Hillary Clinton spoke out this weekend on the country reaching five decades since Roe v. Wade originally provided abortion rights to broad segments of the American population — an anniversary reached not long after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the legal protections that Roe provided, allowing GOP state legislators nationwide to impose their own sweeping bans.
“Today should have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade,” Clinton tweeted on Sunday. “We know MAGA Republicans won’t stop until abortion is banned nationwide. So we can’t stop fighting for reproductive freedom everywhere.” There is an opportunity for Congress to enact new protections for abortion at the federal level that would replace what was previously available under the court’s decision in Roe, although Republicans leading the House for the next two years will obviously make such an ambitious undertaking very difficult, at best. That’s not to say, though, that if Democrats flip the House back to their control in 2024 and hold onto the control the party currently has then the party wouldn’t be able to subsequently enact protections. Such remains a distinct possibility.
Today should have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
We know MAGA Republicans won't stop until abortion is banned nationwide.
So we can't stop fighting for reproductive freedom everywhere.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 22, 2023
In the meantime, litigation continues. Lawsuits in a slew of states challenging the abortion restrictions Republican officials rushed to implement include a recently filed case in Missouri from just over a dozen religious leaders from multiple faiths, all of whom are challenging a nearly all-encompassing abortion ban in that state on religious freedom grounds. The argument is that the legislators responsible for the restrictions essentially — and sometimes in rather direct terms — imposed their personal religious beliefs on the people of Missouri, regardless of the protections available under the state’s laws. The conservative religious idea that life begins at conception is not the only religious understanding of the question out there. Other states with lawsuits challenging abortion restrictions on similar grounds include Indiana and Kentucky.
Exceptions to the restrictions aren’t somehow models of compassion. What about the possibility of inflicting psychological damage on victims of rape who are forced to recount their attack before obtaining an abortion, as they would have previously been able to without those extra procedural hurdles to overcome? What if they aren’t able to meet any standards of documentation required by the statutes providing the exception? What about a case in which a pregnant individual is suffering damaging health impacts — but is left to suffer as the health staff dealing with their case handle the question of if it is serious enough to warrant an abortion without subsequent felony charges from officials?