Neighbors Care About Abortion Rights, Just Not Enough To Be Even Mildly Inconvenienced
September 23, 2022
Protesters Abortion descended on the apartment building of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s parents, looking to convince the Supreme Court nominee’s neighbors to pressure him into voting against Roe v. Wade and other protections for women’s reproductive rights.
But a glance at the surrounding area shows that Kavanaugh’s neighbors are unlikely to be swayed by such tactics. They might just support Kavanaugh and oppose his neighbors—as they look to protect their right to an abortion as well as access to affordable birth control and health care services more broadly.
How Roe V. Wade Came To Pass
When the Roe V. Wade case was first making its way through the court system in 1973, public opinion polls showed a nearly even split on the question of abortion: 34% supported it and 31% opposed it and 36% were undecided.
By 1982, when the case was decided for good, those who were pro-choice had risen to 50%. However, this increase in support did not translate into more vocal protest when Trump was nominating someone who would work against Roe V. Wade – because even if they cared about reproductive rights issues now, they just weren’t willing to be inconvenienced by demonstrating that care by protesting.
What The Law Said Before Roe V. Wade
Abortion has been a topic of debate for decades now. It is legal in most countries today and has been since 1967 thanks to the Roe v. Wade decision.
The Eighteenth Amendment made on January 16th, 1917 legalized abortions in the United States and was enforced from then on until 1936 when it was repealed by a vote of 33 to 1 at a Constitutional Convention which met in Rochester, New York.
In 1973, with Roe. Wade at hand women had more control over their reproduction process and they were now allowed to have an abortion as long as they meet certain criteria or if they request one before the 24th week of pregnancy which also marked the end of pregnancy.
The Supreme Court’s Role
The Supreme Court is the final word on important and complicated issues that reach far beyond the borders of one state. Many cases involve some interpretation of a clause in the Constitution. If a proposed law conflicts with an interpretation set by the Supreme Court, it cannot be enacted.
How The Decision Was Made
I tried to find out if Kavanaugh lived in my neighborhood and was relieved to see he lived over a mile away. But I did know that his kids went to a school just blocks from where I live. And the chances of his children witnessing protests or having the opportunity to talk with us or let us speak with them is high. So I put myself in their shoes–what would they want if they had a say? What would they stand for?
Why This Matters Today
People on the ground are already feeling these impacts. . . Today, it feels like we’re in limbo. Roe vs. Wade is under threat and we need to let our senators know that this matters to us. It doesn’t matter how far away you live from D.C., our decisions about abortion rights will affect you as well because abortion is about equality and access for everyone.
Waiting for A New Justice Will Have Real-World Consequences
There’s a Supreme Court Justice vacancy to fill and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will vote on Trump’s nomination before the end of October. Kavanaugh would only need 51 votes in the Senate because he is replacing Kennedy, who was a Republican appointee.
Even though Kavanaugh is unlikely to have 50 votes from Democrats on his vote, according to New York Magazine Republicans can increase their majority by one or two senators without any Democratic votes. Since they do not have 51 votes (or likely 55), they’re looking at Vice President Mike Pence as a tiebreaker.
What Can We Do?
Women will keep having abortions. We know this because some of them are our friends and family members. They’ll likely have them whether or not Brett Kavanaugh ever gets on the Supreme Court. If he does get confirmed it would take a state legislature overturning Roe v. Wade for abortion to become illegal in that state again…
Until then, we need to figure out how to get those women what they need without putting themselves in danger by going out there where people like the character from the story live who care more about Kavanaugh’s career than their lives and health.
1) Call your senators and urge them to vote no on Kavanaugh. 2) Fill all vacancies in your government with pro-choice candidates who support Planned Parenthood and other reproductive rights organizations.
Hope For The Future?
Some of his neighbors were bothered enough by Kavanaugh to make noise and go door-to-door handing out flyers. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of more activism.