Republicans Will Overreach on Abortion

“Rolling back abortion rights is rare in democracies and is a sign of democratic backsliding,” this lady says, and I believe her. Among the dumber arguments some righties are making today is that overturning Roe puts the abortion issue back in the hands of democracyPaul Waldman effectively shreds that claim.

Michelle Goldberg writes that The Death of Roe Is Going to Tear America Apart. I believe her, too. Most righties have no idea what they are about to unleash.

Righties — I refuse to call them “conservatives” — have become so extreme, so cut off from humanity, that they cannot even fake not being sociopaths. They are preparing to make abortion illegal in all circumstances, no exceptions. The raped 12-year-old should just suck it up and give birth, already. They are preparing to make it illegal to send medical abortion meds through the mail. They are writing laws that would stop women from crossing state lines to get abortions elsewhere. They are, in short, behaving like the monsters they are.

And women will die. Women will die all kinds of ways. They’ll die of back-alley abortions. They’ll die because they couldn’t get abortions to save their lives. I don’t expect large numbers of deaths (although I could be wrong), but there will be gut-wrenching deaths.

It’s often said that the beginning of the end of abortion bans in Ireland was the death of Savita Halappanavar, who died from sepsis in 2012 after her request for an abortion was denied on legal grounds.

After Savita presented at Galway University Hospital in severe pain, a doctor examined her and told the couple that “the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately, the baby wouldn’t survive.”

The doctor, according to Praveen, said it would be over in a few hours, but the fetal heartbeat continued for three more days.

“Savita was really in agony,” Praveen said. “She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby.

She was at only 17 weeks’ gestation, so there was no possible way to save the fetus. Even so, the hospital staff understood that Irish law required that nothing could be done until the fetal heartbeat stopped on its own, which took three days. As soon as the heartbeat could not be detected the contents of her womb were removed, but she died of sepsis a few hours later, in spite of the antibiotics they were pumping into her.

The case shocked Ireland, and a series of reforms were enacted as a result. Since 2018, elective abortion is legal in Ireland to 12 weeks’ gestation, and there are considerable exceptions after that. Back in 2018 I explained why the 12 week gestation limit is workable in Europe but not here. As Katha Pollitt explained in The Nation:

Here’s what’s really different about Western Europe: in France, you can get an abortion at any public hospital and it’s paid for by the government. In Germany, you can get one at a hospital or a doctor’s office, and health plans will pay for it for low-income women. In Sweden, abortion is free through eighteen weeks.

Using tax money to pay for abortions is a nonstarter for righties in the U.S. So here we are.

Women are going to be prosecuted for having abortions. They’re going to be investigated after miscarriages. Indeed, a lot of women may avoid seeking medical care after miscarriages. We know this is true because it’s been true in other countries where abortion is illegal and prosecuted. And it’s happened here already.

Back to Michelle Goldberg:

The right won’t be content to watch liberal states try to undermine abortion bans. As the draft of a forthcoming article in The Columbia Law Review puts it, “overturning Roe and Casey will create a novel world of complicated, interjurisdictional legal conflicts over abortion. Instead of creating stability and certainty, it will lead to profound confusion because advocates on all sides of the abortion controversy will not stop at state borders in their efforts to apply their policies as broadly as possible.”

The fiction they’ve pushed for years is that they just want the abortion question to be decided by the states. That makes it more democratic, see. An intellectually dishonest twit writing in WaPo today tries to make that argument — “The promise of a post-Roe democratization of abortion policy is that the representative institutions of each state can identify policies consistent with the views of its residents.” The states’ rights crowd used to make the same argument for desegregation.

But in truth they aren’t going to leave it at that. Indiana and Missouri won’t be content to allow Illinois to keep abortion legal, I can promise you. Senate Republicans are already pushing for a nationwide ban.

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he expects a push for federal abortion restrictions.

“Just take my state of North Dakota. Having a North Dakota child killed in the womb in Fargo versus Moorhead, Minnesota, you know, on the other side of the Red River — I don’t find a lot of solace in that just because it didn’t happen in my state,” Cramer said. “I think you could expect that pro-life activists would push for federal protections. I mean, I wouldn’t take that off the table.”

Related — here’s your ideal Republican candidate, who just won a primary in Indiana —

A Lebanon man accused of killing his wife in March and dumping her body in a creek is among the candidates to advance in a local election after Indiana’s primaries Tuesday.

Andrew Wilhoite, who’s suspected of fatally striking his wife with a gallon-sized concrete flower pot, secured a spot Tuesday as one of three Republican candidates in the race for a seat on the Clinton Township Board.

The 40-year-old has been incarcerated in the Boone County Jail since March after police said he told investigators he threw a concrete flower pot at his wife, Nikki Wilhoite, the night before and dropped her body over the side of a bridge.

Hey, it was only a wife. Nobody important.