Tuesday, September 26

How safe is Massachusetts from the effects of reversing Roe

The imminent overturning of Roe v. Wade will return around half the states to a condition arguably even worse than pre-Roe (of “back-alley abortions”) because so deliberately plotted, a distinctly future reminiscent of the forced motherhood of the TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Women will be arrested for getting an abortion in those states or for escaping to another state to get one, as women in “Handmaid” flee Gilead for Canada. A couple of states have laws encouraging bounty-hunting by letting citizens themselves keep the $10,000 fine for turning in a perp.

It is of course tremendously reassuring to know that when reproductive rights are no longer the law of the land, they will be protected in this enlightened neck of the woods.

However, the collateral damage of this strike against women is the alarming acceleration of the erosion of democracy, the de facto minority rule it embodies. That affects all states, all citizens. As would possible future rulings of the US Supreme Court on private life that could be foreshadowed by the removal of the Roe precedent, the overturning of precedents on same-sex or interracial marriage or even the right to birth control.


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