You didn’t waste any time. Several Republican-ruled states de facto banned abortion immediately after the Supreme Court ruled to end federal abortion laws.
In states like Arkansas, Kentucky or Louisiana, abortions are now illegal, even in the case of rape or incest. There are usually exceptions in the case of medical emergencies, but the level of uncertainty is high. In many states, such as Missouri and Oklahoma, doctors who perform abortions now face lengthy prison terms.
Many providers of such interventions were forced to stop their work from one day to the next or to relocate to more liberal neighboring countries. US media reported sometimes dramatic scenes at the only clinic in West Virginia, for example, when women who had made an appointment had to be turned away.
Others, like the only clinics in Texas and Mississippi, said they would hold out until the work was officially banned. In her case, that will be ten days after the responsible state justice minister publishes a corresponding order.
Protests continued in front of the Supreme Court in Washington and many other cities against the conservative court majority declaring the end of the landmark decision “Roe v. Wade” which for almost 50 years held the right of women to make their own decisions. Activists and politicians announced that they would not simply accept the decision.
The verdict is expected to be just the beginning of new disputes – and the beginning of an even deeper polarization in the country. Around half of all states want to ban abortion completely or at least to a large extent.
States governed by Democrats took the first steps to care for more potential patients and protect women from legal consequences. Tim Walz, the governor of Minnesota, where abortion remains legal, signed an executive order barring those who seek or provide an abortion in his state from being prosecuted in other states.
Immediately after the court decision, US President Joe Biden spoke of a “tragic error” by the Supreme Court and warned that other hard-won rights such as contraceptives or gay marriage could be overturned next. The Democrat called on the US Congress to restore universal abortion rights through federal law.
Companies with locations in conservative states have announced they will cover transportation costs for their employees, including Amazon, Apple, Deutsche Bank, Disney, Goldman, Gucci, Nike and Tesla. However, you could face legal disputes.
Because some states not only criminalize the offering and performance of abortions, but also any support for it – in some places even talking about it is to be punished.
At the same time, donations to organizations that help women with abortions skyrocketed. Within 24 hours, 40 times more donations were received than usual in one day, said the largest provider organization Planned Parenthood. Calls were launched on social media to form networks to help affected women.
Despite the joy of its legal success, some Republicans expressed concern that the decision could mobilize Democratic voters in the upcoming midterm elections in November. The majority of Americans had repeatedly stated in polls that the principle of “Roe v. Wade” to uphold the guaranteed right to an abortion.
According to a report in the New York Times, even ex-President Donald Trump, who by appointing three judges during his term of office significantly shifted the weight of the Supreme Court to the right and is still celebrating this, has warned internally of the consequences .
After a first draft of the verdict had been pierced in early May, he is said to have told his confidants that an end to “Roe v. Wade” is “bad for the Republicans” because it would alienate “suburban women”, i.e. women in the suburbs of larger cities. This group was instrumental in Biden winning the 2020 election.
Trump is also said to have described measures like those in Texas, which bans most abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy and gives citizens the right to sue people who help with an abortion, as “stupid”.
Trump, who goes on to claim his election was stolen, is preparing for a possible 2024 candidacy despite a House investigative committee trying to prove his responsibility for January 6, 2021. Back then, his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington to prevent Congress from officially confirming Biden’s election victory. Five people died.