A ‘Mississippi Compromise’ on Abortion Would Threaten All Our Freedoms

The past 100+ days without an abortion ban in Texas after six weeks have clearly shown what future anti-abortion extremists are looking for, not only in Texas but all across the nation. And now a majority of Supreme Court Justices, having failed to put an end to Texas’s ban, seem poised to let Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban stand or perhaps even to reverse Roe v. Wade completely. Our zip codes are going to determine how free we can be, what our rights to do with our bodies, and how much power we have to decide our fate.
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That’s why the line of reasoning we heard from the Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart –– and the line of questioning from Justice Brett Kavanaugh — during oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health This was extremely alarming. Abortion opponents are explicitly making a states’ rights argument against the right to access abortion, telling the Court that it is a “compromise” to overrule nearly 50 years of enshrined law, and to leave decisions about our rights up to the states. It is the Mississippi Compromise, a new deal for our bodies.

It’s because it is familiar. Because we’ve been here before. State have played with the definitions and characteristics of humanity many times in order to gain political advantage, to boost their power, or confer an advantage on one group. Historically, they call these power grabs “compromises” — but every time, they’ve been at the expense of freedom. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor made clear, the Texas law “echoes the philosophy of John C. Calhoun, a virulent defender of the slaveholding South who insisted that States had the right to ‘veto’ or ‘nullif[y]’ any federal law with which they disagreed.”

Continue reading: Inside Mississippi’s Last Abortion Clinic—and the Biggest Fight for Abortion Rights in a Generation

So-called “compromises” about abortion are being made at the same time that Texas and other state lawmakers have implemented some of the most egregious voting restrictions and civil rights violations. They’re systematically stripping people — particularly women, Black, Latino and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, and the LGBTQ+ community — of their freedoms.

This country has not granted full rights to women or people of color for more than two thirds of American history. If the Supreme Court empowers states to decide who is free and who is not, then once again, people’s bodies will count toward representation and political power, but their voices — which are calling for freedom, full citizenship, the ballot and bodily autonomy — will be silenced through gerrymandered legislative maps and attacks on voting rights. The will of the people has always been at the heart of this. It’s about who controls the levers of power.

And it’s no coincidence that the architects of the most egregious abortion bans are also behind attacks on same-sex marriage, bills that target trans youth, and challenges to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. They’ve set fires everywhere to keep us preoccupied as they systematically dismantle our institutions. In the last decade, we’ve witnessed the decimation of the Voting Rights Act, the rise of disinformation, and an onslaught of abortion restrictions.

Continue reading:What to Fear from the Texas Abortion Law

While anti-abortion policies make it easier for people to keep their children, the same politicians destroy social security net. Taken together, these attacks will send more people into the trap of debt and poverty, while limiting women’s ability to direct their own lives. At the same time, they’re forcing disenfranchisement, gerrymandering us out of meaningful representation and instituting undemocratic voting restrictions. In an effort to consolidate their power, they want to remove us from our rights. Because let’s be clear: we can’t You can vote our way out of this if we can’t vote. We can’t make our voices heard if we can’t freely assemble and protest. We can’t teach our children how we got here if schools are banned from It is important to discuss history honestly

There’s much more at stake than just our right to abortion –– every liberty interest under the Fourteenth Amendment is on the line. If the states can decide if you can have an abortion, it would open the door for states to decide whom you can marry –– or whether contraception is available to you, and what kind. If RoeIt can’t be ignored, so why not GriswoldOr Obergefell? It is impossible to remove one thread and not risk unravelling the whole tapestry.

Continue reading: A small group of doctors who risked everything to provide abortions in Texas

Do not take it for granted. In a world that values politics over precedent, there is no place safe. You feel the rage? That’s your power. It’s your power.

Even though the courts might not be able to save us, Our freedom and our dignity cannot be debated. You cannot compromise basic human rights.

We won’t go back.


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