Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is among those speaking out in favor of abortion rights after the emergence of a leaked draft majority opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that would undo the court’s prior decision in Roe v. Wade, which, of course, established the legally recognized nationwide right to an abortion. The Justices’ opinions could shift before final conclusions are released, but for now, it appears as though five of them — a majority — are ready to essentially turn back the clock on abortion rights, as Hillary Clinton recently characterized it. Undoing the Roe decision would leave handling abortion access to state officials like the anti-abortion Republicans currently in power nationwide.
Buttigieg remarked on the issue while participating in a recent discussion at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. He said, in part:
‘What I know is that for as long as I’ve been alive, and a lot longer than that, the general path of social and political life in America — and the general path of jurisprudence in this country — has been toward more freedom, more liberty, and more rights. And the question that I think has now been called is, did we just live to see the high water mark of liberty and freedom and rights in this country? The moment that will be remembered as the furthest we got before things started moving the other way? Or will that wave recede and we’ll get even further? I think that’s the question in front of us… I trust women to draw that line [on how abortions should be handled]. For the last 50 years, America has trusted women to draw that line, has recognized that as a right.’
Buttigieg also discussed the issue that right-wing affronts against abortion rights suggest that other rights could be similarly targeted by conservatives including the Supreme Court Justices in question in the near future. Check out Buttigieg’s comments below:
Meanwhile, if the Roe decision is, in fact, overturned, there are laws already in place in states including Texas that would automatically ban most abortions. And already, Florida has a 15-week abortion ban in effect that features no exceptions for cases involving rape, incest, or human trafficking — although recent polling indicates that an overwhelming majority of Americans favor allowing abortions in those sorts of circumstances (although the human trafficking example doesn’t seem to have been a specific part of questioning). The only exceptions in the Florida ban are for cases where not performing an abortion would result in serious injury to or the death of a pregnant person. Ordinarily, states haven’t been allowed to impose abortion restrictions that early — the case whose deliberations provided the backdrop for the draft majority opinion overturning Roe deals with a similarly timed Mississippi ban.
NEW: Pete Buttigieg on the draft overturning Roe: “For as long as I’ve been alive, the general path of life in America has been toward more freedom. The question is, did we just live to see the high water mark? Or will we go even further? That’s the question in front of us.”
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) May 7, 2022