Today marks the 47th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman’s right to have an abortion without excessive government restrictions. Pro and Anti-abortion activists are geared up for an extended legal battle, as the Trump administration has supported anti-abortion causes and changed the makeup of the Supreme Court. In March, the Supreme Court is expected to review the potentially momentous June Medical Services v. Gee case. This case challenges a Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to have hospital admission privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of where they perform abortions.
Left-wing activists are increasingly anxious that with two new justices appointed by President Trump, the U.S. Supreme Court could vote to overturn Roe v. Wade or rule in such a way that a woman’s right to abortion is severely restricted. Pro-abortion proponents have roundly criticized a recent Trump administration rule requiring health insurers to send separate bills for abortion coverage. On the positive side for abortion advocates, six states including New York have begun codifying Roe into state law. In New York, the legislature eliminated a previous ban on abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy, allowing abortions until birth.
Anti-Abortion activists on the Right are celebrating President Trump’s support for their agenda. President Trump proclaimed the anniversary of Roe v. Wade “National Sanctity of Human Life Day,” and noted that there is “more to be done” to reduce abortions. For the Right, abortion is considered an evil commensurate with the country’s history of slavery and the Holocaust in 1940’s Germany. The Right believes the over 50 million babies aborted since the Roe decision were murdered. Overturning Roe is a fundamental part of their agenda; believing abortion disproportionately impacts minority communities. The Right also holds that pro-abortion arguments concerning rape/incest are dishonest; accounting for only 1% of abortions. A rally with hundreds of thousands of Anti-Abortion activists are gathering in DC this Friday.
See you on Friday…Big Crowd! https://t.co/MFyWLG4HFZ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2020
A Lucid footnote: the terminology around the abortion debate is central, with those on the left wanting to be termed “pro-choice,” and wanting to label there opponents anti-abortionists, and further recoil from the word baby; on the other hand those on the right prefer nomenclature describing themselves as pro-life and the opposing party as pro-abortion or pro-murder, and only using the word baby. We recognize these terms as important and have tried to be even-handed in our reporting above. For instance, Women do not say they are pregnant with a fetus, we universally use the word ‘baby’ when speaking of the developing entity during pregnancy. No one asks – “how far along is your fetus?” That word choice may be seen as pandering to the right. Contrastingly, our statistic above–stating the 1% of pregnancies due to rape–is from the Guttmacher Institute, the founder of that institute being a former president of Planned Parenthood.