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Tag: abortion

Anti-Choice GOP Nominee Paid For Ex-Girlfriend’s Abortion

Republicans in Oregon's newly drawn Sixth Congressional District last week chose as their nominee for the House businessman Mike Erickson, an anti-abortion candidate who has been accused of paying for an ex-girlfriend's abortion.

The Associated Press called the Republican primary race for Erickson on Friday after enough votes were counted in the state's all-mail election to determine that he had defeated state Rep. Ron Noble and a handful of other candidates for the nomination.

Oregon's Sixth Congressional District was created based on the results of the 2020 census.

Political analyst Len Bergstein told the Oregon Capital Chronicle that the accusation against Erickson could hurt him in the election.

In 2008, when Erickson ran a failed bid for Oregon's 5th Congressional District, his opponent in the Republican primary revealed that a friend of Erickson's former girlfriend Tawnya had allegedly said in an email in 2006 that Erickson had paid for Tawnya to get an abortion.

"In 2000 (or) 2001, a very close friend of mine had dated Mike. During this time she became pregnant with his child. Mike drove my friend to a (Northeast) Portland abortion clinic, on the way he stopped by an ATM withdrawing $300 for her procedure and dropped her off across the street from the clinic," the woman later told the Oregonian. "In tears, she walked across the street and into the clinic alone. I left work early, met her at the clinic and held her hand through the entire procedure."

Tawnya herself corroborated her friend's account of the abortion, telling the Oregonian, "I asked him, 'Are you sure you don't want a baby?' He shook his head. I opened the door, got out bawling and crossed the street and walked up to the clinic."

Erickson said that he did give Tawnya $300 and drove her to a doctor's office, but claimed he didn't know she was getting an abortion. "Did I pay for an abortion? Absolutely not. ... She was having some financial troubles. She asked for some money to go have a doctor's appointment — not knowing what that was — and whatever happened, happened, I guess. I didn't even know she had an abortion."

Still, the claim that Erickson had paid for his ex-girlfriend's abortion caused Republicans to withdraw their support, Politico reported in 2008. He won the primary, after which Kevin Mannix, the GOP primary opponent who had spread the story, refused to endorse him, calling him a "dishonest person."

Erickson lost in the general election to Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader.

With the Supreme Court poised to overturn its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade that affirmed a constitutional right to an abortion nationwide, the allegations against Erickson could derail his run in 2022.

Erickson was congratulated on his primary win last week by House Republican Caucus Chair Elise Stefanik of New York.

"Congratulations to conservative businessman Mike Erickson on his primary win in #OR06!" Stefanik tweeted after the AP called the race. "Mike will work hard to make sure this NEW seat is RED in November in our fight to take back the House and Fire Nancy Pelosi once and for all!"

Erickson will face Democrat Andrea Salinas, a state representative who won a competitive primary for the seat, in November.

Salinas supports abortion rights and has been endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House, said that Salinas' pro-abortion rights stance is critical.

"As the fate of Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance, Erickson has previously campaigned on a 'strict anti-abortion platform' and supports rolling back women's reproductive freedoms," the DCCC wrote in a strategy memo published May 20 called "The Case Against Mike Erickson."

The DCCC said that Salinas "was a leader in the efforts to pass one of the country's most progressive and comprehensive reproductive rights laws, Oregon's Reproductive Health Equity Act, to ensure more accessible, affordable quality health care for all."

Inside Elections, a nonpartisan political handicapping outlet, rates the race "Leans Democratic."

If Erickson wins, he won't be the first anti-abortion GOP lawmaker who has been alleged or shown to have assisted or encouraged partners in obtaining abortions.

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) encouraged both a lover and an ex-wife to get abortions.

Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Tim Murphy resigned his seat in 2017 after reports surfaced that the publicly anti-abortion lawmaker had encouraged a lover to get an abortion.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

New Poll: Overwhelming Support For Roe Is Moving Democratic Voters

Overturning Roe v. Wade is very unpopular, yet another poll confirms. Nearly two out of three people, or 64 percent, told the NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll that Roe should not be overturned, including 62 percent of independents. The poll also includes some good news for Democrats.

