Overturning Roe

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


By the way, a few weeks ago I cited Slate‘s argument that the GOP would never dare overturn Roe vs. Wade—it would become, after all, an electoral catastrophe. In light of the fact that John G. Roberts is about to ascend the Supreme Court bench, and push the Republican Party one step closer to that goal, should Stevens or Ginsburg retire in the next three years, it’s worth saying: that idea is probably very much mistaken.

Overturning Roe would, in fact, be fantastic for the Republican party. First, it’s true that the overwhelming majority of the United States supports Roe v. Wade. But if it was repealed, many of those women could still get abortions. (California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, for instance, would still keep abortion legal.) Women in many, many other states would be denied that choice, of course, but federalism could fragment the pro-choice electoral coalition. Meanwhile, the Christian right would stay mobilized and clamor for a national abortion ban in Congress. If it passed, I have no doubt that a Supreme Court that overturned Roe could find a way to uphold a national ban on abortion, even if it is logically inconsistent. Now the national ban probably wouldn’t pass, because it would be difficult to ram through the Senate, but that recalcitrance would be enough to keep the conservative base foaming at the mouth for years to come. So yes, it is wishful thinking to believe that Republicans might be too afraid to touch Roe.

And it’s worth noting that the only way to stop this, really, is to do what the Republicans have been doing and win elections.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate