The Democrats Need to Prepare for the Supreme Court to Overturn ‘Roe v. Wade’

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Amy Coney Barrett

At a town hall meeting Monday, Vice President Joe Biden raised the possibility of a Republican-controlled Supreme Court overturning Roe v. calf. Biden said, “The only responsible answer to that would be to pass laws roe the law of the land; I would do that. “

That sounds like a good answer – but it isn’t. This response reflects an establishment that is unwilling to face what a conservative 6-3 court will do for women’s rights. This is a response from a former senator who believes that passing laws is the end of the political struggle, not the beginning of the legal struggle. This response is intended to signal that abortion rights are important, but not to commit to the two things that could actually secure those important rights: the expansion of the court or a constitutional amendment.

Biden is hardly alone. Most Democrats, including Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, supported the idea of ​​”codification Roe v. calf. “The Democratic Party appears to be convinced that a federal law protecting the right to abortion will prevent an adverse Supreme Court from withdrawing and repealing that law.

A federal law would be pointless. It would be like telling the bully, “It’s against the rules to put me in a locker” while he is stuffing you in a locker.

Let me tell you how this is actually going to play out. First of all, “overturn” a decision Roe v. calf will not be the same as an abortion decision illegal. That’s not how conservatives plan it. Their plan is simply to repeal the constitutional “right” to abortion and let states do the rest of the work. Abortion is neither constitutionally protected nor constitutionally prohibited. It is up to states to decide whether pregnancy makes women incubators with no or some rights.

Let’s say the Biden government responds to this likely decision with federal law. What would this law actually look like? The law would likely say that women have a federally protected right to request an abortion before the fetus is viable, and that doctors have the right to provide such services.

That sounds great, except that the federal government doesn’t run hospitals. It is not the federal government that determines who can have a medical license. States do it. While the president and Congress could pass legislation protecting all kinds of widespread reproductive rights, Texas says that abortion doctors must have licensing rights in nearby (state or privately owned) hospitals, or Alabama writes psychological fitness exams for Women before seeking an abortion or Ohio finds that fetus viability begins upon conception. There is not much the federal government can do to stop them. State rights almost always mean that “white cis-straight men have rights; All others are optional. “

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