The Supreme Court ruling quashing Roe v. Wade has sparked a frenzy of activity on both sides of the abortion battle, with anti-abortion forces pledging to push for near-total bans in every state in the country, and abortion rights groups insisting on it that they would. use anger at the decision to take to the streets, fight back in the courts and challenge the Biden administration to do more to protect abortion rights.
The court said Friday’s ruling was necessary because of what it called a half-century of bitter national controversy sparked by Roe, but the decision provoked more immediate and widespread resentment and mobilization than the original ruling – and guaranteed battles and extraordinary divisions ahead.
Maneuvering was already underway.
In Florida, where the legislature recently passed a 15-week abortion ban, lawmakers urged Governor Ron DeSantis to call a special session after six weeks to consider a ban.
The National Right to Life Committee promoted model legislation for state bans and renewed calls for the original, larger goal of a constitutional amendment banning abortion nationwide. It and other anti-abortion groups also pledged to punish prosecutors who said they would not uphold the abortion ban.
They promised other steps to limit access to abortion, including pushing for legislation that would prohibit people from crossing state lines to have abortions or receive abortion pills.
Abortion groups went back to court on Monday with a hearing, where they are seeking an injunction to prevent Florida’s 15-week ban from taking effect. They promised court battles over the so-called trigger bans that went into effect Friday after the Supreme Court ruling.
In Ohio, Freda J. Levenson, legal director of the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union, said Sunday that her organization and Planned Parenthood of Ohio would file charges early this week to block the implementation of abortion bans in the state, arguing that abortion a protected right under the Ohio Constitution.
The Women’s March, which gathered hundreds of thousands in demonstrations after Donald J. Trump became president in 2017, promised street protests in a “Summer of Rage” and said it would support primary challenges against Democrats it saw as complicit in appointing the conservative Supreme majority of the court.
On Monday, California state legislators are expected to vote on a state constitutional amendment that would explicitly protect reproductive rights. In Michigan, where Governor Gretchen Whitmer has filed a lawsuit to prevent a nearly 100-year-old abortion ban from coming into effect, activists gathered signatures for a ballot initiative that would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution.
“We’re going for it, we’re pulling out all the stops,” Ms Whitmer, a Democrat, said on “Face the Nation With Margaret Brennan.” “This is a fight like hell.”
Abortion rights supporters took heart over what appeared to be widespread public disapproval of Friday’s ruling. A CBS News/YouGov poll conducted immediately after the court delivered its decision shows that Americans viewed it as a “step backwards” for the nation by a margin of more than 20 percentage points.
Nearly 60 percent of Americans and two-thirds of women disapproved of the ruling, the poll found. Fifty-eight percent said they would pass a federal law that would make abortion legal.
And 56 percent of women said the ruling would worsen women’s lives, according to the poll, far more than the 16 percent who said it would improve women’s lives.
But abortion opponents, celebrating their biggest win in nearly 50 years since Roe, felt they had the wind at their backs.
Kristan Hawkins, chair of the anti-abortion group Students for Life of America, said the primary focus would now be on preventing pregnant women from getting abortion pills as a temporary solution to a ban. It had also discussed proposed legislation modeled on a Texas law banning abortion after six weeks since September, allowing ordinary citizens to sue anyone who has provided abortion services across state lines.
“Ultimately, our mission in the pro-life movement is to make abortion unthinkable and unavailable in our nation,” said Ms. Hawkins.
The waves of joy and anger started immediately after the decision. Friday went on all weekend, on the airwaves and in pulpits and protests in the blistering summer heat.
A thousand protesters waving and chanting signs objected to the court’s decision outside the Oklahoma City State Capitol, where Republican Governor Kevin Stitt last month signed one of the strictest abortion bans in the nation, pending court rule Roe would bring down. †
Hundreds supported abortion rights at rallies in Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery in very conservative Alabama. Leaders of the rally outside the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville urged the crowd not to pay attention to or interact with a group of singing anti-abortion protesters who tried to interrupt the rally.