According to the poll, the prospect of the Supreme Court striking down Roe in the most extreme way is motivating Democratic voters more than Republicans: Sixty-six percent of Democrats say it makes them more likely to vote in November compared with 40 percent of Republicans. That echoes a recent NBC poll finding a larger rise in enthusiasm about voting among Democrats than Republicans.

The NPR/PBS/Marist poll has another piece of good news for Democrats: They got an eight-point boost on the generic House ballot. Last month, 47 percent of respondents said they planned to vote for a Republican, while 44 percent said they planned to vote for a Democrat. This month, Democrats have the lead, 47 percent to 42 percent. President Joe Biden’s approval rating, though, slipped to 39 percent.

Confidence in the Supreme Court also dropped to 40 percent — a 17-point plunge since the last time Marist asked that question in 2018.

While people don’t want to see Roe overturned, answers vary on what abortion laws they do think should exist. Some interesting points: 82 percent support abortion at any time during pregnancy to protect the life or health of the pregnant person, and 63 percent say the same about cases of rape or incest. When it comes to the various ways Republicans have been pushing to ban abortion, 80 percent don’t want to see private citizens allowed to sue abortion providers and other people who “aid or abet” abortions; 75 percent don’t want to see abortion criminalized, with fines or prison time for doctors; and 69 percent oppose six-week bans tied to fetal cardiac activity. A 63 percent majority do support states with legal abortion providing safe haven for people from states with bans.

The Supreme Court does not care what voters want, though, and within the current system, Democrats don’t have much recourse. Expanding the court, ensuring that the next several times new justices are appointed it’s by Democratic presidents (something the current court will make more difficult), and passing strong laws protecting and expanding abortion rights in states controlled by Democrats are about it, short of secession. And Democrats must fight hard to do those things, even if they will fail at first, even if it won’t be enough at first. Republicans worked relentlessly for a generation to achieve this result. Democrats may have to do the same to reverse it.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Alito's Abortion Opinion Encouraging Right-Wing Terror Threats

The right-wing freakout over peaceful protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices and chalk on the sidewalk in front of Republican senators’ homes, built around the seeming belief that any kind of protest at all is an act of violence, is actually a piece of classic right-wing projection. Conservatives assume that all protests feature intimidation and menace, bellicose threats, and acts of violence, because they themselves know no other way of protesting, as we’ve seen over the past five years and longer—especially on Jan. 6.

So it’s not surprising that the right-wing response to protests over the imminent demise of the Roe v. Wade ruling so far is riddled with white nationalist thugs turning up in the streets, and threats directed at Democratic judges. Ben Makuch at Vice reported this week on how far-right extremists are filling Telegram channels with calls for the assassination of federal judges, accompanied by doxxing information revealing their home addresses.

One Telegram channel features a roster of targets accompanied by an eye-grabbing graphic with an assault-style gun, complete with their photos, bios, and personal contact and address information, including two federal judges appointed with Democratic backgrounds: a Barack Obama appointee of color, and a Midwestern judge of Jewish ethnicity. Joining them on the roster are people like Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, several bankers, and officials who served on a federal vaccine board.

According to Makuch, this particular channel has been repeatedly taken off Telegram, only to promptly reconstitute itself. Now in its fifth iteration, he reports that federal law enforcement is aware of the channel and is investigating the threats.

The anti-abortion right’s entire track record of protest, in fact, is brimming with case after case of violence and the politics of menace. Between 1977 and 2020, there have been 11 murders of health care providers, 26 attempted murders, 956 reported threats of harm and death, 624 stalking incidents, and four kidnappings, accompanied by 42 bombings, 194 arsons, 104 attempted arsons or bombings, and 667 bomb threats.

Meanwhile, right-wing pundits are frantically indulging in groundless claims of imminent left-wing violence: “Pro Abortion Advocates Are Becoming Violent After Supreme Court Leak,” read a Town Hall headline over a piece that documented some minor shoving incidents outside the Supreme Court building among the protesters there.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board speculated: “We hate to say this, but some abortion fanatic could decide to commit an act of violence to stop a 5-4 ruling. It’s an awful thought, but we live in fanatical times.”

