Last year, the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. This has only emboldened the anti-choice movement. Those who hoped that abortion would at least be safe in blue states and kept available in red states via mifepristone are waking up to a world where the anti-choice movement is using legal warfare to move toward its goal of a nationwide abortion ban. As Moira Donegan notes in a recent column in The Guardian, a right-wing Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas is hearing arguments for rolling back FDA approval of mifepristone. Elsewhere, pharmacists and doctors are being intimidated by legal threats, so that even legal abortion services are getting harder to come by. A novel legal argument is being used to raise the possibility that anti-abortion laws can be applied retroactively, again creating a chilling effect.
I talked with Moira about these and other trends. As she notes, they raise a fundamental question about not just reproductive freedom but also the future of American democracy. It’s no longer clear whether there is a federal rule of law that can protect reproductive freedom even in blue states. We also take up the urgency of Democrats making reproductive freedom a top issue.
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