David Schmidt and Jill Stanek made great observations earlier this week pointing out reports that the abortion industry has yet to challenge strong and innovative new state abortion restrictions, such as Nebraska’s trailblazing fetal pain 20-week abortion ban. The reason, as an insightful and, for pro-lifers, exciting Slate piece argues, is that Roe is fast becoming obsolete in the face of state legislatures emboldened by a friendly Supreme Court. Ironically, the clearest reading of the tea leaves comes from Rachel Maddow and NOW President Terry O’Neill:
It turns out a broken clock is right twice a day. Maddow, for all her pro-abort bluster and scare-mongering, is spot-on when it comes to what laws like the Nebraska ban, Ohio’s heartbeat bill, or Personhood amendments mean for the future of abortion in America. The new laws are taking full advantage of ground the Supreme Court ceded to legislatures in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007). And the abortion industry and their fellow travelers are terrified of challenging these laws because the Roberts Court, unafraid to question precedent, may be ready to forsake slowly pounding nails into Roe‘s coffin and instead drive a stake through its black, black heart:
Maddow: Do we have to understand that the only way to call upon the protections of Roe vs. Wade is to bring lawsuits that challenge state laws that violate it?
O’Neill: You know, the problem with bringing a lawsuit in federal court to challenge these state laws is exactly what you said. We’re afraid that the Supreme Court might actually take the opportunity to overturn Roe vs. Wade.