A right-wing extremist was charged only three weeks ago in South Carolina with threatening federal judges, along with President Biden and Vice President Harris. The man—a 33-year-old inmate at the Department of Corrections and Proud Boy named Eric Rome—sent letters he claimed contained anthrax to the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, and left threatening voicemails: “Our intent is war on the federal government and specifically the assassination of the feds Marxist leaders Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Rome said on a voicemail, citing a laundry list of offenses: “the theft of the last presidential election, promoting critical race theory in our schools, the vax mandate, and using Marxist media outlets, notably CNN, to brainwash our citizens,” according to the indictment.

In his most recent threat in March, Rome threatened two unnamed South Carolina federal judges with death by stabbing: “Vacate the benches and we may let you live,” he wrote. Rome’s February letter to the Portland courthouse claimed he was sending “weapons grade anthrax” as a protest for failing “to arrest and prosecute Black Lives Matter activists despite the riots, looting, assaults and many other crimes by BLM in your city against White Citizens. .... WHITE POWER!”

Federal judges faced more than 4,500 threats last year, according to U.S. Marshals Service, which noted that it is concerned about the rise of domestic extremism in America.

A guide prepared for law enforcement in anticipation of social turmoil over abortion notes that while anti-abortion extremists have engaged in an extended litany of violence, that has not been the case among abortion-rights defenders: “Pro-choice extremists have primarily used threats, harassment, and vandalism, but has not resulted in lethal violence.”

SITE Intelligence Group, which shares threat information with a host of law enforcement agencies, released a May 4 report detailing calls for violence targeted at people protesting the expected ruling.

“Users on far-right, pro-Trump forum ‘The Donald’ encouraged members to violently oppose pro-abortion protesters demonstrating against the leaked Supreme Court draft signaling an overturn of Roe v. Wade,” reads the bulletin. “Reacting to the headline ‘Violence Breaks out at Pro-Abortion Protest After Democrat Politicians Call to ‘Fight,’' users made threats and called for police to harm protesters.”

A May 5 bulletin detailed the response by white supremacists: “A neo-Nazi channel responding to the leaked Supreme Court draft signaling an overturn of Roe v. Wade posted a previously circulated pro-life graphic calling to ‘bomb’ reproductive healthcare clinics and to ‘kill’ pro-choice individuals,” the bulletin said.

SITE Intelligence Group chief Rita Katz told Politico that misogyny is common in these quarters: “For far-right extremists, the focus on Roe v. Wade isn’t simply about religion or conventional debates about ‘when life starts,’” she said. “It’s about the toxic resentment of feminism that unites the entire spectrum of these movements, from Neo-Nazis to QAnon.”

Shortly after the January 6 insurrection, the violent factions involved in it like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers began forming alliances with Christian nationalists focused on abortion and attacking Planned Parenthood clinics. Over the past year, it’s also become clear that white nationalists such as Nick Fuentes’ “Groyper army” and other violence-prone bigots have adopted extreme forms of Christian nationalism.

They clearly see the protests over the imminent Supreme Court ruling as prime opportunities for more violence targeting their most hated enemies: women.

A federal counterterrorism official involved in tracking potential threats related to the Supreme Court decision told Yahoo News that authorities fear the ruling will revive the attacks on both judges and providers.

“They had targets on their backs before, now it’s that much more,” said the official.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Polling On Abortion Ban Enforcement Should Terrify Republicans

The reason public support for same-sex marriage (and LGBTQ rights, more broadly) shifted from roughly 40 percent support in the mid-aughts to a record 70 percent last year is two-fold: 1) a generation of Americans came out in kitchen-table conversations across the country; and 2) a decade's worth of earned media educated voters about heartbreaking injustices between the enactment of same-sex marriage bans and their eventual demise at the Supreme Court in 2015.

Americans decided it just wasn't right that a human being wasn't allowed to hold the hand of their lifelong partner as they passed away in a hospital, or that a spouse was denied Social Security survivor benefits because the federal government didn't recognize their marriage.

Here's how that compares to where we stand now with abortion and why the impending fall of Roe v. Wade could have more of a lightning-bolt effect electorally: Public opinion is already squarely with the pro-choice Democratic side (no convincing necessary, as with same-sex marriage); but because Roe has been the law of the land for 50 years, most voters haven't had a chance to even imagine the consequences of its reversal.

