I am so tempted to talk about how this country is going to hell in a handbasket, but I need to be disciplined and write about the main topic of this world famous blog.
So, how about that Supreme Court decision? Huh? Huh?
I personally know the owner of the Whole Women’s Health centers, the clinics that brought the original case. Her name, as has been reported, is Amy Hagstrom Miller. She is an amazing young woman who brings an incredible amount of passion to her job. What is particularly exciting to me is that she has been expanding her services across the country. I have admitted in the past that there are some bad apples in the abortion clinic industry but Amy is the other side of the spectrum so it’s good to see her spreading her wings.
Amy is also a fighter, so I was not surprised that she was the one who brought the first case challenging those ridiculous laws in the state of Texas. You don’t mess with Amy and I’m thrilled that all of her hard work, time and money was spent in a winning proposition.
So, what does the decision mean? Well, it means some clinics that were going to close will now remain open. That’s always interesting in the world of abortion clinics because, like any other business, sometimes you don’t want to many competitors. Indeed, there are clinics in Texas that have been absolutely swamped with patients. Still, it means better access for women.
Politically, though, I’m actually kind of nervous. That’s because whenever you win, there is always a down side. In the early 1980’s, when I was the chief lobbyist for the National Abortion Rights Action League, we defeated a constitutional amendment that would have overturned Roe v Wade. We walloped them, crushed them. And the next day I attended an extremely depressing meeting with our direct mail fundraisers who told us that the millions and millions of dollars that had been flowing into our office was gonna stop right away. There would be staff layoffs, salary cuts, etc. We didn’t have much time to celebrate and their predictions came true.
This latest victory in the Supreme Court reminds me of that situation in that the anti-abortion movement now has a new rallying point. They can now go out there and say “Look at the direction the Court is going – abortion on demand – more babies being killed – blah, blah.” And they will remind voters that the next President will no doubt get a number of nominations (not to mention the one that is pending) and that the future of abortion rights can go in one direction of the other.
Meanwhile, your casual voter who is pro-choice might just sit back and think that the battle has been won and, while they probably still will vote for Hillary Clinton, they may not be as energized and may decide to not give money or stuff envelopes. And in a very close election, that work is extremely important. Victory brings complacency.
So, we can take time to rejoice but we cannot rest on our laurels. If the Donald becomes President and some of those justices start to keel over, he’s gonna nominate some right wing nuts because, well, because he can. Then the “new” Court will just sit back and wait for that next abortion case to make its way to their desks.