The Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade has sparked a frenzy of activity on both sides of the abortion fight, with anti-abortion forces pledging to push for near-total bans in every state across the country and abortion rights groups abortion insisting they would. Harness the rage over the decision to take to the streets, fight back in court, and push the Biden administration to do more to protect abortion rights.
The court said Friday’s decision was necessary because of what it called a half-century of bitter national controversy sparked by Roe, but its ruling sparked more immediate and widespread resentment and mobilization than the original decision. – and guaranteed pitched battles and extraordinary division. ahead.
The maneuver was already underway.
In Florida, where the legislature recently passed a 15-week abortion ban, lawmakers pushed Governor Ron DeSantis to call a special session to consider a six-week ban.
The National Committee for the Right to Life promoted model legislation for state bans and renewed calls for its original, larger goal of a constitutional amendment banning abortion nationwide. She and other anti-abortion groups also pledged to punish prosecutors who said they would not enforce the abortion ban.
They promised other measures to limit access to abortion, including pushing for legislation prohibiting people from crossing state lines to get abortions or getting abortion pills in states where they are. illegal.
Abortion rights groups were returning to court with a hearing on Monday where they seek an injunction to stop Florida’s 15-week ban from taking effect. They promised court battles over so-called tripping bans that went into effect on Friday after the Supreme Court ruling.
The Women’s March, which rallied hundreds of thousands after Donald J. Trump became president in 2017, pledged street protests in a ‘summer of rage’ and said it would support major challenges to the Democrats whom she considered complicit in the appointment of the conservative Supreme. Judicial majority.
On Monday, California state lawmakers are expected to put on the ballot a state constitutional amendment that would explicitly protect reproductive rights. In Michigan, where Governor Gretchen Whitmer has sued to stop a nearly century-old abortion ban from taking effect, activists were collecting signatures on a ballot initiative that would enshrine the right abortion in the state constitution.
“We’re going, we’re going all out,” Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat, said in “Face the Nation With Margaret Brennan.” “It’s a fight time like hell.”
Abortion rights supporters might rejoice in what appears to be widespread public disapproval of Friday’s decision. A CBS News/YouGov poll taken immediately after the court issued its ruling shows that Americans saw it as a “step backwards” for the nation by more than 20 percentage points.
Nearly 60% of Americans and two-thirds of women disapproved of the decision, according to the poll. Fifty-eight percent said they would approve of a federal law making abortion legal.
And 56% of women said the decision would make women’s lives worse, according to the poll, far more than the 16% who said it would make women’s lives better.
But, opponents of abortion, celebrating their biggest victory in nearly 50 years since Roe, felt like they were on a roll.
Kristan Hawkins, president of the anti-abortion group Students for Life of America, said his main focus now would be to prevent pregnant women from getting abortion pills as a workaround to the bans. He had also discussed a bill, modeled on a Texas law that since September has banned abortion after six weeks, that would allow civilians to sue anyone who provides abortion services to across state borders.
“Ultimately, our mission in the pro-life movement is to make abortion unthinkable and unavailable in our country,” Ms Hawkins said.
The waves of joy and anger kicked off immediately after Friday’s decision and continued all weekend, on the airwaves and in pulpits and at protests in the sweltering summer heat.
A thousand protesters holding signs and chanting opposed the court ruling outside the State Capitol in Oklahoma City, where Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed a total ban on abortion last month, in anticipation of the annulment of Roe by the court.
Hundreds of people turned out to support abortion rights at rallies in Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery in deeply conservative Alabama. Leaders of the rally outside the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville urged the crowd not to pay attention or interact with a group of anti-abortion protesters who tried to break up the rally.
Denunciations of the court’s decision resounded at events concluding Gay Pride month across the country. A contingent of Planned Parenthood supporters led the raucous Pride Parade through midtown Manhattan, chanting, “Rise up for abortion rights!” At the Pride event in San Francisco, City Supervisor Rafael Mandelman told the crowd that while they could party for the day, “tomorrow we have work to do!” Even those in California, he said, could campaign for congressional candidates in other states.
“If we want to change what happened on Friday, we all have to work,” he said. “We can knock on doors and we can elect Democrats and we can protect Democrats.”
For many conservatives, Sunday was a day of celebration
At the Austin Baptist Church in Texas, the Reverend Jonathan Spencer dedicated his two morning sermons to celebrating the court’s decision.
“I rejoice with the Lord in his mercy and grace for helping to end what I believe to be one of the greatest tragedies of our generation,” he told his congregants, saying more than 63 million children have been killed because of abortion since Roe.
“That doesn’t end the battle,” he said. “Abortion is still happening and people will still have these procedures.”
His message was well received among the congregation. “I thought he was perfectly on point,” said Dawn Church, 49. Of the court’s decision, she said, “I’m delighted.”
But in other congregations there were other messages.
At Mount Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, Bishop Joseph Walker III blessed several babies in a dedication ceremony, before calling on the women of the large, mostly black congregation to stand and be applauded.
He recognized women for the role they have long played “on the front lines of so many battles and fights” nationally and globally and pledged more prayers for them.
“Look at these beautiful babies, life is a blessing,” he said. “At the end of the day, no one has the right to tell you what to do with you. It’s between you and God.
Tameka Gibson, 45, praised her support. “I believe in pro-choice,” she said. “I believe it’s a decision between people and God.” She disagreed with the direction Tennessee was taking; its ban on inducing abortion went into effect on Friday.
“It’s all upside down,” she said.
The protests have been mostly peaceful, although sporadic violence has been reported. A Staten Island grocery store worker was arrested Sunday after punching Rudolph W. Giuliani in the back while the former mayor was campaigning on behalf of his son, a Republican gubernatorial candidate. Mr. Giuliani said he was walking through a ShopRite grocery store when the employee slapped his back and said, “You’re going to kill women.”
But as the nation absorbed the gravity of the moment – the rare occasion the court took away a constitutional right – there were scenes of doubt, nuance and at times a desire to find common ground, or at least understand those who had different and deeply held feelings. views.
During the service at Nashville’s Cathedral of the Incarnation on Sunday morning with her husband and 5-month-old daughter, Katie Fullan said she supports the court’s decision. “But I also had mixed feelings,” she said. “I have a lot of friends, colleagues, neighbors who are very distressed by this, and I feel like I really empathize with them and understand where they’re coming from.”
And while she supported the state’s decision to ban abortion, she believed laws should also be passed on paid maternity leave, subsidized child care and financial support for food. and housing for those in need.
“A lot of the reasons women need abortions are because of the lack of support to raise children,” Ms Fullan said. “The difficulties that come with pregnancy and recovery, it’s going to be tough even with paid health care and paid child care.”
At the Brethren’s Church on a rural highway in Jefferson Township, Ohio, the congregation is split roughly halfway between black and white members, with a handful of Latino worshipers. Part of the service is delivered in Spanish. And while the church’s positions have always been progressive, members pride themselves on nurturing a diversity of viewpoints.
“I am totally for the Supreme Court’s verdict, I don’t believe in harming innocent children,” said Sharon Sampson.
Terri Griffith said: “I’m very disappointed. This Supreme Court is dangerous.
Yet those on opposite sides had worshiped together and shared the potluck after the service. Jan Putrell, 68, was also present. Although she describes herself as a “radical progressive” on many social issues, she said abortion doesn’t fit the easy categories some make.
“We need a time of discernment,” she said, “to reflect on the verdict.”
Reporting was provided by Jamie McGee, David Montgomery, Kevin Williams, Holly Secon, Luc Vander PloegSydney Cromwell and Ben Fenwick