So just as media stories served to shift public opinion on marriage equality, they will intensify the passions of pro-choice voters in the lead-up to the midterms. Most of those stories will be tragic and infuriating, with lives lost or changed irrevocably based on forced births, denial of contraception, and more.

But the stories no one is prepared for are the enforcement stories, which will be the stuff of nightmares. As Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post writes, "The effort to investigate and enforce a law criminalizing a woman’s reproductive decisions necessarily becomes an exercise in authoritarian excess."

What we know with certainty is that red states across the country are pushing to enact some of the most punitive and draconian laws possible as soon as the Supreme Court's Roe decision drops.

"In all, 22 states have trigger laws not just banning abortion, but punishing doctors and others who either perform or help facilitate abortions, ranging in sentences from one year to 15 years," writes my colleague, Joan McCarter.

Here's how some of those punitive measures soon to be enacted poll with the American public, according to a survey this week from Politico/Morning Consult.

Prison time for women who get abortions: 16 percent support, 73 percent oppose

Fines for women who get abortions: 22 percent support, 66 percent oppose

Prison time for doctors who perform abortions: 22 percent support, 68 percent oppose

Fines for doctors who perform abortions: 29 percent support, 61 percent oppose

Post-leak polling is getting clearer and clearer about the political fallout from a post-Roe ruling. The electorate is being jolted awake, pro-choice views are hardening, and, yes, the passion of reproductive rights voters appears to be exceeding that of anti-abortion voters.

All of those views and passions will be supercharged in a landscape where the media starts focusing on human impact stories—a particular strength of both journalists and the media environment in which we live (where clicks rule).

Pocketbook issues are not going away between now and November, but the post-Roe nightmare about to be unleashed on this country is sure going to give them a run for their money.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

#EndorseThis: Kimmel Brilliantly Breaks Down Baby Formula Shortage

Jimmy Kimmel opened by weighing in on the national shortage of baby formula, which has left many parents scrambling for solutions. “I don’t know – I’m sure the ivermectin and bleach people could figure this out for us,” Kimmel quipped. “Just mix you up some Gatorade and some baby powder, throw in some breakfast sausage and it blends it up real good, the baby should be fine."

He made sure to point out, however, the utter hypocrisy of our right-wing Supreme Court majority forcing women to have babies in times of massive economic insecurity. You know, like a freaking shortage of baby formula! But hey, it's all about worshipping the fetus and hating the actual child for these Taliban Republicans.

Or as Kimmel noted: “There’s never been a better time for the Supreme Court to force women to have more kids than right now!"

Watch the segment below:

Susan Collins Calls Cops Over Polite Sidewalk Chalk Message

How thin can one person’s skin possibly be? Sen. Susan Collins tested the limits of that question with her response to a sidewalk chalk message asking her to vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act, codifying the abortion rights of Roe v. Wade into law.

“Susie, please, Mainers want WHPA —–> vote yes, clean up your mess,” the chalk message outside Collins’ home in Bangor, Maine, read. They said please, in a medium that causes no damage, and she called the police.

“The message was not overtly threatening,” a police spokesman said. You think?

That didn’t stop Collins from talking like she was bravely maintaining her composure in the face of a grave infringement, saying, “We are grateful to the Bangor police officers and the City public works employee who responded to the defacement of public property in front of our home.”

Lia Russell of the Bangor Daily News reports, deadpan, “The sidewalk message was not visible on Monday afternoon.” Because it was chalk.

Collins’ whole victim act is a blatant ploy to distract from the fact that she got us here. Collins was part of the Republican push to pack the Supreme Court with right-wing extremists, and now that the court is on the brink of officially striking down Roe v. Wade in the harshest and most extreme way while also teeing up the evisceration of a series of other rights and protections, she wants us to be talking not about the fact that she claimed to believe Brett Kavanaugh when he told her he wouldn’t overturn Roe but about the freaking sidewalk chalk outside her house.

It would be absurd if it weren’t such a clear illustration of how Collins has been fully complicit as the Republican Party has done its level best to destroy the government and the nation. She is right there with them 99 out of 100 steps of the way, and then the media uses that one step Collins didn’t take to paint her as some kind of principled moderate. People are going to suffer and die because of votes Collins took—and ones she didn’t—and she’s trying to play the victim over a chalk “please.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Want To Talk About Abortion On Fox? It Helps To Be A White Man

In segments discussing the Supreme Court draft opinion revealing the court has decided to repeal Roe v. Wade, Fox News hosted an overwhelming number of men and white people, largely excluding voices most heavily affected by the decision to strike down abortion rights in the United States. In contrast, CNN and MSNBC hosted a majority of women to discuss the news.

