Last yr, I stood side by side with 1000’s of ladies protesting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, eliminating 50 years of precedent protecting women’s reproductive freedoms. I used to be surrounded by moms, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers who were outraged that their daughters would now have fewer rights than they did. These women hadn’t only come together to talk out against the Dobbs decision—they were out in force because they knew extreme far-right elected officials inside the Republican Party wouldn’t stop attempting to limit abortion.
They were right.
Lower than a yr after the Supreme Court gutted reproductive rights, right-wing extremists are back to complete the job and limit women’s freedoms even in pro-choice states where abortion is legal. A latest lawsuit in Texas, backed by the identical anti-choice groups that campaigned to overturn Roe, goals to institute a nationwide ban on a pill, mifepristone, the primary pill in a two-step medication abortion—probably the most common abortion method for American women. Mifepristone has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for greater than 20 years. Despite scientific evidence to support medication abortion as protected and effective, nationwide access to the pill may ultimately be decided by the right-wing Supreme Court, with a ruling within the Texas case expected any day now.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto speaks at a pro-abortion rights rally in Reno in May 2022, ahead of the Dobbs decision.
This can be a deeply cynical move by far-right extremists who’ve spent the last 50 years working to show back the clock on women’s rights. Within the Dobbs case, right-wing Republicans lobbied the Supreme Court to revoke women’s freedom to make their very own health care decisions under the guise of “states’ rights.” Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion insisted the choice to overturn Roe would “return the problem of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
This latest effort to effectively ban the abortion pill mifepristone nationwide shows anti-choice extremists are once more searching for the assistance of anti-abortion judges to make use of the court to erode women’s reproductive rights.
Let’s be clear: Far-right extremists claimed abortion was a states’ rights issue when it was convenient, and now they’re going after the freedoms of each woman searching for reproductive health care, even those living in pro-choice states.
Take my home state of Nevada, for instance. In 1990—well before women’s rights were endangered by a conservative Supreme Court—Nevadans overwhelmingly voted to codify reproductive freedoms. Greater than 30 years later, 69 percent of state residents (including a majority of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats) consider themselves pro-choice. Nevada is amongst other pro-choice states across the country which have turn into protected havens for ladies searching for to make their very own decisions about their bodies, and within the post-Roe era, health care centers in these states have taken in an increasing number of women traveling across state lines to get the care they need. In bringing these attacks on the abortion pill to the courts, right-wing extremists are infringing on the rights of the states that also protect women.
In the event that they succeed, don’t expect Americans to dismiss the choice’s devastating impact. Last fall, I used to be in probably the most competitive election within the country, with most national pundits predicting I might lose and value Democrats our majority within the Senate. But they underestimated how strongly Americans feel about women’s rights. All over the place I went on the campaign trail, I heard from men and ladies, from Republicans and Democrats, and in each rural and concrete areas. All of them agreed politicians shouldn’t be making women’s health care decisions. Those Nevadans rose up and re-elected me, joining tens of thousands and thousands of Americans in battleground states across the country who defied history and elected pro-choice leaders during one of the crucial difficult midterm elections in recent memory.
Because of pro-choice voters across America, far-right extremists did not get their Senate majority and won’t have a possibility to pass their federal abortion ban. But that hasn’t stopped them; as an alternative, they’re attempting to remove women’s rights through the identical means they used to take down Roe: our courts. Americans are being attentive. When the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and placed women’s rights in politicians’ hands, countless Americans lost faith within the Court. Now, extreme politicians are reversing their position on states’ rights to get the abortion pill banned in pro-choice states like mine, sending a transparent message that their important objective is to remove women’s freedoms, regardless of the associated fee. But women will keep fighting back, and we aren’t going to allow them to proceed to tug us backwards.
Catherine Cortez Masto is the senior US Senator from Nevada and the previous Attorney General of Nevada.