Source: Common Dreams
The president and vice president have become a worldwide menace to women’s rights
Before he became president, Donald Trump described himself as pro-choice. Now, he can’t do enough to deny women control of their own bodies. Marching in lockstep with Vice President Mike Pence and some of the most anti-choice members of his right-wing coalition, Trump has gone global in his crusade, watering down a United Nations Security Council resolution aimed at stopping rape and sexual violence in war. His acting U.N. ambassador threatened to veto any resolution containing language referring to “reproductive health.” The goal of the demand, most observers agree, is to ensure that women who are raped in war should not receive any help terminating pregnancies. This episode is just the most recent in the accelerating and increasingly successful campaign to criminalize abortion, waged by a vocal, well-funded minority in this country.
For close to half a century, the right to a safe, legal abortion has been guaranteed by the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision. For many years, the divided court consistently reaffirmed Roe v. Wade. With the surprise retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, though, and his replacement with controversial, conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the balance on the court has shifted markedly to the right, and the future of Roe is entirely uncertain.
Confident that the current Supreme Court would now overturn Roe v. Wade if given a chance, anti-choice activists and their allies in Republican-controlled state legislatures are pushing a new wave of anti-abortion bills. This will set the stage, they hope, for a Supreme Court decision eliminating a woman’s right to privacy and to make her own health care decisions, enshrined in Roe v. Wade.
“The extreme nature of this year’s bills is unprecedented,” the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute noted in a recent report. “Legislation under consideration in 28 states would ban abortion in a variety of ways.” Among the slew of strategies employed are trigger bans, which would make abortion completely illegal in a state should Roe be overturned; gestational age bans, which make abortion illegal after a fetus has gestated six, 12 or 18 weeks, or some other length of time (these are often referred to as “fetal heartbeat” bills); reason bans, which bar abortions for reasons of a fetus’s sex, race or disability; and method bans, which bar certain types of abortion procedures.