“Women are scared, furious and hopefully excited,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute of Reproductive Health, a national reproductive rights organization. HollywoodLife† That’s the reaction that woke Miller today after the startling news that a draft majority opinion from the Supreme Court was reached the night before on May 2. The opinion, written by Judge Samuel Alito, criticized the 1973 Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade as “blatantly wrong” and ruled that it should be quashed.
That means when the Supreme Court decision becomes official in late June or early July, individual states can pass laws making abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest. Realistically for American women, 26 Republican-dominated states, from Arkansas to Wyoming, will enact abortion bans, some immediately, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
After 50 years of legal abortion, American women are losing the right to make their own decisions about whether they are ready to age. And yes, today, May 3, Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed that the leaked opinion is authentic. Miller responds, “This is a societal earthquake…a seismic moment, when it comes to women’s equality and physical integrity.” Miller has worked almost her entire career to protect women’s reproductive choice and now tells HollywoodLife she wants women to know that today and until that Supreme Court ruling becomes official, abortion is still somehow legal in every state, including Texas, where abortions are legal only up to six weeks after conception.
Now she is urging women to be motivated by their fear and anger at this massive setback to their personal rights. “We need to be louder, clearer and bolder about our beliefs. This is a crucial time to participate in our democracy.”
What does this mean for women? What can we do if about 40 percent of American women lose the right to an abortion this summer? That 40 percent live in states where Republicans control state legislatures. “There is no better way to express our feelings than to vote these people out of the state legislatures. We need to make this a key issue in the midterm elections,” Miller said. Since 26 states have already passed or are about to enact abortion bans or near-bans, women who believe in abortion access should Google who their state representatives are and how to reach them, then call them. and email and “let them know that they will do everything in their power to protect and expand access to abortion,” she insists.
If they don’t, “come to the midterm elections on November 8, come what may, and vote!” A large number of excited voters seeking to restore their reproductive choice is essential because of the amount of gerrymandering and vote suppression laws already passed in Republican-controlled states. But Miller encourages women and other abortion rights that voters support not to get discouraged. “The reality is these Republican lawmakers are controlled by extreme officials, so it’s very hard for them to feel the backlash — they’re trying to make sure they aren’t held accountable,” she says. But women can’t let them get away with ending a constitutional right.
“I see for the first time that abortion has become a critical issue among voters and I believe that people are now becoming crystal clear about what is at stake and that they will vote on this issue half way through,” she says.
While the Supreme Court was cluttered with three ultra-conservative judges by Donald Trump with the help of Senator Mitch McConnell, it actually doesn’t align at all with the views of most Americans. A majority of all Americans want the Supreme Court to more than uphold Roe v. Wade. 54% want it to be maintained versus 28% who would like to undo it, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC poll. A CNN January poll shows 69% of Americans want to keep Roe v Wade intact and only 30% want it destroyed. Nevertheless, Republican senators and House representatives are already strategizing on how to pass federal legislation that will ban abortion nationwide once the Supreme Court overthrows Roe v. Wade, according to the Washington Post†
“They’re trying to do everything they can to end and criminalize abortion,” Miller said of the Republicans. “It’s so heartless. Beyond words and it is sadly part of huge setbacks to voting and trans and LGBTQ rights. It’s part of a plan to deny people their humanity in the service of an outdated concept of what they want this country to be. A concept that never really existed and it was not good for most people in this country.”