Will the end of abortion rights rouse the political press from its everything’s-fine stupor?

I worry that when the Supreme Court eliminates the constitutional right to abortion, which at this point seems inevitable, the corporate media will underreact – just like it did to Donald Trump winning the 2016 election and trying to steal the one in 2020.

Those two events took establishment journalists by surprise (amazingly enough). So they kept on covering day-to-day happenings like everything was normal. They sounded no alarms. They refused to abandon a neutral, above-the-fray tone, even when governing gave way to chaos and an election was nearly overturned.

But retracting 50 years of abortion rights – even if couched in the language of compromise — would be a considerably more immense and concrete shock, both politically and socially.

And this time there’s no excuse for journalists not to be prepared. They should start pre-writing their obituaries for abortion rights now, so they don’t understate the significance in the rush of a deadline.

When it happens, they will need to recognize that in dozens of states, the government will immediately begin seizing control over women’s bodies.

They will need to recognize that it is deeply abnormal that six extremist justices can destroy half a century of progress for women’s rights, health care, and justice.

They will need to recognize that the justices have set the clock back to a time of dangerous back-alley abortions, unwanted children, devastated lives, stymied dreams, and increased poverty.

They will need to acknowledge that the burden will, as it always is, be greater on the poor and people of color.

They will need to remind people that this would never have happened if Mitch McConnell hadn’t shockingly blocked confirmation hearings for Barack Obama’s nominee for the court; if he hadn’t hypocritically rushed through a nomination that should have been Joe Biden’s; and if the FBI had not left hundreds of tips alleging sexual assault and harassment by Brett Kavanaugh uninvestigated.

They will need to recall that the country’s slow march to progress has been based on expanding human rights, not rescinding them.

They will need to call attention to the unsurprising unmasking of what abortion rights supporters had long considered flat-out lies during confirmation hearings, especially by the three Trump appointees.

They will need to distinguish between the principled opposition to abortion by those who truly believe life begins at conception; the shameless political pandering to that group; and the twisted misogyny that wants to see women punished for having sex, even when they are rape victims.

They will need to recognize that the idea of a white Christian authoritarian government will no longer be abstract, it will be upon us. And should Republicans win Congress and the White House, and give no indication they would ever relinquish power, there will be no coming back.


  1. I doubt the male dominated, Republican leaning news media will care, to be honest. They can’t blame it on Biden like they do everything else, for one thing. And it’s more fun to write pieces telling Americans that inflation is destroying the country, and that we should all be terrified that the GOP will win all the elections in the midterms. So what if a few women are forced to have babies, right?

  2. Abortion was a fairly recent issue for white evangelicals who used to be fine with it. Opposition to abortion was ginned up by right wingers like Paul Weyrich as a way to hide white evangelicals true agenda — opposition to desegregation of schools.
    I am expecting them to go after several forms of birth control a la Hobby Lobby if they get their way on Roe — that as soon as they get their way of Roe.
    Unfortunately media didn’t even snap out of their “everything is fine stupor” when Hobby Lobby made it clear that birth control may well be their next target. (Funny how those faux Christians don’t oppose funding Viagra for unmarried men.)

  3. This corrupted court will not stop with Roe.

    They will force their reactionary religious crap on everyone.

    Obergefell will be the next to go followed by Griswald and Loving decisions.

    Then Brown will be reversed as well to bring back segregated schools.

    After that the entire Voting Rights and Civil Rights Act of 1964 will be thrown out as the corrupted court brings back Jim Crow.

  4. Theodora is right that contraception is next on the bingo card. ‘wingers have been falsely telling their supporters that many forms of contraception are abortion for years. All that remains is for laws in anti-choice states to be tweaked to add those forms of contraception–and then present their fake “science” in the courts, as Mississippi’s Solicitor General did in Dobbs.

    Next to bone up on: the Fugitive Slave Act. Brett Kavanaugh has argued–and the Court will likely agree–that we should leave it up to the states. That’s what we did with slavery. The slave states, of course, wanted to capture escaped slaves. Watch for them to try to prosecute any of their residents who go out of state for abortions.

    The poor ones, of course. Never campaign donors or their husbands or fathers.

  5. Even that “abortion” rights has become the go-to description of all that Row v Wade represents, rarely if ever in the mainstream press do we hear or see “Reproduction Rights” which includes the rights of women to CHOOSE contraception or not, the privacy between doctor and a woman to make these decisions. What will the law say about the woman and her doctor who know carrying a fetus to term will most likely cause that woman’s death due to her medical condition? Save the baby not the woman? There are plenty of wombs left to own? SCOTUS now has an anti-women’s rights majority with extreme “evangelical”Catholics leading the way, rejecting the basic tenants of Catholicism and Judaism protecting the sanctity of a mother’s life first. That religious extremists will not separate church from state, justifying their decisions based on THEIR interpretation of THEIR faith is at the core of all of what is happening now regarding Reproductive Rights. This is rape. And murder. They are all complicit. In the 10-year old GIRL, incest victim forced to carry a child so Amy can adopt? But I doubt we’ll ever see a man pursued with such vengefulness for his vasectomy. Though he will certainly have the right to decide, with his perverse “parental” rights now prevailing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.