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September 01, 2021 04:15 PM UTC

There Was ALWAYS a Real Threat to Abortion Rights

  • by: Colorado Pols

[mantra-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”60%”]“And contrary to Udall’s tedious refrain, Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.”

    – The editorial board of The Denver Post (Oct. 10, 2014)[/mantra-pullquote]

You can argue, as many politicos have, that Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall lost the 2014 election for U.S. Senate in Colorado because his campaign against Republican Cory Gardner was too focused on the issue of abortion. Such an argument would not be without merit; Udall’s campaign may, in fact, have spent too much time and money (and ad space) on the idea that Gardner’s election would be a significant threat to women’s rights in Colorado and across the country.

But as we saw today with the implementation in Texas of the most comprehensive abortion restriction in the country, Udall and his supporters were not wrong to be concerned about what might come next if Gardner and Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate. As it turns out, the threat to abortion rights was very real indeed. So real, in fact, that you can draw a direct line between the Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate in 2014 and the new law in Texas that went into effect today.

As Molly Jong-Fast explains for The Daily Beast:

The Supreme Court declined to act and let Texas’ insane new abortion law stand, for now, in what looks to be the day Roe v. Wade began to die.

As of today, SB8, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law, bans abortions at six weeks, with no exception for rape or incest, while targeting anyone who “aids or abets” another person’s abortion. The idea is to make anyone who helps a woman get an abortion a legal target, even her Uber driver, with any citizen able to collect a bounty on abortion providers…

…The Supreme Court’s own precedents have barred states from banning abortion before about 22 weeks, when a fetus could be viable outside of the womb. Letting a six-week law stand is a sign that things have changed, dramatically, with the court’s new 6-3 conservative majority.

There’s a lot of legal posturing here, as Republicans made their insane new law complicated by design in the hopes of sneaking it through—to the point that abortion providers had to turn to the Supreme Court, with its new majority just itching to do away with Roe, as their last best hope. And on Tuesday night, the Supreme Court did nothing, and thus let SB8 stand for now, with an emergency request to block the now-in-effect rule still pending.

Cory Gardner

The Texas law, which for all practical purposes amounts to a total abortion ban, is not even that popular IN TEXAS. But it passed because Texas has a Republican-led legislature, and it will now be implemented because the U.S. Supreme Court gave its tacit approval when it declined to offer an opinion on the matter. For this to happen, the Supreme Court needed to be overseen by a majority of justices who are fundamentally supportive of strict abortion bans.

The 2014 election gave Republicans control of the U.S. Senate, which allowed then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to refuse to even CONSIDER President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

Then came the Nuclear Option, followed by Neil Gorsuch and later Brett Kavanaugh. And, finally, Amy Coney Barrett. Gardner supported McConnell’s stonewalling of Garland in 2016, but had no such concerns about nominating a new Supreme Court justice at the tail end of a Republican term in the White House. Gardner lost his own re-election bid in November 2020 to Democrat John Hickenlooper, but the damage had already been done.

Lo and behold, elections DID matter.

As recently as the 2020 election cycle, media outlets were still allowing Republicans to insist that Roe v. Wade was perfectly safe, despite whatever they regularly told their right-wing base. But in April of this year, many of those same Republicans — including several from Colorado — began to speak out more plainly in support of overturning Roe v. Wade. Later this year, the Supreme Court will consider the legality of a stringent abortion ban in the state of Mississippi. As The Washington Post notes, “Antiabortion activists have urged the court to use that case to overturn the 1973 Roe decision.”

Could this happen in Colorado? You betcha it could. Here’s Colorado Republican Party Chairperson Kristi Burton Brown — who previously failed at multiple attempts to enact a “personhood” measure in Colorado — celebrating the new law in Texas:

Polling shows that more than 70% of Coloradans support a woman’s right to choose (see below), but public opinion won’t mean squat if Republicans are able to wrestle control from Democrats in future elections. Republican leaders in Colorado want to end access to reproductive rights for women, and they’ll do just that if given the opportunity.

The threat to reproductive rights was always real…and now we’re here.

