A Popular Struggle for Abortion

Djene Rhys Bajalan

June 27, 2022

The reversal of Roe v Wade, although expected, has come as a profound psychological shock to both liberal and left elements of American society. Indeed, the shockwaves have been global, with self-styled “progressive” leaders outside the United States, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, weighing in on the issue.

It should be noted that the reversal of precedent, although destabilizing to the American legal edifice, is not bad per se. It would be hard, for example, to find anyone today who would argue the reversal of Plessy v Ferguson, upon which the system of segregation was erected, was a “bad” decision. Thus, opining over precedent misses the point. The reversal of Roe is “bad” because, in addition to having bad outcomes for women’s healthcare, it is an assault on women’s rights. More than this, it should be emphasized that the weight of this decision will fall disproportionately on poor and working-class women, many of whom already suffer from inadequate healthcare coverage.

The war on abortion rights is nothing new in the United States and access to abortion was already highly regionally dependent. Many conservative states had few abortion providers, restrictive legal regimes, as well as “trigger laws” ready to ban abortion as soon as it was constitutionally possible. However, the balance of power has shifted. With constitutional protections eliminated, anti-abortion radicals seem poised to go on the offensive with talk of a national abortion ban.

Interestingly, just as Mike Pence is calling for a federal prohibition on abortion, his former boss, President Donald Trump, has been somewhat reticent about this legal victory for the so-called “pro-life” movement. With the popularity of the Democratic Party in the proverbial toilet, he has warned that overturning Roe could provide them with a much-needed boost ahead of the 2022 mid-term elections. It certainly does seem the case that, following the decision of the Supreme Court, Democrats were ready with those fundraising e-mails.

The Failure of the Democratic Party

But what will be the outcome? No doubt, some Democratic Party consultant is going to be getting a handsome payout thanks to the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision. And, no doubt, the liberal pundit class will urge Americans to “vote harder” for Democrats, while simultaneously blaming everyone from Susan Sarandon to Bernie Sanders for “enabling” the Republicans to consolidate control over the courts. One should admit that there are certainly many Democrats, including in elected office, who are sincere in their support for a woman’s right to control her own reproductive cycle. Yet, despite posturing as the de