Clear. 81.7   F New York
AI-Powered News Summarizer
Top Stories

After Supreme Court defeat, abortion foes are at a crossroads

June 29, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Pro-choice activists supporting legal access to abortion protest during a demonstration outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, March 4, 2020, as the Court hears oral arguments regarding a Louisiana law about abortion access in the first major abortion case in years. - The United States Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear what may be its most significant case in decades on the controversial subject of abortion. At issue is a state law in Louisiana which requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

The 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court to block a controversial Louisiana abortion law leaves anti-abortion activists facing a defeat in the present and a paradox for the future, says legal historian Mary Ziegler.

No one ever stopped talking about a right to life, but major players in the antiabortion movement often pivoted to a different strategy: arguing that women had never benefited from abortion rights in the first place.

Louisiana argued that admitting privileges protected patients against dangerous doctors -- and insisted that doctors should not have been able to sue over this law in the first place because abortion hurts women.

To undo abortion rights, abortion foes believed, they would have to show that Casey got it all wrong -- abortion doesn't make women more equal; it makes them sick.

And for this reason, the Court's decision is likely to supercharge a trend already all too visible in abortion politics: a refocus on fetal rights.

Or look at a wave of recent laws that zero in on the reasons women choose abortion, suggesting that some end pregnancies for racist, sexist, ableist or trivial reasons.

And since the 1990s, sophisticated pro-lifers have believed that the only way Roe will fall is if Americans believe that women no longer want or need abortion rights.

Anything less, such pro-lifers believed, might produce a damaging backlash -- or make the Supreme Court hesitant about getting rid of abortion rights in the first place.

If abortion foes still care about public opinion or victory in the Supreme Court, there is no way to cede arguments about women's rights to the opposition, but at least with this Supreme Court, there may be no way to win with them either.

Summarizer is on Google News. Now you can get the latest AI summarized news on your favorite news platform.

Don't like Google News? We have an RSS Feed for you.