November 2020 polling from Global Strategy Group for Cobalt


44 thoughts on “There Was ALWAYS a Real Threat to Abortion Rights

  1. There are at least 5 votes on the Court to shitcan Roe and its progeny in their entirety, but I don't see that happening. Miranda v. Arizona is still "on the books," but it's so heavily gimped and exception-riddled that it's virtually impossible for a cop to commit a Miranda violation nowadays. Roe is in for a similar fate.

    Thanks again to the Jilliots and other assorted morons who convinced themselves in 2016 there was no real difference between Clinton and the old incontinent fat guy.

    1. She won't in the future either.  This is Green Kryptonite for statewide Republicans who have to answer some form of:  "Do you support the abortion ban in Texas and do you support implementing it in Colorado?"

      Pro-women forces are going to go on the offense against everyone of these weasels.  It could prevent Republicans from regaining control of the House in 2022.  Being for draconian control over women is good politics until it happens just like Trump actually winning.  The 2022 election just got more intense by a factor of a thousand.

  2. Maybe you progressives can finally see the real issues here. Once Roe is gone or diminished, the next target for the far right wing radical religionists will be Griswold v. Connecticut.

    Already in Missouri, the Republican controlled Senate tried, but failed, in June to end Medicaid payments for certain “abortifacient” forms of contraception like Plan B and IUDs. Some of the same groups opposing abortion also oppose contraception.

    When the Republicans take back the US House in the midterms next year, you can expect more attempts at restricting access to birth control (sorry GG. With redistricting, socialism, communism, defund the police, CRT, etc. hanging over the Dems, it will take a miracle to keep control of the House).

    1. I’m not optimistic about Democrats maintaining majorities in the House or Senate — but there are a whole series of events lining up to make it remarkably possible. Republicans on the wrong side of economics, COVID, abortion, and potentially a few other issues make me think the midterms are not certain to be “typical.”

      In the Senate, there are a number of people who think Republicans running to replace the retiring are likely to be Trump-supported nominees.  And I’m pretty certain there will be a constant drip of bad news for the Trump-aligned — insurrection outcomes in courts and Congressional hearings, defamation judgments for those advancing the Big Lie, and possibly even a few other matters getting to verdicts or judgments against Trump forces. 

      In the House, there will be some of the same atmospheric elements and issues PLUS consideration of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, Gym Jordan as Chair of Judiciary, and a few others who will become symbols to run against.

      1. "Republicans on the wrong side of economics, COVID, abortion, and potentially a few other issues make me think the midterms are not certain to be “typical.”"

        A true statement but also irrelevant.

        The election in 2022 will be all about turnout. Even if there are only 40% of voters who agree with Trump/McCarthy/DeSantis/Abbott/Gnome, they will all turn out to vote.

        On the other side, many but not enough will turn out for a myriad of reasons.

        The one hopeful sign is California where the returned ballots are running well for keeping Gavin Newsom (i.e., that is, good return rate from registered Democrats).

        1. If what happened in Texas doesn't spur turnout among women next year, I don't know what will. Colorado was the first state to legalize abortion (1967), a fact Democrats; and back then Republicans were damned proud of.

    2. There is one issue hanging over everything else CB.  The Climate Crisis.

      Republicans who continue to stick their heads in the oil pipe and go la-la-la regarding this issue are going to appear even more disconnected with reality.  At some point the aquifers will be pumped dry and the oceans will swallow communities and there will be a genuine reckoning with our use of the planet.  The Climate Crisis is something that resonates with folks maybe enough to affect their vote.

      If you get a chance, I just finished reading The Overstory by Richard Powers and it is a truly thought provoking read about trees and our fragile world.

    3. CHB, I usually like your posts,  and your pro-choice and pro-climate positions….until you get all scoldy and condescending about "progressives seeing the real issues here". You blindly repeat right wing talking points as though they have merit – and you know that they don't.

      Progressives see "real issues"…most of us see the big picture pretty clearly. Unlike you, we include racial violence and the widening wealth gap as "real issues".

      Nobody in Congress is advocating for "defund the police" as such. There are various proposals, including the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act , which intends "To hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct in court, improve transparency through data collection, and reform police training and policies". That law is stalled along with most of Biden's agenda, but has broad public support, including from the White House.

