Codifying Abortion Rights In A Federal Law Is Not A Silver Bullet

In the wake of this week’s leaked draft opinion showing that a majority of Supreme Court justices voted to overturn abortion rights, activists and alarmed Democrats alike have renewed calls for Congress to protect abortion access with a federal law. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Thank you for pointing out my main concern about passing a national law guaranteeing abortion rights, that I see no reason the Supreme Court wouldn’t declare it unconstitutional. Heck I think there is a good chance that if the Democrats get the votes to expand the Supreme Court, this court will declare that unconstitutional. The Justices have proven that they are bound and determined to take this country back to the 1800s and will do anything in order to accomplish it.


"… both Manchin and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) characterize themselves as “pro-life.”
Stop using r/w talking points, they are not “pro-life”, they are anti-choice.


Codifying women’s health would be the silver bullet. It would fix some of the basic problems in US overpriced and underdelivering healthcare, and remedy some of the structural racist issues with access to healthcare. But of course I know it’s a challenge after decades of watching old men try to figure out how lady junk works.


I was thinking about the Commerce clause. I don’t doubt for a minute that this bunch of 5 radicals would be more than willing to carve out an exception to the normal commerce clause interpretation. We need to amend the constitution. That means women are going to have to push the traditional Democratic reluctance to work very hard in red states aside and do all they can to pass legislation in several rural states where Democrats fear to tread. Overturning Roe v. Wade is going to have a profound impact on both parties. On balance the Democrats will benefit, but the party will be dramatically different.



While Bob Casey calls himself a pro-life democrat, he is also a pretty reliable vote for abortion rights.

“I think it’s clear to most people that the description of pro-life Democrat is accurate. I’ve been very consistent,” Casey told POLITICO in an interview. “What it means is I try to support policies that help women and children both before and after birth. Part of that is making sure you are honest about differences but also at the same time trying to focus on ways to reduce both the number of abortions and the number of unwanted pregnancies, and I think my record reflects that.”

Casey’s voting record in Congress aligns significantly with abortion rights groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL. He has voted along with Planned Parenthood 75 percent of the time since 2011. And he voted with NARAL Pro-Choice America 100 percent of the time in 2016and [2017]…


Yep that after birth part is always missing from Republicans’ legislation.


I had believed Roberts had an eye toward his court’s legacy.

Between Citizens United, gutting the VRA and this Alito draft decision I’d say his legacy is pretty well sealed.


This thing is a black hole into which time, energy, political capital, and momentum will be sucked never to be seen again in pursuit of an entirely symbolic act that, if by some miracle, enacted would be enjoined within hours and stricken down in in record time. How anyone aware of NFIB v. Sebelius can doubt it is beyond me. It’s a trap, a sop to people’s feelings that will only leave them angrier at Democrats for not Green Lanterning it into existence.

All of our energy and attention should be devoted to putting court expansion back on the table. Because this isn’t just a bad decision, it’s a constitutional crisis in the classical sense of one branch overreaching to the point of tyranny. And the only lever we have against these assholes is the threat of more justices. (Though this would also be a really good time to take a fresh look at who paid off Kavanaugh’s debts.)

No, we can’t pass court expansion either, but the failure to pass it would not be damaging the way failure to “codify Roe” would be. Because the point here is to put it back onto the table, let them know it’s still in play. The point is that this spiraling extremism Court’s doesn’t call for a a response, but rather it demands a direct threat, one they need to know hasn’t gone away and will be used if that’s what it takes to get these fascists checking their six instead of assuming they’re in charge of the country now.


Is what to do.

Congress needs to remember it has the power to wall off any matters it wants from appellate review. So rather than a law specifically concerning abortion, they need to go at the wider problem of revanchism that is always threatened by the right in any society. A law should reiterate the principle that was fundamental to the Declaration and given force in the Ninth Amendment, that rights are naturally inherent to people, not granted by governments ala Bork, and make it law that any right that acquires legal protections under US law can only be curtailed by another law, not by any court. That court rulings must accommodate and defer to those enumerated rights when balancing interests. Make the law codify and restore certain specific rights previously undermined by the courts, among them right to abortion, and others. Include in the law that either a supermajority must vote to repeal any part of it, or some other high bar such as needing majorities in three consecutive Congresses and signature of POTUS in each case, similar to what some states do.


SCOTUS can’t stop Congress from expanding the court…
“The number of Justices on the Supreme Court changed six times before settling at the present total of nine in 1869”


Section 22: Savings Clause

Should any portion of this act be held to be in any way unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction – regardless of any available appellate remedies – the Supreme Court shall be automatically expanded by two new seats at the beginning of each calendar year until such time as the validity of this Act shall be judicially confirmed.


Thanks for the link!

Worth noting from the article. How worse will it get with abortion banned?

  • Women in the U.S. have the highest rate of maternal mortality because of complications from pregnancy or childbirth, as well as among the highest rates of caesarean sections. Women in Sweden and Norway have among the lowest rates of both.

Section 23: Supreme Court Retirement and Pensions

Should any portion of this Act be held to be in any way unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by the Supreme Court of the United States, Congress hereby appropriates $200 million to to bribe the motherfuckers into immediately retiring.


The American childbirth industry is an economic and moral abomination.


I am getting daily emails from Sinema’s office talking about her brave stance in supporting this legislation and her calls for me to support her in her fight to preserve women’s rights. Yeah, OK - is there such a thing as being hypocriticized to death? Can one be ironied into a coma?

No matter how much it pretends to be otherwise, this is a religious ruling. It is based on the religious notion that a couple of cells stuck to each other is a human life with all the rights and expectations of a newborn baby or a full grown person. That is the basis for the law. Instead of saying that this is a fine and noble belief and if you feel that way feel free to NOT get an abortion - because that is also a choice. Instead we get this hogwash about conception and souls and God and the demand that we ALL adhere to this very religious belief.

The right has stolen the words also - they are pro-life. But they aren’t, are they? They are anti-freedom, anti-autonomy, anti-choice. They are anti feminine equality.

I feel like I am drowning in gobbledy-gook in a budding theocracy. All of the arguments against abortion that they keep throwing up - like fetal heartbeat (it is neither a fetus nor a heartbeat they are referring to), human being at conception, blah, blah, blah - has no basis in any reality except a religious reality. If we formed a religion that said abortion was A-OK and sometimes it was God’s will for an unwanted pregnancy to be terminated, would these great protectors of all things religious and religious freedom - would they protect this religion’s beliefs?

When they let the Texas vigilante law stand through the shadow docket, that really told me everything I needed to know about this court’s goals. They are not serving American democracy - they are serving a “higher” government. They are serving God, and like most zealots, it is only a very small jump from faith to the end justifying the means.


Constitutionally prohibited.




And @birdford :100: again