Hello! It’s the weekend, this is The Weekender. ☕
For months, everyone on both sides of the abortion debate has agreed about one thing: the Supreme Court was probably going to overturn abortion rights this summer.
So it wasn’t a surprise when the leaked majority draft opinion showed it doing just that. But it was still shocking.
There’s just something about seeing the decision in black and white. My eyes flicked to phrases: “egregiously wrong,” “exceptionally weak,” “damaging consequences.”
Lines jumped out from the photocopied page: “Women are not without electoral or political power.”
If the final copy of the decision resembles this draft, the constitutional right to an abortion is gone in the United States, 49 years after it was established. And that’s not all — the draft is permeated with nods to the concept of fetal personhood, the argument anti-abortion activists use to push a nationwide ban.
Despite disclaimers to the contrary, it’s also easy to see that other rights in the privacy universe — same-sex marriage, contraception — will now be in great danger.
Those things are stark in the text. So it follows that hours after the country was rocked by this news, the right-wing battalion assembled to convince people that reality is much murkier.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board sneered that the “parade of horribles” liberals were pounding the alarm on is baseless because — brace yourself — rights like same-sex marriage and access to contraception are politically popular. (So are abortion rights!)
An opinion writer at the Washington Examiner criticized liberals for not just taking Alito at his word that this decision won’t topple the other privacy rights.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) heaved a shrug on Fox Business — we’re just returning the decision to the states, y’all.
It’s been a bracing few days of painful, breath-stealing clarity about the power five unelected judges have over American life, no matter the will of its citizens. It’s also been a few days of misdirection and smokescreens, as Republicans try to convince people that the real issue is the leak, that the decision is not so bad and that we should trust the people poised to unleash unnecessary suffering and death on women across the country.
There are no easy fixes in a system where our major institutions are clutched in the vice-like grip of a minority of the country. But there are no fixes at all if we let ourselves be blindfolded and confused by those who still depend on the majority’s disorganization and apathy to maintain control. This will not be the final blow.
They’ve shown us who they are — it’s time to believe them, and work to avert the catastrophes they manufacture.
More on other news below. Let’s dig in.