      Nobody in Congress is advocating for socialism or communism.  They are advocating for student loan forgiveness, Medicare for All, a tax structure which requires corporations and the uber-rich to pay their fair share of taxes and not shelter them outside of the US. Again, these ideas enjoy wide voter and public support. Nobody outside of graduate-level law school programs is teaching Critical Race Theory.

        1. Yes. The Squad are Democratic Socialists.  Democratic socialism encompasses policies like universal health care, the postal system, free early child care, free or affordable college tuition, reforming the tax system, etc…all within the existing capitalist system.

          Nobody in Congress is advocating for a revolutionary change from a capitalist to a socialist government.

            1. “nobody in Congress is advocating for socialism or communism…..”  True, but anything the misguided Squad and the Progressive Caucus says will be hung around the necks of all Dems. Same for Critical Race Theory. Yes, taught in graduate school level classes. But look how it plays for the far right wing among the masses.

              “Democratic socialism encompasses……” All the free stuff advocated by the Bernie progressives. Free college tuition? Free child care? Universal health care? Sad that you never saw the abuse of the health care system that I saw here back in the ’80s and ’90s. It still continues. An old joke in our office was people going to then Denver General for hang nail treatment. 

              The current capitalist system needs reform, not a total overhaul.That won’t happen as long as the Squad and its adherents keep giving fuel to the far right wingers’ campaigns with calls for “free stuff for everybody.”

              1. Your argument has a huge flaw.

                Conservatives and Republicans are fundamentally dishonest, and will claim whatever they want. The Republican marketing machine spews vile no matter what the actual Democrats believe in. I don't know of any Democrats who are killing babies to get adrenechrome, but that doesn't stop the Republicans from drumming that beat all day long.

                Why would they change if it is successful? You conservatives got exactly what you wanted by stacking the Supreme Court with Conservative justices; Susan Collins pretending she was pro-choice. Federalist Society lawyers pretending they believed in settled law.

                We (the American People) benefit immensely from Conservatives over-using the socialist insult: it starts to validate socialist ideas. 

                We started with Socialist Security, and raised the ante with Socialist Medicare. Next comes well-paying construction jobs for Socialist highways, and Socialist green energy investment, not to mention Socialist elder care.

                Ronald Reagan promised us a Socialist Future, and it is high time we start benefiting from it. To quote Ward Churchhill, "the chickens are coming home to roost", and today's Conservatives are helping usher it in.

              2. A black principal in Texas was recently suspended from his job after a photograph surfaced of him kissing his white wife. Apparently parents got him ousted by claiming that he was pushing Critical Race Theory in the school. To the mob, being school Principal while black is the same thing as CRT. 

                Reality has nothing to do with it. MAGA-ism, Republican-ism, Evangelical-ism, Racism, Conservatism. It is all one mob.

              3. “True, but anything the misguided Squad and the Progressive Caucus says will be hung around the necks of all Dems”

                The only good that will come out of the Dems losing their majority in the House next year will be the marginalization of the Squad.

    4. I don't hold your words or foreboding against you CB but the situation might not be as dire as you paint it.  For one thing, Republicans are killing their own and at some point losing another 100,000 – 300,000 unvaccinated Republicans is going to have electoral consequences.  There won't be as many rubes to squeeze donations from or people to do election work.  Close races are not going to hinge on voters who died on ventilators.  Plus there is going to be the blow back by families who lost a bread winner and now need government assistance to survive.  Republicans are going to be burying their future and the reckoning could come as early as 2022.  The pandemic isn't over by a long ways and the trail of death is going to lead directly to Republican doors. 

      1. That may well happen, GG. Maybe 10 years out will be different. I turn 72 this month and maybe I'll be around to revisit the matter in 10 years. As far as I'm concerned, now is the time for action.

        In a recent column in The Bulwark dot com, long time Milwaukee conservative commentator, Charlie Sykes, referred to the Trump/McCarthy et al cabal as bullies and thugs. Yes! The time to fight is now and not wait years for hundreds of thousands of the anti-science far right to die off.

        1. I was a freshman when you were a senior CB.  Time cycles have been accelerating so it might take less than a decade for this decadence to collapse in on itself.  Decay only becomes visible in a tree when it is about to be toppled by a big wind.  The times they are a changing.  All is not lost my cyber friend.