Key Findings

In cable news segments that discussed Roe or the draft opinion between May 2, when Politico published the leaked decision, through 5 p.m. EDT on May 5:

  • Men made up nearly two-thirds of all guest appearances on Fox News (64 percent).
  • The majority of guest appearances on CNN (63 percent) and MSNBC (69 percent) were by women.
  • White people made up 87 percent of guest appearances on Fox.
  • CNN and MSNBC featured white people in 70 percent and 62 percent of such guest appearances, respectively.
  • Across the three cable news networks, 21 percent of guest appearances were by women of color — 24 percent of appearances on CNN, 30 percent on MSNBC, and just seven percent on Fox News.
On the evening of May 2, Politico reported a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, revealing the court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The possible repeal would roll back the clock nearly half a century and return abortion law to each state. It would trigger legislation banning abortion in 13 states and would lay the groundwork for an additional 19 states to enforce pre-Roe abortion bans that are still on the books or to institute regressive laws banning abortion extremely early, in the weeks before fetal viability.

The potential ruling would impact people of color the most, and it has already been criticized not only for standing on flimsy and unprecedented legal ground, but also for defying broad and categorical public opinion. In the communities that would be most affected, 63 percent of women, 68 percent of Black adults, and 60 percent of Hispanic adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Even though this decision impacts women and people of color the most, Fox News predominately hosted men and white guests in segments that discussed the end of Roe: 87 percent of guest appearances in such segments were of white people, 64 percent were by men, and 58 percent were by white men. Only 36 percent were by women.

CNN and MSNBC fared slightly better when it came to featuring a diversity of voices. Both networks featured more guest appearances of women than men in segments on Roe, with CNN featuring women in 63 percent and MSNBC featuring them in 69 percent of such segments.

Across the three cable news networks, 21 percent of guest appearances were by women of color — 24 percent of appearances on CNN, 30 percent on MSNBC, and just seven percent on Fox News.

Black guests also comprised much larger proportions of guest appearances on CNN and MSNBC than on Fox. Approximately 22 percent of guest appearances in segments discussing the decision on CNN and 27 percent on MSNBC were of Black guests. By contrast, only five percent of such appearances on Fox were of Black guests.

All other races and ethnicities – Asian-American/Pacific Islander, Latino/Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and mutiracial guests – were featured in 6% or less of guest appearances on any of the three networks.

It should be noted, however, that MSNBC chose to platform anti-abortion activists in its programming, featuring segments with Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life and Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List. In her appearance, Hawkins was allowed to spread anti-abortion misinformation unchecked.

Fox’s decision to host mostly men and white people in segments discussing the opinion might explain why the network’s coverage was largely focused on the leak rather than the damaging impact from the repeal of Roe. Rather than airing segments featuring guests who could describe the genuine impacts of such a decision, Fox News shows like Hannity featured panels of white men to feign outrage over the leak.

When cable media outlets – particularly Fox News – fail to feature guests who can speak to the personal impacts of the story, they fail to adequately inform their viewers about the horrifying ramifications of overturning Roe.

Additional research contributions from Erin Kee


Media Matters searched our internal database of all original, weekday programming on CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC (shows airing from 6 a.m. through midnight) from May 2, 2022, when the report of the draft opinion came out, through 5 p.m. EDT May 5, 2022, for guest segments that touched on the leaked Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.

Media Matters searched our internal database of all original, weekday programming on CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC (shows airing from 6 a.m. through midnight) from May 2, 2022, when the report of the draft opinion came out, through 5 p.m. EDT May 5, 2022, for guest segments that touched on the leaked Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.

We reviewed all guest participants in the identified segments for their sex or gender and their race or ethnicity. We classified an individual as “male” or “female” based on their self-identification or publicly available biographical information; no participants in this study publicly identified as nonbinary. We based an individual’s race or ethnicity on their self-identification or publicly available biographical information. If a guest participant’s race or ethnicity could not be determined through such means, we coded them as “unknown.” For guests who identified with multiple races or ethnicities, we coded them as “multiracial.” We used categories as defined by the U.S. Census with the addition of “Middle Eastern” as defined by the U.S. State Department.