Cancellations of the court’s ruling rang out amid events closing Gay Pride month across the country. A contingent of Planned Parenthood supporters led the rambunctious Pride Parade in downtown Manhattan, chanting, “Stand up for abortion rights!” At the Pride event in San Francisco, a city supervisor, Rafael Mandelman, told the crowd that while they could party all day, “tomorrow we have work to do!” Even those in California, he said, could be campaigning for congressional candidates in other states.
“If we want to change what happened on Friday, we all have to get to work,” he said. “We can knock on doors and we can elect Democrats and we can protect Democrats.”
For many conservatives, Sunday was a holiday
At Austin Baptist Church in Texas, Rev. Jonathan Spencer devoted his two morning sermons to celebrating the court’s decision.
“I rejoice with the Lord in His mercy and grace in helping to remove what I believe to be one of the greatest tragedies of our generation,” he told his congregation, claiming that since Roe, more than 63 million children have been killed by abortion. .
“This is not the end of the battle,” he said. “Abortion still exists and people will still undergo these procedures.”
His message was well received in the congregation. “I thought he was absolutely right,” said Dawn Church, 49. Speaking of the court’s decision, she said: “I’m ecstatic.”
But in other congregations there were different messages.
At the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, Bishop Joseph Walker III blessed several babies in a baby dedication ceremony, before calling on the women of the large and mostly black congregation to stand and applaud.
He recognized the women for the role they have long played “on the front lines of so many battles and battles” nationally and worldwide and promised to pray more for them.
“Look at these beautiful babies, life is a blessing,” he said. “In the end, no one has the right to tell you what to do with you. That’s between you and God.”
Tameka Gibson, 45, welcomed his support. “I believe in pro-choice,” she said. “I believe that’s a decision between people and God.” She didn’t agree with the direction Tennessee was going; the trigger ban on abortion went into effect Friday.
“Everything is going backwards,” she said.
The protests were mostly peaceful, although sporadic violence was reported. A Staten Island grocery store employee was arrested Sunday after hitting Rudolph W. Giuliani in the back while the former mayor was campaigning on behalf of his son, a Republican candidate for governor. Mr. Giuliani said he was walking through a ShopRite supermarket when the employee punched him on the back and said, “You’re going to kill women.”
But as the nation took in the gravity of the moment — the rare occasion when the court has taken away a constitutional right — there were scenes of doubt, nuance, and sometimes a desire to find a middle ground, or at least find the ones. understand with different and deep-seated views.
During a service at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville on Sunday morning with her husband and 5-month-old daughter, Katie Fullan said she supported the court’s decision. “But I also had mixed feelings,” she said. “I have a lot of friends, colleagues and neighbors who are very upset about it, and I feel like I really empathize with them and understand where they come from.”
And while she supported the state’s decision to ban abortion, she believed there should also be laws on paid maternity leave, subsidized childcare, and financial support for food and housing for those who need it.
“Many of the reasons women feel they need abortions is because of the lack of support for child rearing,” Ms Fullan said. “The hardships that come with pregnancy and recovery, that’s going to be tough, even with paid health care and paid childcare.”
At Brethren Church on a rural highway in Jefferson Township, Ohio, the congregation is about half split between black and white members, with a handful of Latino congregants. Some of the service is provided in Spanish. And while the Church’s views have historically been progressive, its members pride themselves on fostering a diversity of views.
“I am fully in favor of the Supreme Court ruling, I do not believe in harming innocent children,” Sharon Sampson said.
Terri Griffith said: “I am very disillusioned. This Supreme Court is dangerous.”
Still, those on either side had prayed together and shared after the potluck service. Jan Putrell, 68, was also there. Although she described herself as a “radical progressive” on many social issues, she said abortion didn’t fit into the easy categories that some do.
“We need a time of discernment,” she said, “to reflect on the verdict.”
Reporting was contributed by Jamie McGee, David Montgomery, Kevin Williams, Holly Secon, Luke Vander PloegSydney Cromwell and Ben Fenwick