Last week Alabama joined Georgia and Ohio in passing de facto bans on abortion that in most instances criminalize abortion providers and the women seeking them. These laws will be challenged in court and their designers hope they will reach the Supreme Court for a Roe v. Wade showdown fight that will give the new conservative majority an opportunity to overturn Roe. This represents a dramatic change in anti-abortion strategy from the gradual chipping away at Roe that has been successful in limiting abortion access in the past decade.
In an editorial on Thursday The New York Times called on pro-choice advocates to be active in this fight and offered concrete suggestions. (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/15/opinion/abortion-alabama-law.html)
For one, they encouraged participation in every local election because even zoning decisions can affect access to abortion. At the state level, Virginia Republicans have long tried to limit women’s reproductive rights. Senator Ryan McDougle was the architect of the infamous transvaginal ultrasound bill, Senator Siobhan Dunnavant is so anti-abortion that it is not clear that she supports all forms of birth control and Delegates Chris Peace and Buddy Fowler are both on record wanting to limit or overturn Roe protections. In an interview this week Virginia’s 28th District Delegate Bob Thomas said he does not think these bans have gone too far and he wants to start campaigning for a governor who would sign one into law in Virginia, so it is clear Virginia will not be immune from attacks on reproductive rights.
This new attack on women’s rights is clearly triggered by the Trump presidency and judicial appointments. TAN readers have been fierce resisters and now need to redouble our efforts to elect pro-choice candidates this fall.