We coded guest participants as “white” if they self-identify as white or are of European descent; as “Black” if they self-identify as African American or Black or are of African descent; as “Latinx/Hispanic” if they self-identify as Latino/Latina or Hispanic or are of Spanish/Latin American descent; as “Asian American/Pacific Islander” if they self-identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander or are of Asian descent or Pacific Island descent; or as “Middle Eastern” if they self-identify as Middle Eastern or are of Middle Eastern descent.

We rounded all percentages to the nearest whole.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

The End Of Roe Is Just The Beginning

Roe v. Wade may not be dead, but it appears to be terminally ill, with a life expectancy of less than two months. So supporters of abortion rights, including me, are confronted with the grim prospect of returning to the bad old days when abortion was illegal in most of America and many women were forced to travel out of state to end their pregnancies. But we shouldn't be so optimistic.

Abortion rights opponents have long averred that they only want the issue returned to the states. By establishing a constitutional right to abortion, they complained, the Supreme Court imposed a uniform policy at odds with our system of federalism. What suits New Yorkers may not suit Nebraskans. Overturning Roe would allow people in each state to have their way.

Justice Samuel Alito's draft opinion overturning the 1973 decision followed this reasoning. The case at hand concerns Mississippi's ban on any abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The state, he noted, asked the court to overturn Roe "and once again allow each State to regulate abortion as its citizens wish."

Alito — along with four other justices, it appears — is eager to grant that request. "Our Nation's historical understanding of ordered liberty does not prevent the people's elected representatives from deciding how abortion should be regulated," he wrote.

It's always been taken for granted that if Roe were struck down, abortion would remain available in many states — and women elsewhere would be able to travel to get legal abortions. But neither may be true for long. Having won at the Supreme Court, and in many states, abortion rights opponents are bound to press for even broader bans than those that existed before 1973.

The first option surfaced recently in Missouri, which has passed a "trigger" law to ban abortion after eight weeks of gestation, with no exceptions for rape or incest. It would take effect when Roe is jettisoned. Republican Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, however, is not content to ban the vast majority of abortions in Missouri.

At the moment, women in her state can drive across the Mississippi River to Illinois, where abortion is strictly protected, to end their pregnancies. Coleman, however, proposed to authorize lawsuits against anyone helping a woman get an abortion — even in another state. The Illinois exit would be closed and locked.

Her measure failed, but it is safe to wager that some other states will take the idea and make it law. Women in those states would find themselves in a pregnancy prison: barred from getting an abortion at home and barred from getting one somewhere else.

That outcome, however, is not the direst scenario. Republicans have long opposed giving women the right to decide whether to carry their pregnancies to term, and they are not likely to be content with banning abortion in some states. The Supreme Court's reversal would mean abortion could also be banned in every state, through a federal law.

That once seemed impossible. Not today. Republicans are poised to win both houses of Congress in November. If they control Congress and elect a Republican president in 2024, they will have the power to eradicate legal abortion in every corner of America.

Would they do so? Maybe not. The availability of legal abortion in blue states softens the harsh impact of bans in red states. It assures women with financial resources that, should they ever want an abortion, they would be able to get it. A federal ban would provoke wider opposition by depriving every woman of any choice.

But whether that possibility would deter a Republican Congress and president is far from certain. Most Americans don't want to outlaw abortion, but the people who do are far more engaged and far better organized than the ones who don't. Unless more pro-choice voters make the issue their highest priority — as their adversaries have done — they will keep losing ground.

There is plenty of ground to be lost. The logic of the anti-abortion cause is that anything that saves fetuses is not only commendable but imperative. Any Republican state legislator who is not willing to ban out-of-state abortions, and any Republican member of Congress who is not willing to outlaw abortion everywhere, will face a simple, stark question: Why not?

For the anti-abortion movement, the demise of Roe is not an end but a beginning. Abortion rights supporters who see the looming demise of Roe as the ultimate nightmare will soon realize that the worst is yet to come.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.