, we need everybody who cares about human and civil rights and bodily autonomy to get involved.
Abortion funds and states codifying Roe v. Wade are undeniably crucial to the survival of so many, but they can only do so much. Voter participation will be critical, but we need to learn from Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and elsewhere to pressure our elected officials to protect our health and our humanity.
Franchetta Groves: A lot of young women worry about the end of Roe. I would celebrate it
I believe that abortion harms women. It allows men to get off consequence-free after having fathered a child and avoid the responsibilities of fatherhood. It undermines the beauty of motherhood and tells women that their children are a hindrance to their dreams and that life is not a blessing.
After Roe, I believe it will be possible for our nation to be one that doesn’t cast judgment on women who become pregnant, but one that embraces them with love and compassion. And it must also be one that always protects human life and appreciates the intrinsic value of each being from the moment of conception.
Joshua Prager: The groundbreaking and complicated life of Mildred Fay Jefferson
That illegalizing abortion will deepen racial inequities is an uncomfortable reality for those who propose doing so. It is no surprise then that, in the run-up to the upcoming Supreme Court decision on abortion, leading pro-life organizations have testified to their own diversity. Those testimonies invariably invoke the same woman: Mildred Fay Jefferson, a pro-life leader and the first Black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School. In the last few months, the National Right to Life Committee honored her, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List wrote of her in an opinion piece and Americans United for Life published a guide to pro-life legislation under an imprint it named for her: Mildred Press.
Holly Thomas: With ‘fetal personhood,’ a miscarriage can lead to a prison sentence
If Roe is overturned, a number of states have trigger laws in place that will almost immediately make abortion illegal. The broad drafting of some abortion trigger laws defines the start of pregnancy as the moment of fertilization, thereby encompassing not only fetuses but also embryos and even fertilized eggs. This degree of protection, persistently advocated for by the personhood movement, creates a legal quagmire with potentially terrifying ramifications.
Criminalizing abortion opens the door for people to be charged with murder or manslaughter for miscarriages over which they have no control. Since Roe, there have been hundreds of instances in which a woman’s pregnancy has been a decisive factor in attempted and actual deprivations of her physical liberty.