Roe's potential end forces politicians into deeper abortion debate

The precedent of Roe v. Wade has often offered a shield to politicians of both parties when it comes to discussing abortion, allowing t...


The precedent of Roe v. Wade has often offered a shield to politicians of both parties when it comes to discussing abortion, allowing them to adopt their preferred label — “pro-choice” or “pro-life” — without going into specifics. . .

But the leak this week from a draft opinion of the Supreme Court that would reverse the landmark decision broke that shield, forcing many lawmakers and candidates to explain how they approach abortion morally and politically.

The court warned that the decision is not final, but with a post-Roe world seemingly on the horizon, Republicans face new pressure to define exactly where they stand on issues such as a total ban on the Abortion, Exceptions for Rape or Incest and Criminal Sanctions for Abortion.

The Democrats, for their part, have few immediate judicial or legislative options and must find a long-term political answer, which means confronting head-on an issue that many party members have long handled with caution.

We looked at the different camps of each party emerging ahead of the midterm elections:

For Republicans most dedicated to the decades-long effort to ban abortion, the news that Roe may soon fall has opened the floodgates for more restrictive legislation.

In Louisiana, state legislators have advanced a proposal that classify abortion as homicide.

In South Carolina on Tuesday, Governor Henry McMaster, when requested by local journalists if the state were to press for a more aggressive measure than his current 20-week ban, said, “The more we can protect life in South Carolina, the better it will be for everyone involved.” When asked if there should be exceptions to the abortion ban, McMaster replied, “I don’t think so.”

Other anti-abortion Republicans have tried to agitate the party base. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida wrote on Twitter, referring to protesters outside the Supreme Court, “How many of the women who rally against Roe’s overthrow are overeducated, underloved millennials who sadly return from protests to a lonely microwave dinner with their cats, and no bumble matches?”

Such comments did not quite align with the approach recommended by the Republican National Senate Committee. According to a note obtained by Axios, the campaign arm of Senate Republicans, advised its members to be “the compassionate and consensus builder on abortion policy.”

Roger Severino, vice president of domestic policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said: “All discussions about abortion should focus on compassion for the child and the mother.

Severino, who served as director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ civil rights office during the Trump administration, said the country has “a long way to go to make abortion unthinkable.”

“Hard work is getting from where we are to where we want to go, and what intermediate steps it may take,” Severino said.

McMaster’s model isn’t the only way to be anti-abortion in South Carolina.

Senator Lindsey Graham, another state Republican, has long been a champion of the federal Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks with exceptions including cases of rape, incest and saving the life of the mother. . He reiterated its support for this legislation this week.

To Graham’s left are fellow Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who have long described themselves as abortion rights supporters. “It shakes my confidence in the court right now,” Murkowski said of the draft notice.

She told my colleague Emily Cochrane: “It was not the direction I thought the court would take based on the statements that were made about Roe’s settlement and precedent.”

Collins told Times reporters, “My goal is to codify what is essentially existing law,” specifying that she meant Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Democrats have introduced such legislation, which is to be voted on next week, but Collins opposes the bill because it does not contain provisions allowing Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions. Legislation is almost doomed to fail.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, spoke with protesters outside the Supreme Court the day after the news broke to rally support for abortion rights.

“I’m here because I’m angry, and I’m here because the US Congress can change all of that,” she said. “Angry but engaged.”

Friday morning, Warren told CBS News that the next step was to hold a vote on the Democrats’ abortion rights bill. “We want everyone to be registered,” she said.

Senator Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader, expressed the same sentiment during a Thursday press conference. Pressed by the Democrats’ strategy, he said everything would be decided after the Senate vote.

“Which side are you on?” he said of Republican senators. “You can’t dodge it anymore, which they’ve been doing for a very long time.”

He added: “Once we have that vote, we’ll look at how best to move things forward.”

But the reality behind Warren and Schumer’s strong words was that Democrats currently have few options in Congress. Although they tightly control the Senate, they lack the votes needed to codify abortion rights, and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said this week that he still opposes any changes to the law. systematic obstruction.

That left Democrats and abortion rights groups in anticipation of the mid-termshoping that the fight against abortion will change their fortunes in an extremely difficult year for the party.

“It’s Republicans across the country who are swearing to criminalize abortion and Republicans who have fought to take away our freedom to make our own health care decisions,” said Ronja Abel, spokesperson for Emily’s List. “Democrats are united in understanding that abortion is on the ballot in this election, and the only way to stop states from enacting cruel and punitive laws that take away our freedoms is to elect a Democratic majority. pro-choice.”

Governor Gavin Newsom of California, Speaking Wednesday at Planned Parenthood headquarters in Los Angeles, asked why the Democrats who control Washington weren’t doing more.

“I felt this huge sense of frustration,” he said. “Like, where the hell is my party? Where is the Democratic Party?

“Why don’t we stand up more firmly, more resolutely? he added.

Newsom urged Democrats to develop a counteroffensive to tackle Republican misinformation not only about abortion, but also about issues such as critical race theory.

He praised Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a fellow Californian, saying she had kept her promises, but he lamented that the Senate was not gaining momentum. He said he understood President Biden was “doing everything he could to deal with a hundred different crises,” but argued Democrats needed to do more.

“Yeah, they’re winning,” Newsom said of Republicans, who have passed legislation across the country on a range of conservative priorities. “They are. They have been. Let’s recognize this. We have to stand up. Where is the counter-offensive?

On Politics regularly features work by photographers from The Times. Here’s what Sarahbeth Maney told us about capturing the above image on Tuesday:

Hours after photographing an abortion rights protest in response to the Supreme Court ruling potential reversal of Roe v. Wadeit became apparent that the protesters outside the court were mostly women.

I wandered across the street on the outskirts of the protest because I noticed men in suits walking past and waving their phones to capture what was happening from a distance.

After lowering their cell phones, they stood there for a while and talked to each other, that’s when I took this picture. Although their faces are out of frame, I think the image is indicative of the public and American politics.

Thanks for reading. We’ll see you next week.

– Horrible

Is there anything you think we’re missing? Something you want to see more? We would love to hear from you. Email us at onpolitics@nytimes.com.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Roe's potential end forces politicians into deeper abortion debate
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