Last week, an orchestrated effort by the vast, right-wing conspiracy culminated in draconian abortion bills in Georgia, Alabama, Missouri and Ohio. Abortion bills passed in Utah, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi earlier this year. And there are anti-abortion bills in the works for Florida, West Virginia, Texas, South Carolina, South Dakota, New Jersey, Nebraska and, naturally, North Carolina, which will always find itself on lists like these.
The substances of these individual bills differ — Alabama’s is perhaps the most primitive in concept, making the procedure illegal even in cases of rape or incest, and felonizing even doctors who perform them.
North Carolina’s bill, known in shorthand as the Born Alive Bill or House Bill 602, is a trifle less harsh when it comes to women’s rights, a tad more scientific when it comes to defining “alive” and slightly less restricting when it comes to doctors’ decisions about their patients. But it is not a good bill.
It was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper in April after passing the House and Senate, and it would take three-fifths of each chamber to overturn the veto. A vote had been scheduled for Wednesday in the state House, where there are not enough Republicans to overturn the veto, but it was withdrawn before a vote was taken.
The point here, obviously, is to get in front of the Supreme Court to challenge Roe v. Wade, which is seen as vulnerable since Brett Kavanaugh oozed his way onto the bench last year.
And like most efforts of the vast, right-wing conspiracy, it seeks to marginalize the majority. Women outnumber men in this country by about 6.5 million. And it’s estimated by Focus on Family — a pro-life group — that 25 percent of American women will have the procedure by the time they reach 45 years of age. The latest from Pew Research posits that the scales of public opinion are tilted towards pro-choice by almost 20 points, 58-37. And if you believe Freakonomics, a combination of legalized, safe abortions and easy access to birth-control led to a major reduction in crime rates in the years since Roe v. Wade.
For now, North Carolina seems safe from the reactionaries and religious tyrants. For now. But the dominoes are just beginning to fall.