    5. One more thing CB.  Republicans might retake the House or Senate nationally but they have dwindling chances of changing their fortunes in the state.  The Supreme Court turning their backs on women isn't good news for Colorado Republicans seeking to regain influence in Colorado.  Coloradans aren't going to meekly submit to the American Taliban.  The response is going to be ferocious and a lot of soccer moms are going to decide to protect their daughters from these dirt bags.  Pols is going to have to change the Big Line to account for this response.

      1. The far right doesn't speak for all Republicans in Colorado. Otherwise, I mostly agree. But, eternal vigilance is a cost of maintaining true freedom.

        1. Well, since the far right controls the Republican Party, I guess it does in fact speak for all Republicans. Basically Trumpism has succeeded.

          The only solution for democracy to continue is for the Republican Party to collapse. Republicanism a dead ideology. Conservatism today doesn't actually mean anything. Is it Libertarianism or is it Kleptocracy? Is it Conserving the environment or supporting fossil fuel companies? Is it forced birthing and Aunt Lydia's doing womb tests, or is it get the Government out of women's bodies?

          WTF do you even mean by Conservative now that it has such a horrible reputation?

            1. Just for Duke: last time I checked, far right wing Trump sycophants weren’t “running” Republican state senators Priola, Rankin, Coram, or the new guy from Alamosa, Cleave Simpson.

              One good way to determine which way Republicans fall is to examine the Conservation Colorado Legislative Scorecard when it comes out, if not already out. I don’t expect any 100%ers. But, depending on how ConCo sets it up; meaning which bills are used for ratings; most of these guys could fall into the 40% – 50% range or so. That’s good for Republicans.

              1. It is, then, your contention that those four are "running" the Colorado Republican party? Imagine my skepticism. I am unaware of their leadership positions. Perhaps you will elaborate …

                  1. There’s a small few number of conservatives who are Conservatives®, and then there’s this gigantic buttload of conservatives who are Conservatives-R who aren’t . . . or vice versa . . . or something

                    . . . just look for that effin’ ® (as awarded by the CHBBRB), and not this R, (unless maybe they got both R® or ®R) for chrissakes why doncha??!?

                    . . .You know what he means, so just stop being difficult and quit tryin’ to make it make sense, Duke!  (Like that’s even some kind of rule? . . .) Sheesh!

                    Oh, and by the way, the Conservatives® may be few in number, and completely insignificant to their own party, and don’t do anything to affect anything that actually matters — but don’t be kidding yourself, they’re the ones who really run things and the only ones who are really important! Got it?

                    1. I see it, oh wise (or should it be “wizened”?) one…”self-identified conservatives” have the power to define all things…reality notwithstanding.

                      Soooo…I should just STFU about it before CHB develops a case of hives.


    6. Once Roe is gone or diminished, the next target for the far right wing radical religionists will be Griswold v. Connecticut.

      The radical religionists will indeed want Griswold gone–forced conception and forced birth go together like drunken trumpanzees and firearms, after all–but I doubt the Court will be inclined to fuck with substantive due process too aggressively. SDP was born in the 1880s to protect "freedom of contract" from vile depredations like child labor laws and workplace safety regs. I suspect some of the current justices harbor clown-punching fantasies about bringing back that old school SDP.

  3. Hope everyone who didn’t vote for Hillary and Mark Udall are proud of themselves.

    It’s long past time that we disregard this illegitimate MAGA court. If they want to enforce their far right rulings, let them find a way to do it.

    Every individual Republican voter–the American Taliban–should be held responsible for the monstrous cruelties they choose to inflict. Treat them like the enemies that they are.

    1. Thanks for your “progressive rant,” Sparkplug. Maybe you missed a recent decision by Justice Amy Barrett not to approve an appeal filing by several students at Indiana University who claimed their rights were violated by the university vaccine mandate.

      As a more or less normal, centrist-leaning, conservative, I take my victories where I can get them, whether against the far right or the far left. All issues are complex and seldom easily defined by the sound bites of either right or left. The “enemy of my enemy” can be my friend.

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